Lest We Shall Forget… Noach – 96 Pesukim.
Open up a Chumash to the very end of this Parsha and you’ll see in very small letters,
פרשת נח – קנ”ג פסוקים – בצלאל 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 Betzalel (בצלאל) as a hint that Parshas Terumah contains קנ”ג פסוקים– 153 Pesukim (ב=2, צ=90, ל=30, א=1, ל=30; 2+90+30+1+30=153). That’s it! They left the lesson “open-ended.” Now it’s up to us to figure out the connection.
What does Betzalel – the chief architect of the Mishkan, only to be mentioned later in Parshas Ki Sisa – have to do with Noach and the Great Flood?!
Here at Shazak we came up with a connection:
The name Betzalel means, “In the shade of HaShem,” which of course is how Noach was saved from the flood – he was protected by HaShem!
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!