Brief Thoughts On V’Etchanan

The gematria (numerical equivalent of the letters of the word) for V’Etchanan (ואתחנן) is 515, which is also the number of special prayers, actually more kabbalistic meditations, composed by Ramchal, Rabbi Moshe Chaim Luzatto in his book תקט”ו תפילות (Taktu Tefillot)–the gematria of Taktu also 515.

We learn that Moshe prayed 515 times for a reprieve from the decree against him entering the Holy Land, before he stood down. We’re told that God told him to not ask again even one more time, because if he did make that one more request God would have had no choice but to grant his wish. Various answers are proposed to what great negative for Bnei Yisrael and humankind in general would have occurred had he led the Jewish People into their land. Perhaps he understood that he had to choose between his own fulfillment or the fulfillment of the nation (there are textual hints that either he could have entered or the people might have entered, but not both). Another idea is that Moshe, leading the nation into Eretz Yisrael, would have immediately assumed the role of Mashiach, thrusting the world into Olam HaBah, the world-to-come, the final and stable reality-mode, but at an “inferior” state of perfection than were it to occur in its proper historical context (for which we still await and pray). In either event, Moshe chose for Bnei Yisrael rather than for his own benefit.

There is something very unique about Judaism. Unlike many other religions, we don’t elevate our greatest prophet to an unrealistic pedestal. We don’t declare Moshe Rabbenu, Moses our teacher, as “the perfect human being”, as “god”-like or in any way divine. Rather, the highest praise The Creator gives to Moshe is, “The man Moshe was very humble, more humble than any man on the face of the earth.” (Bamidbar 12:3). His very greatness was his profound self-understanding that as a human being, by definition, he was imperfect. Perhaps the one quality that is shared by every single person who has ever lived and who ever will live is imperfection. As such, Moshe was the most effective teacher and prophet because his commonality with all humanity was always in the front of his consciousness.

515 is a unique number. “5”, at the right side, represents the ה׳ חסדים, the five elements of love, while the “5” on the left represent the ה׳ גבורות, the five elements of strength and awe. Between them, nourishing both as well as supported by both of these “wings”, is “1”, אחד (Echad), the One God Who unifies all reality.

אחד יחיד ומיוחד (Echad, Yachid U’Meyuchad), One, Alone  and Unique.

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11 Responses to Brief Thoughts On V’Etchanan

  1. Mr. Cohen says:

    Rabbi Yisroel Reisman [an Orthodox Rabbi] spoke out against those Jews who plan their vacations for locations like: Switzerland, France or Italy where the people hate Jews.

    [He said:] It would be better to visit the Land of Israel to benefit from its holiness and help our brothers economically.

    SOURCE: Flatbush Jewish Journal, 2010/6/17, page 32

  2. Mr. Cohen says:

    PLEASE help SUE the terrorists in court:

    www dot IsraelLawCenter dot org

    www dot TheLawFareProject dot org


  3. Mr. Cohen says:


    In South Korea, it is considered good manners to acknowledge an older person by standing when that person enters a room.

    SOURCE: Business Etiquette Third Edition (page 174) by Ann Marie Sabath, year 2010 CE, Career Press, Franklin Lakes, New Jersey

  4. Mr. Cohen says:


    “In most places in which anti-Jewish laws were promulgated, they were not revolutionary concepts, but merely a return to the legal regime that had only recently been replaced.

    As historian Raul Hilberg has demonstrated, the anti-Jewish laws passed by the Third Reich and its allies all had clear precedents in church law.

    Indeed, almost every anti-Semitic provision passed by the various church councils and synods throughout the centuries found new life in Nazi legislation. While the Nazi-era laws had a new, racial justification, they fit neatly into a preexisting space in the European imagination.”

    SOURCE:Standing With Israel (chapter 1, page 30) by David Brog, year 2006, Charisma House Publishers, Florida, ISBN-10: 1591859069 ISBN-13: 978-1591859062

  5. Mr. Cohen says:


    “It was modern, neo-pagan Nazism that perpetrated the Holocaust.

    Yet there is evidence of a Christian core beneath the pagan patina.

    Christian responsibility for the genocide of Europe’s Jews exists at two levels:
    one historical and one contemporaneous.

    At the historical level, centuries of Christian anti-Semitism prepared Europe to so readily and enthusiastically embrace Nazi anti-Semitism.

    For most Europeans, Nazism was merely a new variation on an old and very familiar theme.

    At the contemporaneous level, the Holocaust was committed by Christians in the heart of Christendom.

    According to a survey conducted in [year] 1939, 95% of Germans belonged to a Christian church. None of the many Catholics in the Nazi leadership, including Hitler himself, were excommunicated by the Catholic Church, during or after the war.

    Nazi soldiers were buried in Christian graves.”

    SOURCE: Standing With Israel (chapter 1, page 29) by David Brog, year 2006, Charisma House Publishers, Florida, ISBN-10: 1591859069 ISBN-13: 978-1591859062

    PLEASE help SUE the terrorists in court:

    www dot IsraelLawCenter dot org

    www dot TheLawFareProject dot org


  6. Mr. Cohen says:

    PLEASE help delete anti-Semitism
    and terrorism from the internet:

    www dot They Cant dot com

  7. Mr. Cohen says:

    Michael B. Oren said:

    “Negotiating with a representative of the Libyan pirates in [year] 1786 [CE], Thomas Jefferson was told that the Quran commanded the destruction of all non-believers, Americans included.”

    SOURCE: Ally (page 41) by Michael B. Oren (former ambassador of Israel to the United States), year 2015 CE, Random House, New York

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