Lest We Shall Forget… Vayikra – 111 Pesukim
Open up a Chumash to the very end of this Parsha and you’ll see in very small letters:
פרשת ויקרא – קי”א פסוקים – ציו”ה סימן.
What’s this all about?
Well, hundreds of years ago, Rabbis called the Ba’alei Mesorah came up with a great idea. They realized how everything in Torah is important, even the amount of Pesukim in each Parsha. So they devised a mnemonic (memory tool), based on Gematriya, the notion that every Hebrew letter has a numerical value.
Who were these Rabbis? Nobody knows for sure, but they sure left us lots to think about (and a pretty interesting way to remember how many Pesukim there are in the Parsha).
Let’s take our Parsha, for example:
The Ba’alei Mesorah use the word “Tzivah” as a hint that Parshas Vayikra contains 111 Pesukim (צ=90; י=10; ו=6; ה=5; 90+10+6+5=111). That’s it! They left the lesson “open-ended.” Now it’s up to us to figure out the connection. What does Tzivah have to do with Parshas Vayikra?
Here at Shazak we came up with a connection:
This week we begin to learn about the Korbanos, which are way beyond our understanding. But the Bnei Yisrael gladly brought them because they knew that this was what HaShem commanded.
“No problem; Your wish is my command!”
And you guessed it, the word “Tzivah” means “commanded!”
Now that you know how this works, check out the mnemonics of the Ba’alei Mesorah in the other Parshiyos, and see if you can “crack the code.” If you do, let us know at Shazak… Good luck!