I’m not a fan of numbers. They’ve always confused me and have never meant anything. In the common sense, they still don’t – make sense, that is.
Yet, Hebrew, the language of our people, the language of the Torah, the language of Hashem, is representative of numbers. These numbers aren’t random. They were carefully chosen and miraculously created. When you look at the numbers in the Hebrew language you realise that each number has its own significance, its own grace, its own inner wisdom. What can we learn from these numbers? Much.
In my time so far, I have only touched briefly on the power of numbers of each letter, each word, each phrase in Torah, and yet the parables and connections that are drawn from them have always stunned and impressed me. In fact, I have seen many like me in astonishment at the simplicity and complexity that lies within them. The ideas that brilliantly come together, or come out of, these letters wows the biggest of sceptics and sophisticates.
The concepts and the numbers aren’t an after-thought. They are the thought. The number doesn’t get made up after to represent a concept. The concept could not be that concept if it were not associated with that number.
If I have lost you right now, it’s because you’ve never seen examples. Whoever has will know exactly what I mean and will probably be able to relate to their majestic intricacy.
An example –
3 is a very common number that comes up in Jewish texts. There are 3 forefathers. It took 3 months for Klal Yisrael to arrive at Sinai. Sinai has 3 letters. So does Moses, the person who brought us the Torah. In fact, Moses comes from one of the 3 parts of our nation (Kohen, Levi and Yisrael) that has 3 letters, Levi. He also had 3 members in his family – Aaron, Miriam, and Himself. There are so many more threes and none of them are coincidental. They all tell us ideas and concepts that come together, reflect, create, unite. My Rabbi says that 3 has significance in the phrase “A triple thread does not break easily”. Very different to our society’s teachings of “3 is a crowd”.
Even the word, emes, truth, is 3 letters and by its very numerical nature shows what truth is: the first letter is alef and is the first letter of the Hebrew alphabet, the last letter of the word is samech and is the last letter in the alphabet, and not surprisingly the middle letter, mem, is the middle letter of the alphebet. Truth, the numbers tell us, is when you have all the information from start, to end, not leaving out the middle.
There is much more to three and much more to the Hebrew language. I have only scrapped the surface, if that. For me, and for many like me, this often points to the divinity of the Torah. The intricacy, depth and perfect alignment is something no human or computer can do. It is too majestic, too perfect. It is One.