1) to warn them in advance of the mistake they will make, and to prepare them for
2) what will happen when they ignore the warning and make that mistake, and
3) to inform them that God will be with them even in exile among the nations, and that
4) they will repent and eventually be brought back to Israel.
Parashah VaYelekh ends, and Parashah HaAzinu opens with the words of this song. A story about the Ramban will serve to illustrate its importance.
The Ramban had a gifted student by the name of R. Avner. One day this student decided to reject the Torah and completely divorce himself from Judaism. He assimilated and quickly rose to a level of prominence, attaining a position that allowed him to enforce dictates upon the people. The student used his authority to summon the Ramban on Yom Kippur and in the hope of getting him to repent, the Ramban complied with the demand. However when he arrived, his former student slaughtered a pig and ate it in front of his mentor. The student’s behavior was puzzling, even more so when he asked the Ramban how many sins he had just committed that would incur “karet” (premature death). The Ramban answered: “four sins,” however R. Avner disputed, contending that five sins were involved. He then proceeded to list and explain each of the five, bringing various proofs from the Talmud and commentaries. His dissertation was precise and given with such great erudition that the Ramban had to agree. Curious about what had just transpired, he asked R. Avner why, “if you are so learned and wise, did you abandon the true faith?” The former student replied: “you are responsible, because I heard you give a sermon stating that the song in HaAzinu contains allusions to everything that would befall the Jewish people and I could not accept such a preposterous statement. Because of that, I lost faith in you, the Torah, and ultimately God.” The Ramban acknowledged that he had indeed made such a statement, but insisted that it “was true and [that he was] prepared to prove it.” Rav Avner then challenged the Ramban: “...if that is so, then what allusion is there to my existence?” The Ramban told him to look at the third letter of each word in the verse:
אמרתי אפאיהם אשביתה מאנוש זכרם
When Rav Avner saw that every third letter spelled out “Rav Avner,” he was stunned and overcome with remorse, especially in light of what the verse said, so he asked the Ramban “what must I do to atone for my sins?” The Ramban replied “fulfill the words of the verse [in which your name appears].” Since the song applied to those who would turn from God and suffer exile, the words of this particular verse were most disturbing. It said of these people, that they would “...travel to the ends of the earth and leave no trace of [their] existence behind.” R. Avner did just that. He set sail aboard a ship and neither he, nor the ship, nor any of the other passengers was ever heard from again. The point of the story is to demonstrate the significance of the Song of Moshe and how it does indeed contain detailed allusions to what would happen to Israel.
We will illustrate the point a bit differently, with a somewhat obvious parable: Once upon a time there was a king who loved his people very much. However, the king possessed great wisdom and he understood the nature of men and realized there would come a time when his people would turn against him. He also knew that it would become necessary to banish them from the kingdom or they would never come to their senses. The king really didn’t want this to happen, but he had no choice. The people would never recognize or acknowledge their mistake until they experienced the consequences. Only through “exile” (separation from the king) would they learn why their decisions had been a mistake. In order to prepare the people, the king had his viceroy teach them a song. The words of the song would serve to encourage them in exile, promise them forgiveness and provide for their return when they eventually realized their mistake. So great was this king’s wisdom, that he knew in advance how many of his people would lose their way, and so he alluded to them in the song of promise and signed an official document to that effect. The document of course bore the royal seal wherein the King's Signature was hidden.
You already know (at least most of) the explanation to this parable. The King is of course God. The viceroy was Moshe and the song was the song in Parashah HaAzinu. The song is printed in most books as a series of sentences that follow one-after-the-other. However, in the King’s official document (a kosher Torah scroll) the words are written differently. In the King’s scroll, it is laid out in 2 columns with 70 lines1 with words to the left and words to the right, and a space in the middle (70 opposite 70). The number 70 is significant in-and-of itself, however a pair of 70s has additional significance that will become apparent as we proceed.
We will look at the significance in a moment. In the meantime, if you are new to this blog, please read each of the essential constructs listed in the column to the right before proceeding. These pages reveal some of the basic mathematic connections between the letters of God's Explicit Name and the multidimensional geometric characteristics of the luchot, both in the divided state and combined cubic form, along with the internal geometry that casts a shadow known as a magen david. There is a special connection between the Name, the luchot and the geometry of the magen, and together they form a unique signature. We refer to this geometry and its mathematic common denominator as the Signature of the Architect. The purpose of this blog is to show how all of these things connect, and to reveal where the signature geometry is hidden, not only in each week’s parashah, but the physics of time and space, quantum mechanics and celestial dynamics to name a few. Once you are familiar with these constructs you can more fully appreciate each post.
If you've read the post on the Name in the Stone and it's sequel, the Supernal Stream, then you know that there are 70 points having zero-dimensionality between the measured handbreadths on the small and large face of each tablet. There are 70 to the left (on one tablet) and 70 to the right (on the other tablet). This is true of the visible side, but it is also true of the opposing (non-visible) side, where once again, there are 70 opposite 70. This is just one example of this pattern hidden in the geometry of the stones.
We have discussed pairs of 7s many times throughout this blog and so it will not be repeated here (except for a brief review below). If you’ve not yet read the essential constructs listed in the column to the right, you should do so before proceeding, along with the most important posts that are also listed, and especially the post on Parashah Emor that deals with the mathematic and geometric significance for pairs of opposing 7s as they relate to the royal seal where the letters of God’s Name are mathematically hidden.
In this case, the Song of Moshe is a super-pair of 7s, or more specifically a pair of 7 tens (70s) and it goes without saying that this has very special significance. Before delving into specifics, it is important to understand that the star of david (magen david) can be expressed numerically in terms of its most basic elements. There are 7 elements in half of a magen david, and 7 elements in the other half (7 opposite 7). The magen of course consists of two geometric opposites, specifically two triangles merged together, facing opposite directions. This is a one-dimensional mathematic reflection, not only for the male-female nature of the universe, but also the nature of the letters in God’s Name that sustains it. A triangle (which is one half of the magen) has 3 points, 3 lines and 1 face (a total of 7 elements). These 7 elements stand opposite their 7 female counterparts. When the counterparts are married together, the geometry results in the royal seal where the numbers and sets of numbers correspond to the number and nature of the letters of God’s Name. So when you see pairs of 7s in the Torah, and specifically multiple pairs of 7s, it is a reflection of the King’s Name hidden ever so carefully from the eyes of the casual observer. The characteristics of these 7 elements are symbolic of a transition from nothingness through two-dimensions2, however they are not limited to these lower dimensions. We explained in previous posts (like the post on Parashah Emor, Massey and Devarim as well as Chukath) that while pairs of 7s mathematically allude to a two-dimensional magen david, a pair of 14s alludes to a three-dimensional magen david (or star tetrahedron). We then showed where pairs of opposing 14s were found in Torah. Yoseph’s existence, for example, was characterized by the 14 years he spent as a slave opposite the 14 years in which he “ruled” (in Pharoah’s dream) where 7 years of plenty were followed by 7 years of famine. The pair of 7s within a pair of 14s is a prime example, and a crystal clear reflection of the elements in both the two-dimensional magen david (with its 7 elements opposite 7 elements) and its three-dimensional counterpart (with 14 elements opposite 14 elements) which are again reflections of the geometry wherein the number of letters in the Name are mathematically hidden. Details were provided in the post on Parashah Miketz and also Emor.
Click to Enlarge
A triangle is a two-dimensional shadow of its three-dimensional counterpart, the latter consisting of 14 elements (4 faces, 4 points and 6 lines). When the two halves are merged together in opposing directions (14 elements opposite their 14 counterparts) the lines of intersection subdivide each half and create even more elements. The increase in the number of elements can be calculated as follows:
The subdivision results in 4 tetrahedrons that are half the size of the original with an octahedron in the middle (see the “exploded” geometric below of two tetrahedrons). A single tetrahedron has 4 faces and 4 points, so the 4 tetrahedral stellations resulting from the division, have 16 faces and 16 points. The octahedron in the center has 8 faces and 6 points. The lines of division are one-dimensional and should not be counted twice (you don't need two knives to slice a cake in half). The number of lines is therefore 4 x 6 or 24, and together with the 22 points and 24 faces, the geometry consists of 70 components. Since there are two tetrahedrons, the three-dimensional geometry of the resulting "marriage" can be expressed numerically as 70 (elements) opposite 70 (elements).
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It should be emphasized that the merging of two tetrahedrons
does not result in a geometric "explosion" as pictured to the left.
The exploded/separated view is provided merely for clarity.
Having provided a brief review on pairs of 7s (and pairs of 14s) it is time to turn our attention to the Song of Moshe where, instead of a pair of 7s, we see “a pair of 70s,” or what could be considered a “super-pair” of 7s. The implications will be covered in a moment.
The lines of the Song of Moses are literally 70 opposite 70, like the number of elements resulting from the marriage of the two halves of a star tetrahedron (the royal seal in three-dimensions) wherein 72 triangular points (72 x 3) allude to the triplets in the King’s One Explicit Name (the lines as they appear in a Torah scroll will be pictured in next weeks' post where we will elaborate further).
There is also a second mathematic or geometric allusion to confirm the first. The most simple and obvious way to factor the number 70 is to break it down into 7 (tens) opposite 7 (tens). So the number, or rather the expanded nature of the number, should immediately suggest that it is not only significant in terms of its loftier three-dimensional geometry (as just explained) but that it is also somehow related to the King’s Name on the lower (more down-to-earth) two-dimensional level as a magen david. And indeed it does, because 7 (tens) opposite 7 (tens) are like 10 two-dimensional magen davids that each consist of 7 elements opposite 7 elements. We’ve seen this same symbolic language elsewhere in the Torah.
You may remember Yoseph’s dream in which “...the sun and the moon, and 11 stars prostrated themselves to [him].” The dream was interpreted to mean that Yoseph’s mother and father, as well as his 11 brothers would bow down to Yoseph. But the dream suggests something else. The metaphors that are part of this dream’s language, are identical to the geometry involved in the merging of two tetrahedrons and the resulting star tetrahedron. The 2 parents are male and female opposites of one another. Just as the moon reflects the light of the sun, the female tetrahedron is a mirror image of the male. When they are married together they give birth to 12 smaller (triangular) faces oriented in one direction opposite 12 smaller (triangular) faces oriented in the other direction. When each of these faces is merged with its polar opposite, the result is 12 “stars” in the form of magen davids. In Yoseph’s dream, his brothers are likened to stars. Together with the parents, the 11 stars bow down to the 12th star (Yoseph). How do we know that Yoseph is like his brothers in this regard? In the first dream his brother's sheaves prostrate themselves to the sheaf of Yoseph and there are 12 sheaves. On one level God was speaking to Yoseph’s family who would eventually come under Yoseph’s “rule” in egypt. However, the symbolic language of the geometry suggests that through his descent into Egypt and subsequent rise to power, Yoseph would sanctify (unify the male and female halves of the letters in) God’s Name, just as the unification of the two-dimensional triangular faces (like those on three-dimensional tetrahedrons) result in stars in the form of magen davids. There is a mathematic "witness" to this allusion in the 72 triplets (72 groups of three-letters in the Triad Name) that have a direct one-to-one relationship to each of the 6 points with 3 corners on the 12 two-dimensional stars (6 x 3 x 12 = 216 letters) further alluding to "the unification of the Holy One Blessed be He," that would be a part of the process.
12 Halves Opposite their 12 Counterparts
(72 triangles with 3 corners = 216)
The 12 male 'halves' of the stars, opposite the twelve female 'halves,' are like the 12 stones on the east bank of the Jordan River opposite the 12 stones on the west bank of the Jordan River that we saw in the Post on Parashah Ki Thavo. Both are a reflection of the Tri-Tetra-Grammaton3 or 12-letter abbreviation of the Explicit Name.
The nature of the Song of Moses is a bit different, as is the purpose and message, but the symbolic language and the mathematic reflections are essentially identical. The point of the song is to warn the people of their fate should they turn from God, a fate that would ultimately lead to exile. In this case there are 10 “pairs of 7s” in the song that are like 10 stars or magen davids (as opposed to the 12 in Yoseph’s dream). The number of stars that we see in the lines of the song, are the same as the number of tribes that would be lost in exile (i.e. 10 'lost' tribes).
10 Pairs of 7s / 10 Stars
10 Lost Tribes
Some sources suggest these lost souls will never return. Certainly, in most cases, it is doubtful they even know who they are. However other sources explain that when mashiach comes, he will identify them and bring them back to the Land.
The admonition is simply that if you know you are Jewish, there is an obligation to return, or at the very least, to make plans to return. The importance of return is related to the four exiles of the people from the Land, that are like the marriage of the four letters in the Tetragrammaton to the four letters in the Havaya of Adnoot. In order for God’s Name to be sanctified (among the nations) the letters must be unified, and this requires aliya (a return to the Land). The word “aliya” means to “go up to,” as in ascending a mountain. In last week’s post on Nitzavim, we showed how this was implied in the primal language of symbols, like the mountains of Sinai, Gerizim and Ebal that figure so prominently in the Torah. In each case the people are presented with a choice: accept or reject; return or remain in exile, exist or perish. The spiritual ladder (like the one seen by Ya’acov) goes in two directions. We either “connect with,” or otherwise “return,” for purpose of inheriting one’s estate, or we cease to exist (as was the case with those who remained in egypt or those who remained in germany prior to WWII). It is a story that continually repeats itself and will continue to do so right up until the very end. At this point in history, returning to the Land is one of, if not the greatest mitzvoth of all, in that it has to do with the ultimate unification/sanctification of God’s Name. All of the above serves to demonstrate why returning to the Land is so important and why so many nations are determined to prevent it.
The Song of Moshe is about our return and the inheritance that God has promised. It will eventually happen, one way or the other, but as is so often the case, it can be the easy way, or it can be the hard way. We should strive to make it as easy as possible, if not for us, then for our children, and if not for them, then the nations that will suffer the consequences should our full and complete return within specified borders be further delayed or prevented.
Footnote 1 - Rambam. A Torah scroll usually has 42 lines per column and so the song is spread out over 2 columns of the scroll. The first column in which the song appears has the first 6 lines of the previous parashah (VaYelekh) and then a line is left blank. The remaining 35 lines of the column are the first half (70 stanzas) of the "song" in HaAzinu. Each line is written in two parts with a space in between (so that 1 column of the scroll has 2 columns of the song). The second column begins with the 35 lines of the second half of the "song" (another 70 stanzas) followed by a blank line and then 6 regular lines. The layout not only divides into 70 lines to the right opposite 70 lines to the left, but the first half is 70 "above" and the second half is 70 "below." So it can be seen as 70 opposite 70 (left/right) but also 70 opposite 70 (above/below) creating in essence 4 quadrants, any 2 of which equate to 70, standing opposite the remaining 2 that equate to 70. The 6 lines preceding the song and the 6 lines after the song allude to the combined cubic geometry of the luchot, each 6 x 6 handbreadths, times the two luchot that were 3 handbreadths thick, where the total number of handbreadths equals the number of letters in God's Explicit Name (216).
Footnote 2 - The face of a regular polygon is by nature two-dimensional; a line (or border of the face) is one-dimensional; and a point merely a facet of a higher dimension. A single “point” if anything at all, is an infinitesimal, indiscernible part of dimensionality.
Footnote 3 - Tri-Tetra-Grammaton is a term that I use for the 12 letter abbreviation of the Explicit Name.