Someone recently asked me why if some of the sages said Moshiach would come in the 6th millennium, did the tzaddkim say 5778; how are we to account for the missing 222 years. The concept of time is a difficult one to grasp. Sure, we can all watch the clock and measure out 24 hours in a day, but that’s a man-made measuring strategy, not a spiritual or universal one. A year is just the measure of time that the Earth journeys around the sun. So what’s a year in another Solar system? And how is either of those measuring strategies relevant to a Martian?
Einstein brought us space-time, in which time could be bent and stretched like an elastic sheet with a heavy rock placed on it. Meanwhile, Rav Ashlag explained the kabbalistic approach to time in that spiritual time is measured purely in distance, and distance is measured in similarity of form. Confusing?
What makes time so hard to grasp is that we view it from a very limited perspective, one concretely anchored in the world of Malchut (of matter), and we NEED it to be fixed in order to make sense of our world.
But imagine for a second, if you could let go of all that and allow time to become elastic for you. Imagine the ability to stretch or shrink time at will, to make a single hour long enough to accomplish everything you need to do in a day, a week, or even a year; imagine how far ahead of the game you would be then.
It would be like being in two, or ten, places at once. You could hit a ground ball and be rounding third even before it got to the shortstop because it would be stretched only from your perspective, not his. Think of all the lives you could save and mizvot you could do.
Alas, very few of us possess this ability. Only a very few of us have restricted our physical nature so completely that we’ve achieved the level of mind over matter where we can choose our own reference of time.
Nevertheless, if you’ve recited the Ana B’koach while trying to accomplish something difficult or seemingly impossible (see The Genesis Prayer) you’ve probably seen time and reality shift before your eyes. I know I have. So I know first hand that time can be stretched and bent and that Einstein’s theory is real in more than the abstract sense.
Scientists and pragmatists in general have a very hard time with the concept of a Creation that limits our existence to 5771 years. They have all the proof their eyes can show them that the universe is 13.7 billion years old and that it’ll last a few billion more give or take. So for arguments sake, lets say the universe is 13.7 billion of our “limited time frame years” old, so what?
The Zohar tells us the Torah existed for 2000 years before Creation and it never said how long those years were in our time-frame.
Moreover, our time-frame and thus our fixed calendar wasn’t established until the sun and stars were set in the 4th day. Again, according to the Zohar and the Arizal, the Torah existed in a permuted state that allowed for complete potentiality prior to its fixation which began with the Bet of Bereshit in verse 1:1. Yet even with the Beginning, only Zeir Anpin and Malchut, the lower 7 dimensions, corresponding to Heaven and Earth were fixed. Prior to then, all was pure energy, known as Light, the force ultimately responsible for directing matter and thus life, but also the force we can still feel a million times removed, as love.
Those 2000 years could be billions from our limited perspective and they are really more like infinity if the truth be told. Nevertheless, according to the structure of the Tree-of-Life, all energy(light) is stepped down or diminished in form increments of 10 times, making each level 1/10th that of the level (sefirot or subsefirot (dimension) above it. Thus on the 1st Day of Creation another 200 spiritual years past, and on the 2nd day, 20 spiritual years past, and on the 3nd day, 2 more spiritual years past.
Thus by the time the Sun was fixed in the sky in relation to the Earth, 2000, 200, 20, and 2 or 2222 years had past spiritually. Once the sun was fixed, the Earth could complete a trip around it and thus our reference point changed. We were no long surging through infinity, connected to everything and nothing at once; we were separate and isolated. We aged 1 year from our limited point of view with every encircling of the Earth around the Sun.
We could track it with shadows and set a calendar to it.
On that day the Sun’s surface temperature was set to the exact number of degrees that would permit life as we know it to flourish on earth: 5778 K
Everything is 2′s in the Genesis: (day and night), light and dark, sea and sky, water and dry land, sea creatures and flying creations, etc. Spiritually, it takes 2 to equal 1. “It was evening and it was morning, one day.”
Then there’s Adam and Eve, and Noach’s 2 at a time menagerie, Cain and Abel, Isaac and Ishmael, Jacob and Esau. They are all part and parcel of same spiritual concept.
Then two more days past, equivalent to 2 months and 2 days and Adam was created, and our calendar officially began, and so too the countdown to 5778 as prescribed by some of the tzaddikim.
The 5778 + 222 years gives us the 6 millennium, and completes 6000 years, or in gematria, the 6 alephs (elephs/thousands) that appear in the first verse of the Torah, thus establishing Heaven (Zeir Anpin). The 6 alephs are in every word except H’Sham’im (Heaven), reinforcing the point. The also alternatively total 666, which will be relevant in a moment.
According to the Zohar then,there are a total of 2000 + 6000, or 8000 total years until the geula from the true beginning, though as we’ve discussed not all of these years are of the same length, and the number 8 always connects us to the higher sefira (dimension) of Binah.
Nevertheless, the 222 years are above (spiritual), and kabbalah teaches us that what happens above gets reflected below, so we should also account for 222 years in our world, and we find them in the time of our Patriarchs.
We know that the Covenant of Abraham occurred in 2018 HC and that the Torah specifically tells us the exile in Egypt would last 430 years; that takes us to the year 2448 when the Red Sea was split and the Torah (tree-of-Life) was received at Sinai. But the Torah also tells us the Israelite left Egypt 210 years after Jacob and his 70 family members entered.
430-210 is 220 unaccountable years, and they are considered to be the 220 of exile in Canaan, part of the full Egyptian exile. Jacob is the key.
He promised to tithe to G-d and then worked for 22 years. According to the Ari, Jacob was an incarnation of Adam and worked most of his life to rectify the sins of Adam. As is said by chazal; Adam (ADM) stands for Adam-David-Mosiach and while David’s life falls at the exact midpoint (2889 HC) from Adam (0) to 5778, by tithing those 22 years Jacob saved us 220 years, and completed the full 6 millennium for us.
Now we are ready to understand how Rav Yehuda Halevi Ashlag and the tzaddikim arrived at the same date of 5778 for the geula and the 3rd opportunity for the Tree-of-life (endless) reality. According to the Arizal, there is a deep kabbalistic understanding that the upper 1/3 of all and of any of the sefirot are oriented upwards toward G-d and the higher spiritual realm, and the lower 2/3 of them are oriented downward to the self, to our physical world. That is 1/3 = .333 and 2/3 = .666. Before we explain Rav Ashlag’s computation, please note once again that there are 66.6 jubilee years between the 2nd tree-of-life opportunity (the reception of the 10 Commandments and the Torah) in 2448 HC and the year 5778 HC (2018 CE. This is 3330 of our normal years.
Rav Ashlag separated the 6 millennium (6000 years) into those years dedicated to G-d, and those to the self, thus 2000 and 4000, respectively, giving us a base of 4000 selfish (malchut) years and 2000 years left to purify once again. So taking those 2000 years, then separated them into 666.66 (667) and 1333.33, he came up with a total of 5333.33 base years and 666.66 years left to purified further, which coincidentally coincided with the birth of the Ari, of blessed memory. These final 666.66 years he purified once again into 444.44 base years and 222.22 spiritual ones. This left him with the year for Moshiach at 5777.78 and with the 222.22 spiritual years that as we’ve seen above reflect both the spiritual years before Adam and the completion of the 6th millennium.
6000: 4000 + 2000
2000: 1333.33 + 666.67
666.67: 444.44 + 222.22
5777.78 + 222.22 = 6000
So we’re now comfortably at the full 6000, and according to chazal there will be a 1000 year Shabbat (7th millennium) and then another 1000 year period (forever) of limitless existence, corresponding to the 8th millennium, for a total of physical and spiritual years on this side of Creation of 8000.
If we add that to the 2000 years the Zohar tells us the Torah existed in limitless form before Creation, we have a total of 10,000 years, 1000 years for each of the 10 sefirot: 4222 spiritual ones and 5778 physical ones, or 42% and 58%.
I guess it’s no wonder the 42-Letter Name of G-d is key to Creation and to the geula (final redemption), as advised by chazal, and that the 5-8 combination 58, 58, etc) and ratio (5/8) is central to the structure of the Torah, or that the complete gematria sofit value of the 42-Letter Name is 5778.
Nevertheless, we were discussing time, and we can look at our 5778 physical years as the bottom portion of a bowl, or better yet, of a tall narrow vase with steep side. To us at the very bottom, time and the passing years appear flat like the earth, but we know that the earth is round and curves at any horizon.
In reality, time does as well, and the curve gets steeper before and beyond the 5778 year period that is soon ending. At 7 years away, we are still too far away to really see it, but I suspect that soon the curvature will come into view. As illustrated above, the first 2 seconds will be as 20; the first 2 minutes will be as 200, the first 2 hours as 200o, the first 2 days as 20000, the first 2 months as 200,000; and the first 2 years as 2 million; and the first 20 years as 20 million; and the first 200 years as 200 million, while the final 1000 and 2000 will be nearly infinite.
You may feel that in the past 60-70 years time has felt as if it’s speeding up what with planes, and rockets, and satellites, and the advent of the telex, facsimiles, cell phones, email, instant messaging, texting and tweeting, but we’re only approaching the event horizon; things will really speed up in the near future.
As time speeds up science and spirituality will converge. Already, scientists have settled on the 10-dimensional structure of the universe, the same as the ancient kabbalists and Abraham back in 2018 HC when he wrote about them and the 22 building blocks of the universe. 2018 CE is fast approaching; it’s time we all catch-up.
No one should be left behind.