Everything physical in the universe has numbers. The reason being, that all matter is composed of atoms, which possess a nucleus consisting of protons, and neutrons, and electrons. The number of these components forming the nucleus of the atom, make up the shape, dimensions, matter, mass color, etc. of all the different and varying objects found in the world. To put it very simply, in essence everything of nature is composed of numbers which in LashonHakodesh is called מספר. Even the human body gets its form and shape, functions and organs from atoms

The only exception to this scenario is the neshamah. It was blown into Man by Hashem and therefore its components are from Hashem Himself of whom it is writtenולתבונתו אין מספר . The neshama is not made and composed from a hybrid of atoms with different protons and neutrons but rather from a oneness just as its creator is an exclusive one.

Am Yisrael are essentially a non number or rather above the numbers. When Hashem picks up Avraham above the shamayim and the mazalos He tells Avraham “Count the stars if you can count them. So will be your descendants”. This promise of Hashem to Avraham is not only about the incredible bountiful amount of population that will make up Am Yisrael. History proves this for Am Yisrael’s multitudes of members compared to other nations and empires were never on top of the charts. What it does mean is that our population is אין מספר. For every number and atom comes to an end except “us” because we are made of neshama not numbers and we are therefore eternal and part of the אין סוף .

When Am Yisrael lives primarily steeped and occupied with numbers, driven with the lust to acquire physical atoms in their surroundings, then we transform ourselves into numbers. It is the accumulation of these finite numbers that make us numb and desensitized to our sublime calling to pursue the spirit. We are reminded of our shortcomings of being remiss of fulfilling our spiritual mission by becoming subjugated to nations whose entire identity isמספר  such asמצרים  which is gematriah מספר . The word מצרים is in the root word of מיצר  boundary. A society and culture that embodies numbers are limited and spiritually stunted. The Holocaust was a recent galus to remind us that Am Yisrael have transformed their bodies into מספר pursuits.

I remember my Rebbi ztl Rav Freifeld speaking with disbelief about a bumper sticker that read BORN TO SHOP. It was incomprehensible to him that a person could be so debased to publicly advertise that this was his or her reason to live on this world. The equivalent of shop שפ as you might guess is מספר  of course. This only leads to פשע  sin, the letter ayin means the eye. That if one is driven by objects with numbers then this alone will lead him to פשע.

The generation of the Flood merely followed their instincts of nature to fulfill their bodily cravings and pleasures. Hashem gave the generation a number of 120 years as a deadline when the destruction of the world will take place. When that number will arrive, the world will then see that pursuing the numbers ingrained in physical pleasures has an expired date. Noach was commanded to build an ark with particular measurements. Chazal say that the reason why he was commanded to make a public display of building an ark when Hashem could have saved him with a miracle, was because building the ark was not merely a way of salvation from the flood but rather its construction was to inspire everyone to do teshuva lest they will perish.

When Noach would talk about the measurement of the Ark to his inquisitors he would relate 300 amos in length, 30 width and 50 height They would then ask why these particular measurements? He would answer since you all are addicted to the pursuit of numbers found in worldly objects, I will answer you with numbers. The gematriah of the measurements equal 380 – מספר. All numbers come to an end. You have followed a life of the physical and therefore every atom in your body has become numbers. Therefore you will perish unless you change your lifestyle and prioritize the spiritual instead.

Am Yisrael begins with אברהם. He discovers Hashem by seeing a בירה דולקת which the Sfas Emes interprets a castle that is speedily running (see Bereishis 31,36). I heard from Rav Bulman ztl that the interpretation of this Sfas Emes is that Avraham with his inner perspective and search to discover Hashem saw the atoms of all matter in the universe running incessantly in circles at incredible speeds. He asked who is this owner that everything is running to? Hashem appeared to him and said I am the בעל of the castle. Avraham realized that the physical world could not have come about by itself with all these assigned numbers to each and every atom and they all work together miraculously. The source must be one creator of both man and the world with an intended mission to be achieved. He was correct! His own number the gematriah of his name was 248 which corresponded to the 248 limbs and mitzvos. With his number of 248, his mission was to elevate man with his physical numbers to a higher purpose of serving the One who created all the numbers inside of his body and outside of it. In short to become an אין מספרsupernatural.

I once heard a mathematical formula with which I would like to end this mamar. Challenge another person with pick any number with as many digits as you want and don’t tell me. For example a random number like  487325. Now add up the digits and break the sum into the smallest number. In our case the total would be 29 which broken down is 11 which broken down further is 2. Now subtract this number from the original chosen number and you will arrive at 487323. Add the new number together and you come to 27 which when broken down again into the one digit you have 9. A relevant example in the parsha would be take the measurements of the Taivah 380 which is 11 which when broken down is 2 and subtract it from 380 and you get 378 and when broken down is 18 which when broken down is 9. The truth is that any number you will choose no matter how many digits even 100 or more, if you follow this same procedure you will always come out to 9, Wow! What is going on?

I believe that this formula proves that nature does not possess its own source but rather Hashem is its constant life line. The explanation to this is based upon the sefarim who write that the gematriah of אמת is מספר קטן 9 when you break down 441. Emes symbolizes everlasting as the passuk says אמת תכון לעד. Therefore we incredibly find that every multiple of 9 will always land up to be 9, 18,27,36,45,54,63,72,81 etc. This world of atomic nature on the outside appears to be real and lasting. However, this concept is really שקר for as long as we take Hashem out of the picture of every single atom asserting that it can be sustained independently of Hashem, we have thereby validated one of the greatest falsehoods of humanity.

The seal of Hashem is emes and the neshama of Am Yisrael is emes as the meforshim write on the passuk ויפח באפיו נשמת חיים   that the end letters spell חותם the seal of Hashem which is emes. The emes of Hashem and our neshamos declare that the universe is merely numbers and the purpose of man is to connect all the dots by realizing that all the numbers are assigned by their creator Hashem and have no power to sustain themselves even for a micro second. The mathematical formula is telling us no matter how long your numbers are, how much physical objects are in your possessions that give you pleasure, you are BORN TO REALIZE that if you pierce through the façade of nature and break down over and over again the numbers that you see under a microscope to its basic source to one number only, you will come to the emes, the neshama. The purpose of creation is to recognize Hashem and His seal of אמת which is the gematriah of אין מספר 441. Through this understanding one will lead the life of neshamah אין מספר, which will raise one light years away from the universal numbers that will eventually expire together with your body כה יהיה זרעך.

Gut Shabbos

Rav Brazil