I traveled to Seattle with my family for Succot. On the plane, I was moved to calculate the gematria of erev rav, which is 480, the same gematria at Lilit – Satan’s wife, so to speak. Cool, I thought.
I arrived at my destination, and my brother in law has a set of R. Nachman’s Likutei Moran. I grabbed a random book off the shelf, opened it randomly, and behold, right on that very page – Lilit is the mother of the erev rav! How cool!
Rav Nachman explains that Hagar is the biblical manifestation of Lilit – thus, this begs for a deeper understanding of the connection between Ishmael and Erev Rav.
Fighting Ishmael and Erev Rav
For the past several weeks, I have been seeking to understand just exactly what the tshuva should be to counteract the power of Yishmael and the Erev Rav. On Shabbat, I may have gotten an answer. . .
The gematria of Hagar is 208. This is also the gematria of Yitzhak. I believe this indicates an inverse relationship – to the extent the Jewish rectify act more Yitzhak-like, they will reduce the power of Hagar/Lilith/Yishmael/Erev Rav.
So what does this entail? The character attribute of Yitzhak was Gevurah, which is best translated as “Self-Control and Restraint”, e.g., holding one’s self back from doing what one is naturally inclined to do in thought, speech, and deed, and channeling those natural impulses for use only in ways proscribed and permitted by the Torah.
The Tomer Devorah explains that allowing the Yetzer Hara to awaken for lust, money, honor, or anger arouses and strengthens Gevurah. The Ramak explains that the Yetzer Hara must be bound and controlled to direct these “awakenings” to the needs of one’s wife: 1) by giving her relations in the proper time for her sake and joy, and 2) by using ones’ money to provide for her clothing and to beautify her home. This, the Ramak explains, sweetens the attribute of Gevurah, and repairs the Shechina (who is compared to one’s “wife”).
Of course, the Ramak’s words could easily be extended to all things people can do to restrain ourselves for the sake of our spouses and loved ones. After all, Yitzhak gladly gave his life in order for his father Abraham to do the will of Hashem. How much more so can a person simply not kvetch when their spouse asks them to help put the kids to bed? (Now we’re talking!)
By imitating the attribute of Gevurah in our lives we imitate Yitzhak, which serves to counter Hagar/Lilith and her progeny, Yishmael and the Erev Rav.
As an aside, recently my uncle was invited by a Jewish billionare friend of his for a one week Mediterranean cruise on the Jewish billionaire’s 250ft yaught. My uncle reported that his friends yaught was dwarfed by mega-yaught after mega-yaught owned by Yishmaelim.
Message to Jewish billionare – Jewish money is not on top – Arab money is. We have squarely arrived in Yishmael’s time in history.
HaShem should give us true strength like our forefather Yitzak!!