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by Dr. Avigdor Bonchek


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Parashas Ki Sisa 5768

This week's sedra continues, briefly, discussion of the Mishkan. The main story in the sedra is the sin of the Golden Calf, Moses breaking the Tablets and the giving of the second Tablets.

This week we will take a break from Rashi and other commentaries and look at a unique and rarely mentioned aspect of the Torah. This is the Seven Code. This refers to the fact that the Torah and the Tanaach often emphasizes a point by having a word repeated seven times or a multiple of seven. The seven count is not arbitrary ; the seven count takes place within a natural unit in the Torah - within an open or closed parasha. This is done in a very subtle way so a superficial reading would miss this phenomenon, in fact the classical Torah commentaries never mentioned this phenomenon . Let us look an example from our sedra.

Exodus 31:18-32:19 This section tells of the First Tablets (Hebrew "luchos") the sin of the Golden Calf and how Moses broke the Tablets. Note that the word "luchos" is repeated seven times.

Exodus 34:1- 29 This section tells of Moses crafting the Second Tablets. Note that again the word "luchos" is repeated seven times.

So we have the seven repetition each time for the descriptions of both the first and second Tablets. This is more than mere coincidence.

Besides this unusual pattern, we can discern another pattern within the larger pattern. In the first set of seven first the word "luchos" is repeated in the beginning twice in quick succession (31:18) then there is long break and only later (32:15-19) is there a quick succession of 5 repetitions of the word "luchos". Then when we look at the second set of sevens we also find that in the beginning (34:1-4) a quick succession of 5 times the word "luchos" then a long break and then another 2 in quick succession (34:28,29). So the inner pattern is: 2-5-5-2. This highlights the ten in the middle which possibly stands for the Ten Commandments.

This is truly amazing. It something not mentioned by the commentaries. But to add to the amazement, we must look at the Book of Deuteronomy (Devarim). In Parashas Ekev (Devarim 8;9-16 & 10:1-5) the story of the Golden Calf is retold by Moses, in Mishneh Torah. We also find the word "luchos" seven times in Moses' recounting of the First Tablets and again seven times in recounting of the Second Tablets!!

Amazing, no? One added point is that Bible critics who do not believe in Torah from Sinai claim the Book of Devarim was written hundreds of years after Moses' time. Yet we see this striking similarity of the Seven code in both Books. If they were separated by so many generations and written by different authors how was this secret code kept all the years with no mention of it? Once see such "coincidences" it strengthens our belief in Torah from Sinai.

Shabbat Shalom
Avigdor Bonchek

What's Bothering Rashi?" is a production of "The Institute for the Study of Rashi."

The five volume set of "What's Bothering Rashi?" and the Megillas Esther volume can be purchased thru Feldheim on line at Feldheim.com

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