Wednesday, March 28, 2012

A Chumash Puzzle Resolved

In every chumash, (any of the 5 holy books), every parsha (weekly portion) of Torah (Pentateuch), has at the end of it:

1) The number of verses (פסוקים) contained therein, and
2) A verbal mnemonic (סימן), as a Hebrew word or words, whose gematria value equals that count.

All portions of the Torah, that is - except one: The parsha Pikudei. It only has the number of verses stated, 92, but no mnemonic appears next to it.

The Rebbe suggests a reason for this omission. It may well be the original chumashim from which others thereafter were copied and redacted, says the Rebbe, had the mnemonic "בלי כל", which means "without any". That is, it read "בלי כל סימן". The original publishers probably mistakened this mnemonic (which equals 92) as a directive and thereby omitted the sign (instead of realizing that "without any" was the sign).

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