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Sunday, January 31, 2010

Exactly 200 Years Apart - Part 2

Having mentioned in a previous blog before Shabbos that exactly 200 years after Rebbe Nosson's birth on Shabbos Shira/Tu B'Shevat, the Daf Yomi Talmud Yerushalmi began also on Shabbos Shira/Tu B'Shevat, there is another thing to mention pertaining to the number 200.

Referring to the Sanhedrin, there is a Posuk that states (1 Divrei HaYomim 12:33) "Of the children of Yissochor, men with understanding of the times, to know what Yisroel (the Jews) should do - TWO HUNDRED chiefs, with all of their kinsmen following their counsel". This is saying that there were 200 heads of the Sanhedrin that were descended from Shevet Yissochor who were responsible for deciding how the Jewish year would be as per sighting the monthly moon along with leap years. Hence, they had the key for deciding Jewish time, and as we see in Gemara Rosh Hashana, Hashem tells the angels that it is Rosh Hashana when the Jews decide when it should be (whether the 30th or 31st day from 1 Elul - but nowadays, it's always the 30th day from 1 Elul).

With this being said, Rabbeinu had said that Rosh Hashana is his whole Metzius, and was born on the first of the four Rosh Hashanahs mentioned in the beginning of Maseches Rosh Hashana - 1 Nissan - the very date about which Hashem first told Moshe & Aharon about the Mitzva of Kiddush HaChodesh which would henceforth by decided by Bnei Yisroel via the Sanhedrin, stating "This month (Nissan) will be for you the head of the months, it will be the first of the months of the year" (Shemos 12:2).

And speaking of Rosh, the word Rebbe is the Roshei Teivos of Rosh Bnei Yisroel (Likutei Moharan 1:111). Hence, as Rabbeinu is the final Rebbe from his time until Moshiach comes "My fire will be lit until the coming of Moshiach", it was most fitting for him to be born on the FIRST day of the FIRST month of the year, when the Mitzva of Kiddush Levana was first commanded (shortly before sunset of the eve of 1 Nissan) and took place. And as related to the 200 Roshei Sanhedrin from Shevet Yissochor, the Hebrew word for 200 is Mohsayim which in turn is the Gematria of Na Nach Nachma Nachman Meuman - 491!

This would not be complete without mentioning the Chasidic Sefer "Bnei Yissoschor" who states regarding Tu B'Shevat - the birthday of Rabbeinu's main Talmid, Rebbe Nosson - that it is the Reishis Yesod HaTzemicha "beginning of the foundation of sprouting" in reference to praying on this day for a beautiful Esrog on Sukkos. It's interesting to note that Rabbeinu's last Mitzva on earth was taking the Lulav & Esrog (the four Minim - also related to Rabbeinu who was very connected with the number four). And as related to Tzemicha/sprouting, the 491st word in the Torah is Yitzmach, which in turn is the Gematria of Rabbeinu's name Nachman - 148!

And here is the full connection. In the context where this word is mentioned, the Torah states that when Hashem created the herbage of the field, it "had yet to sprout", because it had yet to rain and no one was around to work the ground. Rashi comments on this that when Adam saw that the herbage was necessary, he PRAYED for this upon which it rained and then the TREES and vegetation SRPOUTED. Hence, there is a direct connection here to Tu B'Shevat - the ROSH HASHANAH for TREES being the birthday of Rabbeinu Nachman's main Talmid Rebbe Nosson who compiled the LIKUTEI TEFILLOS upon the request of Rabbeinu.

And as Tu B'Shevat is called Reishis Yesod HaTzemicha, the word Reishis (beginning) has the same letters as Alef (the letter) Tishrei - the date for (the 1st of ) Rosh HaShanah. And indeed it was on Rosh HaShanah when Adam was created, and on that same day, he first prayed for rain so the fruits and vegetation WOULD SPROUT - Yitzmach.

And as we mentioned Yissachar, it is mentioned in the Haftorah for the 2nd day of Rosh HaShanah that when Rochel Imeinu cried for the return of Bnei Yisroel from Golus, Hashem replied, "Refrain from crying and your eyes from tears for YESH SACHAR - THERE IS REWARD for your accomplishment..." (Yirmiyah 31:15). The words Yesh Sachar when spelled together spells Yissachar (Note: This also hints to the fact that had Rachel not given up the mandrakes to Leah, she would have been the one to have given birth to Yissachar, but the details on this are beyond the scope of this blog), and the name Rochel is the Roshei Taivos of Roshei Chodoshim L'Amcha, the beginning words of the middle blessing of the Mussaf Rosh Chodesh Shemoneh Esrei. Rochel Imeinu's Yahrzeit of 11 Cheshvan always falls out on the same day of the week as the past Rosh Chodesh Nissan, Rabbeinu's birthday. And this particular year is the 238th year from Rabbeinu's birth, bearing in mind that Rochel is the Gematria of 238.

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