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Tuesday, March 07, 2017

The Year of Venahafoch Hu

אֲשֶׁר שִׂבְּרוּ אֹיְבֵי הַיְּהוּדִים לִשְׁלוֹט בָּהֶם, וְנַהֲפוֹךְ הוּא, אֲשֶׁר יִשְׁלְטוּ הַיְּהוּדִים (הֵמָּה) בְּשֹׂנְאֵיהֶם
...that the enemies of the Jews hoped to have rule over them; whereas it was turned to the contrary, that the Jews had rule over them that hated them;
The word previous to this portion of the verse is ביום - "on the day of".  This tells us that what follows is a date or year.  The gematria of this portion of the verse (using ך = 500 and ם = 600) equals 5777 when we remove the word "המה".  More on why we remove that word later.

(Note the connection between the previous verse in Esther and 5777 here.)

Let's list the major ונהפוך הוא events that occurred in 5777:
  • Chicago Cubs come back from a 3-1 series deficit and extra innings in Game 7 to beat the Cleveland Indians for their first World Series win since 1908
  • Tom Brady's New England Patriots come back from a 28-3 deficit in Super Bowl LI to beat the Atlanta Falcons in overtime
  • Donald Trump comes back from incredible odds to defeat Hillary Clinton in the 2016 Presidential Election
  • Moonlight wins Best Picture at the Oscars after La La Land was originally declared the winner
And let's add a few that occurred Erev 5777 (or post-Rosh Hodesh Nissan 5776):
  • Britain votes to leave the EU (Brexit) against incredible odds
  • Cleveland Cavaliers come back from a 3-1 series deficit to beat the Golden State Warriors
  • Leicester City of England's Premier League wins championship for first time ever with 5000-1 odds against it
All these events made us think that one side was going to win, but showing He is in charge, Hashem turned it all around and allowed the other side to win.

So, why are we leaving out the word המה in our gematria?  (Besides to get it to fit, that is.)

The Malbim asks why the word המה is in the verse, as it seems superfluous without adding anything to the meaning of the verse.  He explains that the המה tells us that the Jews defeated their enemies alone - without any help from other people.  Although the 13th of Adar was chosen by Haman to destroy the Jewish people as it was the day of the worst Mazal for the Jewish people, one would think that the Jews employing the services of some other nation whose Mazal is not so bad on that day would be a good idea.  That's why we need the word המה to teach us that they did not do so, but rather they overcame these odds alone with only Hashem's help and without any other nation's assistance, thereby enhancing the miracle.

However, when the victories involve others, the המה would indeed be superfluous.  In all the cases above, others were involved in their victories.  The Cubs were assisted by Kluber running out of gas.  The Patriots were helped by Robert Alford's leg.  Trump was helped by Anthony Weiner and James Comey.  Moonlight was helped by Hollywood's obsession with To'eiva.  Brexit was assisted by heavy rainfall and flooding on referendum day, thereby discouraging many Remain voters from voting.  The Cavs were helped by Curry's injury which finally took its toll.  Leicester City was helped by Chelsea tying Tottenham to secure their top spot.

That's what this year is - a Venahafoch Hu year where the victors need assistance to pull off the upset.

With the המה, the gematria of the portion of the verse equals 5827.  That's 50 years from now.  At first glance, one may think that this may be a possible date of the verse.  But not necessarily.

Notice that about every 50 years starting from 1917, there was a small redemption.  In 1917, the Balfour Declaration occurred and the British captured Yerushalayim from the Ottomans.  In hindsight, it was hardly a redemption, but it served an important purpose towards one - to have Edom take the land from Yishmael to begin the process that continued 30 years later.  This victory was won with little Jewish help and almost all help from other nations.

Almost exactly המה (i.e. 50) years ago, a miraculous upset victory took place whereby Israel defeated many Arab nations in war - a pure Venahafoch Hu.  At the time, Israel was all alone besides the One Above.  Then, it was truly  אשר ישלטו היהודים המה בשנאיהם.

These days, Netanyahu is busy forging alliances with the same Arab countries Israel fought against 50 years ago in order to fight a common enemy - the Amalekim in Paras, whose proxies in Lebanon, Gaza, and Syria suddenly became powerful.  And they all openly say that they want להשמיד להרג ולאבד את כל היהודים.  Without Hashem in the equation, it wouldn't be a walk in the park by any stretch of the imagination.  In fact, the odds would be against us.  However, with a lot of prayers and Hashem's help, Israel will win.  When that war is fought and won Be'ezrat Hashem, presumably in this year of 5777 or maybe right afterwards, assuming the Arab states play along, it will merely be אשר ישלטו היהודים בשנאיהם (without the המה).  The existence of המה therefore alternates between Yovels.

If they don't play along, it may end up being אשר ישלטו היהודים המה בשנאיהם, but 50 years earlier than expected as a מדלג על ההרים-type of gift from Hashem.  This would break the pattern set by all the Venahafoch Hus this year mentioned above, whereby victories are obtained via outside help, but if that happens then it would be even more of a Venahafoch Hu!

The verdict is still up in the air.  Either way, may some sort of a Venahafoch Hu come quickly.

(See also this excellent post by Tzvi Freeman reposted at Shirat Devorah.  Most of this post was written before seeing that post.)


At Tue Mar 07, 07:05:00 PM 2017, Blogger Devorah said...

Yours is much better !

At Wed Mar 08, 08:17:00 AM 2017, Blogger vincent said...

The Leicester City thing was last year already.

At Wed Mar 08, 09:27:00 AM 2017, Blogger yaak said...

Yes, and I mentioned that in the post that it was post-Rosh Hodesh Nissan 5776. It's already close enough to 5777. Alternatively, the year started Rosh Hodesh Nissan. Either way, it can be included in the year.


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