Sunday, October 15, 2006

Evolution Of Da'at Torah

ומנלן דהתורה נקראת ברכה
Sefer HaBahir, verse 3 excerpt

Traditional interpretation: "How do we know that Torah is called a blessing?"

Wow. ומנלן is unusual and clues aren't easily found as to its meaning. Nothing even comes close to it in any of my dictionaries. Any of my readers who are fluent in Hebrew are invited to provide a modern (or not so modern) literal translation this word. Nor is a 3-letter root easily identifiable at first glance.

Be that as it may, the best thing to do is to just start somewhere. I'm going to start with the preliminary hypothesis, given the context, that the 3-letter root of this word is מנה, with various meanings which include: "apportion", "counting", "fixing numbers", "allocating for a particular purpose", "meting out", "appointing", "time and again", "repeating", "unit of weight or value", and "numbered string instrument". [1]

The total gematria of ומנלן is 176, with digit sums of 14 (1 + 7 + 6) and 5 (1 + 4).

14 is 1 more than 13 (echad). So, the word is referring to the hidden level of yachid יחיד. This is supported by the fact that yachid also has a final digit sum of 5 (total gematria is 32 => 3 + 2 = 5).

Whereas in the root מנה the final letter is hei ה, in the word ומנלן the hei of the root has been replaced with the letters lamed-nun לן. Lamed-nun has a gematria of 80, and a digit sum of 8 ח. Chet ח represents binah and the first hei of the tetragrammaton, so here in the word ומנלן, the hei has "switched over" to chet, and subsequently unfolded and expanded into lamed-nun. Taking all this together, we can see that the word ומנלן is referring in some manner to the evolution of da'at Torah (from the prefix vav ו), drawing down "wisdom" (from the 32 paths hidden in yachid) and "understanding" (from the hei-chet connection) hidden in the concealed Essence (Atzmut) into existent knowledge of Torah, with both wisdom and understanding.

Thus, a mystery Torah, drawn down from Atzmut, into wisdom, understanding and knowledge, enables and implements ... (the power to develop abilities) and is hereby "apportioned" in "repeating doses" (time and again) with which to do it.


[1] Etymological Dictionary of Biblical Hebrew, R' Matityau Clark (p. 141)

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