location on earth. Living there is especially conducive to spiritual growth(see
87:3).“From your birthplace” is a reference to the concept of community, themagnificent structure of heritage and tradition passed on from generation togeneration. “From your father’s house” refers to the education we receive from ourparents, as expressed in the verse, “Hear, my child, your father’s rebuke and do notforsake your mother’s Torah” (
1:8). The positive training and values weabsorb at home should continue to accompany us as we grow and developthroughout our lives.By following this path, we will succeed in reaching “the land (
) which I willshow you.” Our Sages use the term
as an allusion to the World to Come: “Allof Israel have a share in the World to Come, as it says (
60:21), “And Yournation, all of them are righteous, they will inherit the land (
) forever’” (
100a). We should learn to utilize the assets of homeland, community, and family as toolsto help us reach the World to Come. In the words of the Ramhal, “Man was creatednot for his position in this world, but for his position in the World to Come. However,his situation in this world is the cause of his situation in the World to Come, which isthe ultimate objective” (
, Chapter 1). The path we tread in this world leads directly to our eventual reward in the World to Come.
were used to tell Avraham to separate himself from the evilaround him in order to achieve perfection. These same words encourage us to turnour many blessings into steppingstones to perfection.
each have thenumerical equivalent of fifty, together totaling one hundred, a number signifyingperfection.
We find an allusion to this concept in our Sages’ description of the various stagesof man’s life, and his growth in Torah and the service of Hashem. They start with “afive-year-old begins Scripture,” tracing his development over the years, and conclude with “a hundred-year-old is as if he is dead and gone from the world” (
5:21). By the age of one hundred, man achieves such a lofty level of spiritual perfection thathe is on a higher plane, as if he is no longer in the physical world. While it is possible
In other languages, the alphabet and numbers are separate and unrelated: A,B,C is distinct from1,2,3. Hebrew is unique in that it has no numbers; the letters also serve as numbers.
, the firstletter, is one,
, the second letter, is two, continuing up to
, ten. Numbers higher than tenare expressed by a
(twelve), etc. In addition to the meaning of any given word expressed by the characters read as letters, it also has a numerical equivalent(
) composed of the value of its letters in numbers.