Monday, January 8, 2018

Delicacies from Yechezkel's Shabbos Table: The Formula for Truth - (MS = 21 Squared)


In Parshas Shmos we are told of the dialogue that took place between HKBH and Moshe Rabeinu at the burning thorn bush at Har Sinai. Moshe asked HKBH that if the Jews inquire about His “name” what name should Moshe relay to them?

HKBH responded:

אהי-ה אשר אהי-ה

What sort of a “name” is this and what is its message?

Says the Rebbe R’ Avraham Mordechai M’Gur, ZT”L  – the Imrei Emmes –  that when Moshe Rabeinu was inquiring about a “name” it was in the context of the Jews wanting to know how they can be assured that everything Moshe is telling them in the “name” of HKBH will truly come to pass. What “name” can you give us that will convince us that that this is for real?

The response that Moshe was supposed to deliver alluded to the statement of Chazal (Shabbos 55a) that: חותמו של הקב"ה אמת - The signature of HKBH is Emess (Truth).

The name א-ה-י-ה  has the numeric value of 21 (1 + 5 + 10 + 5 = 21). The term אהי-ה אשר אהי-ה can be seen to say אהי-ה (21) to the power of אהי-ה (21). 21 instances of 21 or 21 times 21.


21 X 21 = 441


אמת = (1 + 40 + 400) = 441


So HKBH was telling Moshe to convey in a cryptic form that He is the G-d of Truth (as well as the True G-d) and they can be assured that everything they are  being told will come to pass.

He concludes that this concept is reflected in one of the piyutim that we say during Mussaf on Rosh HaShannah and Yom Kippur:

וכל מאמינים שהוא דיין אמת, ההגוי באהי-ה אשר אהי-ה

End of vort from Imrei Emess, ZT”L.

וכאן הבן שואלHere one will ask…

Why be so cryptic? If HKBH’s signature is Emess, then why not just say “Emess sent me to you…”?

I suppose we need to say that Emess is not for everybody. As Reb Yankel Nicholstein said: Only a few good men can handle the truth.


The truth is hidden and people need to find it. Of course, nobody will find it unless they go looking for it. And nobody will go looking for it unless they are prepared to find it; unless they are not afraid of what they may find; unless they can handle it.

It’s been about ten years since my book came out and it was almost immediately supplemented with my blog. My book discusses the true meaning of Anochi Hashem Elokecha and Lo Yihiyeh Lecha and the true meaning of Im Bechukosai Telechu and V’Im Bechukosai Timaasu. The blog is busy applying these “truths” to the world around us.

Over the ten years I was able to see who could handle this “truth” and who cannot. It tells me who these people really are.

Recently, one person who I have known for a very long time (a female one) was criticizing me for a position I took on my blog. I asked her if she ever really read my book. She said (in an email) “I read as much as I could tolerate”.

How much of it do you suppose that was? She certainly didn’t make it to chapter 9, but I don’t really think she got past the preface.

My book is an overview of Parshas Bechukosai based on Rashi and the Aseres HaDibros based on the Maharsha. When somebody writes that they can’t tolerate that, what does it say to me about them?

Of course, these are the people that I am trying to reach but they are afraid of what they may find, so they are afraid to look, and unwilling to see.

Shigaon, Ivaron and Timhon Levav.

Rashi tells us that the message of אהי-ה אשר אהי-ה  is that "I will be with them in this distress as I will be with them in future distresses".

I think that what HKBH was telling Moshe was that the main distress of our exiles is that the truth is hidden. It was like that in Egypt and it is like that now. As such, the gemara in Sanhedrin (97a) tells us that just prior to the coming of Moshiach – just prior to the geulah – that all truth will be “absent”. ותהי האמת נעדרת the truth will go missingמלמד שנעשית עדרים עדרים והולכת לה to teach us that it will gather up in flocks (or herds) and go away.

Flocks? Herds?

It means that people will fall victim to a “herd” mentality. They will be unable to think for themselves and uncover the truth. They will be afraid to think differently than the “conventional wisdom”. They will be “politically correct” but forget that all of politics is built on lies. The flocks of the masses will bury the truth.

But, not so deeply. As I wrote in the preface of my book, the “truth” is hidden in plain sight. It is broken up into small pieces which only give us a part of the picture. One only needs to add up all the pieces. 21 times 21 and put the puzzle together. It takes time and it takes patience and it takes concentration and it takes a touch of intellectual honesty, but anybody who wants to can do it.

21 X 21 = 441 = Emess. Only a few good men are capable of doing the math.

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