Matzah: Not Just Flour and Water

Before we move on in the Torah, I’d like to point out that this Shemini/Pesach connection we’ve been discussing also connects to the 8 days of waiting before a circumcision, or brit milah , in that, as explained by the Arizal, the difference between matza (מצה) and chametz (חמץ) is the letter hei (ה) and chet (ח) and that the letter hei is a circumcised letter chet and that what we’re doing in forgoing chametz for the eight days is akin to a circumcision in that we’re cutting off our desires for the self alone.

Kabbalistically and/or spiritually, similarity of form represent a physical closeness and in terms of gematria, it indicates a special affinity between the words. Now, interestingly enough there are a very few words that express multiple affinities, but one pair is Pesach (פסח), Passover and Kemach, (קמח ) flour/meal. Both have three letters, both end in the letter chet (ח) of value 8, both have a total gematria value of 148 and both have an ordinal value of 40, or 5 x 8.

The ordinal value is the sum of the positioning of the letters within the Hebrew alphabet (i.e. mem is the 13th letter and has an ordinal value of 13. So as it happens both related words have ordinals value of 40, which is the numerical value of the letter Mem, whose ordinal value is 13, which if you’ve read our last few articles you know is connected to love (ahava) and mazal, as is the number 8.

Another pair of words with an even greater affinity is Mayim (מים), water and Melech (מלך ), King, both with gematria values of 90 and ordinal values of 36. Now, it may just be a coincidence but Kamach, (קמח ) flour and Mayim (מים), water are the two ingredients in Matzoth. If we add the two values we get 148 + 90 = 238, which is the value for Rachel, a prominent kabbalistic symbol for protection and of manifestation on an earthly level (malchut).

And if we add the two ordinal values 40+ 36 = 76 plus the kolel of 1 for the equation we get 77, mazal, or if we choose a kolel of 2 for the two ingredients, we get 78 which according to the Arizal is mazal in Aramaic and 3 times the Tetragrammaton ( יקוק ,יקוק ,יקוק) and also not-coincidentally “bread,” which would be chametz.

Just a note for anyone interested, R’ Chaim Vital explains that the 3 Tetragrammaton (יקוק ,יקוק ,יקוק) act as a visual meditation for supporting mochin, the brain.

Moreover, 238 + 76 = 314, the value of the Shin-Dalet-Yud (ש־ד־י), the name of protection on every mezuzah. And regarding the connection between Pesach and King, as Rav Yehuda Zvi Brandwein of blessed memory points out in one of his letters, the meaning of Passover is not a battle between Moses and Pharaoh, but a battle for the souls of the people between God and the Satan, the evil inclination, and the eating of matzoth on Pesach is a turning away from the desires for the self alone and the evil inclination and towards the King, Hashem.

As we strive to reach the tree-of-life reality, we need to examine the tree itself and find that the letters in chametz (חמץ) Ch.M and Z are also found in the tree-of-life (AZ ChYYM) and that the 3 that are not, AYY not only add up to 90, but also have the original value of 36, just like the phenomenonal affinity found between Mayim (מים), water and Melech (מלך ), King that we’ve written about in previous blogs.

What this means is not clear, but the Ayin (70) represents the 70 branches of the tree and the double Yuds represents the central column or trunk of the tree through which the water from above flows. While the chametz may be the bark.

And like the tree, we surround ourselves with chametz for protection, but it prevents the divine waters (light) to flow through us. Chametz is just the same pure flour and water as Matzah, but with the addition of yeast (the desire to receive for ourselves alone). It’s these desires that soak up the divine waters and prevent us from seeing the essence of the tree.

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The Final 3 Plagues and the Final Redemption

Continued from The Hidden Mysteries of the 10 Plagues.

At the end of the parsha VaEra we’ve completed 7 of the 10 plagues, leaving 3 more to go in parsha Bo, as in “Come (Bo) to Pharaoh” when logic would dictate that G-d would say to Moses “Go to Pharaoh” That there are 3 plagues left was signaled (heralded) by the value of the word Bo (BE).

More significantly, this reversal of the action word seems to indicate a reversal in direction and also if G-d meant that He would accompany Moses; it indicates a new urgency. 

The sum of the initials of the first 7 plagues is 490 or 7 x 70, reflecting the 70 sub-sefirot of the 7 sefirot (dimensions) of Zeir Anpin-malchut (collectively known as heaven and earth).  These are the only levels we can access at all in any sense. Above them are the 3 upper sefirot Binah, Chochma, and Keter(Understanding, Wisdom and Crown) from which inspriation is drawn but not perceived. 

These first 7 plagues were to sway the Egyptians, but G-d needed 3 more to reach the souls of the Israelites who, according to chazal, were mired in the 49th gate of negativity and not able to break free of their desirs and ties to the world of material illusion, not unlike the situation we find ourselves in today.

At this point in the narrative, Pharaoh was willing to let the men go, but not the women.  As women are far more anchored in malchut, the material world, (not to say that they can’t be very spiritual, but kabblaistically this the sefira associated with women, the vessels) they were not yet willing to let go, pack up and move.  You see that in life today: A man gets an inspiration and tells his wife we’re moving. His wife tells him not on your life, requiring him to explain what his plan is, why, where, when, what, all the details, a hundred reasons not to go, when all he has is a vision.

The reversal of the direction in the logical wording is also indicated in the word Bo (B-E), which is Av (E-B), father, or even the Supernal father, when spelled in reverse. As is, by coincidence surely, it is the initials of Barack Obama (BE), and pronounced as such as well. Then again the initials play an important part of the understanding of the 10 plagues.  But don’t read into this, as it may just mean Barack Obama as our 44th president is a sign for us to pay attention to the signs.

And one sign is surely found in the gematria of the first 8 words (24 letters) of parsha Bo, Shmot 10:1. Not coincidentally, this is the 8th plague, 10th chapter and 24th paragraph of the Book Shmot (Exodus).  Including the kolel, the first 13 letters add up to 666, which we know from the tzaddikim is connected with the arrival of H’Moshiach, and the next 11 letters (as in the 11 initials of the plagues that add up to 541, Israel) (H BE EL PRYH CY) add up exactly to 424, the numerical value of Mashiach Ben David. 

These are signs of what’s to come, what we’ll need to go through, and the explanation of the process that both the Israelites in their exile and we in ours (had) have to grapple with in order to free ourselves.

To free the Israelites to choose for themselves the Tree-of-life reality, G-d had to complete all 10 of the plagues, akin to the 10 sefirot of the tree-of-life structure.

The 8th plague, Locusts, laid waste to the land, as only a locust could, eating and devouring everything in sight, leaving not a crumb in their path of devastation, totaling vacuuming even the essential material from their existence, leaving only dust to be consumed.

Even so, by the 9th plague, as the darkness descended, the Israelites were at the 49.9th gate of negativity since they still could only see the desperation of their situation and not the solution.  We can emphasize because we see for ourselves that as our circumstances become more difficult, we get further drawn into the problems and less able to see our way out.  When our savings are decimated, we’re beside ourselves. When food runs low, we naturally start panicking. And the more crazed we get, the less able we are to see clearly. In other words, the darker the situation, the less we see.

And thus we see that the sum of the initials of the first 9 plagues is 499, the numerical value of Tzva’ot, another of the Biblical Names of G-d.  Instead of our plight, this is what we should be focusing on within the darkness: the source of the Light.

Given the desperation of the situation one more plague was required.  And given that the initials of last plague are mem-bet (42-Letter name of G-d) not only does the total value of the 11 initials equal 541, that of Israel, we see that the Torah seems to be insinuating that the powerful aspect of G-d, called the Shem Mem-Bet (42-letter Name) was required for effecting the paradigm shift necessary in the Israelites vision and reality. This is just as it was with the great flood, Mabul. and just as it will be for us today, as chazal has explained that it is through the understanding of the Shem Mem-Bet that the geula (final redemption) will come about. To better understand the Shem Mem-Bet and how it can shift reality and your vision, we suggest you read The Genesis Prayer.

Another way to view this is that after we go through 9 sefirot (chochma) we still need to utilize the 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-Resh) within the permutated letters of the final plague. The letters MCT BCVRVT become CTR MB CV TV,  or CTR (Keter), MB (42-Letter Name) CV (26, an appellation of the Tetragrammaton) and TV (the final letter Tav, signally the end and also representing Malchut). 

So the final plague, the killing of the first born, a circumcision (brit milah) and a pinyon ben, to remove the negativity and all connection to it for the good in us,  stretches from malchut to keter, all the levels (steps) in the final process. And who is present at all brit milah? Elihayu Hanavi, the one who will also herald the arrival of Mashiach.

The final plague was the hardest to bear, but was necessary to make a clean break, just as Abraham had to get circumcised in order to receive the 3 angels and get the blessing to have Isaac.  And just as Ishmael had to be born first before Isaac, and just as Esau before Jacob, all the bad seed and chaff had to be removed before the Light could shine through.  This is what the Israelites in Egypt had to endure and us today as well.  But we’ve been given powerful tools such as the Shem Mem-bet (Ana B’koach). We need to learn how to use it and use it to awaken ourselves quickly.

This blog will be continued with the explanation of how the gematria of the 10 plagues spells out the date of the final reception and more….

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