Thursday, November 17, 2016

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Gematria

​   by Reb Gutman Locks   
      Gematria

 

Dear Mr. Locks,
     I have just received your excellent Gematria, The Spice of Torah. https://www.judaicapress.com/products/gematria-spice-of-torah

     I am a Jewish playwright beginning research for a new play. Gematria plays a small but interesting role.
     The protagonist is a brilliant former Yeshiva student who unfortunately is bipolar and, for the duration of the action, is in a manic (agitated) state. He is giving his interpretation of the concentration camp tattoo (number) on his father's forearm.

     I take it from your book that Gematria is most often used to give numerical values to words in order to find the deeper relationships between them. But it can go the other way as well - finding the words associated with the numbers - as laid out in the book.
     There may not be a clear answer for what I'm about to ask, but please do what you can.
     If a brilliant student of gematria (or more broadly, Zohar) were looking at such a number - let's say 346951 for example - how would he likely approach it?
Each number separately, by pairs, groups of three or some other way or ways?
     Your response is most appreciated.

Sincerely,
Michael A.
 

Gutman's response:

Shalom,

     Is that a survivor's actual number?

     It is not for anyone to say why horrible things happen to another person. They themselves should look into it to try to find anything that might be telling.

     Using gematria, the number could be searched in any number of ways, especially if you have sentence gematria available, but for single-word gematria that number can be searched in a limited number of ways. Such as, 34-69-51 or 3-46-951, and searching there for anything that might be appropriate.

     I grouped the first three numbers and the last three numbers and looked in my gematria sefer.

     I saw at 346---"the guilt offering" and at 951---"Israelite." This encourages the belief that the number was a sign of the holocaust's spiritual cause. Again, it is not for someone who did not experience that horror to say why someone else had to go through it, but those words are there.

     This does not in any way say that the person with that number did something to have to bring a guilt offering, at least not in this life time, but all things happen for a reason, even the holocaust.

     We have been told that when all of the causes for this exile have been rectified, then the redemption will finally come. Today, as the Land of Israel is booming we see the redemption prophecy is beginning to be fulfilled in our day.

Shalom

Gutman



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