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American Allusions

Written by Rabbi Yehoshua Alt, 9/10/2019

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American Allusions

R’ Elazar Ben Shmuel Rokeach[1] (1665-1742) tells us that each Pasuk in the Torah corresponds to a year.[2] This may seem problematic because the Gemara says the world will exist for 6,000 years[3] and there are only 5,845 Pesukim in the Torah. One answer, given by the Rokeach, is that in Torah Shel Maala there are 6,000 Pesukim, which correspond to the years of the world. However, in Torah Shel Matah, there are some Pesukim missing. This is just as the Gemara[4] says, that חמשים שערי בינה, 50 gates of understanding were created in the world and all but one were given to Moshe. The missing Pesukim are in the category of the 50th gate, which wasn’t revealed even to Moshe.


                Let us explore this idea with some current events.

(1) Benjamin Netanyahu, the Prime Minister of Israel, was born in 1949. That year corresponds to the Pasuk ונתן ה'..., Hashem will place all these imprecations upon your enemies and those who hate you, who pursued you.[5] His name is shown in the beginning of the Pasuk in ונתן י-ה-ו, as it contains נתניהו, Netanyahu.

(2) The Americans entered Iraq in 2003, eventually overturning the government. The year 2003 corresponds to כנשר יעיר קנו על גוזליו ירחף..., He was like an eagle arousing its nest, hovering over its young…[6] נשר, eagle, can refer to the Americans, as the bald eagle is the national bird of America and appears on its seal. Incredibly, in the words יעיר קנו, we find the word עירק, Iraq. The Americans were hovering (ירחף) over Iraq in planes, as well as watching over it. Also, גוזליו can be read as גזל, which means that they were hovering over the corrupt ones of Iraq (the dictatorship).

(3) In 2008 Barak Obama was elected president. That year corresponds to the Pasuk יזבחו לשדים לא אלה אלהים לא ידעום חדשים מקרב באו לא..., …newcomers recently arrived whom your ancestors didn’t dread.[7] The end letters of חדשים מקרב באו לא spell אובמ, Obama. His first name is also hinted to here in the word מקרב; when we rearrange the last three letters, we get ברק, Barak.

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. Rabbi 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] Sefer Maaseh Rokeach, Vayelech. He was a Dayan in Krakow and in 1708 accepted the rabbinate in Rakow, Poland.  

[2] He doesn’t give examples.

[3] Sanhedrin 97a.

[4] Rosh Hashana 21b.

[5] Devarim 30:7.

[6] Devarim 32:11.

[7] Devarim 32:17.

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