The Hidden Message in the 10 Plagues
It’s mandatory to celebrate Passover (Pesach) every year and recount the story of the exodus, including the explicit listing of the 10 plagues. Why? Is it just so we don’t forget? Wouldn’t it be better to instead concentrate on the 10 miracles G-d performed for the Israelites on their way to receiving the 10 Commandments and the Torah?
A most common form of Torah analysis performed by the sages is to examine initials of key word groupings, phrases, or verses. The sum of the nominal value of the initials in the 11 words that comprise the 10 plagues is 541, the numerical value of the name Israel, which is not only the last word in the Torah, but Israel was arguably formed out of the end of the exile immediately precipitated by the 10 plagues, especially the last plague, the killing of the firstborn, whose initials are Mem-Bet.
Mem-Bet is not only the 42-Letter Name of G-d, profoundly associated with the time of redemption, but it is named justly because it has the numerical value of 42, as in the 42 places the Israelites traveled through on their way out of Egypt to the Promised Land. It is also aligned with the journey every process must take through the 42 letters of the 11 sefirot.
The first letter of the 40 letters in the 10 plagues is dalet, with the numerical value of 4, as in the number of letters in Tetragrammaton and in the Name of G-d, Ehyeh, the Name used in “I am that I am.” The first plague, dam, blood, is spelled dalet-mem, which is numerically 4 plus 40 or 44.
The deeper secret is in the blood. The first plague is Dam (Dalet-Mem), whose initial is dalet. The initial of the last plague is Mem, thus the whole 10 plagues can be collapsed in abbreviated form into Dam (Dalet-Mem), the first plague. Not only does eth letter Mem, complete the word dam, but it in effect encompasses and represents the full 40 letters in the 10 plagues, because of its numerical value, 40.
Please note that that also means that there are an exact average of 40/10 or 4 letters per plague, the numerical value of Dalet.
We use the word encompasses because the final mem is not only shaped like a closed womb, but according to the sages it is supposed to represent one as well, and if we subtract the numerical value of dam (blood) from that of Da’at, the 11th and balancing sefira, we get 474 – 44 = 430, both the numerical value of nefesh, (the animalistic or lower part of the soul), which the sages tell us is housed in the blood, and also the number of years the Jews were in exile through the end of the 10 plagues.
Blood is also a fitting metaphor because from the womb flows both the blood of judgment unto the Egyptians, and the mercy to the Jews in the birth of the Israel.
We know from the sages that the Passover passage out of Egypt was about Da’at, the serifa of balance and knowledge, and also that Da’at was represented in the Dalet of Dam, the first letter of the first plague. Furthermore, Dalet, when spelled out, has the numerical value of 434, while da’at has the numerical value of 474, leaving a difference of 40 between them, the numerical value of Mem, showing us that the full word dam, blood, is included in Da’at.
It’s all about Four (4)
While many of the significant mandated elements of Pesach (Passover) including the 4 questions, the 4 cups of wine, the 4 sons, the 4 aspects of the Tetragrammaton and the 4 letters in it and also in the name Eyheh, we been told by the sages that they correspond to the 4 exiles.
The first plague, blood, is spelled Dalet-Mem, with the first letter having the numerical value of 4, and the next letter having the value of 40, or 10 x 4. Meanwhile, not only does the first letter of the last plague, the killing of the first born, also has the value of 40, but there are 40 letters in the 10 plagues, making 4 the exact average number of letters per plague. And while the final letter of the 10 plagues is 400 or 10 X 40, the second plague, frogs, has a numerical value of 444, or 4 X 111, the numerical value of Aleph, the first letter in the Hebrew alphabet.
Moreover, the 4 letters of the Name Ehyeh, (EHYH)—the Name revealed to Moses just prior to the plagues–can be expanded through progressive method– sometimes called squaring–to (E, EH, EHY, EHYH), which is numerically equivalent to 44, the same as dam, blood, the first plague.
The connection to 4 for Pesach and the 10 plagues at the end of the 1st exile is interesting because 10 is an extension both numerically and spiritually of 4. Numerically, the 4th triangular number has a value of 10, just as 10 is the sum of the first 4 integers, as in 1+2+3+4 = 10.
Spiritually, both the 4 letters of the Tetragrammaton and of the Name Eyheh when expanded by spelling them out have 10 letters each. Moreover, as we mentioned earlier, Passover is about da’at, which begins with the letter Dalet, of numerical value 4, while da’at is a sefira or dimension that combines the dimensions of Chochma and Binah, whose initials’ numerical values of 8 and 2 add up to 10.
So in a sense we see the 10 plagues extending throughout the 4 exiles, for a total of 40, as in the 40 letters in the 10 plagues, which is yet another reason it’s mandated we read the haggada and review all the plagues, etc every year throughout the various exiles.
The plagues didn’t just happen 66.6 jubilee years ago, they’ve been reoccurring continually throughout the 4 exiles in one form or another. As for the first plague, dam, blood, there have been many times in these past 3330 years when tens and even hundreds of thousands have died and rivers of blood have flowed.
The 10 Plagues were Planned at the Beginning of Time.
While the 11 words of the 10 plagues correspond to the 11 unique letters in the first verse of the Torah, the first 4 letters of the Torah have an ordinal value of 44, the same as Dam, the first plague.
The next 2 letters, completing the entire first word of the Torah, Bereshit, “In the Beginning” have an ordinal value of 32, as in the value of the 4 components of the letter Aleph, connecting as we’ve discussed in other articles to the 32 Paths of Wisdom that define the structure of the universe and that house the 10 sefirot (dimensions). When we add them together, we get numerically 76, or the fully expanded Tetragrammaton at the highest level of Av (chochma), but alphabetically they spell out Aleph-Dalet-Mem, or Adam(ELP).
Adam represents the start of Jewish soul, the source of which, as we’ve written about in other articles, is in the primordial Aleph that exists before the Torah, and dam, or blood, represents both the flesh and the flow of the lower soul (nefesh) throughout time, throughout the generations.
With Aleph as the source, we can note that the 11 initials of the 10 plagues have an ordinal value of 100 and if we add 11 as the kolel to 100 we get 111, the numerical value of the name of the letter Aleph(ELP). And once again we can connect with the primordial Aleph before the Dam (first plague) to get Adam
There is yet another analogy connection between the letter Aleph, whose 4 component letters (Y,V,V,Y) sum to 32, and the 10 plagues, and moreover to the initials of the final plague, Mem-Bet, as provided by Rabbi Chaim Vital of blessed Memory. The eminent sage explained that the 10 sefirot (dimensions) plus the 32 Paths of Wisdom that link them together form the structure of the greater universe and together they comprise the 42-Letters of the 42-Letter Name, the Shem Mem-Bet.
As explained in detail in The Genesis Prayer, the first verse of the Torah is where the Shem Mem-Bet, or the 42-Letter Name of G-d, is derived from, and if we take the sum of the numerical values of the initials of each of the 7 words of that first verse, which is 22—obviously representative of the 22 normal letters of the Hebrew alphabet—and add it to the ordinal value of those same 7 letters, which is also 22, we get 44, once again, the value of the first plague, dam, blood.
Incidentally, and again as discussed in detail in The Genesis Prayer, the first verse of the Torah is integrally connected in multiple ways to both the numerical value of Mashiach, the Messiah, 358 and to the mathematical constant PI to an astounding precision, and one of the simplest ways is through the average value of those 7 letters, 22/7 or 3.14.
Now, if we think this is coincidence we need only examine the full first 10 letters of the Torah and see that the sum of their ordinal values equals 100 (keter, the crowning highest dimension), the exact same 100 as the sum of the ordinal values of the initials of the 10 plagues. Moreover, as mentioned earlier, the sum of the nominal value of those same initials is 541, the numerical value of the name Israel, the last word in the Torah.
The process of gematria computation allows us to subtract the kolel, as well as add it, and though I rarely use that approach, in this case if we subtract the sum of he ordinal values from the initials of the plagues (100) from the sum of their numerical values (541), we get 541 – 100 = 441, which is not only the numerical value of emet, truth, an allusion both to the Torah and to the 42-Letter Name of G-d, but it is also 212, or the square of the numerical value of the higher Name of G-d, Ehyeh.
Since the initials of the final plague are Mem-Bet and since the sum of all the initials of all 10 plagues (11 words) is 541, the numerical value of Israel, one interpretation is that the 10 plagues and 42 places lead to Israel. Another is that it will take 10 plagues, corresponding to the 10 sefirot (dimensions) and the Mem-Bet to reach the final redemption.
The sum of the first 9 plagues is 499, the numerical value of Tzva’ot, another of the Biblical Names of G-d; therefore, yet another possible interpretation is that we need to go through 9 sefirot (chochma) and the utilize the Shem Mem-Bet to break through to the level of Keter. The sages are quite clear that the 10 plagues correspond to the 10 sefirot and that the final one is at the level of keter(crown), but we can also see the word Keter (Caf-Tav-Reish) within the permutated letters of the final plague: Mem–caf-tav Bet–caf-vav-reish-vav-tav Permutes to Tav-Vav, Caf-Vav, Mem-Bet Caf-Tav-Reish.
Since Caf-Vav is 26 and an appellation of the Tetragrammaton, and since Tav-vav is the spelling of the last Hebrew letter, Tav, representing Malchut, which is our physical dimension, the lowest of the sefirot, we have the Tetragrammaton (26) and the Shem Mem-Bet helping us get from Malchut to Keter.
In addition, Mem-Bet Caf-Tav-Reish spells out Israel (YShREL) in gematria atbash (reverse alphabet cipher)
There are, of course, many deeper secrets and other possible interpretations here.
There are normally 41 letters in the 10 plagues with 41 being the number of letters in the name full Name Ehyeh spelled out, but In the Torah the word for beasts (or flies) is never spelled with the “vav” as it is in traditional Hebrew, leaving us with 40 letters.
The 11 Letters of the 10 Plagues and the Final Redemption
If we include the vav as is customary in most hagadahs, the sum of the 10 plagues using gematria sofit is 5546. And 546 is not only the sum of the initials of the 10 sefirot, but moreover, 5546 + 232 = 5778, the year preordained for the manifestation of the Tree-of-life reality, with 232 being the sum of the 4 aspects of the Tetragrammaton.
As we’ve noted extensively in The Divine Calendar, the dates of the Exodus in 2448 HC, the Final Redemption in 5778 HC and the fulcrum point of the Gregorian Calendar in 3760 HC are all integrally connected and aligned, so it’s no surprise that the sum of the 10 plagues in standard gematria equals 3290, and when we add the ordinal value of the 40 letters in the 10 plagues, 468, we get 3290 + 468 + 2 (the kolel for the 2 elements of the equation) equals 3760, or 26.26 jubilee years after the Exodus.
Interestingly enough, the two initials of the last plague, the killing of the first born, are Mem and Bet and if we were to add the value of the missing vav (6) mentioned above to the 352 times that the initials Mem-Bet appears sequentially in the Torah, we’d get 352 + 6= 358, the numerical value of Mashiach, the Messiah.
Furthermore, if you sum up the square roots of each of the 10 plagues, utilizing gematria sofit, which gives special values to the special 5 final letters, and add the square root of 232 you get 314….
In one of the sage’s prophecies it says. “Like the days you left Egypt, I will show you wonders”. This in reference to the final redemption.
According to the sages, Moses’ staff was engraved with both the Shem Mem-Bet (42-Letter Name) and the 72 Names of G-d, which are derived from the three consecutive 72 letter verses that narrate the crossing of the Red Sea (Sea of Reeds), were engraved on Moses’ staff and used in the splitting of the Sea.
Moreover, if we take the initials of the first and last plague together, we get Dalet-Mem-Bet, which is possibly connected to the 65th of the 72 Names of G-d: Dalet-Mem-Bet.
There are 11 unique letters in the first verse of the Torah, corresponding to the 11 spices of the Holy Temple and there are 11 first letters of the 10 plagues, which we can permute to spell out both the representative initials of the Shem Mem-Bet (the 42-letter Name) and the Ayin-Bet Shemot (the 72 Names) and more. These 11 letters can be permuted to form:
Shaddai (Sh, D, Y)
once the Tzaddi is broken into nun and yud. It’s said by the sages that in the time of Mashiach, the Messiah, the Tzaddi will split into Nun and Yud, then the Yud will change direction to facing forward) and then reconnect.
The significance of this is that they spell out Echad, One, as in “G-d is One;” Mem-Bet, as in the 42 Letter Name of G-d and the 42 places the Jews journeyed through on their way to Israel, and then Ayin-Bet, as in the 72 Names of G-d, both of which were used to split the Sea of Reeds according to chazal; and Shaddai, the Name of G-d that appears on all mezuzot and that starts of the mathematical constant Pi: and finally the letter Nun, whose numerical value is 50 as in the 50th Gate, which chazal say the Israelites were at before crossing the Sea of Reeds; also as in the 50 times the Exodus is mentioned in the Torah; as in the 50 days from the Exodus to the reception of the Torah at Mt. Sinai, as in the 50 component letters used to construct the 27 letters of the Hebrew alphabet; as in the length of the biblical jubilee year (50 calendar years) used to reckon the arrival of H’Mashiach, and as in the value of the Hebrew word for “Sea”.
In many senses the 10 plagues were a cleansing of the Jewish and world soul, the nefesh housed in the blood, in preparation for the reception of the Torah 50 days later.
The Hebrew year 5778, the year given as the year of the Final Redemption, is 2018 in the Western calendar and 50 years earlier, one jubilee year, was the year 1968, the year of Revolution. It’s no coincidence the Beatles’ song Revolution came out that year. 1968 was the year the Vietcong launched the Tet Offensive and the world witnessed the My Lai Massacre; the year the Warsaw Pact invaded Czechoslovakia to crush the Prague Rebellion; the year of Black Power demonstrations in Howard University, the Mexico City Olympics, etc; the year of student protests in Poland and Germany and Tlatelolco Massacre of the students in Mexico; the year the French Governments was brought to the brink of revolution under siege by the student protests; the year of the Cantonsville Nine war protest and student war protests in universities all over the US; The year the war protesters clashed with the Chicago police outside the Democratic National Convention; the year Martin Luther King was assassinated and the riots that followed; the year Robert F Kennedy was assassinated; the year Nixon became president; and the year the Gold Standard was legally dropped and the dollar decoupled from gold, sealing the fate of the US economy; and finally the year Saddam Hussein took power in Iraq, setting us up for where we are today, ironically (coincidentally) mired in yet another Vietnam.
32 Years before the 2000 millennium, the year of Revolution began the final jubilee year, the last of the 66.6 jubilee years from the Exodus to the Final Redemption, the last of the 40 jubilee years from 3760 (0 CE) to 5778.