From the Scripture can you tell me the meaning and significant of number eleven (11)?


In general, we do not understand much of the depth latent in numbers, though some commentaries, such as Maharal of Prague, and various Kabbalistic texts, offer insights into their meaning.

One of the major themes presented  in connection with eleven (11) is its going one step beyond the perfection associated with the number 10. The Gemara teaches that where there is something extraneous it is as if there was something missing, and an ancient Kabbalistic text teaches that the 10 Divine Emanations (sefiros) are ten and not nine, ten and not eleven. In this sense, we find eleven leaders of Esau mentioned in the verse (Gen. 36:15), Esau being the evil parallel to his brother Jacob. Esau similarly declares that he has ‘plenty,’ whereas Jacob states he has ‘everything’ (33:9, 11). The rectification of the ‘extraneous’ element of eleven is found (according to the Kabbalistic tradition) in the eleven ingredients of the incense (Ketores; see Kerisus 6a), which including an ingredient that has a foul odor (chelbenah), but which is rectified by the others.

Tags: Esau

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