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Synergistic Symbiosis

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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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Synergistic Symbiosis

Authentic living with Hashem means living with Him each moment of one’s life.[1] In this way we can interpret לפני ה’ תמיד:[2] we should always feel Hashem in front of us just as it says שויתי ה’ לנגדי תמיד, I have set Hashem before me always.[3] This is typified with our living on Shabbos, as we shall illustrate below.


Our avos and imahos epitomized this category of living. If we add up the number of letters in their names, we come to a fascinating discovery. In the names of אברהם, יצחק, יעקב there are 13 letters. Likewise, in שרה, רבקה, רחל, לאה there are 13 letters. The number 13 is the numerical value of the word אחד.  When we combine 13 and 13 we get 26, the gematria of י-ה-ו-ה. As a result, this alludes to the fact that the avos and imahos were always connected[4] to  ה’ אחד(י-ה-ו-ה).[5]


In light of what we said, we can grasp a novel meaning in the words צדיק ה’ בכל דרכיו:[6] Who is a Tzadik? One who is cognizant of Hashem in all that he does.


We need to observe the Torah and mitzvos 24 hours daily.[7] Delving into the phrase וחי בהם,[8] live by Hashem’s decrees and judgements, we notice this idea, as וחי yields a gematria of 24. The lesson: we must live with Hashem 24 hours a day through the Torah and mitzvos.


This concept is demonstrated in many places as we will now see.


1) Tanach consists of the five books of Chumash and 19 of Nach. This gives us a total of 24, hinting that we should live with Hashem’s Torah the entire day.


2) There are 24 tachshitei kallah, adornments of a kallah.[9] We, the kallah of Hashem, should be loyal to Him 24 hours daily.[10]


3) In which perek and pasuk are our famous words נעשה ונשמע recorded? None other than (perek) 24, (pasuk) 7! These words are found in Parshas Mishpatim, as we should live by the Mishpatim of the Torah 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.[11]


Shabbos is a day of just us and Hashem, as we see in the fact that we are prohibited from performing the 39 melachos. In fact, ה’ אחד (spelled י-ה-ו-ה) has a gematria of 39, because since it is a day of exclusively us and Hashem we refrain from performing the 39 melachos.


How many chapters are there in Mesachta Shabbos? 24! Additionally, the collective first letters of ושמרו בני ישראל את השבת,[12] the Jewish people shall observe Shabbos, have a sum of 24.

[1] One who observes halacha properly with the proper intentions is partially there as halacha dictates every detail of our lives (how to put our shoes on, wash our hands before bread and so on).

[2] Shemos 28:29.

[3] Tehillim 16:8. See She’arim B’tefilla, p. 38.

[4] In a similar vein, this also explains why the initials of עול מלכות שמים hint to ערבית, מנחה, שחרית, since during all parts of the day we should accept the sovereignty of Hashem. Of course we realize that the avos are the ones instituted these three tefillos.

[5] Breishis 14:22. With this we can grasp a deeper meaning in הרמתי ידי אל ה’, I lift up my hand to Hashem, as Avraham’s every movement was dedicated to Avodas Hashem.

[6] Tehillim 145:17.

[7] See Chagiga 12a, Rashi s.v. midas.

[8] Vayikra 18:5.

[9] Yeshaya 3:18-24.

[10] Also, a teraifa cannot live for 24 hours (Baba Kamma 50b) and a teraifa is a prototype to the opposite of kedusha.

[11] Here are some other examples:

1) There are 24 matnos kehuna alluding to this idea as the kohen is the one who is especially close to Hashem.

2) In the Beis Hamikdash there were 24 mishmaros.

3) When Shlomo Hamelech built the Beis Hamikdash, he sought to bring the aron to the holy of holies. Upon the gates clinging to each other being unable to open them, he recited 24 songs of tefilla (Shabbos 30a, See Melachim 1, chapter 8).

[12] Shemos 31:16. We can now understand the depth of why the curtains of the Mishkan were comprised of 24 strands per thread (Shemos 26:1, Rashi). True living (as משכן is rooted in שוכן, to dwell) with Hashem is 24 hours daily.

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