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Shemen HaMaor: Bo

The 2nd of Shevat is the Yahrtzeit of Rav Mansour BenSHimon, author of Shemen HaMaor (1998) Know that the “Sword of God” is represented by the letters “Y” “V” (Magen Avraham 473:29) , which have the numerical value of 16.


“The Sword of God” has a double blade, which means that its numerical value is 32. The list of plagues has 32 letters. (The final plague is Bechor – BCR), and this is why the verse says, “In order to display my signs, “Ototai” (which also means “My letters.”) “I send them into your heart,” heart is “Lev,” which has the numerical value of 32.

Each plague was actually 5 plagues, as it says in the Haggadah, and 5 x 32 = 160, which is the number we use for a Pidyon Nefesh: 10 x 5 (the letter H) + 5 x 10 (the letter Y) + 5 x 6 (the letter V) + 6 x 5 (the final H of God’s Name) = 160.

This is also the numerical value of “Migdal Oz,” as in, “Migdal oz, shem Hashem,” – “The Name of God is a tower of strength; through it a righteous person will race and be strong.” (Proverbs 18:10)

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