Nazarene Space

This week’s Parashah deals with tort laws and the rabbis summarized all damages into four categories:

  1. Ox – damages inflicted by one’s property, e.g. ox goring ox;

  2. Pit – damages caused by hazard placed in the public domain, e.g. digging a hole on public road;

  3. Man – damages done by the person himself, e.g. letting ox grazing other’s crops;

  4. Fire – failure to prevent damages arising from dangerous actions, e.g. a person starts a fire in his field which spreads to that of this neighbors by wind;

 

The Ox

The category of “ox” is derived from Ex 21:28:

וְכִי-יִגַּח שׁוֹר אֶת-אִישׁ אוֹ אֶת אִשָּׁה, וָמֵת

If an ox gore a man or a woman that they die…

 

An ox normally does not gore, and the owner is not obligated to watch his ox for goring, hence the owner’s liability is low, up to half the damage (Ex 21:35), except with a habitual goring ox for which the owner must be forewarned, the liability is then for the full price (Ex 21:30).

 

The Pit

The category of “pit” is derived from Ex 21:33:

וְכִי-יִפְתַּח אִישׁ בּוֹר, אוֹ כִּי-יִכְרֶה אִישׁ בֹּר--וְלֹא יְכַסֶּנּוּ; וְנָפַל-שָׁמָּה שּׁוֹר, אוֹ חֲמוֹר

And if a man shall open a pit, or if a man shall dig a pit, and not cover it, and an ox or an ass fall therein…

 

Leaving an open pit in the public domain is negligence, for which damage the digger is liable.

 

The Man

The category of “Man” is derived from Ex 22:5:

כִּי יַבְעֶר-אִישׁ, שָׂדֶה אוֹ-כֶרֶם וְשִׁלַּח אֶת-בְּעִירֹה, וּבִעֵר בִּשְׂדֵה אַחֵר

If a man shall cause a field or vineyard to be eaten, and shall let his beast loose, and shall feed in another man’s field…

 

While a goring ox is rare, a grazing ox is normal, hence the liability is solely on the owner in this category. Since the symbolism is with “eating”, rabbinically this is also called the category of “tooth”.

 

The Fire

The category of “fire” is derived from Ex 23:6:

כִּי-תֵצֵא אֵשׁ וּמָצְאָה קֹצִים

If fire break out, and catch in thorns…

 

When a man kindles a fire in his field and the fire spreads by wind to his neighbor’s field, he is liable for the damage, as he has failed to prevent danger from a potentially dangerous act.

 

Liability and Negligence

The category of man represents the highest liability for what would be considered the lowest negligence as he has to make restitution with the best of his own field and the best of his own vineyard (Ex 22:5) when it is very normal for an ox to eat the crops along the way.

The category of pit represents the lowest liability for what must be considered the highest negligence. The Torah applies this case to animals as the victims only (Ex 21:33) and the rabbis ruled this is not applicable to human victims as they are expected to watch for pitfalls. It is nevertheless a reckless act to dig a pit in the middle of a road and the Torah is silent on proper protection around the pit. By contrast Torah goes out of her way to specify fence on the roof when building a house (Deu 22:8).

The category of fire represents a lower liability than the category of man, as Torah does not require the restitution to the same high standard as required in the category of man (Ex 22:6).

The category of ox represents a higher liability than the category of pit, as the owner is only liable for half the damage unless he has been forewarned of his mad ox, in which case the owner is liable for the full damage in money (Ex 21:30), even if the victim is human. In contrast, the fire kindler is liable for the full damage without being forewarned, as he is expected to know the danger of kindling a fire.

In summary:

liability

high

man

low

negligence

medium high

fire

medium low

medium low

ox

medium high

Low

pit

high

 

This is rather counter-intuitive, but why?

 

Joint and Several Liability

One possible solution is that the four categories of damage represent two types of men in one congregation and the liability is joint and several.

Similar to a single man having a divine soul and an animal soul (Kabbalah), a congregation will always have spiritual men and physical men. The inclination of the animal soul is to go down, while the inclination of the divine soul is to go up, as it is written in Ecc 3:21:

מִי יוֹדֵעַ, רוּחַ בְּנֵי הָאָדָם הָעֹלָה הִיא, לְמָעְלָה; וְרוּחַ הַבְּהֵמָה--הַיֹּרֶדֶת הִיא, לְמַטָּה לָאָרֶץ

Who knows the spirit of sons of man that goes up, and the spirit of the beast that it goes down to the earth?

 

The gematria of the two opposites is 1326:

The spirit of sons of man goes up

רוּחַ בְּנֵי הָאָדָם הָעֹלָה

436

The spirit of the beast goes down

רוּחַ הַבְּהֵמָה הַיֹּרֶדֶת

890

 

 

1326

 

Astonishingly, this is exactly the same gematria of the four categories of damages:

ox

שּׁוֹר

506

pit

בּוֹר

208

man

אִישׁ

311

fire

אֵשׁ

301

 

 

1326

 

It follows that the ox is paired with the pit representing the physical man that goes down the pit; whereas the man is paired with the fire representing the spiritual man that goes up as fire.

According to the law dictionary, “joint and several liability” is a form of liability that is used in civil cases where two or more people are found liable for damages. The winning plaintiff in such a case may collect the entire judgment from any one of the parties, or from any and all of the parties in various amounts until the judgment is paid in full. In other words, if any of the defendants do not have enough money or assets to pay an equal share of the award, the other defendants must make up the difference.

The congregation is essentially one body, there are the spiritual members who are rich (in merits and rewards) and the physical members who are poor (in merits and rewards), the head is Mashiach who takes full liability for any misbehaving members that are unable to pay damages.

At the level of the members, however, the rich (spiritual) ought to take care of the poor (physical), regardless of who is culpable for the damage. This is what is meant by Galatians 6:1-2:

Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted. Bear ye one another's burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ.

 

“Law of Christ” in Hebrew would be Torat Mashiach (תּוֹרַת מָּשִׁיחַ), the gematria is 1364, adding 1 as the kollel, 1365 is exactly the gematria of the four types of damages, if we are to replace “man” with “tooth”, as in rabbinical literatures, the category of man is also called the category of tooth, i.e. that which consumes:

ox

שּׁוֹר

506

pit

בּוֹר

208

tooth

שֵׁן

350

fire

אֵשׁ

301

 

 

1365

 

 

Four Creatures

The four living creatures in Ezekiel’s vision are: 1) ox; 2) eagle; 3) man; 4) lion.

In the same way that ox is paired with pit, so is ox with eagle. Eagle juxtaposes with snake in that eagle is the highest creature in the sky and snake the lowest on earth, and Joseph was the ox (Deu 33:17) that was thrown into the pit where there was no water (Gen 37:24), which is understood by the rabbis as full of snakes and scorpions. It follows that eagle juxtaposes pit representing the potential for ascension.

Similarly as man is paired with fire, so is man with lion. According to rabbinical traditions, the fire from heaven descended upon the Temple’s altar in the form of a lion to consume the sacrifices which was of course made by man.

While the pit represents the lowest of the low, it nevertheless has the potential to ascend as the eagle, on the other hand, while the fire represents the inclination to ascend, it nevertheless is able to descend to the altar in the form of a lion to be united with the ox as the sacrifice made by man, thus forming a turning wheel, which is exactly the name so called in Ezekiel 1:15.

 

Four Temperaments and Four Elements

There are four temperaments and four elements.

The goring ox parallels the choleric (short-tempered or irritable), for an ox gores when it is provoked. People of this category tend to be egocentric and extroverted. They are excitable, impulsive, and restless, with reserves of aggression, energy, and passion. This is the element of fire.

The pit parallels the melancholic (analytical and quiet), for the pit is a “depression” in the ground that awaits its target in patience.  People of this category tend to be serious, introverted, cautious or even suspicious. This is the element of water.

The man parallels the phlegmatic (relaxed and peaceful), people of this category is thoughtful, reasonable, calm, patient, caring, and tolerant. They tend to be steadfast, consistent in their habits, and thus steady and faithful friends. This is the element of air.

The fire parallels the sanguine (optimistic and social). People of this category tend to be lively, sociable, carefree, talkative, and pleasure-seeking. This is the element of earth.

The primary metaphor for damage is the Ox (הַשּׁוֹר), the mastery of the four categories of damages is therefore the mastery of the ox, which is the prerequisite for building the Kingdom of God.

The “master of the ox” in Hebrew בַּעַל הַשּׁוֹר (baal ha-shor) has a gematria of 613, alluding to the 613 commandments, which is also the same gematria of “building of the Kingdom” בִּנְיָן הַמַּלְכוּת (binyan ha-malchut):

four


damages

ox

שּׁוֹר

506

pit

בּוֹר

208

man

אִישׁ

311

fire

אֵשׁ

301

four


elements

fire

אֵשׁ

301

water

מַיִם

90

air

אֲוִיר

217

earth

אֲדָמָה

50

 

 

 

1984

 

When 1984 is divided by 4 representing the 4 categories, the result is 496, exactly the gematria of Kingdom (מַּלְכוּת).

The four elements represent the four types of nature, that which we were born with, the old man:

  • The water is symbolized in the element of hydrogen, whose atomic number is 1;

  • The fire needs the element of oxygen to burn, whose atomic number is 8;

  • The air is predominated by the element of nitrogen, whose atomic number is 7;

  • The earth is the domain for life (organic) which is symbolized by the element of carbon, whose atomic number is 6, the number of man.

The triangle numbers of these four primary elements add up to 86, exactly the gematria of the nature (הַטֶבַע), which is the same gematria as the name of God Elohim (אֱלֹהִים):

four


elements

chemical


elements

atomic


number

triangle


number

water

hydrogen

1

1

fire

oxygen

8

36

air

nitrogen

7

28

earth

carbon

6

21

 

 

22

86

 

The atomic numbers of the four primary elements add up to 22, alluding to the 22 Hebrew letters as the building blocks of creation, the 22 amino acids required by life, also the 22 paths that connect the 10 Sefirot, for a total of 32 paths of wisdom in accordance with the 32 appearances of Elohim in the creation account.

 

The Rectification

The first-nature of man must be rectified so that he is born again to acquire his second nature, a new man.

The four types of damages in rabbinical literatures are called four fathers (אָבוֹת), alluding to four types of rectification.

The goring ox is of the element of fire, and Abraham is of the Sefirah of Chesed, which is water. The rectification is water over fire, so that the goring ox is pacified, by doing good deeds in loving kindness.

The pit is of the element of water, and Isaac is of the Sefirah of Gevurah, which is fire. The rectification is fire over water, so that one’s self-centeredness in melancholy is opened up by the warmness of the fire. The innate connection of Isaac is with the well (a form of pit), during his lifetime four wells were dug with the last one bringing in peace (Gen 26:17-33).

The man is of the element of air, which in Kabbalah is the middle axle that reconciles the water on the right side and fire on the left side. Jacob is of the Sefirah of Tiferet, the middle axle known as the beauty of (rectified) man.

The fire is of the element of earth, which is the Sefirah of Malchut, the Kingdom. David was called “red” (אַדְמוֹנִי), which is of the same root as earth (אֲדָמָה). The holy fire of David will be kindled by Mashiach ben David at the end of time.

Hence the rectification is at four levels of the Sefirot:

four


fathers

Abraham

אַבְרָהָם

248

Isaac

יִצְחָק

208

Israel

יִשְׂרָאֵל

541

David

דָּוִד

14

four


sefirot

Chesed

חֶסֶד

72

Gevurah

גְּבוּרָה

208

Tiferet

תִּפְאֶרֶת

1081

Malchut

מַלְכוּת

496

 

 

 

2876

 

When 2876 is divided by 4, representing the 4 categories, the result is 719, which is the 129th prime number (with 1 being the 1st prime) and 129 is the “atbash” of Yeshua (יֵשׁוּעַ) as discussed at length before.

This comes to teach us that the four levels of rectification represent Mashiach revealed as the four types of elements.

 

Mashiach in Water

The coming of Mashiach is in the water (clouds), as it is written in Jeremiah 4:13:

הִנֵּה כַּעֲנָנִים יַעֲלֶה, וְכַסּוּפָה מַרְכְּבוֹתָיו--קַלּוּ מִנְּשָׁרִים, סוּסָיו אוֹי לָנוּ, כִּי שֻׁדָּדְנוּ.

Behold, he cometh up as clouds, and his chariots are as the whirlwind; his horses are swifter than eagles. 'Woe unto us! for we are undone.'

 

 

Mashiach in Fire

The coming of Mashiach is also in fire, as it is written in Isaiah 66:15:

כִּי-הִנֵּה יְהוָה בָּאֵשׁ יָבוֹא וְכַסּוּפָה מַרְכְּבֹתָיו--לְהָשִׁיב בְּחֵמָה אַפּוֹ, וְגַעֲרָתוֹ בְּלַהֲבֵי-אֵשׁ

For, behold, the LORD will come in


fire, and His chariots shall be like the


whirlwind; to render His anger with fury,


and His rebuke with flames of fire.

 

 

Mashiach in Air

The coming of Mashiach is also in air, as it is written 1 Thes 4:16-17:

For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.

 

The above verse describes the three traditional types of shofar sounding on Rosh HaShannah, as follows:

  1. Trump - Tekiah, one long, straight blast;

  2. Voice - Shevarim, three medium, wailing sounds;

  3. Shout – Teruah, 9 quick blasts in short succession;

Precisely at the last shofar sounding, the dead is raised (1 Corinthians 15:52):

Teruah

Shout

תְרוּעָה

681

Tekiah

Voice

קוֹל

136

Shevarim

Trump

שׁוֹפַר

586

 

The dead

הַמֵּתִים

495

 

 

 

1898

 

Astonishingly, 1898 = 232 + 372, where 23 is the gematria of Chayah (חַיָּה), and 37 is the gematria of Yechidah (יְחִידָה).

At the simple level, Chayah means the living one, i.e. dead becomes alive again, together with the rapture of the living on earth, to be one with Mashiach, for Yechidah means the singular one.

Kabbalistically, Chayah is the 2nd level of the individual soul, and Yechidah is the 1st level of the collective soul, which is Mashiach, as discussed at length before, hence the moment of the last trumpet is the union of the Mashiach with his Bride.

 

Mashiach from Earth

The coming of Mashiach is also from earth, as it is written Isaiah 63-1:

מִי-זֶה בָּא מֵאֱדוֹם, חֲמוּץ בְּגָדִים מִבָּצְרָה, זֶה הָדוּר בִּלְבוּשׁוֹ, צֹעֶה בְּרֹב כֹּחוֹ; אֲנִי מְדַבֵּר בִּצְדָקָה, רַב לְהוֹשִׁיעַ

Who is this that cometh from Edom, with crimsoned garments from Bozrah? This that is glorious in his apparel, stately in the greatness of his strength?'--'I that speak in victory, mighty to save.'

 

Edom (אֱדוֹם) is of the same root as earth (אֲדָמָה), representing the archenemy of Israel. The ultimate plan is to transform the earth into a dwelling place for God so that the Kingdom of God can be established on earth.

Astonishingly, the four symbolisms add up to 853, exactly the mirror image of 358, the gematria of Mashiach (מָּשִׁיחַ):

like clouds (water)

כַּעֲנָנִים

240

in fire

בָּאֵשׁ

303

in air

בָּאֲוִיר

219

from Edom (earth)

מֵאֱדוֹם

91

 

 

853

 

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