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From Mitzrayim to Mitzvos

Written by Rabbi Yehoshua Alt, 19/1/2020

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From Mitzrayim to Mitzvos

The Pasuk states מתחת סבלת מצרים..., I will take you out from under the burdens of Mitzrayim.[1] Taking this literally, let us go under (מתחת) the letters of סבלת. The letter under… ס is ע (70), ב is ג (3), ל is מ (40). Below ת (400), would be the number 500 since it is the last letter. Adding these together—70, 3, 40, 500—we get a total of 613![2] This alludes to that we were taken out of Mitzrayim in order to receive the 613 Mitzvos of the Torah.


It is because we left Mitzrayim that we have the Torah and the Mitzvos. This is why we say זכר ליציאת מצרים concerning many Mitzvos since if we didn’t leave Mitzrayim, we wouldn’t have the Mitzvos. It comes as no surprise that ועשיתם את כל מצותי, perform all my Mitzvos, is juxtaposed to Yetzias Mitzrayim—אשר הוצאתי אתכם מארץ מצרים..., Hashem removed us from Mitzrayim to be our God.[3]


What is the Yom Tov of Yetzias Mitzrayim called? חַג הַמַצוֹת, the festival of Matzos. This can also be read as חַג הַמִצְוֹת, the festival of Mitzvos.


Let us see what we discover when we spell out the word פסח fully—פה, סמך, חת—85, 120, 408. If we add this up, we get 613!

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] Shemos 6:6.







40 (מ)

3 (ג)

70 (ע)


[3] Bamidbar 15:40-41.

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