Secret Codes Within the First Five Verses of Genesis
By HaRav Ariel Bar Tzadok. Copyright (c) 2005 by Ariel Bar Tzadok.
All rights reserved.
The topic of the Genesis narrative is personally very intimidating to
me. I have studied Torah for over a quarter century, I have delved in
Genesis repeatedly, and as much as I do uncover, at the same time I
discover just how much more there is to explore. The text is
overwhelming and its profundity is beyond what words can describe. I
cannot see how anyone exploring this narrative with a mathematical eye
cannot but see the Higher Hand than stands behind this text. After
much study, I confess I am left with much frustration. With all that I
understand, there is so much more that I do not. Frankly, in my
opinion the Torah contains way too much material for the human mind to
grasp and comprehend.
In order to share with you my readers a glimpse of exactly to what I
am referring, I am writing this essay. Due to the overwhelming amount
of material and information, I cannot in any precise form deal with
more than just the first five verses of Genesis. These five verses
contain just 52 words consisting of 197 letters. Yet, the numerical
values of the words, phrases, Reshei Tevot (capital letters) and Sofei
Tevot (end letters) will begin to expose us to layers of understanding
far deeper than what the simple text appears to be saying. Indeed,
everything I am about to reveal, I confess just scratches the surface
of the secret codes to be found within the Torah. May my efforts
inspire new explorers who will join me in the quest for the Truth.
Please note that in order for this material to be understood one must
be able to examine the five verses in their original Hebrew.
Translations here will matter little. We will be dealing with
mathematics and Hebrew. Knowledge of both is required.
Gen. 1:1 - Bereshit Bara Elokim Et HaShamayim V’et HaAretz.
There are seven words in this pasuk. Is this a coincidence or possibly
a shadowing that the world to be created will be done so in seven
days? There are 28 letters in this pasuk. 28 is the numerical value of
the Hebrew word Koah (power). Indeed, nothing more than the act of
creation reveals the power of the Creator. Is this what is subtly be
suggested by having exactly this many letters in precisely this place?
The Reshei Tevot of this pasuk are Bet, Bet, Alef, Alef, Hey, Vav, and
Hey. Their numerical value is 22. As we know, there are 22 letters in
the Hebrew alef-bet. Also, as we know, G-d created the universe by
“speaking” it into being. G-d said, “let there be” and there was.
Thus, G-d spoke the universe into being. What G-d “spoke” were words.
Words are made up of letters, specifically the 22 letters of the
Hebrew alef-bet. The Kabbalah teaches that the entire universe and
everything within it are just different combinations of Hebrew
letters. Thus, the entire universe is one construct after another of
the 22. Is this being subtly suggested by having the Reshei Tevot of
the first pasuk add up to 22?
The Sofei Tevot of this first pasuk add up numerically to 1,271. This
number was too large for me to calculate mentally. Maybe someday
someone smarter than I will come along and offer meaning and intent
here whereas I cannot.
Gen. 1:2 – V’haaretz Haytah Tohu Vabohu V’hoshekh Al Penei T’hom
V’ruah Elokim M’rahefet Al Penei Hamayim.
This pasuk contains 14 words and 52 letters. Both of these numbers are
significant. 14 is the numerical value for Yad (hand, which also means
a memorial or a sign). It is also double the number of the seven words
in the first pasuk, is there a meaning in this?
14 is also the numerical value of the word Zahav (gold). This is the
metal said to signify Divine severity. The Midrash and Kabbalah teach
that between the first verse and the second verse of Genesis a great
deal of unrecorded events transpired. Our Sages teach that prior to
the creation of our world G-d created and then proceeded to destroy
other universes. The Kabbalah refers to this as the “shattering of the
vessels.” Thus in the beginning was revealed the element of Divine
severity. Indeed, the Kabbalah teaches that the entire first act of
creation known as the “Tzimtzum” the withdrawal of Divine Light from a
finite place in order to create a space for a universe to exist, was
itself an act of establishing boundary and demarcation, this being an
expression of the Divine “severity.” Is any of this being hinted to by
the fact that the pasuk speaking about Tohu and Bohu has exactly 14
words, which implies a connection between the number and the concept?
52 is a significant number in the Kabbalah. 52, Bet Nun, is the
numerical value of the expanded form of the Holy Name Havaya (Yod Kay
Vav Kay) that corresponds to the tenth sefirat Malkhut and referred to
as BEN. Malkhut is the metaphor corresponding to physical space. It is
here in Malkhut (BEN) that the shattering of the vessels occurred. It
is no coincidence that the 14 words that speak of the devastation left
by the primordial shattering of the vessels should have 52 letters in
them, a subtle hint to the Holy Name of BEN that was blemished
The Reshei Tevot of this pasuk add up to 1,175. This number perplexed
me for some time until I realized that this number is actually 25 x
47. These two numbers play a significant role in the pasukim to come.
So we will see that this number 1,175 has great meaning about the
nature of the rectification of the shattering of the vessels. Yet, we
must discuss the 25 and 47 each in their place. Only then can their
combination here in pasuk 2 make any sense.
The Sofei Tevot of the pasuk adds up to 735. I have not yet been able
to ascertain any significant meaning to this number for being in this
place. As I said above, I invite and encourage all others to explore
the hidden possibilities concealed herein.
Gen. 1:3 - Vayomer Elokim Y’hi Ohr Vayhi Ohr.
Six words made up of 23 letters. We recognize the significance of six
right away for it was in six days of work that G-d spoke the creation
into being. Here is an interesting side note; G-d spoke creation into
being and then rested on the seventh day, the Shabat. G-d’s “rest”
must have been that He refrained from “speech.” What a proper moral
lesson for us; to observe the Shabat by being silent, instead of
running off our mouths with all types of disrespectful and
23 is the numerical value for the word Hayah (life), found in Gen.
1:20. There is a direct relationship between the Light created here on
Day 1 and the Life Force in creation. Indeed, this Light of Day 1 was
no ordinary physical light similar to the Sun and Moon. These were
created on Day 4. This Light of Day 1 is something different,
significant and most profound.
The Reshei Tevot of this pasuk add up to 25. By itself I am not able
to apply meaning to this number in this place. However, as I mentioned
above, by associating this number 25 with the number 47 to be
introduced shortly, then the meaning of the Reshei Tevot of this pasuk
will soon become apparent. We will also associate it with the number
42 to be introduced in the next pasuk.
The Sofei Tevot of this pasuk are most revealing and signify a
profound teaching of our Sages regarding this Light of Day 1. Our
Sages have taught that this Light of Day 1 was concealed and not
revealed here on earth. This Light is said to be stored away for the
righteous in the World to Come. Is it a coincidence that the numerical
value of the Sofei Tevot of this pasuk adds up to 660, the numerical
value of the word Seter (concealed), as in the verse, “one who sits in
the supernal concealment” (Psalm 91:1). The Sofei Tevot suggest to us
the hidden nature of this Light of Life created on Day 1. More about
this Light will be discussed as we proceed.
Gen. 1:4 – Va’yar Elokim Et Ha’ohr Ki Tov --- Va’yavdel Elokim Beyn
Ha’ohr U’beyn Ha’hoshekh.
This pasuk is prescribed as one verse, however in order to understand
its hidden meaning we must break it into two section, one for each act
mentioned within it. At first G-d sees that the Light is good. Then
secondly He separates it from the darkness. Both of these acts each
have their hints and their meanings.
Together the pasuk has 12 words and 45 letters. Both of these values
have profound meaning. Twelve is a very significant number throughout
the Torah. It is the number of the Tribes of Israel, the months of the
year and the signs of the Zodiac. Each one of these three was created
in correspondence with the other two. The Sefer Yetzirah explains the
significance of the number 12.
The Hebrew letters are divided into three groups, “mothers,” doubles
and singles. The single letters are 12 in number. The Sefer Yetzirah
describes that these 12 letters gave rise to the physical forms and
parameters of our physical space/time universe. The metaphor used to
describe physical space is that of a square with 12 point to its edges
and center. Thus 12 comes to describe the boundaries of that aspect of
creation generically referred to as “the earth.” Mind you, when the
Torah speaks about the creation of “the earth,” it is speaking about
our entire physical space/time universe; our planet, outer space and
every other planet and star out there. The “Heaven” spoken of in verse
one is a reference to the creation of what we call the Heavenly
universe, of angels, the Supernal Throne and the like. The Genesis
narrative does not speak about the creation of these. It mentions only
the creation of our physical universe. Thus with the separation of
Light that is to be concealed in “Heaven” (the non-physical spiritual
“other-side” of the universe), a reference to the 12 metaphorical
dimensional parameters of space/time is here subtly referred to.
45 has great significance in that this number is a reference to both
G-d and man. The name Adam is numerically equal to 45. Yet, there is
an element of Divine revelation also associated to this number. The
expanded Holy Name of Havaya (Yod Kay Vav Kay) of 45 Mem Hey (MAH)
corresponds to the sefirat Tiferet. This is metaphorically also
referred to as Zeir Anpin, the Small Face of G-d, or His metaphorical
“Face” of Justice (as opposed to Keter, the metaphorical Long Face,
the Face of Pure Mercy). This Face of G-d is metaphorically called MAH
(Mem Hey) and is assigned the Divine “task” to be the rectifier of the
shattered vessels of the BEN. Indeed, it is the MAH that rectifies and
elevates the BEN. Yet, in order to do this, there must first be a
clear separation between the two. This is the secret of the “nesirah”
(sefirotic separations), the meditations of which permeate the
holidays of Rosh HaShana and Yom Kippur.
The fact that G-d would look upon the Light of Day 1 and see it to be
good signifies the function and work of the MAH; it is thus no wonder
that it is hinted to here. Mind you, when later the Torah teaches that
man was created in the Image of G-d, it is in this image of the MAH in
which we are created. Thus, like the MAH above, man below inherits the
obligation of rectifying the fallen vessels and repairing the physical
universe symbolized as the BEN. For this do we have Torah, mitzvot and
the practices of Halakha.
The Light of Day 1 is said to be concealed. The Light of MAH above
does not shine directly here below on earth. In order for the Light of
MAH to shine here on earth, it needs its own vessel. This is the soul
of man Adam, numerically 45, as is MAH. We are the vessels of MAH and
thus the Light is within us. This is the Light of the Neshama soul,
and it is good, and separated by Divine design from darkness.
The Reshei Tevot of the pasuk together add up to 67, the numerical
value of Binah (understanding), which is the Name of the sefirah from
which comes forth all of creation, and indeed, also emanates both MAH
and BEN. We will discuss more about this 67 as we proceed, but first
we must review each action of the pasuk separately.
The Reshei Tevot of the first action, that of G-d seeing that light
and it being good (the first six words), numerically equals 42. 42 is
a significant number is creation and is spoken of in Kabbalah as being
a reference to a specific combination of 42 letters through which G-d
created the universe. Being that G-d’s purpose in creating the
universe was to bestow His good upon His handiwork, the source of that
good, this 42-letter Name, is rightfully subtly hinted to here.
The numerical value of the final six words is also 25 and thus we have
the full value of 67, Binah. Binah is a very significant power that is
called the Supernal Mother and author of creation. Binah is the source
of the Neshama soul and practically speaking is manifest within the
human experience as our thinking rational minds. Indeed, our minds
(both conscious and unconscious) are the identity and meaning of our
Binah is the power of thought, of mind. Metaphorically speaking, prior
to G-d speaking out creation, He first “thought” about it. The realm
and dimension of pure thought is outside of our physical space/time
universe. Thus our spiritual source literally comes from out of this
world. This realm of mind called the sefirat Binah or the sefirotic
Face of Supernal Mother (Imma Ila’ah) is our true spiritual home, and
thus the ‘womb” of creation. It is here that parameters are measured
and established prior to their being given form. Thus Binah/Imma
represents that aspect which we call the source of Divine severity.
Not that Binah is severe in and of itself, but the power of the mind
is specifically used to create differentiation and to distinguish one
thing from another. In this way creation becomes the multiple manifest
wonder that G-d has intended it to be.
In pasuk 3 we read about the creation of Light and wondered about its
words being formed with 25 letters with apparently no meaning. Now we
see that this Light was good, spoken of with 42 letters. 42 + 25 = 67.
Together, both make a reference to Binah and suggest to us to true
nature of this concealed Light of Day 1. this Light of Life is the
Light of pure mind, and clear thought. it can be called the Light of
consciousness; a gift truly reserved for those who make the efforts to
receive it. While this world of physical parameters only allows us a
glimpse of this primordial light, we know the path how to cultivate a
relationship with it. This is why our Sages have said that the study
of Torah is more important than anything. For by bonding one’s mind
with the Words of Torah one bonds with the source of Light concealed
within them. Thus study brings one to enlightenment and enlightenment
brings one to Life. This thus fulfills the purpose of creation, when
one is essentially embracing the same 42-letter Name as did G-d in
creation. When one studies Torah and acts based upon what is learned
one is acting as the MAH wielding the 42 letter Name and thus
fulfilling the purpose of creation, which is the repair of the
shattered vessels of the BEN.
The Sofei Tevot of this pasuk also confirm this message. The Sofei
Tevot of the first three words clearly spell out Alef, Mem, Tav, Emet,
(truth). The next three Sofei Tevot numerically equal the word Harbeh
(much). Thus the first six Sofei Tevot of this pasuk clearly state
“much truth.” These three Sofei Tevot also numerically equal the value
of the word Zohar (brilliance) and is commonly referred to as a
reference to the book of that name and thus a general reference to
Kabbalah study. There is no greater rectification for the mind and the
purity of thought than the study of Kabbalah. This is the truth. This
is what “is good” in the eyes of G-d. This is the secret of the Light
of Day 1.
The last six Sofei Tevot numerically equal 390, the value of the word
Shamayim, the place where the Light of Day 1 in concealed. A fitting
hint to subtly state when making a reference to the darkness, which is
what is left once Light is concealed. Yet, this darkness also holds
its mysteries. 390 is also the numerical value of the word HaShekhina
(the Divine Presence), a reference to the Divine Holy Name of BEN (52)
mentioned above. This Divine aspect underlying our physical space/time
universe is said to be “in darkness,” concealed through human
ignorance. The only way to release the Shekhina and elevate BEN is
through MAH, which is the refinement of the mind through the
observance of the Torah.
Gen. 1:5 – Vayikra Elokim La’ohr Yom V’lahoshekh Kara Laylah Vayhi
Erev Vayhi Boker Yom Ehad.
There are 13 words made up of 49 letters in this pasuk. 13 is the
numerical value of the word Ehad (one) as in the Shema. Interestingly,
the word Ehad is here found at the end of the pasuk. Indeed, this
pasuk does not say “the first day,” but rather Day 1. This indicates a
specific period of time, but not necessarily the first period of time.
13 is also the numerical value of Ahavah (love). For indeed, it is an
act of love of G-d’s part that there be a clear and defined
distinction between day and night, between periods of activity and
rest, between enlightenment and ignorance. For if all were the same
and no differentiation in existence, how then would the shattered
vessels be recognized, all the more so repaired?
49 is also a number of significance. 49 as is known is 7 x 7. The
seven days of creation are said to correspond to the seven lower
sefirot. It was in these seven that the shattering of the vessels
occurred and therefore our universe was created in seven metaphorical
days corresponding to these sefirot. As is known each sefirah has
within it an aspect of each of the others; thus in essence we have not
just seven, but seven times seven, thus 49. 49 is also the numerical
value of the expanded Holy Name Havaya of MAH (45) plus the numerical
value of the base 4 letters (Yod, Kay, Vav, Kay). It is the MAH that
rectifies the “seven days.” It is only fitting that it should be
subtly referred to here.
It is here in the Reshei Tevot that we have some profound and rather
practical meanings. The numerical value of Reshei Tevot of the words,
“Vayikra Elokim Laohr Yom” is 47. This number is most revelatory here.
47 is the numerical value of the two Holy Names Havaya (Yod Kay Vav
Kay) and Ehyeh (Alef Hey Yod Hey). Throughout the Kavanot system of
the Ari’zal/Rashash these two Names figure prominently. The Kabbalah
teaches that indeed it is the sefirotic Face of Zeir Anpin, the MAH,
that rectifies the shattered vessels of BEN. However, this repair
takes place in accordance to a process. Remember, MAH is the
metaphorical Face of Justice. Yet, for Justice to reign and be
implemented, it must first receive input from both the “mind” and the
“heart.” In order for MAH to shine it needs to receive its power from
the upper sefirot of Binah (the supernal Mind) and Hokhma (the
supernal Spirit). These are referred to metaphorically as Imma (Binah)
and Abba (Hokhma), for they both extend their influence and power into
the MAH in accordance to a very intricate and precise formula known
and practiced by authentic Kabbalistic meditators.
47 is thus the number of the union of Hokhma, represented by Havaya
and Binah, represented by Ehyeh. When the two are merged, then there
is a union of heart (spirit) and mind, conscious and unconscious. With
full inner harmony, the expression of spiritual/mental energy is
complete and is thus able to penetrate the lower worlds of activity
and translate from potential into actual and realistic change. In this
way the shattered vessels of the BEN are repaired. Thus the “calling
of the Light day” signifies the merger and union of conscious and
unconscious mental faculties thus bringing completion of strength and
focus of purpose to get the job done.
This procedure for the manifestation of Light and the rectification of
the shattered vessels also seems to be subtly indicated above by the
Reshei Tevot of the second pasuk, which as you remember had the
numerical value of 1,175. If we take the value of 47, the number of
the rectifying power and multiply it by 25 the number signifying the
Light itself, we get the value of 1,175. Indeed, with the immediate
mention of the primordial devastation and void comes a subtle hint as
to its repair.
The numerical value of the Reshei Tevot of “V’lahoshekh Kara Laylah”
is 136. This is the numerical value of the word Kol (voice). The Voice
plays a very important role in Kabbalistic meditation. It is said that
the voice of the individual below becomes a vessel for the supernal
Voice from above. This is the secret of Ruah HaKodesh (divine
inspiration) and prophecy. The voice here below however pure and
refined still is no match in intensity and power for the Voice above.
In comparison therefore, it is like darkness to the day. Therefore,
the secret of its presence, its reality and its limited potential is
subtly referred to here.
The numerical value of the Reshei Tevot of the final six words is 95.
Alone, I failed to find the significance of their meaning in this
place. However, when the numerical value of the Reshei Tevot of this
entire pasuk is viewed we receive a by now well- understood message.
The value of the Reshei Tevot of the entire pasuk is 278, no
coincidentally the value of the words Ohr Ganuz (concealed light), the
meaning of which we have already discussed.
The Sofei Tevot of this pasuk also have what to reveal. The first four
Sofei Tevot equal 281, the numerical value of the words Ruah Binah
(the spirit of understanding). The next three Sofei Tevot equal 26,
the numerical value of the Name Havaya. Finally, the final Sofei Tevot
of this pasuk equal 266, which interestingly is the value of the name
Hevron. Hevron is the location of the cave burial chamber of Adam and
Eve and the Patriarchs. It is said that the cave is the entryway into
the Garden of Eden. Many a strange tale has been told about people
coming too close into the mouth of the cave and then disappearing
forever. The Garden is said to be the place where the concealed Light
is to be found. Some how there is some type of space/time passageway
in this cave that can transport one into Eden. The details of this are
best kept secret due to the volatile political situation in the area
at this time.
It is interesting to note that if we add the numerical value of the
Reshei Tevot of the three pasukim, three through five, that speak
about the creation of Light, we have the numerical value of 370. This
is the value of the word Shalem (complete).
Also, take note that is the first two verses that speak about creation
prior to the forming of Light, we have 21 words in total. We recognize
this number as the numerical value of the Holy Name Ehyeh, the Name of
the sefirat Binah, the supernal mother who metaphorically “gave birth”
to creation. Ehyeh is here hinted to right from the start. The
following three pasukim speaking about the Light have a total of 31
words. This is the numerical value of the Holy Name El (Alef Lamed).
This Name corresponds to the first of the seven lower sefirot Hesed.
It was the attribute of Hesed that was manifest on Day 1 of creation,
so it is fitting that the name associated with it should be hinted to
here in this way.
52 words in total. We now know the value of 52 is Havaya of BEN, the
sefirat Malkhut, the Shekhina, whose shattered vessels are in need of
repair. The Torah has come to tell Her story and direct us in
assisting in the rectification.
As for why these five pasukim has 197 letters, 80 that speak about the
initial creation and a remaining 117 that speak about Day 1, sorry, I
cannot say. The only significance of the number 117 that I know of is
that it is the number of angels who guard over a certain type of
communication with Heaven. Is this reference to 117 a reference to
them and that they are somehow conduits for the enlightened mind to
receive the sparks of the Light of Day 1 here in this world? I have
not received a tradition on this from my teachers and therefore I am
not in a position of authority to say. I can only raise the question.
Let is suffice that the answer is known in Heaven.
Well, there you have it. This is the best I can do with the little
time and ability that I have. I pray that I may have opened up these
words for you just a crack. I pray that you may walk away from this
study with a little more appreciation of the profundity of Torah and
with a whole lot more respect for G-d, the author.
May HaShem bless you and continue to enlighten your minds as you walk
the paths of Torah.
Shalom, HaRav Ariel Bar Tzadok
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