Monday, July 25, 2016

The 32 Paths of Wisdom: Chapters 1 - 3 of Perek Shirah, the Hebrew Alphabet and the 10 Sefirot

In Book I, we spoke about 7 cycles of 7 weeks, with the Counting of the Omer representing a microcosm of the entire year, with each week of the year representing a day of the Omer (the last 3 weeks represent the days of Shavuot (of the previous year) and Passover (of the coming year)).

Now we show how the Jewish calendar can also be divided into 33 cycles of 11 days, paralleling the elements in the first 3 chapters of Perek Shirah. These elements (and cycles) come in pairs and, therefore, can be thought of as 16 1/2 cycles of 22 days. 

There are 50 Gates of Binah (understanding) and 32 Paths of Chochmah (wisdom). Both are represented in Perek Shirah. The 50 Gates of Binah are connected to the Counting of the Omer. The 32 Paths of Chochma appear related to the Three Weeks. Sefer Yetzirah explains that they represent the 22 letters of the Aleph Beit in addition to the 10 SefirotAccording to the table below, each 22-day cycle would have two letters (or sefirot) and two elements of Perek Shirah’s  Chapter 1 through 3.

Also in Book I, we showed how the Counting of Omer was exactly the 5th cycle of 7 weeks, making the week of Lag Ba’Omer (the yahrzeit of Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai), the 33rd week of the year, and Lag Ba'Omer itself the fifth day of the fifth week of the fifth cycle of 7 weeks, “Hod shebeHod shebeHod.” 

A similar parallel exists for the three weeks of mourning from the 17th of Tammuz to the 9th of AvIt falls exactly on the 14th 22-day cycle (or the 27th and 28th 11-day cycle) of the year.

Just as the Counting of the Omer is a microcosm of the weeks of the year, culminating on Lag Ba'Omer, a similar microcosm exists that runs from Yud Beis/Yud Gimmel Tammuz through Tu B'Av. These 33 days revolve around the 22 days of the Three Weeks, including a half of the 11-day cycle (5.5 days) prior to it and half of the 11-day cycle that follows.


These 33 days parallel the time period from the beginning of the yahrzeit of the Ari, on the 5th of Av, until the end of the following day, the 6th of Av. (Everything in these calculations appears to be about pairs, even the Ari's yahrzeit. When it comes to matters of Yahrzeits, like sacrifices in the Temple, the holiness is extended through the night of the following day. Still, as a side note, it is worth mentioning that the previous day, the 4th of Av, would be equivalent to the 16 1/2 days prior, which include the 3rd of Tammuz, a precursor to the festive date of Yud Beis/Yud Gimmel Tammuz).

Each of the 33 days (16.5 pairs) parallel each of the 11-day cycles of the year. Interestingly, the days of 9th and 10th of Av parallel the the 22-day cycle of Three Weeks themselves.


12th of Tammuz
1
Alef
1st Cycle
Heaven
11:35 PM
Three weeks from Selichot to Sukkot
13th of Tammuz
2
Beit
Earth
11:47 PM
14th of Tammuz
3
Gimmel
2nd Cycle
Garden of Eden
11:59 PM
Three weeks from Sukkot to Cheshvan
15th of Tammuz
4
Dalet
Gehinnom
12:11 AM
16th of Tammuz
5
Heh
3rd Cycle
Wilderness
12:23 AM
Three weeks from Cheshvan to Rosh Chodesh Kislev
17th of Tammuz
6
Vav
Fields
12:35 AM
18th of Tammuz
7
Zayin
4th Cycle
Waters
12:47 AM
Three weeks from Rosh Chodesh Kislev to Chanukah
19th of Tammuz
8
Chet
Seas
12:59 AM
20th of Tammuz
9
Tet
5th Cycle
Rivers
1:11 AM
Three weeks from Chanukah to Mid-Tevet
21st of Tammuz
10
Yud
Wellsprings (last water)
End of 2nd Watch (2/3) (1:23 AM)
22nd of Tammuz
11
Caf
6th Cycle
Day
1:35 AM
Three weeks from Mid-Tevet to Yud Shvat
23rd of Tammuz
12
Lamed
Night
1:47 AM
24th of Tammuz
13
Mem
7th Cycle
Sun
1:59 AM
Three weeks from Yud Shvat to Rosh Chodesh Adar
25th of Tammuz
14
Nun
Moon
2:11 AM
26th/27th of Tammuz
15/16
Samech/Ayin
8th Cycle
Stars (last of sky)
End of 3rd Watch (3/4) 2:23 AM
2:35 AM
Three weeks from Rosh Chodesh Adar to 24th of Adar
28th of Tammuz
17
Peh
Thick Clouds
2:47 AM
Three weeks from 25th of Adar to Pessach
29th of Tammuz
18
Tzadi
9th Cycle
Light Clouds
2:59 AM
1st of Av
19
Kuf
Wind
3:11 AM
Three weeks from Pessach to 9th of Iyar
2nd of Av
20
Resh
10th Cycle
Lighting Bolts
3:23 AM
3rd of Av
21
Shin
Dew
3:35 AM
Three weeks from 10th of Iyar to 2nd of Sivan
4th of Av
22
Tav
11th Cycle
Rain (last of clouds)
3:47 AM
5th of Av
23
Kaf Sofit
Wild Trees
3:59 AM
Three weeks from 3rd of Sivan to 24th of Sivan
6th of Av
24
Kaf Sofit
12th Cycle
Vine
4:11 AM
7th of Av
25
Mem Sofit
Fig
4:23 AM
Three weeks from 25th of Sivan to 16th of Tammuz
8th of Av
26
Mem Sofit
13th Cycle
Pomegranite
4:35 AM
9th of Av
27
Nun Sofit
Palm (Date)
Alot Hashachar (dawn) 4:47 AM
Three weeks from 17th of Tammuz to Tisha B’Av
10th of Av
28
Nun Sofit
14th Cycle
Esrog (Tapuach) (last tree)
4:59 AM
11th of Av
29
Peh Sofit
Sheaves of Wheat
Earliest Shmah,Talit & Tefilin 5:11 AM
Three weeks from 10th of Av to Rosh Chodesh Elul
12th of Av
30
Peh Sofit
15th Cycle
Sheaves of Barley
5:23 AM
13th of Av
31
Tzadi Sofit
Other Sheaves
5:35 AM
Three weeks from 2nd of Elul to 23rd of Elul
14th of Av
32
Tzadi Sofit
16th Cycle
Vegetables of the Field
5:47 AM
15th of Av
33
Vowels
(Half)
Grasses
Past Netz (Sunrise) 5:59 AM
Past Rosh Hashanah

It is also worth noting that Yud Beis/Yud Gimmel Tammuz is called, "Chag HaGeulah." Rabbi Yosef Yitzchak Schneerson was given notice of his liberation on his birthday, the 12th of Tammuz. Because it was Shabat, he did not leave until the following day, the 13th of Tammuz

The Rebbe mentions how the events of Yud Beis/Yud Gimmel Tammuz elevate the days of the remaining week, including the 17th of Tammuz. We see this also regarding how Rabbi Yosef Yitchak's Bar Mitzvah, which was on a Monday, and was celebrated all the way up until the 17th of Tammuz, which that year was on Shabbat. Similarly, on the year of the Arizal's passing, Tisha B'Av fell on Shabbat, and his passing on the 5th of Av on the Tuesday of the previous week elevated that day. Interestingly, in both years (like this year), those fast days did not involve any fasting. (the Rebbe discusses a similar concept here: http://www.chabadtalk.com/forum/showthread.php3?t=4436 )

This entire 33-day cycle itself is a pair, combining roughly half of Tammuz (Reuven) and half of Av (Shimon). The idea of pairs appears related to the concept of unity, such as the half shekel.






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