Portrait of Hacham Shimon Agassi

Portrait of Hacham Shimon Agassi
Portrait of Hacham Agassi painted by Mrs Ruth Gila, Beit Meir , Israel

Thursday, September 11, 2014

The Conception of Ishmael
Beraishit 16.4- בראשית
4.’ And he came to Hagar and she conceived, and she (Sarai) saw that she (Hagar) had conceived, and her mistress became lighter in her eyes-וַיָּבֹא אֶל הָגָר וַתַּהַר וַתֵּרֶא כִּי הָרָתָה וַתֵּקַל גְּבִרְתָּהּ בְּעֵינֶיהָ (3409+10 words=3419=17=8).

The verse can be divided so:
·         And he came to Hagar and she conceived- וַיָּבֹא אֶל הָגָר וַתַּהַר(869+3 words=872=17=8);
·         And she saw that she had conceived, and her mistress became lighter in her eyes- וַתֵּרֶא כִּי הָרָתָה וַתֵּקַל גְּבִרְתָּהּ בְּעֵינֶיהָ (2540+6 words=17=8).
Rashi states that she conceived at the first time of having relations (Beraishit Rabbah 45.4). Hagar after becoming pregnant so easily changed her mind about her mistress and thought that she could not be so devout if she was not worthy of becoming pregnant after all those years.

The gematria of the word “and she conceived”- וַתַּהַר is 611=8. This is the gematria of the word “Torah”-תורה.

From this gematria we learn why Hagar looked at Sarah differently after she had conceived. She thought to herself how could she not conceive if she is keeping the commandments of the Torah? Thus she thought secretly that Sarai was not keeping the commandments and was thus not worthy of conception. This principle she instilled in the ears of her son Ishmael from the time that he was a small child- that the Jewish People can be defeated if they do not observe the Torah.

These words are very true. That is why Israel has to repent.

That is why Ishmael- יִשְׁמָעֵאל was born so that Israel- יִשְׂרָאֵל will cry out in repentance by saying the "Shema Israel"- שְׁמַע יִשְׂרָאֵל Prayer and be "heard by G-d"- יִשְׁמָע-אֵל at the End of Days.

Both names appear in the first two words of the Shema Prayer. In this way Ishmael will bring Israel back to G-d in repentance and G-d will listen to them and save them. 

Hear Israel Hashem is our G-d Hashem is One

שְׁמַע יִשְׂרָאֵל יְהוָה אֱלֹהֵינוּ יְהוָה אֶחָד
שְׁמַע יִשְׂרָאֵל יְהוָה אֱלֹהֵינוּ יְהוָה אֶחָד


The name "Sarai"- שָׂרַי appears in the same two words:

שְׁמַע יִשְׂרָאֵל
Sarai listened to G-d
שָׂרַי שְׁמַע אֵל

This is why Abram listened to the voice of his wife Sarai and took Hagar as a wife in order to bring Ishmael into the world.

Everything [even this] is for the Best!
Gam Zu L’Tovah
גם זו לטובה
It is that simple!

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