Before I begin this post, I want to preface it with a thought on the Gemara in Sanhedrin (97b) which was recently learned in the Daf Yomi. The Gemara quotes the statement of R' Shmuel Bar Nachmeni in the name of R' Yonasan, "Let the bones of those who calculate the end blow up." This is based on the passuk in Chavakuk which says, "כי עוד חזון למועד ויפח לקץ ולא יכזב אם יתמהמה חכה לו כי בא יבא לא יאחר" - "There is another vision of an appointed time, the final redemption, which will not be found false; If it takes a long time in coming, wait for it, it will come, it will not be late." Here the drasha is on the words "ויפח לקץ" which literally mean "the end that is spoken of of." The word "ויפח" can also be translated as blow up (as in blowing up a balloon). This would seem to discourage us from trying to figure out the end. Nevertheless, the second half of the drasha explains that the reason why the 'bones of those who calculate will blow up,' is because by doing so, when the time that they have calculated passes, people will give up hope from continuing to wait. Thus, the passuk is telling us that we can't make a calculation such that people will give up on Moshiach's arrival. Rather, if a calculation is made, it must not discourage people from continuing to wait, and they must still know that, no matter what, he will arrive at the very moment that is intended by Hashem.
With that said, the following ideas are my own observations and they may or may not have deep significance. Furthermore, as I believe I have mentioned in the past, I once heard from a certain Rav in my neighborhood that the Ramban says that every year has a hint in the Torah that Moshiach will come, because every year has the potential for Moshiach's arrival. Thus, we must be assured that even if the following turns out to be insignificant, we must not give up hope from waiting. In any event, I believe that the year we are currently in may be a significant turning point in the Geulah process, as I will try to demonstrate.
The basis of the thoughts that follow is the year we are currently in, תש"ע - 5770. If one looks at the places where this number (תש"ע - 770) appears in the Torah, there are some extremely interesting findings. I first took notice of this in last week's parsha, Parshas Nasso, where the number 770 (תש"ע) appears fourteen times. Thirteen of these times is in the word קערת, which is repeated in the offerings of the nesi'im which were brought in the dedication of the mishkan. This would not seem to have too much significance until one looks carefully at the midrash. There it goes through the special intent that was completely different for each of the seemingly identical offerings brought by the nesi'im. The midrash deals with the significance of every facet of the offerings, as well as the measures of each offering and what the numbers represent. The focus of the offering of the nasi of the tribe of Reuven completely centered around the fact that Reuven attempted to save Yosef from the anger of his brothers. Thus, the midrash reads the word קערת as עקרת, a reference to Reuven being the main (עיקר) one who saved Yosef. This is the first hint that the number 770 has to do with Yosef. This hint can also be found in a Rashi in Tehillim on the verse (113:9) "מושיבי עקרת הבית אם הבנים שמחה" - "He places the barren of the household to be the joyous mother of children." Rashi there says that this 'barren woman' is reference to ציון, another name for Yerushalayim, which is desolate and empty of her children. The word ציון and יוסף share the gematria of 156 (as is noted in Kol Hator), and thus we find that the midrash states that whatever happened to Yosef happened to Tzion, and vice versa. Thus, we again see that Yosef is connected to the number 770. What is even more interesting is that the midrash, in explaining the word כסף, which is next to קערת, brings an interesting verse to explain it. The verse is from Mishlei (10:20), "כסף נבחר לשון צדיק" - "Choicest silver is the tongue of the righteous." Thus, all of the thirteen times that the Torah mentions the word קערת, the value of which is 770, in this context, it is directly followed by the concept of silver which is associated with the צדיק. Yosef is the one who is always referred to as the צדיק יסוד עולם, the righteous one who is the foundation of the world, and thus we see an important connection between the year we are currently in (קערת = תש"ע) and Yosef hatzadik (hinted to in the word כסף). It is also significant that this theme is constantly repeated in the very psukim that are talking about the initial dedication of the mishkan, and the Shechina that accompanied it. Another interesting point is that the midrash says that the combined gematriahs of the two words קערת כסף is 930, which corresponds to the length of the life of Adam Harishon. Yosef is also intimately connected to Adam Harishon's lifespan, because the very fact that Adam's life was limited to this amount of time was a result of the sin, which also created the necessity for there to be a Moshiach ben Yosef who would rectify that sin. Based on this, it is interesting to note that the word תשע, nine, which also has the numerical value of 770, first appears in the enumeration of the lifespan of Adam in Beraishis (5:5).
Now, let's move on to the other place in Parshas Nasso where the number 770 appears. It is found in chapter 5, verse 7. There the Torah is speaking about the concept of someone who was acting as a guardian over an item that belonged to his friend. He claimed that the item had been lost or stolen, and then swore to that fact. Afterwards, it became clear that he had actually misappropriated it for himself. In such a case, the Torah states that the thief must now return the value of the stolen object and also add on a fifth of its value as well. The numerical value of the word "וחמישתו" - "a fifth" is also 770. This would not seem to be so significant until we actually read the pasuk inside. There we see that word that follows "וחמישתו" is the word "יסף" which, in context, means to add on. Again, Yosef is next to the word that hints to the year we are currently in. Another interesting thought is that the passuk could be read "וחמישתו" - in the fifth millenium - "יסף עליו" - add on the value [of the word וחמישתו, which is 770, and brings us to 5770]. It is also significant that the Ba'al Haturim mentions that in the previous passuk, the Torah refers to this sin as "חטאת האדם" - the sin of Adam (see there). Again, as we saw in the previous disussion of the nesi'im, Moshiach ben Yosef is a rectification of that sin of Adam.
Now we will turn to earlier places in the Torah where this number appears, and we will see some extremely interesting connections and hints to Yosef. The first place the number 770 appears is in the word תמשל, "you shall rule," which appears in Beraishis 4:7. This is the passuk that is Hashem's exhortation to Kayin to be careful not to fall into the trap that awaits him with his relationship with Hevel. In speaking of the sin that potentially awaits him, Hashem says, "ואתה תמשל בו" - You will rule over it. This sin, as we have noted in a previous post, was the classic sin of a fallen Moshiach ben Yosef, and the imperative of the verse seems to be stating that in the end, the final Moshiach ben Yosef will overcome and dominate the destructive force that was unleashed in the world through Adam's sin, which resulted in Kayin's sin.
Even more significant, however, is the second place where the word תמשל (whose numerical value is 770) occurs. This is in Beraishis (37:8). This verse is right in the middle of the story of Yosef, where he has just told his brothers about the dreams that he had. As is noted in Sefer Kol Hator, this was the very moment that Yosef stepped into the role of Moshiach ben Yosef. The response of his brothers is recorded in that verse, "המלך תמלך עלינו אם משול תמשל בנו" - "Will you be king over us, or will you rule over us?" The very word "תמשל" - "rule over us" has the gematria of 770, seeming to imply that this year has a deep connection to Yosef's rule over the Jewish people.
Another significant place that we see a word with the gematria of 770 is found in Beraishis 38:29. This is found in the following chapter which took place right after Yosef was sold, when the Torah records the story of the birth of Yehuda's two sons Zerach and Peretz. There, in speaking of the birth of Peretz, the Torah tells us the words that were said when Peretz 'burst forth,' being born first, though it initially seemed his twin would be first. The passuk says, "ותאמר מה פרצת עליך פרץ" - "And she said, how have you burst forth!" The word פרצת, 'burst forth,' refers to the nature of Moshiach which bursts forth, and has the numerical value of 770. Although this passuk is clearly speaking of the concept of Moshiach ben Dovid, nevertheless, we find that Moshiach ben Yosef always contains an aspect of Moshiach ben Dovid within him, and ultimately, the process of Geulah involves a joining of Moshiach ben Yosef and Moshiach ben Dovid.
This is particularly significant because we find that every period of time that involves Moshiach ben Yosef actually splits into two halves (and this occurs on multiple levels), the first being of a more external or superficial revelation of Moshiach ben Yosef, the second being a Moshiach ben Dovid type of revelation, that is, a more internal and miraculous type of revelation. Thus, the sixth millennium (from the year 5000-6000) is the millennium of Yosef, who corresponds to the sixth Sefirah of the lower seven, which is Yesod (as we see in the passuk צדיק יסוד עולם). This millennium is broken down into two halves, the first of which is the 'night' of the sixth day (from 5000/1240 until 5500/1740 which corresponds to 6 PM Thursday night - 6 AM Friday morning). This is the concealed aspect of the sixth day. The second half of the millennial day, from 5500/1740 until 6000/2240, corresponds to the revealed aspect of the sixth millennium, or the Moshiach ben Dovid aspect within Moshiach ben Yosef. This second half of the millennium further breaks down into two parts as well, one of which is more hidden, and one of which is more revealed. Thus, the period of time between the years 5500/1740 and 5750/1990 constitutes a more concealed aspect (the aspect of Yosef), whereas the years from 5750/1990 until 6000/2240 constitute the revealed part (or Dovid aspect of Yosef) of this half millennium.
[It might be illustrative to think of this in terms of Yosef himself, in his external or superficial aspect, as the leader of Egypt. This is what is revealed to the masses, and what the world sees. On a deeper level, there is a hidden aspect of Yosef, a פנימיות which could be referred to as צפנת פענח, the revealer of secrets. This is the deeper aspect of Yosef, or what we could call the Moshiach ben Dovid aspect of Moshiach ben Yosef. This distinction is referred to in Kol Hator as the aspects of Yosef ben Rochel and Yosef ben Yakov.]
This last point explains the significance of something else that we discussed, which is the advent of Mincha Gedolah on Rosh Chodesh Av of this year. We saw that Mincha Gedolah is the time that corresponds to the counterforce against the Erev Rav. The question is, Why? We saw that the Erev Rav gains power at noon, so why do Chazal wait, as it were, to unleash the power of our tefillah until twelve thirty? It could be possible to explain that since the second half of the hour always denotes the more inner dimension - the Dovid aspect - of the spiritual potential of that time, it is only through that inner dimension that one can overcome the forces of evil. This would also explain why the publication of the book Kol Hator could not occur until 1968. Although there was an incredible revelation that occurred at the beginning of the sixth hour, which corresponds to the year 1948, it was only able to be seen on the external level of Yosef 'the ruler of Egypt'. The Dovid aspect within Yosef 'צפנת פענח', or the inner dimension of the revelation that occurred in 1948, was not to be revealed until 1968, with the publication of Kol Hator. Similarly, 5750/1990 was the beginning of the seventh hour in which we now stand, but all of the revelations that have been occurring have been in the external aspect of Yosef, the incredible scientific and technological breakthroughs that are the external aspect of the deeper dimension of the new Shefa that is pouring down from heaven. This is a result of the fact that we have entered the second half of the second half of the millenium. We are now about to pass the mid-hour point, which means that we are entering into the deeper dimension of this hour, when the Dovid aspect of Yosef (צפנת פענח) will be revealed. This is when the power of Yosef rises, on the wings of its inner dimension, and can finally begin to do battle with the external forces of the Erev Rav and Esav, who he is destined to vanquish.
With this in mind, we can see a possible explanation as to why the word פרצת, "bursting forth" has the gematria of our year. It refers to the Dovid aspect of Yosef which comes into play in תש"ע - 5770, on Rosh Chodesh Av.
We can further see this dual relationship, where the first half is an external/superficial (Yosef) aspect hiding the inner dimension, and the second half is the internal (Dovid) aspect, in the following observation. We have previously seen that the millennium can be divided into twenty four hours. These hours each consist of forty one and two-thirds years. The division of the millennium can also be done into twelve hours, where each hour will be eighty three and a third years. This is because every two hours are really components of a greater hour. Thus, each of the 41-year hours is also half of an 83-year hour. We can thus see that the fifth hour (1907-1948) and sixth hour (1948-1990) are two parts of a larger hour. The first period is thus the exterior aspect of the inner dimension that is revealed in the second period. During the first period, the world experienced the most wrenching transformation that it has ever known. It was characterized by two world wars, and millions upon millions of deaths. It also saw the incomprehensibly brutal murder of over six million Jews, and the events that would lead up to the creation of an official homeland for the Jewish people. I will leave it to your own minds to develop this deep idea to its fullest, but suffice it to say that the fifth hour was the hour of a certain redemptive process developing in an external and hidden way, while the sixth hour was the hour of the revelation of the inner dimension of that process. This repeats itself with the sixth and seventh hours, as well, where that which was revealed in the sixth hour (1948-1990) is, relatively speaking, the external aspect of that which is to be revealed as the inner dimension in the seventh hour (1990-2031).
With this idea, we can also understand something else that was mentioned in a previous post, which is the statement of the Gemara in Sanhedrin (38b) that the seventh hour of the original sixth day of creation was when Hashem married Adam to Chava. It was during that hour that Adam was made to sleep so Hashem could separate Chava from him, and thereby bring them back together, marrying them as man and wife. This was the external aspect of what was to occur in the following hour, where they would actually have relations and thereby bring children into the world. This aspect also corresponds to what the Zohar says is the purpose of the current seventh hour (1990-2031), which is the rebuilding of the Beis Hamidash, which is the rejoining of the Jewish people with the Shechina (the Divine presence), as well as the aspect of הקדוש ברוך הוא with שכינה. This is the outer dimension of Yosef, which will be followed in the eighth hour by the inner dimension of Dovid, whose job is Techiyas Hameisim, revival of the dead, which the Zohar says occurs in 5790/2030.
The final place that we will discuss where we find a word with the value 770 is at the end of the story of Yosef and his brothers, when they have completed the tikkun and Yosef has revealed himself. As described in Beraishis 45:22, Yosef gave each of them חלפות שמלת, new clothing. The numerical value of שמלת, clothing, is 770, as we discussed at length in a previous post. It is extremely interesting that before the story reached this climax, when the brothers took out their sacks to prove that they did not contain Yosef's goblet, they tore their clothing when the goblet was found in Binyomin's sack. There (Beraishis 44:13), the Torah uses the same word for clothing and says, "ויקרעו שמלתם" - "They tore their garments." Paradoxically, this tearing of their garments in grief was the beginning of the final revelation of Yosef. Yosef would replace those garments in the passuk mentioned above. [By the way, it is interesting that the word referring to Biyomin's sack is "באמתחת" has a gematria of 851, the same as the value of the words בעתה אחישנה, in its time I will hasten it.]
Again, as I wrote at the beginning of this post, although these ideas are extremely powerful and exciting, it is important to remember that the Geulah process is just that - a process. It is likely that Rosh Chodesh Av will come and go with no discernible difference before and after. However, I firmly believe that we will look back at the date and see that a cosmic shift occurred that moved us ever closer to our final redemption, במהרה בימינו אמן.