Parshat Va’era By: Rabbi Moshe Goodman, Kollel Ohr Shlomo, Hebron בס”ד
Discover the Holy Presence in the Holy Land
In the Torah, we find fascinating links between water and blood. In this week’s and last week’s Parsha we find that water miraculously turns into blood and that even Pharaoh’s wizards are able to achieve such an effect, albeit to a more limited level. Also in the book of Dvarim (12, 24 and 15, 23) we also find that the Torah says, numerous times, “you shall spill the blood upon the earth like water.” Interestingly we also find that in last week’s Parsha it was when the water was spilled upon the earth that it turned into blood. What does all this mean?
Before we examine the spiritual meaning of water turning into blood we will first examine the physical components of blood. Blood is composed, on average, of about 51% water, while the other 49% is composed of cellular components (such as RBCs, WBCs, etc.) and the solid components of plasma (see www.quora.com for these figures). If we take the Torah principle “the majority is like the entire whole” we may say that blood is essentially water, on a quantitative level of course.
Going back to the spiritual elements of water and blood, we find that the numerical value of water-“mayim” is equal to 90, while the numerical value of blood – “dam” is equal to 44, and the difference between these two numbers is 46. According to the Kabbalists the number 46 represents the attribute of Hashem’s kindness – “hesed.” They explain that when the Tetragrammaton is spelled out with yod’s, i.e “yod vav dalet, hey yod, vav yod vav, etc.” the numerical value reached is identical to that of “hesed” = 72. When the numerical value of a simple spelling of the Tetragrammaton, 26, is removed (an explanation why this is done is out of the scope of our discussion) from 72 the result is 46, thereby retaining the attribute of kindness (72), albeit to a more limited extent. In general, the kabbalists associate water with the attribute of kindness. Also, in general, the Torah associates water as a life-giving source, as is also commonly/scientifically accepted. Water, as a life-giving component, can be divided into two groups: 1. Life given to plants through simple water intake 2. Life given to animals or people through water that is turned into blood. If we take these two divisions and relate them together in a ratio in spiritual terms we may say that life-giving water – “mayim” = 90 can be divided between organisms that turn water into blood – “dam” = 44 and organisms that do not, the other 46 left of 90 when 44 (blood) is subtracted. The percentages reached are remarkably similar to the percentages of water within blood mentioned above, i.e organisms that turn water into blood – “dam” (44) – 49% (percentage of the numerical value “mayim” – 90, i.e 44/90 =circa 49%), while organisms that leave water as is to circulate within their system is 51%. As mentioned, 51% is reached here through 46/90, and we already mentioned that 46, according to the Kabbalists represents the attribute of kindness associated with water. Therefore, all this fits perfectly with the conception of water that is left as water, i.e “kindness”, in these organisms which leave water as water (not blood), which are signified by the number 46 in these ratios (46/90= circa 51%). How does all this settle with the percentages in blood itself? Within the organisms that do turn water into blood it is blood which turns into the primary life-giving source within the bodily system, as the verse says “the blood is the life” (Dvarim 12, 23). Therefore, the ratios we used for water in general, as the life-giving source of the world, are now used again in the microcosm of blood, and indeed the water element continues to take 51%, while the non-water, more “bloody” elements, take 49%!
What does the throwing of water upon earth mentioned in the context of blood mean? Earth – “yabasha”/(eretz) represents “dry” land, the opposite of “wet” water. Therefore, when water – “mayim” =90, is thrown upon the earth it loses its “water” aspect, i.e the kindness indicated by the number 46, and what is left is 44=”dam” – blood, turning water into blood (obviously, these are spiritual terms and therefore performing this requires spiritual/Divine conditions). Also, the Torah says that blood intake is prohibited and therefore “you shall spill the blood upon the earth like water,” for just as water loses its vitality when thrown upon earth, “turning into blood,” so too blood itself loses its vitality, i.e the water-“kindness” aspect of it, and therefore no blood should be “thrown” (i.e from an external source) into a person’s vital system for man was created from the earth, but rather it must be thrown upon literal earth. However, outside man’s vital system, blood, on the contrary, is a life-giving source – “the blood is the life” (Dvarim 12, 23).
In the past, we have described Hebron as being the pumping heart of the Land of Israel (a fuller explanation of this can be found in our piece for Parshat Bo three years ago). Indeed, it is Hebron which gives the “living force” of the Land of Israel, i.e its “blood” – the spiritual energy of the Holy Presence therein, its vital power and “circulation” to all locations of the Holy Land, instilling them with their vital power stemming from connection to the Holy Presence, and from the living power of our Patriarchs, Kaleb, Yehoshua, King David, and more, who all cherished the Holy Land through the vital force of Hebron!
Miracles from the Holy Land: Second Day of the Six Day War:
IAF planes and pilots had now been involved in almost constant battle for twenty-four hours. The pilots were weary, and the aircraft low on ammunition and fuel. Inexplicably, the enemy did not take advantage of this weakness. Though in control of extensive forces in the Sinai Desert, and certainly capable of mounting a ferocious counterattack, Egyptian leaders were reduced to giving incoherent and disorganized instructions to their troops.
Israeli troops pressed on in the Sinai front. After capturing the Egyptian eastern outpost Abu-Ageila the day earlier, they now approached the heavily defended Kusseima outpost. As the Israelis drew near, they heard massive explosions. When they arrived they saw that the Egyptians, for no apparent reason, had destroyed their equipment and abandoned the base! As the day continued, it became clear that the Egyptians were hastily abandoning many of their outposts, some with all their supplies left behind. On this day Israel also seized Gaza, Kalkiliya, Ramallah, “Ammunition Hill” in East Jerusalem, the mountainous area of northwest Jerusalem, and the fortress at Latrun. Source: https://www.chabad.org/multimedia/timeline_cdo/aid/525322/jewish/June-6-Day-2.htm