Interpreting this morning's lion's den dream, I related various aspects of it to the concepts of ben Issachar, the Name of 72, and collective judgment. These ideas are further supported by the fact that the gematria of aryeh אריה (lion) is 216, where the first value of the gematria, 200 is the letter reish ר, representing the 200 heads of the Sanhedrin from the tribe of Issachar.
The Sanhedrin was a council comprised of 71 of the generation's wisest sages. Consequently, the aryeh אריה represents the realm of judgment deliverable through this council.
Nevertheless, in the dream, I escaped the lions. Likewise, sometimes clear judgment may escape the Sanhedrin.
R' Yitzchak Ginsburgh of The Inner Dimension writes of times which called for insight greater than that of the 71 wise members of the Sanhedrin. In these times, the Sanhedrin sought Divine counsel through the kohen gadol's choshen mishpat (breastplate of judgment):
Most such decisions were made by the Sanhedrin, a council composed of seventy-one wisest sages of the generation. Each sage was distinguished for having achieved a superior degree of Torah knowledge, such that even his instinctive responses to questions and life experiences were consistent with the Torah's truths. Even so, personal prejudice was further minimized through the requirement of majority rule. Nevertheless, for certain questions such as whether or not to go to war, Divine counsel was sought through the breastplate.
The breastplate of judgment is represented by the letter tet ט, the reduced gematria of the entire word for lion, aryeh אריה. Seventy-two represents the im hakolel of aryeh (in terms of its relationship to 71) and the level of judgment "one more" than the judgment capacity of 71, the Sanhedrin. In other words, it represents Divine judgment through the choshen mishpat.
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