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Beha’alotkha: Transfiguration

Updated: Jun 21

In October 1927, a meeting of the greatest minds in science took place during the fifth Solvay conference in Brussels, Belgium. Among the attendees were luminaries such as Albert Einstein, Wolfgang Pauli, Max Planck, Werner Heisenberg, Marie Curie, and Niels Bohr.

During the conference, a festering debate erupted between Einstein and Bohr over Heisenberg’s Uncertainty Principle, a fundamental tenet of Quantum Mechanics. Although he was essentially the “grandfather” of Quantum Physics, he rejected its bizarre understanding of the world. The counter-intuitive properties of the subatomic world are “spooky”, and characterized by an unsettling “randomness” of apparent chance. This prompted Einstein to make the famous statement, “God does not play dice.” Niels Bohr responded sharply, “Stop telling God what to do.”

While these ideas are fundamental to the bizarre subatomic world, the theological world has struggled with its own version of the uncertainty principle: free will vs. predetermination, alternatively called Arminianism vs Calvinism. It seems, in some way, that HaShem has rolled the dice with the world by giving man free choice, but this notion has ignited vigorous debate in the world of philosophy and religion. Once, I was walking in a bookstore, and I saw a 230 page book entitled, “Why I Am Not a Calvinist.” Right next to it on the shelf, by the same publisher, was a 224 page book entitled, “Why I Am Not An Arminian.” 454 pages later, this problem that has divided Christianity remains unsolved. In Judaism, however, these contradictory ideas were solved with a single sentence thousands of years ago,

“Everything is foreseen, and choice is given. . .” Pirkei Avot 3:19

Both views are correct, and although they seem like fire (eish) and water (mayim), they nonetheless are true. The harmony of eish and mayim, according to the Midrash, is the essence of Shamayim, Heaven, which is the balance between absolute judgment and infinite mercy. The Jewish mind has been honed over millennia to harmonize such opposite viewpoints. The Talmud elucidates this principle in describing the diametrically opposed positions of Beit Hillel and Beit Shammai,

“These and these are the words of the living God, but the halachah is in agreement with the rulings of Beit Hillel.” Eruvin 13b, Soncino Press Edition

Throughout Jewish literature, this principle is key to unlocking some of the deepest mysteries of the Torah. However, does this uncertainty principle apply to prophecy? The prophet sees through a dark mirror of quantum uncertainty. He sees the vision as if the events have happened already, yet everything is still dependent upon choice. HaShem sees the end from the beginning, but His foreknowledge is not causative nor overrides this power of choice, as Pirkei Avot says,

“Everything is in the hands of Heaven, except the fear of Heaven.” Pirkei Avot 3:11

We may ask how HaShem then controls the world, and to what measure. To accept this, we must acknowledge that His ways are higher than our ways, and His thoughts higher than our thoughts. HaShem can see and calculate every potential quantum interaction to the largest scale events in the universe, from the beginning to the end. While this is true, from our perspective, we have the world of actuality and the world of potential. These realities become stark when we think of them in concrete terms. When you look upon a young adult, who stands at the fork in the road in life, their face is beaming with potential. Who will they be? What will they become? The choices made have world changing potential. He or she can become a doctor, a physicist or a president. Conversely, they may make the terrible choice of drugs, sin and evil leading to destruction – not only of life, but of potential. In the Final Judgement, one is judged not only on their actions, but also their “inactions”, the forfeit of the potential possibility that HaShem built into their abilities. This is all based on choice. And these two worlds collide in Parashat Beha’alotcha (Numbers 8:1–12:16).

Nunim Hafuchim

The book of Numbers contains an incredible passage containing numerous secrets,

"The cloud of HaShem was over them by day, when they set forward from the camp.  [ It happened, when the ark went forward, that Moses said, “Rise up, HaShem, and let your enemies be scattered! Let those who hate you flee before you!” When it rested, he said, “Return, HaShem, to the ten thousands of the thousands of Israel. [ " Numbers 10:34-36

The Cloud of HaShem immediately precedes this special section of the Torah, and we will return to it in the end. Containing 85 letters, the passage is “bracketed” by two nunim hafuchim, inverted nuns. The scroll is written like this:

The Talmud comments,

“Our Rabbis taught: ‘And it came to pass when the ark set forward that Moses said, [etc.]’: for this section the Holy One, blessed be He, provided signs above and below, to teach that this is not its place.’ Rabbi said: ‘It is not on that account, but because it ranks as a separate Book.’ With whom does the following dictum of R. Samuel b. Nahmani in R. Jonathan’s name agree: ‘She [Wisdom] hath hewn out her seven pillars:’ this refers to the seven Books of the Law? With whom? With Rabbi. Who is the Tanna that disagrees with Rabbi? It is R. Simeon b. Gamaliel. For it was taught, R. Simeon b. Gamaliel said: ‘This section is destined to be removed from here and written in its [right place].” Shabbat 115b-116a, Soncino Press Edition

This may seem unusual. The Torah has five books. But on a secret level, there are actually seven books! They are as follows,

  1. Genesis 

  2. Exodus

  3. Leviticus

  4. The Beginning of Numbers

  5. These Two Verses

  6. The Remainder of Numbers

  7. Deuteronomy

It is known that after Adam’s sin, the Torah reconfigured and is not in its proper order. There is also a rare and unusual opinion that the ‘Two Verses from Numbers 10’ were not authored by Moshe and are also out of place. The question then becomes, who wrote this, and where should it actually be? Before we answer these questions, let us return to the world of potential and the world of action.

The passage itself is unusual. It is the first time the Ark moves. Within this action, there is huge potential. The Throne of God on earth is moving toward the land. The Artscroll commentary on the Sforno says,

“Israel was supposed to enter Eretz Yisrael in a period of three days, had they not insisted on sending the spies and subsequently believing their defeatist and despairing report. The Ark, during this special period, went before them while the cloud hovered over them.” Sforno, Bamidbar Artscroll Mesorah Series, Mesorah Publications, ltd., pg. 696

With the power of HaShem in the midst of them, they were proceeding toward the Promised Land! Moshe speaks to his brother in law, Chovav, and invites him to the land,

“Moshe said to Chovav, the son of Reuel the Midianite, Moses’ father-in-law, “We are journeying to the place of which HaShem said, ‘I will give it to you.’ Come with us, and we will treat you well; for HaShem has spoken good concerning Israel.” Numbers 10:29

Sometimes when reading the text, we fail to see the heartbreak. Moshe believes that he will enter into the land!  He invites the non-Jew to participate! The aspect of the non-Jew joining to the Jew, following them to Mount Zion is characteristic of the Messianic Era (Zechariah 8). Here the world of potential is about to come to a crashing halt based on the choice of Israel. It is said that if Moshe were allowed to enter the promised land, the Temple would have been built. R’ Ari Kahn states,

“This book-within-a-book, only two verses long, is distinguished from everything that comes before and after it, alerting us to the fact that here is something quite extraordinary. These are not simply a pair of innocuous verses; they indicate that something monumental happened, or to be more accurate, that something monumental did not happen – and therein lies the key to this unique, truncated book. What do these two verses actually tell us? The Holy Ark of the Covenant moves, for the first time since its creation, and Moshe calls out to God to scatter His enemies. What enemies are these? Quite simply, the nations occupying the Land of Israel: The time had come for the Israelites to come home and reclaim their birthright.” R’ Ari Kahn, M’oray HaAish, Be’halot’cha; The Seven Books, [1]

R’ Ari Kahn then explains and amazing insight by the Or HaChayim, R’ Chaim ben Attar (1696 – 1743CE),

“The Ohr HaChaim takes this same approach to its inescapable conclusion: Had Moshe entered the Land, the Temple would have been built – and could never have been destroyed; such was the spiritual power of Moshe. Had the Jews sinned despite this spiritual center, God would have destroyed the people, while the building would have remained standing, intact and unscathed. God did not allow Moshe to enter the Land so that He could take out his “anger” on the building, on the stone and mortar of the Beit haMikdash, rather than on the people who had transgressed. The people would be exiled, not annihilated. Thus, Moshe rightly explains, his own punishment was “for your sakes.” R’ Ari Kahn, M’oray HaAish, Va’et’chanan: Why Couldn’t Moshe Enter the Land of Israel?, cf. Ohr Hachaim Devarim 1:37 [2]

Moshe suffered on behalf of Israel, as an atonement, being cut off from the land. This is the role of the Tzaddik, whose ultimate manifestation is the Messiah, the root of the souls of Israel. Like the Menorah, Chazal explains that the Spirit that was upon Moshe kindled the flame of the 70 elders of Israel.

Root of Souls

וַיֹּאמֶר מֹשֶׁה שֵׁשׁ־מֵאֹות אֶלֶף רַגְלִי הָעָם אֲשֶׁר אָנֹכִי בְּקִרְבֹּו

“Moses said, “The people, among whom I am, are six hundred thousand men on foot…” Numbers 11:21

Rebbe Nachman says,

“The students share the same spiritual root as the master, although they are dependent upon him like branches on a tree.” Rebbe Nachman, Likutey Moharan 66:1A, Volume 8, Breslov Research Institute, pg. 67

He continues,

“The True Tzaddik is the foundation of the world and everything depends on him. For the True Tzaddik is unique in the world… and even all the Tzaddikim are only branches from him.” Likutey Moharan 1:70, cited in The True Tzaddik, Selected Thoughts from Rebbe Nachman of Breslov, published by Rabbi Yisroel Ber Odesser [3]

Rebbe Nachman says,

“…the principle is that the tzaddik has the power to exercise rule as he sees fit. As our Sages taught: “a tzaddik rules…” (2 Samuel 23:3) – Who rules over me? The tzaddik (Moed Katan 16b). This corresponds to “Yosef was the ruler” (Genesis 42:6). He is the encompassing root of all Jewish souls, and they are the extensions that receive from him.” Rebbe Nachman, Likutey Moharan 34:2, Volume V, Breslov Research Institute, pg. 51

The Breslov commentary elucidates,

“We find in the writings of the Ari that all souls are rooted in the soul of the tzaddik, with the tzaddik being like the trunk of a large tree and all his followers its different branches, twigs and leaves (see Shaar HaGilgulim p 83-88).”

Yeshua revealed himself as the Trunk of Souls, and likened himself to the Vine, which is a title for Israel,

“I am the Vine. You are the branches. He who remains in me, and I in him, the same bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.” John 15:5

Like the Menorah, the vine has a trunk whose branches spread out and bear fruit/light. There is a description in Jewish thought of the Throne of Solomon that connects it to the Menorah,

“…rising over the throne stood an exquisite menorah of pure gold decorated with golden cups, knobs, flowers, blossoms and petals. On each side of the Menorah seven branches turned upwards. On the branches of one side were engraved the names of the seven fathers of the world: Adam, Noah, Shem, Abraham, Yitzchak and Yaakov, with Iyov (Job) in the center. On the other seven branches of the Menorah the names of the most pious men were engraved: Levi, Kehot and Amram, Moshe and Aaron, Eldad and Medad, with Chur in the center.” King Solomon’s Throne, Nissan Mindel, [4]

Eldad and Medad

Let us discover the secret of the Two Nuns by looking into the worlds of the Two Prophets. The word prophet (Navi) itself begins with the letter Nun. The Book of Numbers says,

“Moses went out, and told the people the words of HaShem; and he gathered seventy men of the elders of the people, and set them around the Tent. HaShem came down in the cloud, and spoke to him, and took of the Spirit that was on him, and put it on the seventy elders: and it happened that when the Spirit rested on them, they prophesied, but they did so no more. But two men remained in the camp. The name of one was Eldad, and the name of the other Medad: and the Spirit rested on them; and they were of those who were written, but had not gone out to the Tent; and they prophesied in the camp. A young man ran, and told Moses, and said, Eldad and Medad are prophesying in the camp! Joshua the son of Nun, the servant of Moses, one of his chosen men, answered, My lord Moses, forbid them! Moses said to him, Are you jealous for my sake? I wish that all HaShem’s people were prophets, that HaShem would put his Spirit on them! Moses went into the camp, he and the elders of Israel.” Numbers 11:24-30

What did they prophesy? The Targum says,

“And both of them prophesied together, and said: ‘Behold, a king will arise from the land of Magog, at the end of the days, and will assemble kings crowned with crowns, and captains wearing armor, and all nations will obey him. And they will set battle in array in the land of Israel against the children of the captivity; but already is it provided that in the hour of distresses all of them shall perish by the burning blast of the flame that comes forth from beneath the Throne of Glory; and their carcasses shall fall upon the mountains of the land of Israel, and the wild, and Yehoshua bar Nun, his disciple, minister of the camps, will succeed.” Targum Pseudo-Jonathan to Numbers 11 [5]

According to the Targum, the four things are:

  1. The Death of Moshe, the First Redeemer

  2. The Succession of Yehoshua

  3. The Coming Curse of the Quail

  4. The War of Gog and Magog

We may ask what significance history’s final war would have for Israelites traveling in the wilderness? But we must know the principle that HaShem “tells the end from the beginning.” According to Chazal, the two prophets were alluded to in Ezekiel,

“R. Nahman said: They prophesied concerning Gog and Magog. as it is said, Thus saith the Lord God: Are you he of whom I spoke in old time by My servants the prophets of Israel, that prophesied in those days for many years that I would bring thee against them? etc. Read not ‘shanim’ [years] but ‘shenayim’ [two]. And which two prophets prophesied the same thing at the same time? ‘Say, they are Eldad and Medad.” Sanhedrin 17a, Soncino Press Edition

The gematria of Gog u’Magog equals the number seventy. The Talmud says,

“R. Simeon said: They remained in the Camp. For when the Holy One, blessed be He, ordered Moses: “Gather unto me seventy of the elders of Israel,” Eldad and Medad observed, “We are not worthy of that dignity.” Thereupon the Holy One, blessed be He, said, “Because you have humbled yourselves, I will add to your greatness yet more greatness.”And how did He add to their dignity? In that all [the other prophets] prophesied and ceased, but their prophesying did not cease. And what did they prophesy? They said, “Moses shall die and Joshua shall bring Israel into the land. . . They prophesied concerning the matter of the quails. . . They prophesied concerning Gog and Magog. . . The Master said: All the other prophets prophesied and ceased, but they prophesied and did not cease.” Sanhedrin 17a, Soncino Press Edition

The Jerusalem Targum says,

“Gog and Magog and his host come up against Jerusalem; but by the hand of the King Messiah they will fall, and seven years of days will the children of Israel kindle their fire with their weapons of war.” Jerusalem Targum to Numbers 11 [6]

One view is that Eldad and Medad held a superior level of prophecy. Zechariah seems to speak of a future ‘Eldad and Medad’,

“What are those two olive trees on the right and left sides of the menorah?” … “Those are the two who have been anointed with oil, they are standing with the Lord of all the land.” Zechariah 4:11-14

The ultimate manifestation of the Two Witnesses comes at the end,

“Also I will give power to my two witnesses; and they will prophesy for 1,260 days, dressed in sackcloth.” These are the two olive trees and the two menorahs standing before the Lord of the earth.” Revelation 11:3-4

Like Yochanan the Immerser who fulfilled the role of Eliyahu HaNavi in preparing the way for Yeshua of Nazareth, who was Mashiach ben Yosef, there will be another Eliyahu coming in the same manner. If Mashiach were to appear ten times, you would need ten appearances of Eliyahu. What will these two prophesy before the coming of Mashiach? We may speculate the message will be “Repent for the Kingdom of Heaven is at Hand!” This message may contain the following points:

  1. The Death of Mashiach, the Last Redeemer

  2. The Resurrection of Yeshua

  3. The Coming Curses of Judgment

  4. The War of Gog and Magog

All of this for the following goal: Teshuva! For Israel, and the world, to make the choice to receive Mashiach in righteousness and blessing. There is a huge debate as to the identities of the two prophets. Some say it will be Moshe and Eliyahu, or Enoch and Eliyahu. The argument is based on a statement in the Book of Hebrews,

“Inasmuch as it is appointed for men to die once, and after this, judgment…” Hebrews 9:27

Therefore, according to this theory, Enoch and Eliyahu must come back to earth to die. However, upon closer examination, the passage in Hebrews is simply a general statement for humanity. 1 Corinthians says,

“Behold, I tell you a mystery. We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last shofar. For the shofar will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we will be changed.” 1 Corinthians 15:51-52

1 Thessalonians 4 explains that there will be people alive at the time of the Resurrection, and they will be transformed without having tasted death. In truth, through the concept of bitul, self-nullification, they died and became extensions of the Holy Mashiach. This is the goal of every follower of the Holy Rabbi Yeshua of Nazareth, who also nullified himself. The two witnesses are not necessarily Moshe and Eliyahu, or Enoch and Eliyahu in a literal sense. They have the neshama, the soul, or attributes of Enoch and Eliyahu, like Yochanan the Immerser did. In Jewish tradition, Enoch and Eliyahu were transformed into the angels Metat-ron and Sandalphon. This transformation is a prototype of what the Resurrection has in store for the Messianic Era and the World to Come. John alludes to this,

“Beloved, now we are children of God, and it is not yet revealed what we will be. But we know that, when he is revealed, we will be like him; for we will see him just as he is.” 1 John 3:2

Moshe and Eliyahu

The Cloud of Glory preceded Israel in the wilderness, as the Ark moved forward. As we mentioned above, there is an unusual opinion that the bracketed section was spoken by Eldad and Medad! In 1897, Elkan Adler published an eleventh-century manuscript, which said,

“Why did the sages place inverted nuns before the verse: “The people took to complaining (Num 11:1)? The sages thereby declared: The entire Torah consists of the prophecy of Moses, except for these two verses which are from the prophecy of Eldad and Medad.” [7].

The two prophets, Eldad and Medad form a prototype that is echoed throughout the Tanakh:

  1. Moshe and Aharon

  2. Elijah and Elisha

  3. Yochanan the Immerser and Yeshua

  4. The Two Prophets before the coming of Mashiach ben David

Every year, through the reading of the Torah, we come to a sad part. After journeying with Moshe Rabbeinu through most the year, we come to his death. He dies before being able to accomplish the holy task, and it is Yehoshua bin Nun who causes the people to inherit the land.

“Moses went up from the plains of Moab to Mount Nebo, to the top of Pisgah, that is over against Jericho. HaShem showed him all the land of Gilead, to Dan, and all Naphtali, and the land of Ephraim and Manasseh, and all the land of Judah, to the hinder sea, and the South, and the Plain of the valley of Jericho the city of palm trees, to Zoar. HaShem said to him, “This is the land which I swore to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, saying, ‘I will give it to your seed.’ I have caused you to see it with your eyes, but you shall not go over there.” So Moshe the servant of HaShem died there in the land of Moab, according to the word of HaShem. Deuteronomy 34:1-5

Why was Moshe not allowed to enter the land? It is beyond the scope of this article, but one aspect of the multidimensional reason is that he struck the Rock instead of speaking to it. Yet, when we reach the Gospels, something incredible happens:

“After six days Yeshua took with him Peter, Yaakov, and Yochanan, and brought them up onto a high mountain privately by themselves, and he was changed into another form in front of them. His clothing became glistening, exceedingly white, like snow, such as no launderer on earth can whiten them. Eliyahu and Moshe appeared to them, and they were talking with Yeshua. Peter answered Yeshua, “Rabbi, it is good for us to be here. Let’s make three Sukkot: one for you, one for Moshe, and one for Eliyahu.” For he didn’t know what to say, for they were very afraid. A cloud came, overshadowing them, and a voice came out of the cloud, “This is my beloved Son. Listen to him.” Suddenly looking around, they saw no one with them anymore, except Yeshua only.” Mark 9:2-8

Moshe Rabbeinu made it! He is in the land! And he is speaking to the Rock, who is the Mashiach! (This will be elaborated on in a different article). Apparently this happened during the Festival of Sukkot, as Peter says, “let us make sukkot”. Sukkot is the picture of the Messianic Kingdom. In a stunning passage, R’ Yehudah Chayoun cites a Midrash describing the vision of the Heavenly Temple that Moshe experienced before he died,

“Our rabbis said: On the day Moshe Rabbeinu’s death approached, God brought him up to the heavens and showed him his Divine reward and what the future held…[he] saw God building the Temple with precious stones and pearls. Between each stone was the glow of the Shechinah, more radiant than pearls. Moshach ben David stood in [the Temple] and Aharon, [Moshe’s] brother, stood on his feet, his cloak upon him. . . Moshe fell on his face before God and said to Him, “Master of the world, give me permission to speak with your anointed one before I die.” Moshe [then] asked Moshiach ben David, “God spoke to me, [saying] He would build the Temple in the land…and behold, I have seen Him build His Temple by hand in the heavens!” Moshiach said to Moshe, “ Moshe! Yaakov your forefather saw the house that will be built on earth…’When Moshe Rabbeinu, peace be upon him, heard these words from Moshiach ben David, he felt great happiness…[Then] he gave his soul to God wholeheartedly.” Midrash Arakim, Midrash “HaShem BeChochmah Yasad Aretz,” cited in Otzros HaAcharis HaYamim, When Moshiach Comes, R’ Yehudah Chayoun, pgs. 201-202

Clouds of Glory

In the above section from the Gospels, the “Cloud” is connected to Sukkot, the booths that the Israelites dwell in during the latter part of the year, according to the Torah,

כִּי בַסֻּכֹּות הֹושַׁבְתִּי אֶת־בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל

“You shall dwell in booths for seven days. All who are native-born in Israel shall dwell in booths, that your generations may know that I made the children of Israel to dwell in sukkot (booths), when I brought them out of the land of Egypt. I am HaShem your God.” Leviticus 23:42-43

R’ Eliezer makes an unusual comment on this passage,

“These were clouds of glory,” (says) R. Eliezer. R. Akiba says, “They made for themselves real booths.” Sukkah 11b, Soncino Press Edition

The Cloud is connected to the Mishkan,

“Then the cloud covered the Tent of Meeting, and the glory of HaShem filled the tabernacle. Moses wasn’t able to enter into the Tent of Meeting, because the cloud stayed on it, and HaShem glory filled the tabernacle.” Exodus 40:34-35

Psalms links the Sukkah of HaShem to the Clouds,

“He rode on a cherub, and flew. Yes, he soared on the wings of the wind. He made darkness his hiding place, his Sukkah around him, darkness of waters, thick clouds of the skies.” Psalms 18:10-11

The Book of Job says,

“Yes, can any understand the spreading of the clouds, and the thunderings of his sukkah?” Job 36:29

Rashi notes that the Clouds protected Israel,

“The cloud of the L-rd was above them: Seven clouds are recorded in the account of their travels: Four from the four sides, one above, one below, and one in front of them which would flatten the high land, raise the hollows and destroy snakes and scorpions – [from Sifrei].” Rashi on Numbers 10:34, cited at [8]

So as the Cloud moved forward, as the Ark traveled, there is a connection to Sukkot, the Two Witnesses, and the War of Gog and Magog. According to Jewish tradition, the War of Gog and Magog occurs on Sukkot. This war leads to the ultimate victory of Mashiach ben David, who will come on the “clouds of heaven.”

Son of the Clouds

Genealogies are often ignored, or maligned as ‘boring.’ Yet within the genealogies, amazing diamonds are found,

“Now these were the sons of David…the sons of Elioenai: Hodaviah, and Eliashiv, and Pelaiah, and Akkub, and Yochanan, and Delaiah, and Anani, seven.” 1 Chronicles 3:1, 24

Based on this seemingly simple passage, Rashi says,

“And from Jeconiah…until “Anani seven,” which is [an allusion to] the King Messiah, as it is written: (Dan. 7:13): “…and behold, with the clouds (anani) of the heavens…” Rashi on 1 Chronicles 3, cited at [9]

The Talmud says,

“R. Nahman said to R. Isaac: ‘Have you heard when Bar Nafle* will come?’ ‘Who is Bar Nafle?’ he asked. ‘Messiah.’ He answered, ‘Do you call Messiah ‘Bar Nafle?’ ‘Even so,’ he rejoined, ‘as it is written, in that day I will raise up the tabernacle of David ha-nofelet [that is fallen].” Sanhedrin 96b, Soncino Press Edition

Bar Nafle literally means ‘son of the fallen.’ Bar Nafle is generally assumed to represent the Greek, ‘son of the clouds’, cf. Dan 7:13. Mashiach is said to come one of two ways, slowly and upon a donkey, or quickly upon the clouds.

“R. Alexandri said: R. Joshua b. Levi pointed out a contradiction. it is written, in its time [will the Messiah come], whilst 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 whilst [elsewhere] it is written, [behold, thy king comes unto 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

All of this was and is dependent upon choice. It is well known that first century Israel was unworthy, and that the generation merited the destruction of the Temple. Yeshua of Nazareth wept over Jerusalem, and rode into it upon a donkey. As a donkey is slow, this means that the Redemption would not take place immediately, but slowly, in its own time. Yet, according to the Rabbis, every generation in which the Temple is not rebuilt is equivalent to the generation that merited its destruction. Today, like never before, Israel is preparing herself. The land has been returned, and Jerusalem has been re-united. The color techelet has resurrected and the garments of the Kohanim are ready. Blueprints for the Temple are drawn, and the letter Ayin desires to return to the name Yeshu.

The ball is in our court, the choice in our hands. It is all dependent upon repentance. The passage bracketed by the Two Nuns is waiting to  take its place, for the Shekhina to return, with the King Mashiach riding upon the Clouds of Heaven.


“Rise up, HaShem, and let your enemies be scattered! Let those who hate you flee before you!” When it rested, he said, “Return, HaShem, to the ten thousands of the thousands of Israel.” Numbers 10:34-36




  1. R’ Ari Kahn, M’oray HaAish, Be’halot’cha; The Seven Books,

  2. R’ Ari Kahn, M’oray HaAish, Va’et’chanan: Why Couldn’t Moshe Enter the Land of Israel?, cf. Ohr Hachaim Devarim 1:37

  3. Likutey Moharan 1:70, cited in The True Tzaddik, Selected Thoughts from Rebbe Nachman of Breslov, published by Rabbi Yisroel Ber Odesser

  4. King Solomon’s Throne, Nissan Mindel,

  5. Targum Pseudo-Jonathan to Numbers 11

  6. Jerusalem Targum to Numbers 11

  7. The Inverted Nuns at Numbers 10:35-36 and the Book of Eldad and Medad, Sid Z. Leiman

  8. Rashi on Numbers 10:34, cited at

  9. Rashi on 1 Chronicles 3, cited at

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