Entrance To The Ulam

א”ר ברכיה מ”ד והארץ היתה תהו ובהו מאי משמע היתה שכבר היתה ומאי תהו דבר המתהא בני אדם ומאי בהו אלא תהו היתה וחזרה לבהו ומאי בהו דבר שיש בו ממש דכתיב בהו בו הוא
Sefer HaBahir, verse 2

There is one sofit (final) mem ם in the entire verse. In addition to this letter, there are 120 other hebrew letters.

Mem has a gematria of 40.

120 = 40 X 3 = 40 + 40 + 40

Consequently, we can see that there are 4 numbers 40 hidden in the totality of verse 2. What is the significance of this?

The 3 numbers 40 in the value 120 represent 3 periods [1] of 40 days.

R’ Yitzchak Ginsburgh (The Hebrew Letters) teaches that the first period of 40 days corresponds to the Moshe’s first sojourn on Har Sinai to receive the luchot of the tzadikim. This level represents “souls in divinity”.

The second and third periods of 40 days are “times of teshuvah”.

The second period of 40 days corresponds to lower teshuvah, that motivated by bitterness. Following the sin of the golden calf, a “time of prayer for forgiveness” constitutes this second period. The level is “worlds in divinity”.

The third period of 40 days corresponds to higher teshuvah, that motivated by joy. Here, revelation of Infinite Mercy is rooted and expressed when Moshe brought down the luchot of ba’alei teshuvah. The level is split between “souls in divinity” and “divinity in divinity”, as I will now explain.

The additional 40 of mem ם represents the opening to the Ulam. [2]

The mem-sofit ם itself represents an additional 40, at the level of “divinity in divinity”. This 40 represents the 40-cubit height of the opening to the Ulam, the entrance hall to the Beit HaMikdash.

Taken together with the previous analysis of the verse, there are only 2 sofit letters in the entire verse. One is ץ and one ם. The ץ looks at the entire verse from the perspective of a tzadik (tzedeket). The ם looks at the entire verse from the perspective of a ba’al teshuvah (ba’alat teshuvah). The analysis of each of the sofit letters “fills” the entire verse, both simultaneously, and without diminishing the other at all.

In the days of mashiach even the tzadikim will be ba’alei teshuvah … Likutei Sichot


[1] The Hebrew Letters, R’ Yitzchak Ginshburgh, on the letter mem, pages205-206

[2] Midot 3:7


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