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Supporting The Fallen

Written by Rabbi Yehoshua Alt, 7/7/2019

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  Supporting The Fallen

Analyzing the נשיאים, we notice that two of them caused turmoil: the Nasi of Reuven who was involved in the congregation of Korach and Shimon’s Nasi who was Zimri- the one who caused the plague in which 24,000 people died.[1] It therefore is no wonder that the Parshiyos of Korach, Balak, and Pinchas are read this time of year (in the summer).


The Tur tells us that the twelve tribes correspond to the twelve months.[2] Reuven who is fourth in the order of the Degalim corresponds to Tamuz, the fourth month whereas Shimon connects with Av as he was the fifth in the Degalim, corresponding to the fifth month.[3] When we combine the initials of ראובן and שמעון, we get the wordרש ; impoverished, because these are the months of the year that are impoverished.[4]      


These are high months that have fallen very low as in מאיגרא רם לבירא עמיקתא; from a high roof to a deep pit.[5] This is just as the higher the place one drops an object from, the further down it will fall. These months are נופלים; fallen and כפופים; bent, but Hashem supports them as it says סומך י-ה-ו-ה לכל הנופלים וזוקף לכל הכפופים; Hashem supports all the fallen ones and straightens all the bent,[6] as in the future, these days will be happy days.  It comes as no surprise that סומך י-ה-ו-ה לכל הנופלים has an identical Gematria to תמוז (453). How about the sum of לכל הכפופים (321)? It is the same as חודש אב, as this month is that of כפופים, since the beginning of the month until after Tisha B’av is in the dominion of the Satan.[7] 


Observing nature we notice that the darkest months are in the winter in contrast to the summer months which are filled with light. This is because in truth these months are that of true light as it says צום הרביעי וצום החמישי...לששון ולשמחה ולמעדים טובים; the fasts of the 17th of Tamuz and the 9th of Av will be to the house of Yehuda for joy, gladness and for happy festivals.[8]


In Lecha Dodi we say בעמק הבכה רב לך שבת; too long have you dwelled in the valley of weeping. Another interpretation given is that רב לך שבת[9]- the highest Shabbosim are בעמק הבכה, the ones that are in the valley of tears; the Shabbosim of the three weeks.[10] As the three weeks progress, the mourning gets more intense. Parshas Devarim which coincides with Tisha B’av makes it the most intense of the three. In fact, the Pasuk states איכה אשא לבדי, which is read with the same trop (tune) as איכה ישבה בדד.[11] Additionally, Parshas Devarim begins אלה הדברים. אלה has a Gematria of 36, the same as איכה. Consequently, the Shabbos of Parshas Devarim is the highest Shabbos of the three weeks.[12]


The low months of Tamuz and Av came as a result of the sin of the Meraglim. Of the twelve Meraglim, only two didn’t sin- Yehoshua and Kalev. It, therefore, is no wonder that the two Moshiachs[13] come from them- משיח בן יוסף from Efraim (Yehoshua) and משיח בן דוד from Yehuda (Kalev).[14] That is to say, being that the Meraglim caused us to be in Galus, the rectification- the ones to remove us from Galus- are from those that didn’t sin. Then we will see חסדי ה' כי לא תמנו...; Hashem’s kindness surely has not ended and therefore will bring Moshiach, as כי is an acronym for לב
כ and הושעי, since this is whom Moshiach comes from.[15]

R’ 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. R’ Alt has written on numerous topics for various websites and publications. 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.

[1] Bamidbar 25:9, 25:14

[2] Tur, Orach Chaim, 417

[3] Bamidbar 10. Bnei Yissoschar, Tamuz Av 1:3. Additionally, when theנשיאים  brought the dedication offerings, Reuven’s was the fourth and Shimon’s was the fifth (Bamidbar 7:30, 36).

[4] ראובן is from the term ראיה; to see while שמעון is rooted in שמיעה; to hear (Breishis 29:32,33). The Meraglim sinned with these two senses as they saw the land in a negative way- ויראו את הארץ ויניאו...; they saw the land and dissuaded the heart of the Jewish people… (Bamidbar 32:9), as well as hearing and accepting the Lashon Hara-ותשא כל העדה ויתנו את קולם ; the entire assembly raised up and issued its voice… (Bamidbar 14:1). In Talmud Bavli, the terminology ofתא שמע ; come and hear is used, in contrast to Talmud Yerushalmi which uses the wording, ‘come and see’ (as in Yerushalmi Sheviis 2:4), as does the Zohar-תא חזי; come and see (as in Vayeshev 189b). Additionally, R’ Yosef Chaim Zonnenfeld points out on the Pasuk in our Haftorah that ציון במשפט תפדה; Tzion shall be redeemed with justice (Yeshaya 1:27) shares the same numerical value as ירושלמי תלמוד (1,076), whereas the continuation of the Pasuk-ושביה בצדקה; her returnees with righteousness- is the same asתלמוד בבלי (524). It comes as no surprise that תא are the first letters of תמוז, אב. With this we can comprehend הטה אלה-י אזנך ושמע פקח עיניך וראה; incline Your ear and listen, open Your eyes and see…(Daniel 9:18). 

[5] Chagiga 5b. Examples of קדושה mixed with טומאה are the כנענים living in Eretz Yisrael as well as the ערלה prior to a Bris. The same is with Tamuz and Av, that in essence it is filled with light.

[6] Tehillim 145:14. The Arizal teaches that each month corresponds to different limbs in the head (Bnei Yissoschar Tamuz Av 1:4). Tamuz corresponds to the right eye and Av to the left. It is written in the Pasuk עיני עיני ירדה מים על אלה אני בוכיה; over these do I weep, my eye continuously runs with water (Eicha 1:16. It states רחל מבכה על בניה; Rachel cries for her children- Yirmiya 31:14. Adding דמעה; tear and דמעה- since she had many tears- we come to a total of 238, the same as רחל.), as the destructions of the Batei Mikdash were in the months of Tamuz and Av which we cry over. Yitzchak possesses the attribute of דין, the idea of constriction. In the future, we will rule like Beis Shamai who also has this characteristic. Rearranging the name יצחק, we get קץ חי; he lives in the קץ, future. דין is the idea of restraining and withholding which is in contrast to the future, where it is אז ימלא שחוק פינו; then our mouth will be filled with laughter (Tehillim 126:2) and ותשחק ליום אחרון; she joyfully awaits the last day (Mishlei 31:25). יצחק is future tense as it translates ‘he will laugh,’ because now it is restrained (צמצום) in contrast to the laughter of the future which is expressive- not held in. It is written נחמו נחמו...אלה-יכם (Yeshaya 40:1). אלה-יכם signifies the trait of דין - Yitzchak. It comes as no wonder that נחמו נחמו has a sum of 208, the same as יצחק (208). Additionally, נחמו נחמו corresponds to what Yitzchak will say to Hashem in the future about our sins- ...פלגא עלי ופלגא עליך; half should be on me and half on You (Shabbos 89b).

[7] Emunas Itecha, Shelach, s.v. ידוע

[8] Zecharya 8:19

[9] A similar expression is found in Devarim 1:6.

[10] See the Tiferes Shlomo to Shabbos Chazon s.v. בפרשת בחקותי. See the Koznitzer Magid in his Sefer Avodas Yisrael onכל רדפיה השיגוה בין המצרים (Eicha 1:3). 

[11] Devarim 1:12, Eicha 1:1

[12] Oheiv Yisroel, Meor V’Shemesh in Rimzei Bein Hamitzarim. Emunas Itecha, Devarim. Nesivos Shalom, Devarim, Shabbos Chazon. In fact, the Kedushas Levi tells us that on Shabbos Chazon every Jew is shown the third Beis Hamikdash.

[13] Rambam Hilchos Melachim 11:1. See מדרש ויושע 22.

[14] Bamidbar 13:6,8. Yehoshua is from Efraim who corresponds to the month of Tishrei. R’ Eliezer says in Tishrei we will be redeemed (Rosh Hashana 10b). Kalev is from Yehuda who corresponds to Nissan, the month that R’ Yehoshua says will be redeemed. It comes as no surprise that the ones who redeem us are from Kalev (Moshiach Ben Dovid who is from Yehuda) and Yehoshua (Moshiach Ben Yosef).

[15] The word משיח is an acronym for the different opinions of his name (Sanhedrin 98b)- מנחם בן חזקיה, שילה, ינון, חנינה, חיוורא דבי רבי  (Gra in Kol Eliyahu, pg 93). 

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