Saturday, December 13, 2008

Little Bottles And The Magic Mitzvah


DovBear writes of two-way Torah on this week's portion:

Jacob finds himself alone on the far side of the Yabok on the night before he reunites with his brother and is attacked by a sort of demon. Rashi [from Gen. Rabbah 77:2, Chullin 91a] says Jacob was alone because "He had forgotten small bottles and returned for them." Some see Jacob's concern for the bottles as something praiseworthy, arguing that Jacob's actions shows us how the righteous act with their money, valuing even "small bottles" because everything we have is a divine gift.

You see, it is the little bottles of no-thing (בקבוקות שאין) which drive Jacob toward real acquisition of the noble name Israel. Why?

Interestingly, the gematria of "little bottles" gives us a clue as to why the putatively insignificant little bottles are, on the contrary, very significant. The gematria of the phrase בקבוקות שאין is 621, which is the value of 613 (general mitzvot) + 7 (rabbinic mitzvot) + 1 steadfast mitzvah. Jacob went back for the strategically important missing magic mitzvah, represented by a snake-wrestling witch's "little bottles". The mitzvot are little bottles of divine magic.

Little Bottles from Avalon Moon - some, like the one I purchased with a triskelion, have spiral curls