The Midbar (wilderness) of Gematria: Go boldly where no one may have gone before

Gematria (Hebrew: גימטריה‎, gēmaṭriyā) is a system that assigns numerical value to a word or phrase in the belief that words or phrases with the same numerical values are related to one another.

In his “Bamidbar: The essence of the Jewish people,” Rabbi Ya’aqob Menashe says

“In Gematria the word Bamidbar has the same numerical value as Abraham, which is a total of 248. This comes to teach us that in the merit of Abraham Abinu (our father Abraham), ‘a”h, G-d gave us the Torah. In Midrash Tanhuma it says that Haqqadosh Barukh Hu (the Holy One Blessed be He) chose the Jewish people because of their quality of humility, which they merited to receive on account of Abraham Abinu, ‘a”h, who said, “I am dust and ashes”.

“From this we see that the essence of the Jewish people, and the key to their success, are the qualities of unity and humility.”

The Hebrew equivalents of the following English words also have a Gematria of 248: locust, rob, curse, empty. See here.

I repeat Rabbi Menashe:

“In Gematria the word Bamidbar has the same numerical value as Abraham, which is a total of 248. This comes to teach us that in the merit of Abraham Abinu (our father Abraham), ‘a”h, G-d gave us the Torah.”

I replace “Abraham” with one of the other options mentioned above, “curse,” which is the Gematria equivalent of “Abraham.” I now rephrase Rabbi Menashe (my changes are in italics):

“In Gematria the word Bamidbar (in the wilderness) has the same numerical value as Curse. This comes to teach us that owing to our disobedience, we were cursed to wander in the wilderness for 40 years.

Gematria takes me, or rather, I take Gematria, boldy where no one may have been before – or ever want to go.

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One thought on “The Midbar (wilderness) of Gematria: Go boldly where no one may have gone before

  1. Pingback: The Essence of the Jewish people and quintessence of a Midrashic mind: Humility? « OneDaringJew

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