Gematria: Hebrew numerology

The Hebrew word for numerology, gematria, is related to the Greek word ‘geometry’ — measure of the Earth.

Each letter of the Hebrew alphabet has a numerical value in base 10. The first nine letters represent 1 through 9. The next nine letters represent 10 through 90. After that, the letters represent 100, and so on.

The Hebrew word for ‘one’ — echad — is an example of how lessons can be learned from the Hebrew letters.

The word echad is spelled in Hebrew with three letters — alef, chet, and dalet. The respective values are one, eight, and four.

‘One’ — the alef — reminds us of G-d Almighty who is one. The name of the letter, alef, means principal — the master teacher.

Chet, the second letter of the word echad, is the eighth letter of the alphabet, so its value is eight. Eight represents the seven heavens and the Earth. G-d is master over both the highest realms of the universe and the lowly, earthly dimension.

Dalet, the third letter of the word echad, is the fourth letter of the Hebrew alphabet, so it represents the value four. This stands for the four cardinal directions.

In sum, G-d, the master of the universe, reigns over all the physical dimensions of His creation.

The watchword of the Jewish faith is:

Hear, O Israel, the L-rd is our G-d. The L-rd is One.

So we have a deeper understanding of G-d’s unity. He is the single who encompasses the multitude. Nothing of the multitudinous creations in the universe are outside of G-d the Creator.

All this from numerology.

My name, Nathaniel, also has information packed into its letters. The first two syllables are to be taken as the Hebrew word ‘gave’. (It’s also a name in its own right — Nathan.) The last three letters are one of G-d’s names in Hebrew. In simple terms, my name means “G-d gave.”

But, what did he give?

This is hinted at in the gematria of G-d’s name. Its value is thirty-one. So, He gave me thirty-one. This reminds us of the thirty-two pathways of wisdom as taught in the Book of Formation.

However, G-d only gave me thirty-one paths, the value of His name. My task in life is to find and travel the thirty-second pathway.

Easier said than done. A genuine lifetime of work.

After such a sobering thought, I could use something stiffer than a cup of hot tea with sugar.

What is a Jew?

A Jew is a member of G-d’s Covenant from Mount Sinai.

We don’t have a single culture. Jews around the world often live more like their neighbors than like Jews elsewhere.

We have a religion, but that’s not the entirety of being Jewish. Some Jews are not religious — or say that they’re not.

Some of our rituals are not from the Covenant. We’ve developed some customs and adapted some.

We are a traditional peoplehood but of several tribes and clans. However, this peoplehood is formed by the Covenant.

No Covenant, no Jews. No Jews no Covenant.

Ten fingers

I look at my hands next to each other, palms up. I see ten fingers — when I consider thumbs as fingers — like two columns side by side. This reminds me of the Two Tablets of ten chapter headings that Moshe Rabbeinu brought down from Mount Sinai.

Wherever I go, I have Torah study material. I decide when and where to study.

— from my scratch pad of thoughts that keep me awake,
but based on a Holy Sefer