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Wednesday, October 04, 2017

Route 91 Massacre Between Yom Kippur and Sukkot

The deadliest shooting spree in modern US history took place this past Sunday night when Stephan Paddock שר"י shot down on concert-goers from room 32-135 (gematria לב המחבלים) of the Mandalay Bay Hotel in Las Vegas, killing 59 (including himself) and injuring over 530.

Strangely, this depraved individual lived in Mesquite, Nevada having previously lived in Mesquite, Texas, a suburb of Dallas.  The mesquite tree is an invasive tree that is difficult to control.  Like the tree, it became difficult for law enforcement to control Mr. Paddock in his shooting spree.  It took about 72 minutes from the time he first started shooting until his hotel room was breached with him found dead.

And, pardon the mixed metaphor, but the apple didn't fall far from the tree, as Mr. Paddock's late father was wanted by the FBI for bank robbery and was described as a "psychopath".

The concert he targeted was the Route 91 Harvest country music festival.  Note Dov Bar Leib's take on the significance.  I will add my own two cents on the matter as well.

This massacre took place between Yom Kippur and Sukkot.  The very end of Yom Kippur has us saying ה' הוא הא-לקים ה' הוא הא-לקים seven times.  Hashem's name as it is spelled has the gematria of 26 while His name as it is pronounced (א-ד-נ-י) has the gematria of 65.  Together, they make up the gematria of 91.  That is also the same gematria of ה-א-ל-ה-י-ם.

There is symbolic significance to this gematria - showing that Hashem's attribute of unmitigated justice, represented by הא-לקים is really just the same as the שם הויה, which represents His attribute of mercy.  This shows that everything Hashem does that seems to be to our detriment is really coming from the side of mercy, even when we don't understand it.  This incident in Las Vegas is no exception.

But Yom Kippur is not the only holiday with this significance.  Sukkot is also very much connected to it.  As Dov pointed out, the word סוכה has the gematria of 91, also corresponding to Hashem's name as written and as pronounced.  This idea is noted prominently in the popular song סוכה ולולב, which is sung in Sephardic Sukkot during the holiday, in the stanza:

יִשְׂמַח יִשְׂרָאֵל בְּצֵל סֻכָּתוֹ יִסְתּוֹפֵף יֶחֱסֶה תַּחַת אֶבְרָתוֹ
הַשֵּׁם כִּכְתָבוֹ וְכִקְרִיאָתוֹ כְּמִסְפַּר סֻכָּה מִסְפָּרוֹ עָלָה

And, of course, the harvest festival is Sukkot, as it is called חג האסיף.  Taking place between the 2 holidays, this event draws the common bond between them - namely, this significance of 91.

Also notable is the gematria of Las Vegas (לאס וגאס) itself - לאס is 91 while וגאס is 70.  Another explanation for ה' הוא הא-לקים is that everything that we think is from nature (הטבע = א-ל-ה-י-ם) is really all from Hashem.  The 91 represents Hashem and the 70 represents the nations, as we know - we bring 70 bullocks on Sukkot to correspond to the 70 nations.  During the massacre, people from the nations had an awakening of Hashem's hand in their survival from it:

This massacre is only one of a series of plagues that have plagued the US and its vicinity since the Great Solar Eclipse, which is noted by the gemara in Sukkah as a bad sign for the nations.  The fire plagues have all occurred in the west of the US while the wind and water plagues have all occurred in the southeast of the US. The earth plagues have occurred in Mexico, which did not get a solar eclipse, but is relatively close to the eclipse path in relation to the rest of the world.  This shooting can be counted among the plagues of fire.

The gemara states:
When the sun is eclipsed in the east, it is a bad omen for the residents of the lands of the east. When it is eclipsed in the west, it is a bad omen for the residents of the lands of the west. When it is eclipsed in the middle of the sky, it is a bad omen for the entire world.
We see that the eclipse which spanned the continent from west to east can be considered "the middle of the sky" so the plagues will spread throughout the world.  And we see that long-dormant volcanoes have started to make noise again in places like Bali and Vanuatu.

We know that just like Egypt received plagues before our redemption, the Midrash points out that Edom is to receive these plagues as well.  The plague of hail was especially miraculous as it contained both fire and water mixed together.  Perhaps, the confluence of all these fire-based and water-based events represents the hail.  Just a thought.

May those injured in this shooting recover quickly and completely - including Chana Rochel bat Sarah - and may this event be an atonement for us all to bring us closer toward the Final Redemption, speedily in our days, Amen!  (אמן = 91).


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