Author Topic: Samech - Mem : Primordial Tempter to Evil  (Read 2900 times)

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Offline muman613

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Samech - Mem : Primordial Tempter to Evil
« on: August 02, 2013, 08:58:57 PM »
In a recent thread I referred to HaSutton as 'Samech Mem'... In this thread I will post some of the interesting things we can learn from the Jewish understanding of this angel. In previous threads I have attempted to clarify the reason HaSutton was created but here I will delve into more details concerning the function Samech Mem plays in the creation.




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http://www.dailyhalacha.com/m/parasha.aspx?id=393
When studying the weekly Torah portion, we are generally accustomed to analyzing what’s written – the text, the events described, the words that are used, the sequence of presentation, and so on. When it comes to Parashat Tesaveh, however, a lot of attention is given also to what is NOT in the Parasha. Many of our commentators noted the conspicuous absence of Moshe’s name from Parashat Tesaveh, a feature that they found surprising. Ever since the story of Moshe’s birth in Parashat Shemot, he obviously plays a central role and is mentioned in every other Parasha. Moreover, in the opening verse of the Parasha, where God introduces a new set of commands, we expect to find the standard introduction of “Vayedaber Hashem El Moshe Lemor” (“God spoke to Moshe, saying”). Instead, the Parasha begins with the word “Ve’ata” – “And you” – as though specifically omitting Moshe’s name.

The common explanation for the absence of Moshe’s name is that this was the fulfillment of a statement made by Moshe after the sin of the golden calf. God threatened to annihilate Am Yisrael, Heaven forbid, in the wake of that grave incident, and to create a new nation from Moshe. But Moshe pleaded on the nation’s behalf, and insisted that if God refused to forgive the nation for their sin, “then erase me, if You please, from Your book” (Shemot 32:32). Meaning, Moshe did not want to form a new nation if God annihilated Beneh Yisrael. God accepted Moshe’s prayer and spared Beneh Yisrael, but the words of a Sadik have such power that they are fulfilled even if they are spoken on condition. Thus, Moshe’s demand to be “erased” from God’s book had to be fulfilled – and thus his name was omitted from one Parasha, Parashat Tesaveh.

Different theories have been suggested for why specifically Parashat Tesaveh was selected as the Parasha from which Moshe’s name would be “erased.” One explanation is that Parashat Tesaveh is read around the time of 7 Adar, the Yartzheit of Moshe Rabbenu, and it is therefore an appropriate context for “erasing” his name. Others note that Moshe requested that His name be erased “Mi’sifrecha” (“from Your book”), which may be read as “Mi’sefer Chaf” – “from the twentieth book.” Parashat Tesaveh is the twentieth Parasha in the Torah, and Moshe’s statement was thus fulfilled through his omission from this Parasha.

But there is also another reason why Moshe’s name was omitted specifically from this Parasha. Moshe’s name consists of three letters – “Mem,” “Shin, “Heh.” The name of the letter “Mem” is spelled “Mem,” “Mem”; the name of the letter “Shin” is spelled “Shin,” “Yod,” “Nun”; and the name of the letter “Heh” is spelled “Heh” “Alef.” If we combine all the secondary letters, meaning, all these letters besides the three letters that actually form Moshe’s name, we arrive at a total numerical value of 101. (“Mem” is 40, “Yod” and “Nun” are together 60, and “Alef” is 1.) This is also the numerical value of “Michael,” the name of the angel of kindness. Moshe had within him the qualities of this special angel. This is expressed after the sin of the golden calf, when God announced that He would send an angel to accompany the nation to Eretz Yisrael, rather than accompany them Himself (33:2). Moshe begged God to rescind this decree, and God agreed. The angel God wanted to send was Michael, and Moshe was therefore able to avert this decree because he himself had the quality of Michael. He was able to demand that Michael not be sent to the nation because he was like Michael. The angel Michael therefore came to join Beneh Yisrael only later, after Moshe’s death, just before Beneh Yisrael began their conquest of the land (see Yehoshua 5:13-15).

Our Sages also teach us that Michael is the angel of memory. Thus, for example, the Gemara (Hagiga 9) states, “One who reviews his material 100 times is not the same as someone who reviews his material 101 times.” The angel of forgetfulness is the Satan himself, who is known by the letters “Samech” “Mem” – which have a combined numerical value of 100. If a person studies his material only 100 times, he is still under the power of Satan, who makes him forget his Torah knowledge. But once a student learns the material 101 times, he comes under the power of Michael – whose name has the numerical value of 101 – and this allows him to retain his knowledge. Moshe was the one who brought us the Torah, and it was therefore crucial for him to have this quality of retention, the quality of Michael, within him.

In many editions of the Humash, the number of verses in each Parasha is mentioned after the Parasha, along with a “Siman” – a word that alludes to this number. At the end of Parashat Tesaveh, it is written that there are 101 verses in this Parasha, and the “Siman” is Michael – which has the numerical value of 101. Thus, Moshe’s name indeed is in this Parasha, albeit in a subtle form. God had to omit Moshe’s name from a Parasha to fulfill his request of “Erase me from Your book,” but even so, He did it in a way that Moshe’s name would not be absent entirely. Moshe Rabbenu was so beloved to God that even when his name had to be omitted, it was omitted from a Parasha that alludes to Moshe in a different way – by containing 101 verses, alluding to Moshe’s special “angelic” quality, his resemblance to the angel Michael.

Related to the Gematria of Samech - Mem and Michael is the custom to blow 101 shofar blasts on Rosh Hashana..

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http://ohr.edu/ask_db/ask_main.php/249/Q1/

Dear Rabbi,

What did Sisera have to do with the Jews and the concept of 100 shofar blasts? What is the correlation between Sisera and the shofar blasts?


Dear Esther S.,

Sisera, the Assyrian general who fought the Jews, was killed by Yael as he fled the battlefield. The midrash tells us that Siseras wicked mother cried one hundred and one tears when she heard the news of her sons death. We sound one hundred shofar blasts to counteract these tears which she shed in anger and pain at her sons defeat at the hand of the Jews. The one tear that cannot be erased is the tear shed out of pure love of a mother for her son.

According to the Sephardic tradition, 101 blasts are sounded. This is one more than the numerical value of the letters "samech" and "mem," which spell the name of the most harmful angel. Adding one gives us the numerical equivalent of "Michael," the name of the most "righteous" angel.

The Yemenite tradition is to sound only 41 blasts.


You shall make yourself the Festival of Sukkoth for seven days, when you gather in [the produce] from your threshing floor and your vat.And you shall rejoice in your Festival-you, and your son, and your daughter, and your manservant, and your maidservant, and the Levite, and the stranger, and the orphan, and the widow, who are within your cities
Duet 16:13-14

Offline muman613

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Re: Samech - Mem : Primordial Tempter to Evil
« Reply #1 on: August 04, 2013, 01:44:21 AM »
An interesting halacha concerning the names of angels...

http://www.dailyhalacha.com/m/halacha.aspx?id=2479

Rav Haim Vital (1543-1620) writes that his teacher, the Arizal (Rav Yishak Luria of Safed, 1534-1572), made a point of never verbalizing the names of the angels, even over the course of study. For example, Rav Haim writes, the Arizal would refer to the “Sar Hapenim” (angel that serves as “minister of interior”) as “Mem Tet,” rather than verbalize the entire name. The reason for this practice is that when an angel hears his name mentioned, he thinks that he is being summoned, and he becomes anxious. When he then finds out that his anxiety was for naught, he might become resentful of the person who made him nervous, and cause him harm, Heaven forbid.

This does not, however, apply to angels whose names are commonly used here on earth, such as Michael, Gabriel, Raphael, Azriel, and Malkiel.

The Arizal was especially adamant that one should never verbalize the complete name of the Satan. He would refer to the Satan by saying the letters “Samech Mem,” rather than articulating his name. Rav Haim Vital writes that on one occasion he was speaking to somebody at nighttime and mentioned Satan’s name, and the next morning, when he went to the Arizal’s home, the Arizal looked at his forehead and said, “At night you transgressed the prohibition of ‘Ve’shem Elohim Aherim Lo Tazkiru’ (‘Do not mention the name of other gods’ – Shemot 23:13).” The Arizal admonished Rav Haim in very harsh terms never to mention the name, especially at nighttime, when the Satan has power which could be reinforced by the mention of his name, such that he can succeed in causing the person to sin, Heaven forbid. Likewise, one should refrain from verbalizing the complete name of Satan’s “wife,” who should be referred to as simply, “Li,” rather than with her complete name.

This applies to all languages. As such, one should refrain from saying the word “D-e-v-i-l,” or the parallel Spanish term, especially during the nighttime hours, as this could arouse and empower Satan.
You shall make yourself the Festival of Sukkoth for seven days, when you gather in [the produce] from your threshing floor and your vat.And you shall rejoice in your Festival-you, and your son, and your daughter, and your manservant, and your maidservant, and the Levite, and the stranger, and the orphan, and the widow, who are within your cities
Duet 16:13-14

Offline muman613

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Re: Samech - Mem : Primordial Tempter to Evil
« Reply #2 on: August 09, 2013, 08:26:18 PM »
While not completely related to the Samech Mem I found the following gematrias interesting...




http://www.inner.org/articles/E66-0129.htm

FROM NOAH'S RAINBOW TO ISAAC NEWTON'S PRISM

In the Torah portion that relates the establishment of the covenant between God and Noah (and all generations to come) by means of the rainbow, the word "covenant" (בְּרִית) is repeated seven times. These seven appearances of the word "covenant" allude to the seven colors of the rainbow studied and documented by Isaac Newton, and to the seven Noahide commandments. The seven colors of the rainbow and the seven Noahide commandments correspond to the seven lower sefirot as follows:

might גבורה
loving-kindness חסד
RED
BLUE
prohibition against murder
prohibition against adultery
beauty תפארת
YELLOWׁ
prohibition against theft
thanksgiving הוד
victory נצח
ORANGE
VIOLET
prohibition against blasphemy
prohibition against idolatry
foundation יסוד
GREEN
prohibition against eating the flesh of a live animal
kingdom מלכות
INDIGO
injunction to establish a just legal system

Partzuf of Rainbow Colors and Noahide Commandments

In Hebrew, the sum of the numerical values of Noah (נֹחַ), 58, and Newton (נְיוּטוֹן), 131 is 189. 189 = 7 x 33 The 7 corresponds to the seven covenants (in respect to Noah), the seven colors of the rainbow (in respect to Newton), and the seven Noahide commandments—the seven universal commandments of the Torah given to all righteous gentiles. These three "sevens" are then consummately inter-included by the 3 being raised to the power of 3.

The difference between Newton and Noah is 73, the numerical value of "wisdom" (חָכְמָה). Newton's name by itself is equals to the value of the normally used connotation for the Angel of Death, called the samech-mem (סמאל).

When 73 is added to Noah 6 times (6 x 73 = 438, the numerical value of "the House of God, (בֵּית י־הוה) the result is 496, the numerical value of "kingdom" (מלכות). When 73 is added 11 times, the result is 861, the numerical value of the Holy Temple (בֵּית הַמִקְדָש), Isaac Newton's central mystical interest and the inspiration for even much of his work in science. As explained in the Zohar, Noah's Ark, spiritually symbolizes the Holy Temple. Indeed, in Hebrew, the numerical value of Noah's Ark (תֵּבָת נֹחַ) is 860, which with the kollel (the unifying one) equals the numerical value of the Holy Temple (בֵּית הַמִקְדָש).
You shall make yourself the Festival of Sukkoth for seven days, when you gather in [the produce] from your threshing floor and your vat.And you shall rejoice in your Festival-you, and your son, and your daughter, and your manservant, and your maidservant, and the Levite, and the stranger, and the orphan, and the widow, who are within your cities
Duet 16:13-14