The Twenty-seven Letters of the Torah
Constitute Twenty-seven Conduits
In this week’s mamar we discuss the issue of: “Veraphe Yerapeh” – the healing process of sickness. We bring from the Rishonim: Rabeinu Yhoudah Hachosid and his great talmid Rabinu Elazar Rokeiach zt”l from the Balei Tosfos, that in the broche of “Refueinu” there are 27 words that allude to the 27 letters of the aleph-beis – 22 from aleph to tov, plus the five double or final letters of the aleph beis mem nun tzadik peh kaf.
We suggest an explanation of this matter. We know that HKB”H chose to begin the Torah she’b’chsav with the possuk (1,1): “Breishis boro elokim es hashomayim ves hooretz”. The Midrash interprets the possuk as teaching us that Hashem created the heavens and the earth with the Torah which is referred to as “Reishis”.
Since the entire Torah consists of twenty-seven letters—the twenty-two letters from aleph to tov plus the five final letters—it turns out that HKB”H created the world utilizing these twenty-seven letters. In the words of the Shelah HaKadosh (Bereishis 7): “HKB”H glanced into the Torah and created the world with its letters; also, the numerical value of the name “havaya” equals twenty-six and if we add one corresponding to His oneness, the total equals twenty-seven—corresponding to the twenty-seven letters of the Torah.
This provides us with some insight into the words of the Reishis Chochmah (Shaar HaTeshuvah chapter 5) concerning the custom to recite the vidui following the format of the aleph-beis: Oshamnu Bugadnu Gozalnu… He writes: “Our confession, vidui, follows the order of the aleph-beis, because the entire universe was created by means of the twenty-two letters of the aleph-beis, as explained in the Sefer Yetzirah; therefore, when one sins, the entire universe is harmed; hence, it is appropriate to confess following the order of the aleph-beis”.
We have learned that HKB”H created the world and sustains the world at all times by means of the letters of the Torah—which constitute conduits providing sustenance. Consequently, when one transgresses the commandments of the Torah, he causes damage to those letters of the Torah. The method to correct the damage is by the sinner reciting the vidui formulated according to the order of the aleph-beis.
Thus, we have shed some light on the hallowed words of Rabeinu Yehudah HaChassid and his student the author of the Rokeach. The blessing “Refaeinu” was formulated with twenty-seven words corresponding to the twenty-seven letters of the Torah. This formulation was meant to teach us that the source of illness and disease is due to the damage caused to the twenty-seven letters of the Torah by one’s transgressions; after all, these letters are the conduits which provide sustenance to all of creation. By means of these conduits, HKB”H nourishes all of creation; sins damage these conduits and, therefore, cause disease. For this reason, we recite the twenty-seven word formula of “Refaeinu”–to remedy the harm caused to the twenty-seven conduits of sustenance and to draw renewed sustenance and vitality to the sick person.
It is important to point out that even those who daven in nusach spharad that have more than 27 words in “Refueinu”, still the same idea of these great Kablists: Rabeinu Yhoudah Hachosid and Rabinu Elozar Rokeiach is valid that we need to be mispalel for the Tikun of the 27 letters who are 27 Tzinoros who transmit shefah to heal all that needs to be healed.
We sign off proving that Shabbos has the power to rectify the damage of the 27 letters. This is based on the Bnei Yisuschor, who explains that there are twenty-seven letters in the Torah; each letter possesses the life-force from the holy name “havaya.” The name “havaya” has a numerical value of twenty-six. Therefore, twenty-seven letters, each possessing the essence of “havaya,” carry the power of twenty-seven times twenty-six, equaling seven hundred and two—the numerical value of Shabbos.
This allows us to understand why Shabbos observance is a powerful remedy to heal the sick. We now know that the root of disease and illness stems from the damage caused to the twenty-seven conduits of sustenance—which emanate from the twenty-seven letters of the Torah with which the universe was created. Seeing as the name Shabbos evokes the source of kedushah of these twenty-seven letters and each one’s force of “havaya,” Shabbos constitutes a powerful source of healing. It has the power to cleanse and purify the twenty-seven letters of any blemish or impurity—providing one with a complete recovery.
This of course is only a taste of the mamar. Enjoy the rest of it in the original mamar or in the wonderful translation of Dr. Baruch Fox who as always did a great job translating this complex mamar.
Let us all have a wonderful and lechtiken Shabbos.
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