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The last Mishna in Shas Mishnayos tells us that Hashem will endow each righteous person (כל צדיק וצדיק) with 310 worlds as it says להנחיל אהבי יש ואצרתיהם אמלא. These worlds are hinted to in the word בראשית, where everything is hinted to, as when it is rearranged it spells בראת שי, He created 310 (Gematria of ש,י) [worlds]. This is also alluded to in the name יששכר which is a contraction of יש שכר, there is reward, as יש has a Gematria of 310.
Where does this number 310 come from? Many explanations are given. The Sefer Hamaor Hagadol cites seven distinct approaches from the Gra. R’ Yitzchak Isaac Chaver has a 40-page discussion of the topic. The Kuntres Melachim Shai has a collection of 155 interpretations, many of them Kabbalistic. Let us cite some of the explanations.
1) There are 613 Mitzvos in the Torah and Sheva Mitzvos Bnei Noach, giving a total of 620. 620 worlds divided into two is 310—for the division of rewards between the Yissachar and the Zevulun, where Yissachar learns Torah and Zevulun supports him.
2) A different explanation given by the Toras Chaim is that although each Mitzva corresponds to an entire world, one person can’t take all 620 worlds since man was created as a pair, as it says זכר ונקבה ברא אתם, Hashem created אדם (man) male and female. When a man and woman join together and observe all of the Mitzvos, they then merit all 620 worlds and divide the worlds among them—each one receives 310 worlds.
3) The Birchas Yitzchak Al HaTorah explains it this way: 310 is two times 155. The two times 155 correspond to the two words קנה in קנה חכמה קנה בינה, acquire wisdom, acquire understanding. The 310 worlds correspond to two acquisitions that one acquires through Torah and Mitzvos, Chochma and Binah.
4) Tosafos Yom Tov writes that in this world, the Jewish people were given a land of seven nations, but in the World to Come, the entire world—all seventy nations—will be subservient, ten times the number of nations which the Jewish people inherited in this world. If, in this world, the Jewish people received the land of seven nations and conquered 31 kings (when we were given Eretz Yisrael), then in the World to Come when all seventy nations become subservient to the Jewish people, they will conquer 310 kings—ten times as much. This is why it says להנחיל, to inherit—a reference to inheriting the land.
5) The Gra relates an incredible calculation: There are 613 Mitzvos along with seven Rabbinical Mitzvos, giving a total of 620. From each Mitzva we perform we create a Malach, as the Mishna says. One who does all 620 mitzvos creates 620 Malachim. Each Malach is 2,000 Parsaos. Consequently, one who does all the Mitzvos creates 1,240,000 Parsaos of Malachim (620 multiplied by 2,000). Since the world is 4,000 Parsaos, to contain all these Malachim we need 310 worlds (1,240,000 divided by 4,000 is 310)!
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.
Uktzin 3:12. Mishlei 8:21. This teaching is placed at the end of Mishnayos. When we rearrange the word משניות, it reads ש"י מנות, 310 portions. One who has merited to study and fulfill the Mishna will be granted 310 worlds (Pri Eitz Hadar, p. 26).
Pri Tzadik, Breishis, 1. This idea being in the last Mishna in Shas is also hinted in the word בראשית as when we arrange It, we get בתרא ש,י, the last Mishna (בתרא means last as in the Mesachta בבא בתרא) speaks of the 310 worlds (Gematria of ש,י).
Siach Yitzchak, pp. 58-98. When R’ Yitzchak Isaac Chaver (1789-1853) was 14, R’ Menachem Mendel of Shklov began to teach him the Kabbala secrets of his teacher, the Gra. Through R’ Menachem Mendel, R’ Yitzchak Isaac came into possession of rare manuscripts of the Gra’s teachings. Leading Mekubalim of the generation would come to R’ Yitzchak Isaac to study those manuscripts. His younger contemporary, R’ Yitzchak Elchanan Spector (1817-1896), Rav of Kovno, called him the greatest Kabbalist of his time. Aside from his knowledge of Kabbala, he was renowned as a genius in Toras Hanigla as well, with fluency in Shas and Poskim. At the age of 60, he finished Shas for the 60th time. He held a number of Rabbinic posts and published numerous Sefarim, including שו"ת בנין עולם.