Posted - 04/08/2002 : 10:59:48
Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob have 13 (Hebrew) letters in their names. Thirteen is the numerical value* of the word one. Seeing this by itself has little impact, but then when we see that their wives, Sarah, Rivkah, Rachel and Leah also have thirteen letters in their names, this signals that there is an underlying message here. The message is that Abraham, Isaac and Jacob are really one person. And Sarah, Rivkah, Rachel and Leah are also really one person. Of course, historically they were the three fathers and four mothers of the Jewish People, but today they have become each and every Jewish person. We have inherited their DNA; both their physical DNA and their spiritual DNA. To some degree, we look like they looked and we even act like they acted. For instance, we all love to have guests in our homes. We did not invent this characteristic, but rather, we inherited it from our father Abraham. This was one of his unique characteristics. Each of our fathers and mothers have handed down to us a small portion of who they were and even what they did. When we read the Torah we should not think that we are simply reading the history of our ancestors’ lives, but rather we should also look to see how their stories are our stories. We should realize that the Torah is showing us the unfolding dramas that each and every Jewish person experiences. This is true today even though it has been thousands of years since our ancestors have lived.
With warm regards from the Old City of Jerusalem,
Gutman’s book on numerical values,* “Spice of Torah Gematria” is available from Judaica Press.