Deep Math: The Indivisible One

This sheet on Numbers 8 was written by Michal Kohane for 929 and can also be found here

The Menorah was made of 7 branches, 9 flowers, 11 knobs and 22 cups, as described in Exodus 25:31-29. The Kabbalists say that the Menorah is like the whole Torah because it constantly sheds light. They tell us how its construction symbolizes it:

In the 1st verse of the Book of Genesis, there are 7 words, like the 7 branches;

In the 1st verse of the Book of Exodus, there are 11 words, like the 11 knobs;

In the 1st verse in the Book of Leviticus, there are 9 words, like the 9 flowers;

In the 1st verse of the Book of Deuteronomy, there are 22 words, like the 22 cups;

Finally, in the 1st verse of the Book of Numbers, there are 17 words, like the 17 tefachim of the Menorah’s height (a tefach is a Biblical measurement of about one fist wide).

Last, if we add all these (7+9+11+22), we’ll get 49, same as the numbers of days between Passover and Shavuot, or – the walk from slavery to freedom, to coming to Mt. Sinai to receive the Torah. Inside both words, Torah and Menorah, hides the word “or”, light. This was the first thing God created which immediately was defined as “good”. The Menorah is not a “thing” made of many parts, but rather – many parts of an indivisible One.

(ב) דַּבֵּר֙ אֶֽל־אַהֲרֹ֔ן וְאָמַרְתָּ֖ אֵלָ֑יו בְּהַעֲלֹֽתְךָ֙ אֶת־הַנֵּרֹ֔ת אֶל־מוּל֙ פְּנֵ֣י הַמְּנוֹרָ֔ה יָאִ֖ירוּ שִׁבְעַ֥ת הַנֵּרֽוֹת׃
(2) Speak to Aaron and say to him, “When you mount the lamps, let the seven lamps give light at the front of the lampstand.”

Currently based in Israel, Michal Kohane is a scholar in residence and student at Yeshivat Maharat.

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