Over the last few days I have received numerous emails reading something like this:

The numerical value of “Kipat HaBarzel” (the Hebrew translation of the Iron Dome missile protection system) is equal to 749. The ten chapters of Psalms included in Rebbe Nachman’s Tikkun HaKlali also equal exactly 749 (16,32,41,42,59,77,90,105,137,150).

According to Rebbe Nachman’s tale, the 7 Beggars, in the merit of the ten types of melody, which parallel the ten chapters of Psalms, a person is saved from the “arrows” which are shot at him by the Angel of Death and his agents. (Rough Hebrew translation.)

Firstly, I do find this fascinating. We have to have extreme gratitude for having been blessed by HaShem with this state of the art defense system, precisely when it was needed the most. This is not a system found anywhere else on earth. One can only imagine G-d forbid what would be going on right now without it.

Secondly, I believe that as much as we make hishtadlus (effort) to protect ourselves, we must remember that it is our Torah study, prayer and acts of kindness that are our true source of power. Like we say at Unetanneh Tokef on Rosh HaShanah, “repentance, prayer and charity save one from death.” This is a reminder that yes, it is possible that the Tikkun HaKlali could be bringing us great salvation.

Thirdly, in my opinion we need to be a little bit weary of these types of gematrias. What if G-d forbid, the system were to malfunction? How would that reflect on the Tikkun HaKali? We must always remember that we know very little. There are always going to be certain questions that we can’t answer, but we do have faith. Our main faith is in the Torah and teachings of the Tzadikim who were able to understand things far better then we could ever hope for. If we go with simplicity, and follow their advice – all will be good for each of us and for the Jewish People, amen.

Picture Attribution: By Emanuel Yellin, ?????? ???? (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

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  1. Aliza

    Talmud teaches: In merit of righteous women our forefathers were redeemed from Egypt. Guess what? The gematria of ???? ???? = ??????? ??????

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Yossi Katz

Yossi Katz is the US Executive Director of the Breslov Research Institute, the preeminent English-language Breslov publisher. He is the creator of BreslovCampus.org, the largest online Breslov educational site. He writes the weekly column "Pathways on the Parasha," as well as numerous articles, for Breslov.org. He studied in Beth Medrash Gevoha and lives in Lakewood, NJ.

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