Friday, January 13, 2017

The Codes of Arrogance

by Dr Robert Wolf and Joel Gallis a''h

from the book "Between the Lines: Secrets of the Torah Codes"

A Torah Code analysis of the word גאוה [guyva - arrogance] uncovers startling connections between the occurrence of this word in code and events in the Torah which illustrate this trait. This Torah Code analysis also reveals the major causes of arrogance.

The first appearance in code of the word גאוה is in [Bereishis 1:16-20] where Hashem creates the two great luminaries, the sun and the moon. The Midrash tells us that the moon and sun were originally equal in size until the moon arrogantly protested "It is impossible for two kings to share one crown". Because of the moon's גאוה , the Midrash says that Hashem decided to diminish the size of the moon.

The second appearance of גאוה in code in the Torah is in [Bereishis 3:12]. In these verses, Adam arrogantly blames Eve for eating from the Tree of Life: "She gave me of the tree and I ate". Adam initially does not accept responsibility for his own act, but chooses to try to stay blameless at the expense of Eve.

The word גאוה also falls in code in [Noach 11:1-3] at the initiation of the building of the Tower of Babel. This tower was to be built, according to many commentators, to ascend to Heaven and to wage war against Hashem. Interestingly, Nimrod is cited as the leader of this incredibly arrogant effort. The word גאוה also falls in code in [Noach 10:8-9] where the birth of Nimrod is described.

Another word חצפה [chutzpah] is often used interchangeably with גאוה and is seen as having very similar meaning. At odds that are impossible to calculate, the words גאוה and חצפה overlap in code in [Tzav 8:2-9]. The letters from each of the two words occur in the exact same verses between [2-9] with the same space interval between each of the letters.

Furthermore, an analysis of the four words in which the letters from גאוה fall in Tzav 8 above, reflects what our sages have agreed are among the major cause of גאוה .

The ג in גאוה falls in the word הבגדים [the clothing]. The Kitzur Shulchan Aruch in 3:3 suggests that we should not dress in extravagant clothing because such acts bring a person to גאוה.

The א in גאוה falls in the word ויאמר [he spoke]. The Talmud in Yoma [86a] suggests that a man should also speak gently with his fellow man. R. Chayim Luzzatto in Mesillat Yesharim suggests that to feel humble and free of גאוה, "our words must be words of honour" and adds that we must generally conduct ourselves with a lowliness of speech.

The ו in גאוה falls in the word עליו. This refers to the arrogant person's focus "upon himself" and upon only his needs, wants and desires and not on the needs of anyone else or the Jewish people.

Finally, the ה in גאוה falls in the word הזהב [the gold]. In relation to this, R' Chayim Luzzatto in Mesilat Yesharim notes that "among the deterents to humility is an abundance of goods of this world". Additionally, the Talmud in Berachot [32a] says that "A lion does not roar over a basket of straw, but over a basket of meat".

Thus, the Torah Codes affirm what our Sages have taught us regarding the causes of arrogance and point us along the pathway to humility.

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