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As we begin to study the Tikkunei Zohar together with its 70 tikunim for the 70 final years that coincide with the 70 years from Israel’s formation in 1948 to 2018, we’d like to note a cryptic reference to this back in Shmot (Exodus).
In Shmot 4:22, G-d had just advised Moses that he will make Pharaoh obstinate so that he will not let the people leave. “You must say to Pharaoh, ‘This is what God says: Israel is MY son, My firstborn’.” This, as the Torah explains, was a warning and prelude to the killing of Pharaoh’s first born.
This confrontation seems more about a dual between Satan (the evil inclination) and G-d, than about a battle with a man. Pharaoh, the man, was ready to let them leave, so G-d replaced him with who/what he really wanted to vanquish, the evil and selfish desires in our hearts.
To understand what is being released, we need the help of the Zohar, in the Idra Zuta portion #88, where it tells us that this specific firstborn is referring to the sefira of Da’at, the commingling of Chochma and Binah (Aba and Ima) from which Moses and Zeir Anpin emanated and which we’ve previously associated with the number 70 in our articles on the 70 times the Torah’s most numerous phrase “And G-d spoke to Moses, saying” occurred.
The Idra Zuta, though, is talking about the end of days, not the Exodus from Egypt, so it’s drawing a parallel for us that can be understood when we realize that the 422 in Shmot 4:22 is the gematria of the word seventy (70).
So G-d is giving Israel 70 years of life, as he did David, whose life marks the exact halfway between Adam and 5778 (2018 CE). he’s also giving our evil inclinations 70 years to release Israel, his first born. And “first born” (BCRY) by the way has the gematria of 232, as in the 4 aspects of the Tetragrammaton, the holy sparks that G-d wants released.
While the Torah speaks to us personally, it also speaks to us as a community and so we must come together to defeat our evil inclinations and be released to claim our birthrights as first born.
The full gematria of that verse is 2160 or 10 x 216 (gevura, the sefira of judgment) and thus it hinted at the 10 judgments that would come to wake up the Israelites and separate them from the darkness (also known as Mizra’im, Egypt).
Then in 4:24, it says G-d wanted to kill Moses. 424 is the gematria of Moshiach Ben David, so it goes to show how far G-d would go to achieve this release and retrieve his Holy sparks.