Gematria

 

Hi Rabbi

could you possibly give me some examples of gematria which i could show to a non religious Jewish friend of mine (who is Israeli), to show him that its not just a theory, but real, I dont know any examples. and cant find any on the internet. thank you

Best regards David

 

 

Dear David





Gematria is one of the methods by which the Torah is interpreted. Although one should be cautious about practical implications of gematriot, which are of course subject to limitless creativity and imagination, many examples are found in the Talmud and midrash. A very well-known medieval commentary with hundreds, if not thousands, of gematriot is Rabbi Yaakov (ben Asher) Ba'al ha-Turim (14th c Spain). Available in an excellent English edition by Artscroll.





A very famous example is near the end of Tractate Makot: Torah tziva la-nu Mosheh. “Torah” = 611, meaning that Moshe commanded us 611 mitzvot, plus two we heard directly from Hashem = 613 (Taryag). Rashi on Gen. 32:5 says that Yaakov hinted to Eisav that though he sojourned with wicked Laban, he nonetheless kept the 613 mitzvot (“garti”, I lived, = taryag = 613). Avram = 243; by adding the heh to become Avraham (along with the additional mitzvah of milah) = 248 = the number of + commandments in the Torah. Finally, Ruth = 606, because when she converted to become Jewish she picked up that # of additional commandments, since she previously had only 7—the Noachide Laws. 





I hope this is helpful. 





Best wishes




Rabbi rashi simon