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One of the most notable “irregularities” in Parshat Pinchas is the broken “vav” in Num 25:12.

לָכֵן, אֱמֹר: הִנְנִי נֹתֵן לוֹ אֶת בְּרִיתִי, שָׁלוֹם

Wherefore say, behold, I give unto him my covenant of peace.


This verse in Hebrew has a broken “vav” in the Torah scroll meticulously preserved by tradition for the past three thousand years or so.

Over the centuries, the rabbis have jumped on this “broken vav” backward and forward with insights and commentaries, which is not the scope of our study today.

As a general principle in Torah study, the simplest level contains within it the deepest secret, and the deepest secret can be explained in the simplest term.

Let’s offer a simple insight on this “broken” vav.

In its form the letter vav (ו) is made of letter yod (י) being extended further downward, as taught in esoteric traditions.

This is the secret of the tetragrammaton(יְהוָה), where the first letter is a yod (י), denoting the dimensionless potential, the infinite, the beginning. The third letter is a vav (ו), denoting the descent of the infinite into the physical world as we know it.

As explained at length in Parshat Korach, the yod (י) is the father, and the vav (ו) is the son.

The broken “vav” is the death of the son, as hinted by the zealotry of Pinchas (Phinehas), with the covenant of peace as the result.

Pinchas in his zeal took the matter in his own hand, judged the prince of Israel without the due process, in the presence of Moshe and the elders, which is tantamount to murder and is punishable by death according to Halacha.

The name of Pinchas פִּינְחָס has a gematria of 208, same as Isaac, Yitzchak יִצְחָק, which corresponds to the attribute of “gevurah” (judgment) in the sefirot model.

Yitzchak is the prototype of Yeshua as he offered himself willingly on the alter as a burnt offering and eventually rose from the dead.

It is explained by the rabbis that Pinchas acted without any ulterior motive, willingly sacrificed his own life, in order to save the people from the wrath of God, again a prototype of Yeshua.

Hence it is written in 1 John 3:16: Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.

From the mystical perspective, the “splitting” of the “vav” releases the “yod” that was trapped in the “vav”.

In the terminology of the nuclear physics, the splitting of “atom” releases a very large amount of energy.

This, from Torah perspective, is known as the power of redemption.

If the process of incarnation is the impregnation of the “vav” (the vessel) with the “yod” (the light), then the splitting of the “vav” (the vessel) releases the light that was within, so the light can shine forth to the world.

The gematria of peace, shalom שָׁלוֹם is 376.

By splitting the “vav” into a “yod” and a “vav”, the word became:  שליום (which is really not a word in Hebrew). The new gematria is 386, exactly the gematria of Yeshua יֵשׁוּעַ, which is the name of the Mashiach.

Hence it is summarized in Colossians 1:20:

And, having made peace (שָׁלוֹם, shalom) through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself, by him, I say, whether they be things in earth (vav ו), or things in heaven (yod י).

The essence of peace, shalom, is to have all our debts paid in full, as in Matt 6:12 “and forgive us our debts”.

Where can we find this concept encoded in the Hebrew text?

The answer is in 2 King 4:7

וַתָּבֹא, וַתַּגֵּד לְאִישׁ הָאֱלֹהִים וַיֹּאמֶר לְכִי מִכְרִי אֶת-הַשֶּׁמֶן וְשַׁלְּמִי אֶת-נשיכי (נִשְׁיֵךְ); וְאַתְּ בניכי (וּבָנַיִךְ), תִּחְיִי בַּנּוֹתָר.

Then she came and told the man of God. And he said, Go, sell the oil, and pay thy debt, and live thou and thy children of the rest.


The Hebrew word for “pay” the debts above is “veshalmi” וְשַׁלְּמִי. This word is conjugated by adding a prefix “vav” and a suffix “yod” to the three-letter root “shalam” שָׁלַם (to complete, perfection).

It is obvious that when the prefix “vav” and suffix “yod” are inserted as the infix, the word שליום is formed, which is the “covenant of peace” as hinted in this week’s parshat. The gematria of this “peace” is 386, the gematria of Yeshua who had paid our debts in full, and “completed” the debts, thus making peace.

Where can we find the same technique being used in the Scriptures?

The first time “shalem” appears in the Torah, it is associated with a mysterious figure called: Melchizedek king of Salem (Gen 14:18).

וּמַלְכִּי-צֶדֶק מֶלֶךְ שָׁלֵם

It is apparent now that the first word Melchizedek (וּמַלְכִּי) is formed by adding a prefix “vav” and a suffix “yod” to the three-letter root “malak” which means “king”.

The author of Hebrew (Hebrew 7:2) did a “remez” (one of the four methods of Torah exegesis) and interpreted “shalem” as “shalom”, by removing the “vav” from the first word (וּמַלְכִּי) and adding it as an infix to the word “shalem”.  In the same way, “tzedek” was interpreted as “tzadik”, by removing the “yod” from the first word (וּמַלְכִּי) and adding it as an infix to the word “tzedek”, thus calling this mysterious figure: King of Righteousness (צַדִּיק) and King of Peace (שָׁלוֹם).

Tzedek צֶדֶק (without the yod) means “righteous act”, Tzadik צַדִּיק (with the yod) means “righteous person”.

Shalem שָׁלֵם (without the vav) means “perfection, completion”, Shalom שָׁלוֹם (with the vav) means “peace”.

We can now understand the secret of the name Jerusalem, which in Hebrew is יְרוּשָׁלָיִם.

Except for 4 verses, Jerusalem is spelled missing the 2nd yod as יְרוּשָׁלַםִ in the entire Hebrew Bible.

What’s the secret of this defective spelling throughout the Bible?

According to the rabbis, the name Jerusalem is made up of two words as follows:


As appeared in Gen 22:14 when Abraham called the place where Isaac was to be sacrificed as “Adonai Yireh”.


As appeared in Gen 14:18 when Melchizedek king of Salem was introduced.


Yireh יִרְאֶה in Hebrew can mean both “to see” and “to fear”, the gematria is 216, exactly that of “gevurah” גְּבוּרָה, severity. This is commonly understood as the “fear of Yitzchak” as he was offered on the alter, denoting severity, judgment, the left side of the sefirot.

It follows that “shalem” corresponds to the right side of the sefirot, the “chesed”, loving kindness.

The gematria of these two words are 216 (יִרְאֶה) and 370 (שָׁלֵם). The combined total is 586, which is exactly the gematria of Jerusalem יְרוּשָׁלַםִ, when the 2nd “yod” is removed.

Hence Jerusalem is the union of two diametrically opposed concepts: right and left, love and judgment.

יְרוּשָׁלִַם הַבְּנוּיָה כְּעִיר שֶׁחֻבְּרָה־לָּהּ יַחְדָּֽו׃

Jerusalem is builded as a city that is compact together (Psalm 122:3).


Why is there no peace in Jerusalem that we are enjoined to pray for the peace of Jerusalem?

I’m sure there are many reasons but let’s offer one level of interpretation based on the concept developed so far, which is related to the missing “yod”.

If “yod” is the father and “vav” is the son, we may interpret that Jerusalem with the “yod” is the new Jerusalem that is to come down from heaven (Rev 21:2), whereas Jerusalem without the “yod” is the “vav” that is broken, therefore missing. This is the city that the Son of God is building here on earth.

Son in Hebrew is “ben” בֵּן, which is cognate to the word “build” בוֹנֶה. Yeshua was referred to as the “builder” in Hebrew 3:3.

The house that the son is building is called the “House of Jacob”, which in Hebrew is: Beis Yaakov בֵית יַעֲקֹב. He builds the house by the death of his body, the “broken vav”, so that the “covenant of peace” can be established on earth.

To summarize:



new Jerusalem from heaven





Jerusalem under construction on earth









The average number for the two Jerusalem is 1188 / 2 = 594, which is exactly the gematria of Beis Yaakov בֵית יַעֲקֹב, the House of Jacob.

594 is also the gematria of “the stone of Israel” אֶבֶן יִשְׂרָאֵל as in Gen 49:24. This term can refer to both the father and the son. In other word, the union of father with the son, as in the word stone, “even”, אֶבֶן , with the first letter Alef being the father, the last two letter “ben” being the son.

We can now understand why we’re enjoined to pray for the peace of Jerusalem. From the mystical perspective, we’re praying for the coming of the son, the Mashiach, the letter “vav” so that “shalem” can be transformed into “shalom”, the peace.

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