This weekend we read Parsha Shemini, meaning the 8th, the 28th portion in the Torah. A fews days earlier we celebrated the 8 days of Pesach and read from Ki Thisa and the 13 Attributes of G-d (Exodus 34:5-7).
As usual the clues to the secrets of the Torah portions are concealed within their first few words. The parshat of Shemini begins with the 3 words “V’yhy byom HaShemini” (” ויהי־ביום־השמיני”), “And it came to pass on the eighth day,” whose total value is 504. Now this is very interesting because the Talmud states that in this portion at Leviticus 10:16 is found the midpoint of the Torah in words, which most people have understood as a place where there are an equal number of words before and after this point, but they are wrong. The midpoint that splits the number of words in two equal parts is at Leviticus 8:15, which can be easily verified with word-counting software.
Nevertheless, at Leviticus 10:16 is found the midpoint of the Torah in terms of the 77 pairs of the mysterious double (twin) words–words that are duplicated side by side like railroad tracks running through the Torah, often words with the exact same vowels too and which have seemingly no reason for being duplicated.
Here at Leviticus 10:16 are found the two words darosh and darash ( “דָּרֹשׁ דָּרַשׁ” ), each with the value 504. Most scholars translate them as one word, “inquired,” but darosh (“דָּרֹשׁ”) conveys future tense and darash (“דָּרַשׁ” ) conveys past tense, thus the act of inquiring has the answer already implicit in it, or in other words, “Ask and ye shall receive,” or “Ask, because on the spiritual level you’ve already received.” It’s easy to see how one could make this mistake since 504 is the numerical value for the word chatzot, meaning “midnight,” or “half,” or “middle, and unbelievably, there are exactly 50 (fifty) 504‘s in the Torah, 25 in each half once it’s split at darosh darash.
And yet another important fact overlooked by Torah scholars for millennia is that 504 is the exact square root of the collective number of words, letters, and verses in the Torah, since as R’ Chaim Vital of blessed memory points out, all Torah light is spread through squaring, this central place in the double words can be viewed as the central point of spreading for all the Torah light.
The combined value of the two twin words darosh and darash (דָּרֹשׁ דָּרַשׁ) is 1008, or 1000 (keter) plus 8. Not coincidentally there are 77 twin words in total as the sum of the first 8 words in the Torah is 3003, which is the 77th Triangular number, and thus the sum of all the integers from 1 to 77, the sum of all the latent energy in all the whole numbers through 77.
According to the Arizal, 77 is Mazal (MZL), as is the number 8, and as is the 8th of the 13 attributes, which we just so happened to have read this week as well. And as we discussed it our last article, the sum of the 9 (3 x 3) words up to the 8th attribute (through the 7th) is 1089 or 332. And incidentally, there are 33 letters in those first 8 words of the Torah.
It’s also noteworthy that 504 = (248 + 256) is the sum of the values of Abraham (248), or alternatively Bamidbar (Numbers, 248), and of both Aaron and the “Ark of the Covenant” (256), or alternatively Devarim (Deuteronomy, 256), two Books and numbers at the heart of the Torah. And while (256 – 248) = 8, its more significant because the letter koof (“ק”), whose value is a perfect 100 which can be split 50/50, is found 2488 times through Leviticus 8:15, the Torah’s midpoint in words, and 2568 times through the midpoint in Leviticus 10:16, its midpoint in twin words, both of which are found in parasha Shemini , the eight (8th). Incidentally, 2488 is the year Moses died. And as we discussed in the last article, the sum of the gematria sofit of the 13 attributes up to the 8th one is 3339 and 3339/13 = 256.8.
According to the Maharal, “Whenever we find the number 8 used, it is in reference to something that brings one into the spiritual realm;” it’s going one above the limitations of the 7 states ( sefirot) that lead from the 3 levels of the divine spiritual world to the physical one. Thus the equation 504/8 = 63, which gives us the numerical value of Binah (63), the first of the 3 upper sefirot, is by no means a coincidence, and just a reinforcement of the fountain of mazal available to us through these connections.
We know from the Arizal that there are two numbers that connect us to Binah and thus help us to go above our limitations, which is a connection to mazal, 8 and 13, which is why there are 13 attributes and which is one reason the 13 attributes are read during the 8 days of Pesach and are thus connected to Shemini, the 8th. Mathematically, it also just so happens that 33 times the sum of the integers though 13 also equals 3003, just like the first 8 words or 33 letters in the Torah. All Kabbalists know that 91 is the numerical value of the word Amen (” אמן”) which is kabbalistcially represented by the potent unification of the Tetragrammaton (יקוק) with Adonai (אדני) and that through the unifications we get closer to the Creator, what few realize is that 91 is the sum of the integers through 13, or ( 1 – 13) = 91, and we know from chazal that this summing up is equivalent to the accumulative energy and attributes of all that’s inclusive, and thus a more powerful force to be reckoned with.
Of further note, while the mathematical definition of a triangular number gives us (772 – 77)/2 = 3003, more significantly is that of the 1024 different word values in the Torah, there are exactly 77 repeated only once, in other words: Of the 80,000 – (3 x 8) words in the Torah, there are only 77 with unique values, and also as we’ve said, 77 twin pairs. There are no coincidences in the Torah, not even the fact that 8 times 77 equals 616, the numerical value for the H’Torah ( ” התורה” ), “The Torah” itself, or that the gematria ketana, of value 616 is calculated as 6+1+6 = 13, and can be represented as the letters vav-alef-vav, ( ” ואו”), which we know from the Arizal connects us to aspect of the spelled out Tetragrammaton (“יוד־הי־ואו־הי “) at the level of Sag or Binah, the 8th sefira of numerical value 63, just like 504/8 = 63 and just like the sum of integers from 8 to 13, the two numbers associated with mazal/fortune, in other words (8+9+10+11+12+13) = 63, the value of Sag, Binah.
And if we go back to where the portion Shemini started–V‘yhy byom HaShemini” (” ויהי־ביום־השמיני”)–we see that the initials of the first 2 words total 8 and the initials of all 3 words, “And it came to pass on the eighth day” total 13.
And for complete disclosure the sum of the numbers in between them (9+10+11+12) = 42, as in the 42 letters of the 13 attributes through the 12th word, and of course the 42-Letter Name that has the power to channel the mazal when used correctly.
In summation, kabbalists would use this portion, especially the darosh darash (” דָּרֹשׁ דָּרַשׁ”) at Leviticus 10:16 to connect to improving their good fortune and mazal, which we’re told is what the 8 days of Pesach connections are supposed to help us do. The numerical value of 8 as in Shemini, the 8th, helps us to go above creation, which we can read as destiny, and is illustrated by one last divine equation: 8, representing mazal, times the sum of the integers through 13, which represents mazal , the 13 Attributes of G-d and the numerical value of ahava אהבה)) “love” is 91 x 8 = 728, as in the 7 words and 28 letters of the Torah’s very first verse and Creation itself.
And for those that understand, the first letters of the first 8 word of the Torah add up to 28, alluding to Shemini, the 28th portion in the Torah, and spelling out B’ahava vav-alef-vav.(“באהבה־ואו”), or “Lovingly vav” at the level of Sag/Binah. Both mazal and love await those that get closer to the Creator and the Torah and through these powerful connections we all have the opportunity to go beyond our destiny.
And so it did come to pass this past 8th day of Pesach, and will come to pass after 8 years as the tzaddikim have advised: B’ahava (In Love). In the end as in the beginning.