Parsha Chaya Sarah ©
(Genesis 23:1-17)

Gematria: Two Valleys and One Peak ©
By Dr. Akiva G. Belk

This study of mysticism in Hebrew Gematria is dedicated in the loving memory of Mr. Michael Sakash and Mrs. Channah Sakash, may they rest in peace.

The parsha study is a lesson on the weekly portion (parsha) of the Torah specified for study by our sages. Each week of the year is assigned a particular portion for study by the Jewish people. It is an essential element of Judaism meant for the upliftment of Kal Yisroel

There are two valleys and one peak to the first aliyah in parshas Chaya Sarah. The first valley is when Avraham is told by Hashem to go offer Yitzchok as an offering which concluded parshas Vayeira. The peak is the promise Hashem gives when Yitzchok willingly provides his life as an offering in faith, as Avraham prepares to sacrifice his only son of Sarah, the son that he loves, the son of the covenant to Hashem. And an Angel stays Avraham's hand as it plunges towards his 37 year old son lying on the Mis-Bay-Ach, altar. Then Hashem makes Avraham a promise, "I shall surely bless you and greatly increase your offering like the stars of the heavens and like the sand of the seashore; and your offspring shall inherit the gate of its enemy. And all the nations of the earth shall bless themselves by your offspring, because you have listened to My voice." The second valley is upon returning to Hebron when Avraham learns of Sarah's death.

The two valleys are noted by the unique spelling of the word death, M oos, which is normally spelled mem - vov - suf. However, here, it is spelled suf - mem - suf. This is representative of Yitzchok's death on the right and Sarah's death on the left with the mem in the center representing the messenger, the melach, the angel who saved Yitzchok from death and the message of promise that he delivered from Hashem to Avraham.

The word Sha-Nah meaning year, is repeated after one hundred, after twenty and after seven which is unusual. Rashi says, "{ this} is to teach that each term must be interpreted independently. At a hundred she was like a woman of twenty with relation to sin. - Just as she was still without sin at the age of twenty, having just reached the age when one becomes subject to heavenly punishment, so was she still sinless at the age of a hundred. And at twenty she was like seven with relation to beauty [i.e., at twenty she was as naturally beautiful, without cosmetics, as a child of seven who does not use cosmetics (Chizkuni)."


Next we see the word Vah-Tah-Mas meaning death. From the two center letters of that word we see the word Tahm which shares the meanings of innocent, honest, complete, perfect, whole, pure, harmless. This is one clue as to how we know that Sarah at 100 years of age was sinless. How do we know this represents a hundred? A hundred without the zeros is one. A thousand without the zeros is one. The Mispar Godal of Tahm is 1000. The final Mem represents 600 and the Tov represents 400 for a total of 1,000. Also the Mispar Katan of Sarah meaning reduced, when the zeros are dropped is 10 or one.

Finally notice the open hole in each of the three letters, suf - mem - suf. This hole represents the death of Sarah. She was not just any woman. Sarah was the Matriarch of "Am Yisroel". When Sarah died, the Shekinah departed the entrance to her tent (hole # 1) and the blessings to the entire world from her weekly challah ceased (hole # 2) and Shabbos light was extinguished (hole # 3)! This resulted in the immediate need to locate the next matriarch of Yisroel, Rivkah.

Wishing you the best,

Dr. Akiva  G. Belk

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