Monday, September 25, 2006

Egoz With Gematria Chet Part 2

Over Yom Tov, I mentioned the issue of egoz and gematria chet to Dov, my brother-in-law, and specifically how chet is spelled without the aleph at least 8 times in Yerushalmi, and how this was common spelling. He noted a midrash that seems to work based on the assumption that chet is spelled without the aleph. I traced this midrash to its source in the Biblical commentary by Rabbui Yaakov ben Asher, son of the Rosh, who authored the Biblical commentary Baal HaTurim as well as the halachic work, the Tur Shulchan Aruch. He lived from 1268-1340, so we can trace this spelling to that time period.

The statement in question, summarized by this webpage at Ohr Sameach: The letters chet, tet, tzadi, kuf, are the only letters of the Hebrew alphabet missing from the names of the sons of Yaakov.
These four letters missing from the names of the twelve sons of Yaakov form the basis for the dialogue that the Ba’al Haturim (Bereishet 49:1) suggests took place between the Patriarch and his children as he lay on his deathbed. When he wished to reveal to them the ketz — end of days — he felt the Divine Presence depart and was unable to do so. Turning to his sons he asked if they were guilty of any sin that should have denied them this treasured knowledge. “Look at our names,” they countered, “and you will not find the letters chet and tet which spell sin.” “True,” replied Yaakov, “but your names also lack the letters kuf and tzadi which spell the word ketz – the end of days – so you are probably not deserving of that knowledge.”
The letter aleph does occur in the names of the shevatim - in Re`uven and Asher, and he is clearly working only with the letters chet and tet.

2 comments:

shaya g said...

MY RABBI HAS REPEATED THIS INTERESTING TWIST ON THIS GEMATRIA. EVERYONE IS SO HUNG UP AN EGOZ=CHEIT. WITH AN ALEPH OR WITHOUT. PEOPLE NEED TO REMEMBER, ESPECIALLY DURING THIS TIME OF YEAR, THAT CHEIT ALSO EQUALS CHEIT. SEEMONIM ARE CUTE, BUT REAL CHEIT IS DANGEROUS. (SORRY FOR THE CAPS, I DIDN'T NOTICE TILL TOO LATE, AND DIDN'T WANT TO RETYPE EVERYTHING).

joshwaxman said...

nice.
ADDeRabbi cited the same, in the name of the Klausenberger. Check it out here.

Kol Tuv.

LinkWithin

Blog Widget by LinkWithin