Tuesday, May 08, 2018

Tochecha Hints to Exile

Most commentators say that the Tochecha from Behukotai refers to the Babylonian Exile.  However, one who reads many of the commentators will see that there are definite hints to the current exile in the Tocheha as well.

On that note, let's analyze it:

The destruction of the 2nd Beit Hamikdash occurred on Tish'a Be'av in the year 3828, or 68 CE.

If we take the gematria of the entire Tochecha from Vayikra 26:14 (וְאִם-לֹא תִשְׁמְעוּ, לִי) until 26:41 (וְאָז, יִרְצוּ אֶת-עֲוֺנָם), we get 113,748.  Hold on to that number for a minute.  I stop at verse 41 since the next verse already starts וזכרתי, which is an obvious positive verse.

Verses 34, 35, and 43 mention repaying its "Shabbatot".  The commentators say this refers to the Shemitot that were not kept during the years the land was inhabited.  If I can be so bold, I would like to offer that it refers to the actual weekly Shabbatot of possible exile.  That is, the weeks that we were in exile, the land (including the Beit Hamikdash) will rest for the sin of not keeping Shabbat.  We know that the Redemption will come when we keep 2 Shabbatot.

So let's take the gematria we had earlier: 113,748 and say that these are the Shabbatot/weeks of possible exile.  If we count from Tish'a Be'av, 3828, which was July 24, 0068 - and you count 113,748 * 7 days (=796,236 days), we get July 30, 2248, which is exactly Tish'a Be'av, 6008.

That seems pretty close to the year 6000 to me.

So, where are we now in this process?

If we take the gematria of verse 14 until verse 37 (וְלֹא-תִהְיֶה לָכֶם תְּקוּמָה, לִפְנֵי אֹיְבֵיכֶם), we get 101,704 weeks.  Multiply by 7 and we get 711,928 days.  Add those amount of days to Tish'a Be'av, 3828 - and you get Oct. 1st, 2017, or the day after the previous Yom Kippur in 5778.

Now, the following verse וַאֲבַדְתֶּם, בַּגּוֹיִם; וְאָכְלָה אֶתְכֶם, אֶרֶץ אֹיְבֵיכֶם doesn't sound too positive, to say the least.  However, the gemara Makkot 24a (Daf | Text | English) minimizes the harshness of this verse.  The gemara notes that either the harsh decree of the verse was canceled altogether and replaced by a verse describing the ingathering of the exiles or the decree of the verse was greatly minimized (by saying that being lost within the nations means that we are nonetheless being sought and that the eating of the earth is like eating gourds and pumpkins, where only the meat of the vegetable is eaten while the seeds are not consumed and are left to grow).

The Maharsha takes it a step further and explains this gemara to mean that even after the vegetables were decomposed by the earth, the seeds will take root and multiply.  Similarly, he says, at the time of the Final Redemption, we will be numerous in the lands of the other nations.  We see this prediction with our own eyes, as after the European Holocaust and during the still-ongoing American silent Holocaust, we were consumed, but the children have built up Torah in America and the US Orthodox Jewish community is growing.  So, not only is the outcome of this verse not completely negative, it actually turns out positive, and is supposed to occur right before the Final Redemption.  This is all besides the earlier part of the gemara that says that the verse was canceled and replaced with the ingathering of the exiles, a part of the Final Redemption.

Therefore, according to the calculation of 101,704 weeks in exile, about 7 months ago, we have entered a positive period.  A turning point has been reached.  The opportunity of taking this positivity to the next level is there for the taking.  If we take advantage of it by learning Torah, doing good deeds and loving our fellow Jew, the harsh decrees of the subsequent verses need not occur.  And we can greet Mashiah Tzidkenu speedily in our days, Amen.

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