Vayikra – the Bread of God and the Soul of Man

The Secret of Eating

Offering sacrifice to God at the mystical level is eating with God.

At the simple level, man comes close with others when eating together, by which their differences are reconciled.

To eat in Hebrew is Achal אָכַל, which is understood as one א becomes all כֹּל, as follows:

Eat אָכַל
One becomes all א כֹּל

When one becomes all, all becomes one, eating is the secret of unification, for when one eats, he integrates something else (food) into oneself so that the two becomes one, the concept of coming close, the exact meaning of the word Korban קָרְבָּן.

The sacrifice is called the “bread of God” (Num 28:2), but surely God does not eat bread.

At the mystical level, “eating bread” is the euphemism of having marital relation, as the wife of Potiphar is called his “bread” (Gen 39:6).

When the fire consumes the sacrifice on the altar, at the mystical level, it is as if God is eating his bread, which bread is the man himself.

The act of eating is also understood as the connection between soul and body, for if one stops eating, the soul will eventually departs from the body.

In the same way the act of eating is the connection between soul and body, so is the sacrifice the connection between God and man.

The Hebrew word fire which consumes the sacrifice is understood as the acrostic of eat and drink, the gematria of “eat and drink” is 762, which is exactly the gematria of “soul clothed”, where is the clothing of the soul is the body, as follows:

Fire אֵשׁ  
Eat and drink אֱכֹל וּשְׁתֵה 762
Soul clothed לָבֵשׁ נֶפֶשׁ 762

The ordinal number of eat and drink is 78, which is exactly the gematria of bread, as follows:

Eat and drink (ordinal) אֱכֹל וּשְׁתֵה 78
Bread לֶּחֶם 78

At the deeper level, the five types of sacrifice correspond to the five levels of soul, as follows:

Yechidah olah – burnt offering עֹלָה
Chayah mincha – meal offering מִנְחָה
Neshamah shelamim – peace offering שְׁלָמִים
Ruach chatat – sin offering חַטָּאת
Nefesh asham – guilt offering אָשָׁם

 

Olah – Yechidah

Why does Olah correspond to Yechidah?

The level of Yechidah is the secret of Mashiach which represents self-nullification and oneness with God.

When Olah is spelled with the missing Vav, the gematria is 111, exactly the gematria of the name of Alef:

Olah עוֹלָה 111
Alef אלף 111

Alef symbolizes God as the source of all things, the offering of Olah symbolizes the nullification of self in perfect union with God, which is called a living sacrifice:

Living sacrifice קָרְבָּן חַי 370
This is Mashiach זֶה מָּשִׁיחַ 370
Word of the living God דִּבְרֵי אֱלֹהִים חַיִּים 370
Yechidah x 10 יְחִידָה 370

Mincha – Chayah

Why does Mincha correspond to Chayah?

Mincha is vegetarian offerings which must not include leaven and honey.

Leaven symbolizes Yetzer HaRa, which is self-centeredness.

Honey represents sweetness, and the combination of leaven and honey in bread brings one pleasure.

Pleasure תַּעֲנוּג 529

529 is 23 squared, where 23 is the gematria of Chayah חַיָּה.

The gematria of leaven and honey is 444, which is also Chayah spelled out with an Alef, as follows:

Leaven and honey חָמֵץ דְּבַשׁ 444
Chayah חית יוד הא 444

If the burnt offering represents pleasure, then the concept of meal offering is the opposite, for eating meat brings pleasure to man, while eating vegetable is mere sustaining life without pleasure.

The paradox of pleasure is that when it is pursued with self-gratification it comes and goes, but true pleasure is only attained when one nullifies the self-centeredness in union with God.

Shelamim – Neshamah

Shelamim שְׁלָמִים is the plural form of Shalom שָׁלוֹם, which is an offering that is shared between man and God, symbolizing Shalom, peace. Noticeably leaven is permitted (Lev 7:13), for peace between man and God brings pleasure.

Neshamah is the intellectual level of the soul as symbolized by water, it follows Neshamah symbolizes peace in juxtaposition to Nefesh which is restlessness as symbolized by fire.

 

Chatat – Ruach

Four types of person are prescribed to offer sin offering, which are actually fives types, for the first type is called הַכֹּהֵן הַמָּשִׁיחַ , meaning the priest that is anointed, which can mean the priest and the Mashiach.

The five types of sin offering at the Ruach level can correspond to the five levels of soul, as follows:

Yechidah Mashiach
Chayah Congregation of Israel
Neshamah Ruler
Ruach Priest
Nefesh Individual

Mashiach is the head who does not sin, therefore Priest at the level of Ruach is elevated to the level of Yechidah.

Chayah is the collective soul, corresponding to the congregation of Israel.

Ruler is Neshamah the mind that rules the Ruach at the emotional level, and Nefesh at the physical level.

Priest serves in the Temple at the Ruach level as the expression of emotions.

Individual corresponds to Nefesh, in fact this is exactly what is called in the Torah (Lev 4:27).

Asham – Nefesh

Guilt offering differs from sin offering in that sin offering atones that which was done but should not have been done, in contrast guilt offering atones that which should have been done but was not done.

The following examples are provided in the Torah:

  • Failure to be a witness (Lev 5:1)
  • Failure to clean oneself (when entering into Temple) (Lev 5:2)
  • Failure to perform what one has vowed (Lev 5:4)
  • Failure to return other’s property (Lev 6:2)
  • Failure to return a lost object (Lev 6:3)

The nature of one’s Nefesh is for physical survival, and the characteristic of the Nefesh is the inability to do good.

Image of Soul

It is explained that the soul of man has two diametrically opposed aspects, one is called the divine soul, or Nefesh HaElokut, and the other is called the animal soul, or Nefesh HaBehemot.

The animal soul is about self-gratification, whereas the divine soul is part of God that pursues truth and union with God.

The gematria of these two aspects of soul is 1779, and the mid-point from 1 to 1779 is 590, which is exactly the gematria of “image of soul” צֶלֶם נֶפֶשׁ:

Animal soul and divine soul נֶפֶשׁ הַבַּהֲמִית וְנֶפֶשׁ הָאֱלֹהִית 1779

The life of man is permeated with the struggles between the two forces. The animal soul in essence is the energy that moves and motivates, which needs to be channeled to do good; on the other hand, the divine soul purifies and elevates the animal soul.

The act of offering is the process by which the soul is nullified before God and the animal soul is offered on the altar to release the divine soul, the gematria of the five offerings is 1387:

olah – burnt offering עֹלָה 105
mincha – meal offering מִנְחָה 103
shelamim – peace offering שְׁלָמִים 420
chatat – sin offering חַטָּאת 418
asham – guilt offering אָשָׁם 341
    1387

1387 is exactly the gematria of “darkness to light and bitterness to sweetness”:

darkness to light and bitterness to sweetness חֹשֶׁךְ לְאוֹר וָמָר לְמָתוֹק 1387
About the Author
Insight into the weekly Torah study with a focus on gematria...
Related Topics
Related Posts
Comments