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Precise and Concise

Rabbi Yehoshua Alt

As we have arrived at the final stages before publication, this is the final opportunity for dedications for the book about our homeland, Eretz Yisrael, titled “Spectacular Insights about a Spectacular Land.” Don’t miss out on the Dedication Opportunities, which can be given from Maiser money. It can be L’Ilui Nishmas, L’Refuah Shleima, an advertisement for a business, in honor of a special occasion or any other dedication that your heart desires. This is in addition to sharing in the merit of the Torah learned by each reader. For more information or if you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact me at [email protected]. Donations can also be given via credit card by clicking “Donate” at amount is welcome.

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Rabbi Alt merited to learn under the tutelage of R’ Mordechai Friedlander ztz”l for close to five years. He received Semicha from R’ Zalman Nechemia Goldberg ztz”l. Rabbi Alt has written on numerous topics for various websites and publications and is the author of the books, Fascinating Insights and Incredible Insights. His writings inspire people across the spectrum of Jewish observance to live with the vibrancy and beauty of Torah. He lives with his wife and family in a suburb of Yerushalayim where he studies, writes, and teaches. The author is passionate about teaching Jews of all levels of observance.

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Precise and Concise

The number 1 is unique in that it is the first number of the whole numbers. As a single entity, it is the only number that is not plural. There are not multiple elements in it that can be counted or measured. This is because 1 doesn’t consist of anything other than itself. It can be broken down as a fraction but never as a function of other numbers.[1]


The number 1 is used to describe the Oneness of Hashem,[2] which is the Oneness of an indivisible unity that is not subject to multiplicity or divisibility. There is nothing else that is truly One. By extension this unity also means that in truth nothing exists outside of Him.


The unity of Hashem is reflected in the unique mathematical properties of the number 1. Whether you multiply or divide 1 by itself, the answer remains 1. Namely, 1×1 = 1 and 1÷1 = 1. Indivisibility cannot be a property of anything that possesses a body, shape or form. Any physical entity can be subdivided into different parts but this doesn’t apply to Hashem.


The number 2 is the introduction to the world of many. The plural form starts with 2. Whenever the Torah speaks in the plural without specifying a number, it is understood to refer to the lowest possible plural number, namely 2.[3] A person cannot begin to count with fewer than 2 objects.


That 2 is the first number to represent many is hinted to its Hebrew word שנים.[4] 2 is the only one of the single-digit numbers that carries the suffix ים, which denotes larger numbers, such as multiple units of 10 such as עשרים, 20 and שלשים, 30.

[1] Maharal in Derech Chaim, 5:17.

[2] The letter א, which has a numerical value of 1, represents Hashem. Here are some ways that this is demonstrated.

1) א is formed from a ו and 2 יs. Adding these letters up, we get a sum of 26, the Gematria of י-ה-ו-ה.

2) א has a Gematria of one, and He is ה’ אחד.

3) א spelled out is אלף. Hashem is the אלופו של עולם, master of the world.

4) Rearranging the letters of א when it is spelled out (אלף), we get פלא, a description of Hashem (Shemos 15:11).

5) Many names and descriptions of Hashem begin with א as is shown in the following: א-ל, אלה-ים, אדיר, אחד, אדנ-י and אהי-ה.

6) א is the only silent letter and regarding Hashem we say לך דמיה תהלה, of You silence is praise (Tehillim 65:2), because Hashem is beyond praise (See Yerushalmi Brachos 9:1).

[3] Nida 38b with Rashi s.v. מיעוט.

[4] A sinner ideologically moves away from the Oneness of Hashem. His behavior makes it appear that there are actually two separate wills: the will of Hashem and the will of man. Sin implies a departure from what came prior. Sin deviates from Hashem’s plan by introducing something seemingly new or foreign. This is reflected in the word שנים, 2, which is related to the wordשניות , alternatives or secondary. שנים is also related to שנוי, change (see the Maharal in Gevuros Hashem, 9). Here man deviates from the path of halacha by choosing to undertake an alternative option.

Author of Three Books

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