Divinity in a Human Body – Gematria of 697

Delving into the depths of Hasidic teachings, we unearth a transformative perspective – an invitation to perceive ourselves and our lives through the lens of divinity. A sacred name of God, “HAVAYA,” signifies more than an abstract concept. It imbues everything around us with vitality and resonates within us.

The venerable founder of Hasidism, the Baal Shem Tov, illuminated an enlightening truth – God is not an aloof entity in some remote corner of the cosmos. Rather, God’s luminous energy infuses everything, enveloping our world and filling our very existence with divine vitality.

This understanding brings to light the concept of “עצמות בגוף” or “essence in the body,” reflecting the idea that God’s essence, symbolized by HAVAYA, is intricately woven into our being. This phrase carries a gematria (a system of Hebrew numerology) value of 697, signaling its spiritual significance. Recognizing this stirs a fire within us. With each breath, every heartbeat, we pulsate in rhythm with this divine energy.

Moreover, this profound insight motivates us to use our bodies as vessels of benevolence and compassion. Following religious laws or extending a helping hand isn’t mere duty fulfillment; we are honoring the divine within us, letting its light shine through our actions.

In this context, we must also acknowledge the ritual of “ברית מילה” or “Brit Milah” (the covenant of circumcision), a significant Jewish custom also sharing the gematria value of 697. It signifies our physical commitment to maintaining a divine covenant, reflecting the balance of physical and spiritual life in Hasidic philosophy.

The Lubavitcher Rebbe, a luminary of Hasidic thought, amplified this concept, articulating a compelling vision: our life’s purpose is to transform our world into a dwelling for God. Each compassionate act, each prayerful moment, is a brick in this divine edifice.

However, as we embark on this sacred journey, Hasidic teachings also urge us to strike a balance, to respect and care for our bodies, yet to keep our physical desires in check. After all, our bodies are not merely physical vessels; they are sanctuaries, pulsating with divine energy.

In summary, the Hasidic viewpoint instills in us a profound sense of purpose, reminding us of the divine essence, symbolized by HAVAYA, that resonates within us. Let’s embrace the divine within, utilizing our bodies for their highest purpose – to make the world a better place.


This article is dedicated to my son, Yisrael Yosef ישראל יוסף, who entered the covenant of Abraham through his Brit Milah yesterday. His name, born from divine inspiration, aligns with the day of his birth—the 38th day of the Omer—symbolizing ‘Tiferet shebe Yesod.’ The name Yisrael symbolizes ‘Tiferet’, the sephira denoting harmony and truth, while Yosef stands for ‘Yesod’, the sephira of connection and righteousness. May he flourish under the light of Torah and God’s love, embodying the divine essence in every action he takes.

Perhaps it’s more than a “coincidence” that the gematria of his name, ישראל יוסף, is also 697, reflecting the beautiful harmony of divine essence, physical commitment, and personal identity. I say this with a cheeky smile, because clearly, there are no coincidences here—only divine harmony manifesting before our eyes.

ישראל יוסף = עצמות בגוף = ברית מילה =697


About the Author
Mark Baranov, that’s me, openly share my thoughts, feelings and stories as well as commentary on society, relationships and the world around me All thoughts are real and are subject to frequent re-assessment and introspection. All feelings are genuine and raw. All stories are fictional in a real way. All observations come from a place of love even if my language fails to communicate it. This is a blog written by me and for me, but I have published it so that others can either have a voyeuristic delight or something which I have written may resonate and inspire others to think, outside their holding pattern. GOD has granted us this life, to live, to connect and to empower others to do so. So open a post to laugh at my incompetence in prose and just maybe you’ll continue reading because we are not that different.
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