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INSIGHT: A Good (Tov) Math Lesson

Bad Times… Better Times

Bad Times… Better Times

Yaakov’s life had been filled with much worry, sorrow, and heartache – starting with his wicked, twin brother Eisav who hated him with a passion; continuing with his father-in-law Lavan who loved cheating him; and concluding with 22 years of suffering and sadness due to the disappearance of his beloved son Yosef.

But life started to get better for Yaakov when he lived peacefully in the beautiful Land of Goshen, learning Torah and enjoying his children and grandchildren. His family lived there for a total of 17 years, and in fact, those were the happiest years of his life.

Yaakov’s entire family dwelled in Goshen, except for Yosef and his family, who lived in the capital city of Egypt.

Shazak insight

A Good (Tov) Math Lesson

Every letter of the Hebrew alphabet represents a number. The letter א (Aleph) is 1, ב (Bais) is 2, ג (Gimel) is 3, and so on, and so on, etc. etc.

Yaakov lived 17 years in the Land of Egypt, and those were good years for him. Tov – טוֹב – means good in Hebrew, and we write this with 3 letters:
ט (Tes)=9, ו (Vov)=6 and ב (Veis)=2.
Add them all up and it’s a total of 17, which hints at the 17 טוֹב (good) years Yaakov spent in Egypt.

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