The Power of 3; Your Life Depends on it.

Before we reveal the measure of the ancient and future cubit, it is imperative that we understand the universal concept of 3. A true understanding of the sefirot (dimensions) and what their names signify is beyond all of us. It’s like trying to tell someone without a sense of smell or taste what freshly made ice cream, chocolate, or warm homemade apple pie is like, and even that analogy is very weak by comparison. We can’t even fathom them. And this is why the universe (Hashem) has given us the Ana B’koach (42-Letter Name of G-d); it serves as our nexus to the spiritual world.

Know that the light that our world depends on gets channeled through the Supernal Holy Temple in a balanced way, and that much of the power behind the number 3 lies in the balance struck between the first 3 sefirotChesed, Gevurah and Tiferet of Zeir Anpin–but what can that possibly mean for us?

Chesed is Loving-kindness, or the unconditional Love that Hashem has for us, which is why the first line, associated with Chesed, of the Ana B’koach has a numerical value of 506, that of Ahavatchinam (Unconditional love). This the love and joy of perpetual giving, the unceasing love and desire for our well-being that Hashem showers on us constantly. This is wonderful, but what place does that leave us in this universe? What purpose would we serve other than to take from G-d, which is why there is a 2nd phase for this light, one that allows us to participate and grow within the universe, utilizing the concept of free will.

The second line corresponds with judgment, din, the natural phase of the light where our actions receive immediate and just reactions, which we see as punishments and the universe sees as simple physics.

You step on someone’s toe, someone else steps on yours. Simple enough, and if we’d learn right away from that it would be a good thing and we’d all live easier more righteous lives. But what happens if the person whose toe we stepped on gets an infection from it and dies, or he later pushes someone too far because of the bad mood we set up for him and that person creates a negativity chain that winds up in someone else’s personal ruin or death? Would we want that punishment for ourselves? The universe holds us responsible and we’d have to pay (eye-for-an-eye) for that entire chain of negativity (action by action). That’s why there is a 3rd phase of the light, mercy, rachem.

Taken together the numerical value of chesed, and din is 72 + 64 + kolel(1)= 137, which is that of the work Kabablah, meaning “to receive,” but to receive this light in a balanced way we need the third phase, just as the electrons and protons need the neutrons to form stable and useful atoms.

Taken together the numerical value of chesed, din, and rachem is 72 + 64 + 248 +Kolel (3)= 387, which is that of the 3rd line of the Ana B’koach (NGD YCSh), which is structured to balance the light of loving kindness and judgment into life-sustaining mercy.

With mercy, our judgment are mitigated and we’re given time to reflect on and make amends for our actions. Think of the first line and sefira of chesed as space, the 2nd as motion, and the 3rd as time, completing the physics of “time, space and motion.” We can use this 3rd line of the Ana B’koach (NGD YCSh) combined with spiritual and heart-felt intentions to further mitigate our judgments, and we should start seeing life as a string of merciful incidents rather than as one of punishments.
For example, a minor fender-bender as inconvenient as it might be, may very well be a merciful way to spare you of a fatal car crash that some action in your past inadvertently warranted. Seeing life as filled with mercy is a big step forward toward reaching the Tree-of-life reality where the mercy will be inherent, obvious and universal. Until we’re there, we have the gift of the Ana B’koach. (get and read The Genesis Prayer if you don’t have it).

In our next article we’ll reveal the ancient and future cubit and you’ll understand why comprehending this concept of 3 and balance was important to grasp first.

With Love,

Ezra

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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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