Thursday, July 23, 2009

Madoff Should Have Seen The Writing On The Wall

The name Madoff, that is "Made Off," is secretly coded in Tehillim 21(12). His name in Hebrew is spelled, מאדוף. Look at the 6th and 7th words of verse 12, מאד ופחד, translated as "exceedingly, and a fright." Madoff's name is spelled out from the first 5 letters of these words. The word מאד means exceedingly and certainly the amount of money involved in the fraud was a record amount, and the extent of the ponzi scheme fraud, was of frightful proportions.
But there is a further lesson that Hashem is teaching us through the Madoff code. For there is another location that the name Madoff appears secretly in. It begins in the Book of Daniel in chapter 5(25), and ends in the beginning of the next chapter. Verse 25 describes a secret message written by the Hand of G-d. It's known as the "writing on the wall." Let's just backtrack for a second and provide some historical details preceding this writing. King Nebuchadnezzar was a powerful king who was the instrument that G-d used to destroy the Holy Temple. He was powerful and feared by all. But when he became haughty and his heart grew proud, G-d stripped him of his power and glory. But his grandson King Belshazzar didn't learn from this episode. About 50 years later, he made a great feast for a thousand nobles who all drank wine from golden vessels that had been removed from the Temple by his grandfather. They praised gods made from gold, silver, and other items, and celebrated the suppressed condition of the Jewish People.
And then at that very moment, fingers of a human hand appeared and wrote on the wall of the king's palace. The king saw the hand as it was writing. He was terrified and challenged all his advisors, wise men, and sorcerers to explain the written message. No one had any idea what the message was conveying, for the message was written in cryptic code and in a script unknown to the Babylonians. Until this message was written, scribes wrote in the easier to write ancient Hebrew script. This terrifying event was seen as a sign from heaven that letters written in this manner are holier, and since then scribes have written Hebrew letters in the same style as they appeared on the wall. The writing consisted of 15 letters that formed the words, מנא מנא תקל ופרסין. The prophet Daniel who had helped the king's grandfather interpret several dreams was located and agreed to reveal the meaning of these words after he first admonished the king for his arrogance. Daniel interpreted these words to mean, "counted, counted, weighed and broken up." G-d has counted the years of your kingship and it will be terminated. You have been weighed on the scales and have been found wanting. Your kingdom is to be split and given to Media and Persia. King Belshazzar accepted the interpretation of Daniel and that very night he was killed. For thousands of years this was the accepted meaning of the message of the writing on the wall, for it came true immediately. Most people have heard of and have used this expression but never realized that it came from an incident thousands of years ago involving an arrogant king who despised the Jews. But there is a deeper message here buried in the moments of time.
It's a message of hope to Jews around the globe, a message to all people signifying the power, might, and oneness of G-d. Many have sensed and suspected that there was a deeper, hidden message in these letters. Some have tried to scramble the letters to form other words. But many times the hidden truth is only kept from us because our eyes are only half opened. If you take the plain, normal gematria of these 15 letters regardless of how you scramble or rearrange the letters, you will have a total gematria or numerical value of 1118. This is the same value as a statement Jews make several times a day, a statement of faith that is buried deep in the chambers of our souls. שׁמע ישׂראל יקוק אלקינו יקוק אחד, "Hear O' Israel, Hashem is our G-d, Hashem is one and only one." These 6 words in Hebrew have the same value as the letters written on the wall, written by the same hand that wrote the entire Torah given to Moses. When we say the words of the Shema, we proclaim our faith. We accept G-d as our King willingly, gladly, and with a sense of priviledge that He allows us to serve Him. In fact when we pray alone we add, קל מלך נאמן, "G-d is a trustworthy King.
This writing by the King of the universe was a message to an arrogant king that was an enemy of the Jews. Today, this secret has a similar message to those kings who despise Israel and the Jewish People. Ahmadinejad, Putin, Obama, various Arab rulers, and all those who think that they are kings with unlimited power better take note. The message from Hashem is that their power and world attention is only temporary and can vanish instantly. Isn't it ironic that the name of a man that used his wealth and resources for greed and selfishness, totally opposite to the message of the Shema, became the name to be embedded in code, hidden until the end of days, telling the world of the power and oneness of G-d.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Haggadah Secrets

The Haggadah of Passover contains many deep secrets. Here are some of them:
1. The hidden clue in מצרים, reflects the role of water in Egypt. If you move over the first letter, the מ, two places to the left, you now have the words צר מים (distress of water). This is pertinent considering that the Egyptians threw Jewish male babies into the Nile, and that the water of the Egyptians turned to blood, and that the entire Egyptian army drowned in the Red Sea.
2. Moses, משׁה is mentioned in the Haggadah only one time and even then it's in the capacity of Hashem's servant. Hashem wants us to know that it was only He that redeemed us from Egypt. But the name משׁה is hidden secretly. But where? Look at the section where the Haggadah states that it was G-d that took us out, not מלאך (an angel), and not שׂרף (a seraph), and finally not השׁליח (a messenger). Notice that the first letters of these 3 words spell משׁה.
3. According to Rabbi Akiva, there were 50 plagues in Egypt, representing the power of G-d's full hand, and another 250 plagues at the Red Sea, for a total of 300. These plagues represented the power of G-d. So it's no wonder that the atbash of Hashem's yud kay vav kay name is 300.
4. This is the "bread of affliction" הא לחמא עניא. This bread of affliction, or matzah, humbles us. Hashem takes notice and remembers the humble, the oppressed, the widows, orphans and the distressed. This "bread of affliction" has the same 216 gematria as ויקוק פּקד, "And Hashem Remembered.
5. In the verse צא ולמד, "Go and learn" Lavan, the Aramean, is mentioned as the example of one who hated us so that he planned to destroy the entire Jewish Nation. The atbash of Aramean, הארמי, is 543. This represents the modern version of such hatred. For 543 is the combined value of Russia רוסיה, and Iran איראן.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Justice For The Convert

Without the use of a computer, the Vilna Gaon, a true Torah giant, realized that the Hebrew letter "ג" is never followed by the letter "ט" in the 5 Books of Moses. Together, these letters would spell "גט" or a Jewish divorce document. The Gaon observes that this document was given the name גט, Get, because the marriage was torn apart, and the couple is completely separate.
With the use of a high speed computer and a Torah Code search program, we verified that the Gaon's finding was absolutely correct. However, we did find an additional discovery. These 2 separate letters do come together backwards. That is, on one occasion in the 5 Books of Moses, the letters come together when the "ט" is followed by a "ג". The appearance is in Deuteronomy 24(17) as the last letter of the 3rd word, the "ט" is followed by the first letter of the 4th word, the "ג". The 2 words together, משׁפּט גר, means justice for the convert to Judaism. These 2 letters, which are never together, come together to teach us that when the גר (the convert) turns their back on their prior life and seeks to join the Jewish People, we must reach out and connect with them and make them feel that they are an integral part of our people.
Shortly, when Hashem reveals to the world His Oneness and Power, all those who seek the truth and the protection of G-d's shelter, will run to join the Jewish People. We must extend our arms and welcome them with warm hearts and encouraging words, as Holy sparks enter their souls.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

The Song Of Devorah

In our previous article we mentioned the importance of emulating the geniune tshuvah of Sisera's mother. There is a word בּשׁשׁ that means "delayed" and it's spoken by Sisera's mother when she cries worriedly for her son, "Why is his chariot so long in coming?" This word is used only once in Chumash. It appears in the Book of Exodus 32(1). This verse is the longest verse in the 5 Books of Moses, with 34 words. The people saw that Moses was delayed in coming down from Mount Sinai. The people made a mistake. They thought that Moses would be gone for 40 days and nights and that the day of his ascent counted. But it didn't. They were wrong. So, what did they do? Did they wait and cry like Sisera's mother and say, "where is he already?" No they didn't. Instead they made a calf of gold and called it their god. There is a connection between the longest verse in Chumash and our longest exile. We too are not waiting for Mashiach like the worried mother of Sisera. Instead, we have also given up hope and have created a god of gold through our worship of the almighty dollar, with a fiery passion.
The Zohar says that the upcoming, final war of Gog and Magog will be similar to the war with Sisera in that it will also have tremendous miracles. These miracles will be due to the merit of Devorah. And a Torah Code analysis of the Song of Devorah, confirms this. The words, Mashiach, Gog and Magog, are all secretly coded in the song, overlapping each other, each coded with an interval of 102 spaces. 102 is the gematria of emunah (true faith). And it's interesting that the codes appear in the verses where Devorah admonishes the tribes that didn't participate in the war, and praises the ones that did. This is a hint that we all must be willing to fight for Jewish survival. When Hashem sees our emunah and effort, He then takes over.
Devorah's Song is located in the haftorah for Parsha Beshalach. We should read it, and if we can, sing it often, for her song is indeed about the final redemption and Mashiach. We should sing this song now and show our great emunah to Hashem, thanking Him in advance for destroying our enemies completely.
The Song of Devorah applies to all Jews, but it is especially connected to the Jews in America. In order to place our complete trust and faith in G-d, we must place our entire essence in Hashem's hands. But how can we do that when we, and most of our possessions, time and energy, are invested in lands away from our true home. The Song of Devorah is the key to unlock the door to our redemption, because it is the Song of total freedom. Freedom from the world of material possessions, the urge to accumulate, and the phony happiness and pleasures we derive from our wealth. This total freedom, will free us from the Soton's hold on us. The Song of Devorah can break the chains that bind us to the material temptations of America. Evidencing this is the fact that there are 356 words in the song, the same as the gematria of America, אמריקה.

Monday, July 6, 2009

The Cries Of Sisera's Mother

On Rosh Hashanah the blowing of the shofar resembles our souls crying. The 100 blasts of shofar are like 100 cries. But why 100? We have been taught a strange answer to this question. The 100 shofar cries equate the 100 cries of Sisera's mother. Imagine that! Why should we emulate a woman who was just as evil as her son, the mighty Sisera. She couldn't wait for her son to return with spoils taken from the Jewish People. Sisera was the evil general for Yavin, the king of Canaan, and together they ruled with iron fists. Sisera oppressed the Children of Israel for 20 years. Some say he was the strongest man who ever lived who was able to destroy the walls of major cities with just his mighty voice. There is a special message hidden here for the gematria of Sisera סיסרא is 331, the same as, מאמר הגאולה, "secrets of the redemption."
Devorah, on the other hand, was the good against this evil. She was the only woman to be both a judge and a prophetess. Her influence spread among the Jewish People who repented and returned to G-d. She summoned Barak Ben Avinoam to lead 10,000 men against Sisera. He hesitated from his fear of Sisera but finally agreed to go when Devorah consented to accompany him. He knew that it was only Hashem who determines victory, not the horses, army or chariots. Victory is to the one who fears G-d and follows His ways. Sisera's army was much larger than the one Barak formed, and the intimidation and fear of Sisera spread to Barak's soldiers. But the encouraging words of Devorah gave them strength and then Hashem took over. The Canaanites heard a terrible, loud noise and believed that a tremendous army was coming to attack them, while violent rain and hail bombarded them. By the time Barak's army had appeared, the army of Sisera was fleeing in a panic state. Barak's army killed many, and those that escaped, drowned in a small, tame stream that suddenly turned into a powerful river.
Sisera was really a coward without his men, and fled on foot to the tent of Yael. Poor choice on his part for she was also a judge, extremely brave, who began to make plans for his destruction. Yael, a righteous convert descending from Yisro, knew she couldn't kill him unless he was asleep, so when he asked for a drink, she gave him warm, sour milk to make him sleepy, and then seduced him several times until he fell asleep. Although this was thoroughly against her nature, she did this to save the Jewish People. Since she had no weapons, she took a simple tent pin and drove it into his temple and killed him. And so, the strongest man who ever lived was killed by a woman and a tent pin.
There are numerous similarities between the destruction of Sisera and Pharaoh. Both threatened Israel with powerful armies and chariots, and in both cases, their armies drowned. Both times Hashem fought for the Jewish People and victory came in a miraculous way. Devorah led the people in song just as Moses had done. And in both cases the opposing armies were totally destroyed. The only survivors were Pharaoh, and Sisera. Pharaoh fled when his army was decimated. He was spared so he could tell the world of G-d's greatness. After he was saved, this non-believer said, "Who is like You among the powers, O God?" He went to Nineveh, a major city where he became the king. When Jonah, the prophet, was sent there to warn the people that G-d had taken notice of their evil and was going to destroy them, Pharaoh immediately rose from his throne, tore his garment and dressed in sackcloth and ashes. The people of Nineveh did the same and G-d spared them.
Every person sees the Hand of G-d at some point in their life. But most of us ignore and deny it. We say to ourselves, "what a coincidence that was." But in life, there are no coincidences. Who knows? Maybe Sisera would have also done tshuvah if he survived. Although Sisera did not have the opportunity to do tshuvah, his mother did. There is very interesting language in the part of the Song of Devorah dealing with Sisera's mother. The English translation reads, "at the window, the mother of Sisera looks out and weeps, at the window." The first time window is mentioned, the Hebrew word is החלון, but the second time it's האשׁנב. The different wording seems to indicate that there were 2 different windows. One was a normal window which allowed her to look out and see if her son was coming, and the other window was to look into the future. The Zohar says that this window was used by her for astrology. Some say that it was a magic mirror allowing her to see faraway events. And since the gematria of האשׁנב is 358, the same as Mashiach, it's possible that she could even see our generation, the generation of Mashaich.
When Sisera's mother peered into this window, she saw her son with a woman. She thought that he was up to his old tricks and that's the reason he was delayed. The woman she saw was, of course, Yael. As the hours passed without Sisera returning, her hatred for the Jews increased. In fact, you can rearrange the letters of האשׁנב (magic window), and spell בּשׂנאה (in hatred), to describe her manner towards the Jewish People. But when she looked at the window again, this time, she began to cry. She cried 100 times evidenced by the number of letters in the Book of Judges 5 (28-29), which describes her crying. Something she saw in her special window made her cry. The union between her son and Yael would produce a child. And generations later a descendant from that union, would change the Jewish world forever. A descendant known as Rabbi Akiva. The last 4 words of Devorah's song were added generations later, and the very last 2 words ארבּעים שׁנה (forty years),describe how the land was at rest for 40 years. If you take the gematria of שׁנה which is 355 and add ארבּעים or forty, you get 395, exactly the same gematria or numerical value of Akiva ben Yosef, עקיבה בּן יוסף, the real name of Rabbi Akiva. And it's also interesting to note that it was not until the age of 40 that Rabbi Akiva began to learn and follow the Torah.
Sisera's mother cried when she realized that her son had fathered the ancestor of the "head of all the Jewish sages." Rabbi Akiva, for the first 40 years of his life was an unlearned, enemy of the Rabbis. But at the age of 40, he did tshuvah and while learning, placed himself at the feet of those same Rabbis he previously detested.
The Jewish People would not blow shofar 100 times just because an evil woman cried 100 times for her son. Through our shofars we emulate her crying when she did tshuvah, just like Rabbi Akiva. That's the connection to Rosh Hashanah and shofar blowing. The genuine, tshuvah from someone who was at the lowest point a person can drop to. Can you get any lower than a blatant, anti-Semite? The Jewish People do not need any lessons in crying for our children. Through the pogroms, the holocaust, the suicide bombings etc. we have cried enough tears that could drown all our enemies. But perhaps we need a lesson in genuine tshuvah, that is, repentance that change our lives completely. Major adjustments in our lives that literally create a new person. The Jewish People have a tendency to ask for forgiveness, while knowing deep down inside that they will certainly repeat their errors. Perhaps intensely listening to the crying of the shofar can give us the strength to overcome the temptations of life that the Soton constantly places in front of us. If an evil person like Sisera's mother was rewarded with a Rabbi Akiva for her tshuvah, then imagine how great our reward will be.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

The Era Of Mashiach

The prophet Amos in 5(18) states, "Woe to those who desire the Day of Hashem (the Day of Judgment). Why do you seek this Day of Hashem? It is darkness and not light." To obtain a rose from its bush, one must carefully pass through the thorns. To get to the joyous festival of Succos, one must make it past the affliction of Yom Kippur. To earn the rewards of the "world to come" one must survive the perils of "this world." To experience the fruition of bringing a life into this world, one must experience the pains of childbirth. And to see the light of redemption, one must survive the travails of the days preceding Mashiach.
Several verses later Hashem scolds the Jewish People and says that He hates their insincere offerings and assemblies. He will not hear their songs and music. All G-d wants is true justice and righteousness. After all, G-d reminds us, I didn't require you to bring personal offerings during your 40 years of wandering in the Wilderness. The Gemara Sanhedrin cites a Baraisa: R' Eliezer says, "The Messianic Era will last 40 years," and he teaches that it will last as long as the "days You afflicted us." This refers to the years in the Wilderness. So like our wandering, the Messianic Era will last 40 years. And like the above examples, the darkness of affliction must precede the reward of light. Our 40 years of wandering preceded the reward of receiving the Land of Eretz Yisroel.
In the same gemara, Shmuel is quoted as saying that there is no difference between this world and that of the Messianic Era except for Jewish independence from the dominion of foreign kingdoms. The natural laws and even the basic norms of society will not change in the Messianic Era. The only major difference will be that the Jewish People will enjoy independence from foreign rule. This view is adopted by the Rambam who writes, "Do not think that in the Messianic Era any of the current norms will cease or that there will be a change in the natural order. Rather, the world will function in its normal manner. After Mashiach comes human society will be so exalted that "there will be no war or hunger, no jealousy or competition."
The words that describe our independence from foreign rule are, שׁעבּוד מלכיות בּלבד. These words have a gematria of 926. During this period of time, many non-Jews will join the Jewish People when the outcome of the redemption does not culminate in the manner they were taught. This is similiar to our redemption from Egypt when the Erev Rav became part of the Jewish Nation. But in a similiar manner to the complaints of the Erev Rav in the Wilderness, the people who will shortly join (who are not used to the constant afflictions the Jewish People have suffered) will begin to murmur. In fact, the word תּלונתם which means their murmurings, have the same 926 gematria. In a similiar manner as in the Wilderness, we will be isolated, provided for, protected, and will be able to draw close to Hashem. We will learn His ways and teachings through Mashiach in a similiar manner to the way Moses taught the Jewish People in the desert. It's very interesting how the gemara connects the 40 years in the Wilderness to the 40 years of the Messianic Era. So it's amazing that the phrase, ארבּעים שׁנה בּמדבּר, "forty years in the Wilderness" also has the same 926 gematria.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

A Time Of Terrible Distress

When Hillary Rodham Clinton lost the Democratic Nomination for President to Barack Hussein Obama, many thought that she would disappear from the world stage for years. But her name in Hebrew hinted that something different would happen. Our attention was gained by her unique name expressed in Hebrew letters. Never before did we see the following occur in anyone's name. Hillary הילרי, Rodham רודהם, and Clinton קלינטון each have a gematria of 255. Imagine that a person's first name, middle name and last name all have the same exact value! When the value of the entire name is calculated, the total gematria is 765 (255x3), the same value as עת צרה (Time of terrible distress). This finding indicated that Hillary would not disappear into the sunset so quickly. She would be (as she has become) an influential voice reprimanding the State of Israel.
The term עת צרה comes from the Book of Daniel 12(1) which describes the time when Michael, the guardian angel of Israel, will stand in defense of his people at this time of catastrophe. The atbash gematria of עת צרה is 106, the same value as the letter נ nun, spelled out נון.
No verse in the Ashrei prayer (Psalm 145) begins with the letter נ nun. There are 21 verses in this psalm and each verse (in order) begins with the remaining 21 letters of the Hebrew aleph bet. This is because in the verse that speaks of G-d supporting the fallen, the letter נ can be taken as an allusion to the word נפילה, Israel's future downfall, G-d forbid. King David refused to use a letter to begin a verse that could suggest such tragedy. But knowing that downfalls must take place as they have throughout our history, King David comforted Israel with the verse that begins with the letter ס samech (the letter that follows the nun in the Hebrew alphabet). The full verse beginning with the samech states "Hashem supports all the fallen ones and straightens all those who are bent." With this verse, King David made a guarantee to the Jewish People that even when a dreaded downfall occurs, the people can count on Hashem's support.
Today, the leader of Israel, Benjamin Netanyahou בּנימין נתניהו, has not one, but 4 nuns in his name, representing the 4 exiles of the Jewish People. We have gone from one exile to another, falling down and then being lifted up by Hashem. We kept falling into galus because we would not learn from our mistakes and make adjustments in our lives. The purpose of falling is to arise and lift ourselves to a higher level, not to the same plane. When G-d tests us in our personal lives and we fall down through illness, financial setbacks or person tragedy, we must pull ourselves not only back to where we were before the fall, but to greater heights.
In a previous blog that we posted on 5/25/09 dealing with The Blessing Of The Sun, we mentioned that our calculation of Daniel's famous "Time, Times and a half of Time," resulted in a time being 32, times being 64, and a half being 16. Thus, 112 represents the entire end period. Of course, no one knows whether it's 112 hours, days, weeks or years from a point in time. This will be revealed by Hashem in due course.
The question arises why 3 1/2 and not 4? Shouldn't there be a relationship between the 4 exiles and the final time period releasing us from exile permanently? If the other half (16) would be added on, the total time period would rise to 128 which would equal the word סומך, "to support." Perhaps our redemption is being held up by the imperfect 3 1/2. Perhaps our redemption will be realized when we can turn the imperfect 3 1/2 into 4 (representing all our exiles). How can we do this? When we finally push our arrogance aside and acknowledge that it wasn't because of our merits, or our actions, or the actions of our leaders or our armies that brought us out of our previous exiles, but by the HAND OF G-D that saved us over and over again. Then we can finally change the 3 1/2 time period into 4 complete periods and adjust the total value from 112 to 128. For it has always been Hashem that supports us like a parent encouraging, lifting up and supporting their child learning to walk. It has always been our Father In Heaven, and it's time to acknowledge that. The 16 (1/2 of time) that has been missing equals בּיד (by a hand). We must realize that to survive the terrible Time of Distress that the Jewish People will shortly face, we must grab and hold on to Hashem's Hand.
The letter נ is the 14th letter in the aleph bet. This is the gematria of דוד (David) whose descendant will shortly be sent by G-d to redeem us. May we all dance with joy when that wonderful moment arises.