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Shemot: Six Stone Jars

Updated: Jul 3

נכנס יין יצא סוד

“When wine goes in, secrets come out.” Sanhedrin 38a


Near the conclusion of the book of Genesis, Yaakov prophesies over his twelve sons. Regarding Judah he said,

“The scepter will not depart from Judah, nor the ruler’s staff from between his feet, until Shiloh comes. To him will the obedience of the peoples be. Binding his foal to the vine, his donkey’s colt to the choice vine, he has washed his garments in wine, his robes in the blood of grapes. His eyes will be red with wine, his teeth white with milk.” Genesis 49:10-12

The Targum Yonatan says,

“Kings shall not cease from the house of Judah, nor soferim (scribes) teaching the Torah from his children’s children, until the time that the King Meshiha shall come, whose is the kingdom, and to whom all the kingdoms of the earth shall be obedient. How beautiful is the King Meshiha, who is to arise from the house of Yehudah! … his garments will be dipped in blood, and he himself will be like the juice of the winepress. More beautiful are the eyes of the King Meshiha to behold than pure wine; they will not look upon that which is unclean, or the shedding of the blood of the innocent. His teeth are employed according to the precept rather than in eating the things of violence and rapine; his mountains shall be red with vines, and his presses with his wine, and his hills be white with much corn and with flocks of sheep.” Targum Yonatan on Genesis 49 [1]

The Targum thus identifies ‘Shiloh’ with Mashiach. Incredibly, Shiloh has the same gematria as ‘Moshe,’

משה = שילה = 345

The Targum also interprets that “his garments will be dipped in blood,” as the book of Revelation says,

“He is clothed in a garment sprinkled with blood. His name is called The Word of G-d.” Revelation 19:13

The prophet Isaiah says,

“Who is this who comes from Edom, with dyed garments from Bozrah? this who is glorious in his clothing, marching in the greatness of his strength? It is I who speak in righteousness, mighty to save. Why are you red in your clothing, and your garments like him who treads in the wine vat? I have trodden the winepress alone, and of the peoples there was no man with me: yes, I trod them in my anger, and trampled them in my wrath; and their lifeblood is sprinkled on my garments, and I have stained all my clothing. For the day of vengeance was in my heart, and the year of my redeemed has come.” Isaiah 63:1-4

The Ramchal, R’ Moshe Chayim Luzzato (1707  – 1746 CE), answers the question, “Who is this who comes from Edom?”

…ועתה הנני מפרש לך סוד אחד חתום מאד והוא מה שכתוב מי זה בא מאדום וגוי [ישעיה סג, א] וכל זה הוא הצדיק, והוא משיח בן יוסף

“I will explain to you a certain sod which is completely sealed, and it concerns what is written, “Who is this who comes from Edom…’ (Yeshayahu 63:1). This is the Tzadik, and he is Mashiach ben Yosef.” Ramchal, Ma’amar HaGeulah, Secrets of the Redemption, Translated by R’ Mordecai Nissim, Feldheim Press, pg. 118

Kol HaTor, written by R’ Hillel Shklover the disciple of the Vilna Gaon, speaks of the unification of Mashiach ben David and Mashiach ben Yosef,

“All this is true at the beginning of the Redemption, when the wood of Yosef and the wood of Judah are “pieces of wood in your hand, ” when they are still divided into two, on the level of the awakening from below. At the time of the complete redemption, however, when the two pieces of wood have become “one in My hand” (the hand of God), then the meshichim will be like two inseparable friends; they will have become one, they will have become the King Mashiach who is on the level of the trustworthy friend of the final redeemer, Moshe Rabbeinu, may he rest in peace.” Kol HaTor 2.1, translated by R’ Yechiel Bar Lev and K. Skaist, pg. 70

The Gazelle

In Parashat Shemot (Exodus 1:1-6:1), the first Redeemer of the Israel is born, and in an effort to save his life, he is hidden in an basket (teivah) among the reeds of the Nile, and is discovered by the daughter of Pharaoh. After he was weaned, he was adopted into the Egyptian palace,

“The child grew, and she brought him to Pharaoh’s daughter, and he became her son. She named him Moses, and said, “Because I drew him out of the water.” Exodus 2:10

Interestingly, Moses is a common name in Egypt, and means ‘born’ or ‘son.’ R’ Ari Kahn comments,

“Therefore we see that not only does Moses have an Egyptian name, but his name is steeped with idolatrous connotations. How ironic that the savior of the Jews should be seen as a god by the Egyptians.” R’ Ari Kahn, M’oray HaAish, Moshe, the Emergence of a Leader, [2]

Like Moshe, Yosef HaTzadik, was also named by an Egyptian,

“Pharaoh called Yosef’s name Tzofnat-Paneach…” Genesis 41:45

Like Yosef, Moshe was rejected by his brothers,

 “Who made you a prince and a judge over us? Do you plan to kill me, as you killed the Egyptian? Moses was afraid, and said, “Surely this thing is known.” Exodus 2:14

The rejection of Moshe led to the concealment of the Redeemer. The Midrash Rabbah comments,

“My beloved is like a gazelle’, as the gazelle appears and then disappears, so the first redeemer appeared and then disappeared. R. Berekiah in the name of R. Levi said: Like the first redeemer was, so will the final redeemer be. The first redeemer was Moshe, who appeared to them and then disappeared. . . The final redeemer will also appear to them and then disappear . . .  For he will disappear from their sight and will then again appear to them…” Numbers Rabbah 11, Soncino Press Edition

At this point, Moshe Rabbeinu, the Redeemer, appears as an “Egyptian,” and concealed himself in the land of the Gentiles,

“Now the priest of Midian had seven daughters. They came and drew water, and filled the troughs to water their fathers flock. The shepherds came and drove them away; but Moses stood up and helped them, and watered their flock. When they came to Reuel, their father said, “How is it that you have returned so early today?” They said, “An Egyptian delivered us out of the hand of the shepherds, and moreover he drew water for us, and watered the flock.” Exodus 2:16-19

The Midrash Rabbah comments on this passage,

“Was then Moses an Egyptian? No, he was a Hebrew but his dress was Egyptian.” Exodus Rabbah 1:32, Soncino Press Edition

Interestingly, the gematria of “The Egyptian” (המצרי) equals Moshe (משה). R’ Shloma Majeski says,

“The definition of Jewish belief is that which is written in Torah. That defines Jewish belief. This possibility – that Moshiach comes, and after his coming and revelation there’s an interruption, and then he completes the process – this is found in a number of places in Torah. Let me just mention a few. One is Midrash Rabba Shir HaShirim 2:22, on the pasuk “Domeh dodi l’tzvi.” And the Midrash says, just like a deer is revealed, and hidden, and again hidden. I guess it means that when it runs, it runs between the trees – you see it and then you don’t see it. That’s what happened with Moshe Rabbeinu in Egypt. He came, and then he was concealed for a few months – there are different opinions about how many months – and then he was revealed again and took the Jews out of Mitzrayim. The Midrash concludes the same thing will be with Moshiach: He will be revealed, then he will be hidden, and then he will be revealed again. In fact, the Midrash says that when he will be hidden, it will be a very difficult time. There will be people who will stop believing in him because of that, and that ultimately he will come. This message is also in Rashi, in Daniel 12:12. The pasuk says, “Ashrei ha’m’chakim” (fortunate are those who will wait for Moshiach). Rashi says this is not just talking about people in general who wait for Moshiach…fortunate are those who will wait for Moshiach after he is revealed, and then he will be hidden, and then revealed again. In that in-between time: fortunate are those who persevere in their emuna. In fact, Rashi says this is brought down in the davening, in the siddur, the “Yotzer ” for Parshas HaChodesh. Anyone can look it up. It’s in the Rav Yaakov Emden Siddur. It says the same thing: Moshiach will come, be revealed, then he’ll be hidden, and revealed again. It’s also found in this week’s parsha, Parshas Shmos. Rabbeinu Bechaye, at the end of the parsha, says, “Moshe Rabbeinu came, then he was hidden, and then he came back to take the Yidden out of Mitzrayim.” And he writes that the same will be with Moshiach, as it says, “Kimei tzeis’cha m’Eretz Mitzrayim ar’enu niflaos.” This redemption will be similar to the redemption in the times of Mitzrayim. The Chasam Sofer, one of the greatest masters of halacha in our recent generations, also wrote in his seifer, Toras Moshe, on this parsha, Shmos. At the end of the parsha, he says that the fact that Moshe was gone for six months was a very big test. The same will be b’yimei Moshiach Tzidkeinu, yinelam achar nisgaleh (in the days of Moshiach Tzidkeinu, he will be concealed after he is revealed), and we will need special assistance from Hashem to stand up to this test. As mentioned before, the Arizal in Seifer Shaar HaGilgulim also says the same thing – that he’ll come, and like Moshe Rabbeinu, he will disappear, go away, we won’t have him. Then he’ll come back and take all the Yidden out of Galus.” Rabbi Shloma Majeski, A Preface to Moshiach: Setting the Record Straight, Moshiach & Geula, [7]

As the first redeemer was, so the final redeemer shall be. As the first redeemer was concealed in the polar opposite of Israel, Egypt, so too must Mashiach be concealed in a later polar opposite of Israel, Edom. In Rabbinic literature, “Edom” is a term for Christianity. Mashiach is hidden in Christianity, like Yosef and Moshe were concealed in Egypt.

The Donkey

The donkey and its link to ‘Shiloh’ is first mentioned in Genesis 49,

“Binding his foal to the vine, his donkey’s colt to the choice vine; he has washed his garments in wine, his robes in the blood of grapes.” Genesis 49:11

The donkey has been historically linked with Redemption. Samson fought the battles of HaShem with the jawbone of a donkey (Judges 15:15), and King David went to face Goliath of Gath with a donkey,

“Jesse took a donkey loaded with bread, and a bottle of wine, and a young goat, and sent them by David his son to Saul.” 1 Samuel 16:20

The central message of redemption occurs in Genesis 22, which speaks of the Akedat Yitzchak in connection with the donkey,

“Abraham rose early in the morning, and saddled his donkey, and took two of his young men with him, and Isaac his son. He split the wood for the burnt offering, and rose up, and went to the place of which God had told him.” Genesis 22:3

Moshe’s return to Israel is connected with a donkey,

“Moses took his wife and his sons, and set them on the donkey, and he returned to the land of Egypt…” Exodus 4:20

Interestingly, the Hebrew of Exodus 4 does not say “A donkey” but rather “THE donkey.” Rashi comments on this detail,

על החמר: חמור המיוחד, הוא החמור שחבש אברהם לעקידת יצחק והוא שעתיד מלך המשיח להגלות עליו, שנאמר (זכריה ט ט) עני ורוכב על חמור

“On the donkey. The particular donkey. It is the donkey that Abraham saddled for the binding of Isaac, and it is the one that Messiah, the King, is destined to be revealed upon, as it says, “a humble man, riding on a donkey.” Rashi to Exodus 4:20, Mesorah Publications, ltd., pg. 37, cf. Pirkei de-Rebbi Eliezer 31

Rashi is citing Zechariah 9:9,

“Rejoice greatly, daughter of Zion! Shout, daughter of Jerusalem! Behold, your King comes to you! He is righteous, and having salvation; lowly, and riding on a donkey, even on a colt, the foal of a donkey.” Zechariah 9:9

The Talmud comments,

“R. Alexandri said: R. Joshua b. Levi pointed out a contradiction. it is written, in its time [will the Messiah come], while it is also written, I [the Lord] will hasten it! If they are worthy, I will hasten it: if not, [he will come] at the due time. R. Alexandri said: R. Joshua opposed two verses: it is written, And behold, one like the son of man came with the clouds of heaven while [elsewhere] it is written, [behold, your king comes to you. . . ] lowly, and riding upon a donkey! If they are meritorious, [he will come] with the clouds of heaven; if not, lowly and riding upon a donkey.” Sanhedrin 98a, Soncino Press Edition

Kol HaTor comments,

“A lowly person, riding on a donkey” – Mashiach ben Yosef is a lowly person ….“I was brought low, and he saved me.” His lowliness protects him from death.” Kol HaTor 2.114, translated by R’ Yechiel Bar Lev and K. Skaist, pg. 54

The Artscroll Siddur says,

“With the coming and arrival of the season of God’s love…the gazelle (God) observed through the lattice windows, and applied a cure to the bloodied nation. He leaped across time to perform wonders and to multiply new commandments upon the old…From the beginning the Lord established Nissan as the first, but He did not reveal its understanding in the book possessed by Adam…it was sanctified at its beginning, after a third [the tenth of Nissan], in its middle and after its majority to observe, to sanctify the new moon, to take a lamb for the Pesach…its beginning is reserved in every generation, for the coming of the pauper riding on a donkey [Messiah]…” Yotzer for Parashas HaChodesh, Artscroll Nusach Sefard Siddur, Mesorah Publications, ltd., pg. 949

Exodus speaks of the amazing level of Moshe in his relationship with HaShem,

“HaShem spoke to Moses face to face, as a man speaks to his friend…” Exodus 33:11

The Torah distinguishes Moshe from other prophets,

“He said, ‘Hear now my words. If there is a prophet among you, I, HaShem, will make myself known to him in a vision. I will speak with him in a dream. My servant Moses is not so. He is faithful in all my house. With him I will speak mouth to mouth, even plainly, and not in riddles; and he shall see HaShem’s form. Why then were you not afraid to speak against my servant, against Moses?” Numbers 12:6-8

The Talmud comments,

כל הנביאים נסתכלו באספקלריא שאינה מאירה, משה רבינו נסתכל באספקלריא המאירה יבמות דף מט.ב

“All the prophets looked into a dim glass (dark mirror) אספקלריא,  but Moses looked through a clear glass (shiny mirror).” Yevamot 49b, Soncino Press Edition

Deuteronomy says,

“There has not arisen a prophet since in Israel like Moses, whom HaShem knew face to face…” Deuteronomy 34:10

The Ralbag, R’ Levi ben Gershon (1288  – 1344 CE), comments on this passage,

“‘There will not arise a prophet like Moses’ (Deut. 34.10) who was a prophet in Israel only, but there will be a prophet from this people for the nations and this is the King Messiah, as it says in the Midrash, “Behold my servant will prosper” that he will be greater than Moses. And it is explained that the miracles he will do will be greater than Moses. Moses only brought Israel alone to the service of G-d may he be blessed with new miracles, and he (Messiah) will bring all the nations to serve G-d blessed is he. As it says, ‘Then will all the nations be turned to a pure speech, they will all call on the name of G-d.’ (Zeph. 3.9) This faith will come about due to the wondrous miracles that will be seen to all ends of the world by all the nations, and this is the resurrection of the dead” Ralbag on Deuteronomy 34:10 [6]

Greater than Moshe! This seems unthinkable. It was Moshe who brought the revelation of the Torah. Yet, the Midrash Tanchuma says,

שיר למעלות אשא עיני אל ההרים וגו’ (תהלים קכא), זשה”כ (זכריה ד) מי אתה הר הגדול? לפני זרובבל למישור. זה משיח בן דוד, ולמה נקרא שמו הר הגדול? שהוא גדול מן האבות…ירום מאברהם…ונשא ממשה…וגבה כמלאכי השרת

“A song to the ascents. I will lift my eyes to the mountains, [from where will my help come?]” In reference to this, the verse states, “Who are you, O great mountain? Before Zerubavel, you will be a [mere] plain. This refers to Moshiach, the son of Dovid. Why does it call him “great mountain”? Because he is greater than the Patriarchs, as it is stated, “Behold, My servant shall prosper, will be exalted, uplifted, and become exceedingly lofty.” He will be more “exalted” than Avraham, he will be “uplifted” more than Moshe, and “become exceedingly lofty” more than the ministering angels.” Midrash Tanchuma, Bereshis, Volume 2, Toldot 14, translated by Avrohom Davis, pgs. 75-76 [4]

The Maharal, R’ Judah Loew ben Betzalel (1520 – 1609 CE) comments on this passage in connection with the donkey (chamor),

“It is reasonable to ask how this donkey is different from others – why does the Torah single this one out? A donkey is a donkey! The midrash points out that this donkey was created at twilight; it is the donkey that Moshe rode, and it is the one that will ultimately be ridden by the son of David. . . the rabbis wanted to juxtapose Avraham, Moshe and Mashiach, who had what no other creations had – a special exalted status. . . As for the Mashiach, the prophet says, “Behold my servant shall succeed, he will be exalted and become high and exceedingly lofty” [Isaiah 52:13]. The midrash interprets: “exalted” – more than Avraham; ‘high’ – even more than Moshe; and ‘exceedingly lofty’ – more than the ministering angels [Tanchuma, Toldot 14]. Only these three are loftier than time, space and the universe…The donkey is the only non-kosher animal specified for performance of a commandment – its firstborn must be redeemed. Chamor [donkey] gets its name from chomri [physical, material]…Kings reign over the material world, which is symbolically represented by the image of a man riding an animal. These three spiritual kings – Avraham, Moshe and Mashiach – who ascend to the highest levels of spirituality, symbolically ride the donkey, which represents the material world. A horse would, as a rule, be more fitting for a king, but these are spiritual kings…” Maharal of Prague, Gur Arye, on Exodus and Leviticus, translated by Moshe David Kuhr, Gefen Publishers, pgs. 34-35 

The Maharal is linking the donkey to this mitzvah described in Exodus,

“Every firstborn of a donkey you shall redeem with a lamb; and if you will not redeem it, then you shall break its neck; and you shall redeem all the firstborn of man among your sons.” Exodus 13:13

The Zohar comments on the link between the lamb and the donkey,

“The donkey and the lamb symbolize the evil and the good inclinations. The very evil can be turned into good by repentance: the “donkey” must be redeemed by a “lamb”. In other words, even if a man is a “donkey”, a spiritual ignoramus, he can be redeemed from the exile of darkness and be included in the redemption of Israel, “the scattered sheep” (Jer. 50:17). But if he does not repent, ‘thou shalt break his neck’, meaning, he belongs to the stiffnecked ones who will be blotted out from the Book of Life, for concerning such unrepentant sinners it is written: ‘Whosoever hath sinned against me, him will I blot out of my book’ (Ex. 22:33).” Zohar, Ra’aya Mehemna, 43a, Soncino Press Edition

The Gospels describe Yeshua as the Lamb of G-d, riding upon the donkey into Jerusalem,

“When they drew near to Jerusalem, to Bethsphage and Bethany, at the Mount of Olives, he sent two of his disciples, and said to them, ‘Go your way into the village that is opposite you. Immediately as you enter into it, you will find a young donkey tied, on which no one has sat. Untie him, and bring him. If anyone asks you, ‘Why are you doing this?’ Say, ‘The Lord needs him.’ and immediately he will send him back here.’ They went away, and found a young donkey tied at the door outside in the open street, and they untied him. Some of those who stood there asked them, ‘What are you doing, untying the young donkey?’ They said to them just as Yeshua had said, and they let them go. They brought the young donkey to Yeshua, and threw their garments on it, and Yeshua sat on it. Many spread their garments on the way, and others were cutting down branches from the trees, and spreading them on the road. Those who went in front, and those who followed, cried out, ‘Hoshia’na! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the L-rd! Blessed is the kingdom of our father David that is coming in the name of the Lord! Hoshia’na in the highest!” Mark 11:1-10

Six Stone Jars

The Gospel of John is written on the sod level. Everything that he describes in his Gospel literally happened, but he selected these accounts to illustrate the deep mystical connection of Yeshua and the Torah. John closes his Gospel by telling us,

“There are also many other things which Yeshua did, which if they would all be written, I suppose that even the world itself wouldn’t have room for the books that would be written.” John 21:25

He tell us of a marriage banquet not mentioned in any of the other Gospels,

“The third day, there was a marriage in Cana of Galilee. Yeshua’s mother was there. Yeshua also was invited, with his disciples, to the marriage. When the wine ran out, Yeshua’s mother said to him, ‘They have no wine.’ Yeshua said to her, ‘Woman, what does that have to do with you and me? My hour has not yet come.’ His mother said to the servants, ‘Whatever he says to you, do it.’Now there were six water pots of stone set there after the Jews way of purifying, containing twenty or thirty gallons each. Yeshua said to them, ‘Fill the water pots with water.’ They filled them up to the brim. He said to them, ‘Now draw some out, and take it to the ruler of the feast.’ So they took it. When the ruler of the feast tasted the water now become wine, and didn’t know where it came from (but the servants who had drawn the water knew), the ruler of the feast called the bridegroom, and said to him, ‘Everyone serves the good wine first, and when the guests have drunk freely, then that which is worse. You have kept the good wine until now!’ This beginning of his signs Yeshua did in Cana of Galilee, and revealed his glory; and his disciples believed in him.” John 2:1-11

Several questions must be asked here. Why does Yeshua say, “My hour has not yet come”? Why does John decide to include the detail, “On the third day…”? One principle in understanding the text of the Bible is that no word is superfluous. It is well known that a day equals 1000 years in Jewish thought. Peter paraphrases Psalm 90:4,

“…don’t forget this one thing, beloved, that one day is with the L-d as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.” 2 Peter 3:8

On May 14, 1948, David ben Gurion announced the establishment of the State of Israel, fulfilling the prophecy in Hosea 6:2. Considering this, what is the significance of the third day from a Jewish perspective? On the “third day”is the time of the “marriage banquet” that occurs on the day after the 2000 year exile in accordance with Hosea 6:2,

“After two days he will revive us. On the third day he will raise us up, and we will live before him.” Hosea 6:2

The meaning is, “After 2000 years he will revive us, and on the third day, he will raise us up.” Amazingly, we have seen this prophecy come to fulfillment in our own days, with our own eyes. We are now rapidly approaching the third day. Genesis Rabbah commenting on Genesis 22:4, says,

“ON THE THIRD DAY. It is written, ‘After two days He will revive us, on the third day He will raise us up, that we may live in His presence (Hosea 6:2).’ E.g. on the third day of the tribal ancestors: ‘And Joseph said unto them the third day: This do, and live (Gen. 42:18);’ on the third day of Revelation: ‘And it came to pass on the third day, when it was morning (Exodus 29:16)’; on the third day of the spies: ‘And hide yourselves there three days (Joshua 2:16)’; on the third day of Jonah: And Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights (Jonah 2:1); on the third day of those returning from the Exile:’And we abode there three days (Ezra 8:32)’; on the third day of resurrection: ‘After two days He will revive us, on the third day He will raise us up.’ on the third day of Esther: ‘Now it came to pass on the third day, that Esther put on her royal apparel (Est. 5:1)’- i.e. she put on the royal apparel of her ancestor. For whose sake? The Rabbis say: For the sake of the third day, when Revelation took place. R. Levi maintained: ‘In the merit of what Abraham did on the third day,’ as it says, ‘ON THE THIRD DAY,’ etc. ‘AND SAW THE PLACE AFAR OFF. What did he see? He saw a cloud enveloping the mountain, and said: ‘It appears that that is the place where the Holy One, blessed be He, told me to sacrifice my son.” Genesis Rabbah 56:1, Soncino Press Edition

The “wedding feast” is a symbol of the Messianic Kingdom,

“The Kingdom of Heaven is like a certain king, who made a marriage feast for his son…” Matthew 22:2, cf. Revelation 19:9

Pirkei Avot says,

“The judgment is true, and everything is prepared for the banquet.” Pirkei Avot 3:16

What is the secret of the wine?

“Judah and Hezekiah, the sons of R. Hiyya, once sat at a table with Rabbi and uttered not a word. Whereupon he said: Give the young men plenty of strong wine, so that they may say something. When the wine took effect, they began by saying: ‘The son of David cannot appear ere the two ruling houses in Israel shall have come to an end, viz., the Exilarchate, in Babylon and the Patriarchate in Palestine, for it is written, ‘And he shall be for a Sanctuary, for a stone of stumbling and for a rock of offence to both houses of Israel.’ Thereupon he [Rabbi] exclaimed: ‘You throw thorns in my eyes, my children!’ At this, R. Hiyya [his disciple] remarked: ‘Master, be not angered, for the numerical value of the letters of yayin is seventy, and likewise the letters of sod: When yayin [wine] goes in, sod [secrets] comes out.” Sanhedrin 38a, Soncino Press Edition

In Hebrew, the word for wine (yayin) and secret (sod) have the same gematria,

70 = יין = סוד

In describing the plagues of Egypt, and the Nile becoming blood, the Torah mentions that even the water within “stone vessels”became blood,

“HaShem said to Moshe, ‘Tell Aaron, Take your rod, and stretch out your hand over the waters of Egypt, over their rivers, over their streams, and over their pools, and over all their ponds of water, that they may become blood; and there shall be blood throughout all the land of Egypt, both in vessels of wood and in vessels of stone.” Exodus 7:19

As Moshe turned the water to blood, so Mashiach turned water to wine. However, why are there six stone jars that contain the water that Yeshua changes into wine? Why does it say six specifically? It is well known that 6 is the “number of man” (Rev 13:18). But why? Because Adam was created on the six day, and represents the pinnacle of Creation. The six stone jars refer to the Six Days of Creation,

“…for in six days HaShem made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day; therefore HaShem blessed the Sabbath day, and made it holy.” Exodus 20:11

The Talmud says,

“The world to come is not like this world. In this world there is the trouble of harvesting and treading [of the grapes], but in the world to come a man will bring one grape on a wagon or a ship, put it in a corner of his house and use its contents as [if it had been] a large wine cask, while its timber would be used to make fires for cooking. There will be no grape that will not contain thirty kegs of wine…” Ketubot 111b, Soncino Press Edition

This idea is even expressed in the text 2nd Baruch,

“The earth also shall yield its fruit ten-thousandfold and on each vine there shall be thousand branches, and each branch shall produce a thousand clusters, and each cluster produce a thousand grapes, and each grape produce a kor of wine…” 2 Baruch 29:5-8

In Tractate Sanhedrin, R’ Yehoshua comments,

“What is that which no eye has seen? R’ Yehoshua ben Levi said: This is wine preserved in its grapes since the six days of Creation. Reish Lakish says: This is Eden.” Talmud, Sanhedrin 99a, Mesorah Publications, ltd.

The Midrash Rabbah says,

“Israel … busied themselves with Torah which is sweeter than honey, the Holy One, blessed be He, will therefore in the hereafter, give them to drink of the wine that is preserved in its grapes since the six days of Creation.” Numbers 13:2, Soncino Press Edition

Artscroll commentary on this passage in Sanhedrin 99a explains,

“The reward is allegorically portrayed as wine, because nothing gladdens a person’s heart in this world more than wine does. It is described as “preserved in its grapes since the Creation” to convey that no human has ever perceived it, just as no one has touched wine that is still within its grapes (Yad Ramah to 90a). Wine preserved in its grapes since the Creation” is a metaphor for secret Torah wisdom which has not been made known to man. This wisdom will be revealed to the righteous in the world to come (Midrash Ne’elam, cited by Margaliyos HaYam; Even Sheleimah 11:11;see also Maharsha [Berachos ibid.] and Maharal.” Artscroll Commentary to Sanhedrin 99, Mesorah Publications, ltd.

Yeshua says, “My time has not yet come” because the Messianic Kingdom is not yet here. Even so, he gives us a taste of wine hidden for the Olam Haba, the World to Come. This teaches us that we do not need to wait for the Kingdom to bring it here now. The Kingdom can be here, now, brought by our mitzvot. Its full manifestation will come when Mashiach returns, but we can bring a taste of the Messianic Kingdom today.

Mirror Images

The Midrash Rabbah says,

“R. Berekiah said in the name of R. Isaac: As the first redeemer was, so shall the latter Redeemer be. What is stated of the former redeemer? ‘And Moses took his wife and his sons, and set them upon an donkey’ (Ex. 4: 20). Similarly will it be with the latter Redeemer, as it is stated, ‘Lowly and riding upon an donkey’ (Zech.9:9). As the former redeemer caused manna to descend, as it is stated, ‘Behold, I will cause it to rain bread from heaven for you’ (Ex. 16:4), so will the latter Redeemer cause manna to descend, as it is stated. May he be as a rich cornfield in the land (Ps. 72:16). As the former redeemer made a well to rise, so will the latter Redeemer bring up water, as it is stated, ‘And a fountain shall come forth of the house of the Lord, and shall water the valley of Shittim’ (Joel 4:18).” Kohelet Rabbah 1:28, Soncino Press Edition

The Jewish scholar Joseph Klausner comments,

“. . . Just as Moses brought redemption to his people, so also will Messiah bring redemption. . . Just as Moses, after revealing himself to his brethren in Egypt and announcing to them that deliverance was near, was forced to go into hiding for a time, so also will be Messiah be forced to hide himself after the first revelations, just as Moses crossed from Midian to Egypt riding on a donkey (Exod 4:20), so also will Messiah come riding on a donkey; just as Moses caused manna to rain from the sky, so will Messiah bring forth different kinds of food in a miraculous way; and just as Moses gave to the children of Israel wells and springs of water in the wilderness, so also will Messiah make streams of water flow in the desert. Not only this, but the acceptance of suffering because of the iniquities of others, which late Jewish legend attributes to the Messiah…is also attributed to our master Moses. (This may be called suffering for atonement; Christian scholars call it vicarious suffering, and in Christianity this idea has become an important article of faith.)” Joseph Klausner, The Messianic Idea in Israel, pgs. 17-18, 19-27

 The parallels between Yeshua and Moshe are numerous. As the first redeemer was, so shall the second redeemer be.

The Burning Bush

In one of the most incredible moments in history, Moshe came face to face with  HaShem,

“The Angel of HaShem appeared to him in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush (סְּנֶה). He looked, and behold, the bush burned with fire, and the bush was not consumed.” Exodus 3:2

The Targum identifies the ‘Angel’ in the Bush as Zagnuga-el, which is one of the 70 names of Metatron, who Kol HaTor identifies as the “Mashiach ben Yosef from above,”

“But Mosheh was keeping the flock of Jethro his father-in-law, the rabba of Midian; and he had led the flock to a pleasant place of pasturage which is behind the desert, and had come to the mountain on which was revealed the glory of the L-rd, even Horeb. And Zagnugael, the angel of the L-rd, appeared to him in a flame of fire in the midst of the bush. And he gazed, and, behold, the bush burned with fire, yet the bush was neither burned nor consumed with fire.” Targum Onkelos on Exodus 3 [3]

HaShem instructs Moshe to take off his sandals,

“Do not come close. Take your sandals off of your feet, for the place you are standing on is holy ground.” Exodus 3:5

A similar event happens to Joshua,

“It happened, when Joshua was by Jericho, that he lifted up his eyes and looked, and behold, a man stood in front of him with his sword drawn in his hand. Joshua went to him, and said to him, ‘Are you for us, or for our adversaries?’ He said, ‘No, but I have come now as commander of the HaShem’s army.’ Joshua fell on his face to the earth, and worshipped, and said to him, ‘What does my lord say to his servant? The prince of HaShem’s army said to Joshua, ‘Take your shoes off of your feet; for the place on which you stand is holy.’ Joshua did so.” Joshua 5:13-15

However, why would the Angel of HaShem appear in a thornbush? Thorns are related to the curse upon Adam,

“To Adam he said, ‘Because you have listened to your wife’s voice, and have eaten of the tree, of which I commanded you, saying, You shall not eat of it, cursed is the ground for your sake. In toil you will eat of it all the days of your life.” Genesis 3:17

Would it not be more appropriate to appear in the midst of a towering Cedar of Lebanon? Rashi explains,

“And the angel of G-d appeared to him in a flame of fire out of the midst of a thornbush (3:2)” Why in a thornbush and not some other tree? In order to demonstrate that  “I am with them in their affliction.” Rashi, cited at

Isaiah 63 says,

“In all their affliction he was afflicted, and the angel of his presence saved them; in his love and in his pity he redeemed them; he lifted them up and carried them all the days of old.” Isaiah 63:9, ESV

This is the secret as to why the Mashiach wore a crown of thorns,

“They braided a crown of thorns and put it on his head, and a reed in his right hand; and they kneeled down before him, and mocked him, saying, Hail, King of the Jews! They spat on him, and took the reed and struck him on the head.” Matthew 27:29-30

Face to Face

As mentioned before, the Torah distinguishes Moshe from other prophets,

“All the prophets looked into a dim glass (dark mirror),  but Moses looked through a clear glass (shiny mirror).” Yevamot 49b, Soncino Press Edition

Paul speaks of the ultimate revelation of the Redeemer, when all will see through a clear mirror,

“Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends…For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I will know fully, even as I was also fully known. But now faith, hope, and love remain–these three. The greatest of these is love.” 1 Corinthians 13:4-8,12-13, ESV

King Solomon wrote,

“Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth! For your love is better than wine.” Song of Solomon 1:2, ESV

Wisdom, which is the Primordial Torah, says

“Come, eat some of my bread, drink some of the wine which I have mixed!” Proverbs 9:5, cf. Genesis 14:18

R’ Yitzchok Wagshul comments,

“Revelation of this Great Love is accomplished through study of the Torah, which is compared to wine. This is the inner significance of the Talmudic saying “When wine [referring to Torah] enters a person, the secret [referring to the longing of their soul for G-d] comes out”…When the “wine” of Torah enters a person’s system, when he or she makes Torah the object of his or her soul’s thought and speech – through study and teaching of Torah – and actions – through actual performance of mitzvot – this stimulates the soul itself and brings its Great Love to the fore…Our verse, too, referring to “eyes bloodshot from wine” is speaking of the degree of Delightful Love which results after one has succeeded, through the wine of Torah, in bringing out the Great Love “hidden” within one’s soul.” Yitzchok D. Wagshul, Eyes Red with Wine: Part 2, [5]

The blessing over the wine says,

בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה יְיָ אֱלֹקינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם בּוֹרֵא פְּרִי הַגָּפֶן

Baruch atah HaShem, Elokeinu Melech HaOlam, borei pri hagafen Blessed are you HaShem, our G-d, King of the Universe, who creates the fruit of the vine.

Yeshua says,

“I am the True Vine, and my Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in me that does not bear fruit he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit…As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love. If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love. These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full. “This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that someone lays down his life for his friends.” John 15:1-2,9-13, ESV



  1. Targum Yonatan to Genesis 49

  2. R’ Ari Kahn, M’oray HaAish, Moshe the Emergence of a Leader

  3. Targum Onkelos to Exodus 3

  4. Here is the entire passage of Midrash Tanchuma, Toledot 14, in Hebrew (from: שיר למעלות אשא עיני אל ההרים וגו’ (תהלים קכא), זשה”כ (זכריה ד) מי אתה הר הגדול לפני זרובבל למישור זה משיח בן דוד, ולמה נקרא שמו הר הגדול שהוא גדול מן האבות שנאמר (ישעיה נב) הנה ישכיל עבדי ירום ונשא וגבה מאד, ירום מאברהם ונשא מיצחק וגבה מיעקב, ירום מאברהם שנאמר (בראשית יד) הרמותי יד אל ה’, ונשא ממשה שאמר (במדבר יא) כי תאמר אלי שאהו בחיקך, וגבה כמלאכי השרת שנאמר (יחזקאל א) וגבותם מלאות עינים, לכך נאמר מי אתה הר הגדול, וממי הוא יוצא מזרובבל, ולמה נקרא שמו זרובבל מפני שנולד בבבל, ומי הוא מדוד שנאמר (ד”ה א ג) ובן שלמה רחבעם אביה בנו וגו’, עד ודליה וענני שבעה (ס”א ע”כ דברי הימים) ומהו ענני זה משיח (זכריה ד) כי מי בז ליום קטנות שבעה אלה שנאמר (דניאל ז) הזה הוית בחזוי ליליא וארו עם ענני שמיא כבר אנש אתה הוא, וענני שבעה מהו שבעה מה שכתוב במלך המשיח כי כי בז ליום קטנות שבעה אלה, לכך נאמר מי אתה הר הגדול זה שכתוב בו (ישעיה יא) ושפט בצדק דלים וגו’ (זכריה ד) והוציא את האבן הראשה וגו’ מה כתיב אחריו באדין דקו כחדה וגו’ וכתיב ואבנא די מחת לצלמא הות לטור רב ומלאת כל ארעא (דניאל ב) לכך נאמר מי אתה הר הגדול, והיכן הוא בא דרך ההרים שנאמר (ישעיה נב) מה נאוו על ההרים רגלי מבשר וגו’, באותה שעה יהיו ישראל מסתכלין ואומרים אשא עיני אל ההרים מאין יבא עזרי עזרי מעם ה’ עושה שמים וארץ אמן כן יהי רצון:

  5. Yitzchok D. Wagshul, Eyes Red with Wine: Part 2,

  6. Translated by R’ Moshe Shulman, Judaism’s Answer (Anti-missionary website)

  7. A Preface to Moshiach: Setting the Record Straight, Beis Moshiach

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