Monday, September 26, 2011

Secret Codes of Ha'azinu

Seder Hadoros relates that Ramban once confronted his former student, named Avner, and asked him why he had strayed from the path of observant Judaism.  Avner replied that Ramban had once taught that "everything is to be found in the Song of Haázinu" and Avner found the idea so utterly preposterous that it led him to lose faith.

When Ramban stated that he still held by his assertion, Avner challenged him, "If so, where is my name to be found in the song?"

Ramban turned to the wall praying to G-d, and it soon occurred to him that the third letter of each word in verse 26 spelled Avner's name:

 אָמַרְתִּי אַפְאֵיהֶם אַשְׁבִּיתָה מֵאֱנוֹשׁ זִכְרָם

On hearing his, Avner repented and mended his ways.

Even though Avner had strayed far from the path of observance, his name was nevertheless recorded in the Torah with his title, Reb Avner, referring to his status as a fully observant Jew, after he had returned - for this was indeed his true essence.

Based on Sichas Shabbos Parshas Haázinu 5742 Lubavitcher Rebbe


Anonymous said...

Parshas Haazinu: Ramban - Where Is R' Avner?

The Seder HaDoros brings this remarkable story about the Ramban. He had a Talmid named R' Avner who converted to christianity. After a short time he rose in the Church to become a very powerful leader.

One Yom Kippur he summoned the Ramban to appear before him. He then proceeded to slaughter a pig, cut it up, cook it, and eat before the Ramban. He the asked the Ramban how many Krisus he was Chayav. The Ramban said, "Four."

The apostate argued and said, "Five." The Ramban gave a very dirty look and even he had enough shame from his Rebbi to be quiet then.

The Ramban asked him what made him do what he did? He said that he once heard the Ramban say that all the mitzvos and everything that ever happened in the world was alluded to in Parshas Ha'azinu. Since this was impossible for him to reconcile he left the Jewish religion altogether.

The Ramban reaffirmed its truth and challenged R' Avner to ask him anything, and he would find it in Haazinu. R' Avner was taken aback and he asked the Ramban where his name R' Avner is in the Parsha? The Ramban went to a corner and davened and suddenly a pasuk came to his mouth (Haazinu 32:26), אָמַרְתִּי, אַפְאֵיהֶם אַשְׁבִּיתָה מֵאֱנוֹשׁ זִכְרָם, I made up my mind to cast them away, I would eliminate mention of them from mankind. The third letter of each of these words spells R' Avner.

When R' Avner heard this he turned white and his haughtiness left him. He asked the Ramban if there was any cure for his grave ills. The Ramban said, "You heard the words of the Pasuk!" and turned and left. R' Avner immediately went down to the port, took a boat without any sailors or any oars, and sailed away where the wind would take him, and was never heard from again.
I copied this for the benefit of your readers.

joshwaxman said...

bli neder, a post on this. you can read the story in seder hadoros here:

thanks! but why be anonymous?

kol tuv,

Devorah said...

Every third letter is a pretty good skip count hey Josh ....?
You don't even need a computer to find that one.

Devorah said...

Actually, it's every 6th letter. AND the third letter in each word.

joshwaxman said...

in terms of Torah Codes, it isn't one. because the skip between the nun and the resh is five, not six.

it is more of a **classic** (meaning more authentic) kabbalistic derasha, of the Xth letter of each word.

Torah Codes proponents would perhaps discard this as non-meaningful, because it is not a priori, etcetera and so forth.

But wait for my analysis. It is pretty neat...


joshwaxman said...

I just posted my blogpost. See here.

kol tuv,