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Gematria Shorts for Va’etchanan 5782

The value of the first verse of Va’etchanan, describing Moses’ prayers before God, “I pleaded with God at that time, saying” (וָאֶתְחַנַּן אֶל י-הוה בָּעֵת הַהִוא לֵאמֹר), is 1332, which is also the exact value of the introductory verse of the Ten Commandments, “God spoke all these words, saying” (וַיְדַבֵּר אֱ-לֹהִים אֵת כָּל הַדְּבָרִים הָאֵלֶּה לֵאמֹר), an allusion to the Ten Commandments repeated later in the parashah.


The Or HaChaim writes that there are four conditions for prayer. The first is that one should plead like a poor man at the door, based on the Rosh Hashanah liturgy, which says, “Plead for compassion like a poor man at the door” (בַּקֵּשׁ רַחֲמִים כְּעָנִי בַפֶּתַח), the final letters of which spell “Mashiach” (מָשִׁיחַ).


People are constantly looking for an auspicious time to pray. The value of, “an auspicious time” (עֵת רָצוֹן) is “lowliness” (שִׁפְלוּת). If you are lowly, every moment is an auspicious one for prayer!


Our Torah needs to become our prayer and our prayers need to become our Torah. The value of Va’etchanan (וָאֶתְחַנַּן) is 515, the same as “prayer” (תְּפִלָּה). But the sum of the 4 essential values of Va’etchanan—515 (normative value), 65 (ordinal value), 29 (reduced value), and 2 (final reduced value)—is 611, the value of “Torah” (תּוֹרָה).

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