Here are the missing sources for yesterday’s post:
Gematria linking the measurement’s of Noah’s ark — including its 30-cubit height — to the four-letter name of God, YHVH, is credited to the 16th Century Kabbalist Isaac Luria, AKA “the Ari.” I do not have an exact citation, and perhaps there is an older source as well.
Yalkut Reuveni, a 17th Century anthology of writings from kabbalist Reuben Kahana of Prague, is credited with linking Proverbs 18:10 with Noah entering the ark.
Kabbalists, including the 18th Century Levi Yitzhak of Berditchev, also offer commentary linking Noah’s ark [teva] and the concept of ‘word’ (‘teva‘ can also mean ‘word’). This commentary thread focuses on the power and responsibility of language and thought.
Continue reading Building Teva: Ark and Word
Noah was called a righteous man (Gen 6:9) and the dimensions of the ark suggest that he found refuge or dwelled in God’s name…
In Genesis 6:15, God tells Noah to construct an ark that is 300 cubits long, 50 cubits wide, and 30 cubits high. Doing the math, some teachers note that 50 = 10 (yod) X 5 (heh) = YH and 30 = 6 (vav) X 5 (heh) = VH. The width and height can then be said to represent the two parts of God’s four-letter name — YHVH.
Proverbs 18:10 says “the righteous goes to find refuge in YHVH”:
מִגְדַּל-עֹז, שֵׁם יְהוָה; בּוֹ-יָרוּץ צַדִּיק וְנִשְׂגָּב.
The name of YHVH a strong tower:
the righteous runneth into it, and is set up on high.
— Old JPS, via mechon-mamre
This idea appears in a number of contemporary sermons, and I am looking for its source(s).
Continue reading Refuge in God
Amram took to wife his father’s sister Jochebed, and she bore him Aaron and Moses; and the span of Amram’s life was 137 years. The sons of Izhar: Korah, Nepheg, and Zichri. The sons of Uzziel: Mishael, Elzapha, and Sithri. Aaron took to wife Elisheba, daughter of Amminadab and sister of Nahshon, and she bore him Nadav and Abihu, Eleazar and Ithamar. the sons of Korah: Assir, Elkanah, and Abiasaph. Those are the families of the Korahites. And Aaron’s son Eleazar took to wife one of Putiel’s daughters, and she bore him Phinehas. Those are the heads of the ancestral houses of the Levites by their families. Continue reading Va-eira: A Path to Follow
Jacob departed from Beer-sheba and went toward Haran. He encountered the place and spent the night there because the sun had set; he took from the stones of the place which he arranged his head, and lay down in that place. And he dreamt and behold! A ladder [sulam (samech-lamed-mem)] was set earthward and its top reached heavenward; and behold! angels of God [malachei elohim] were ascending and descending on it. And behold! HASHEM was standing over him [alav]…
…and, look, a ramp [sulam] was set against the ground with its top reaching the heavens, and look, messengers of God [malachei elohim] were going up and coming down it. And, look, the LORD was poised over him [alav]….
…and YHVH was standing beside him [alav]…
Continue reading Vayeitzei: Language and Translation