I.  Introduction. 1

II.  The Temple Service. 1

III.  Torah Commandments. 4

IV.  Mashiach and the number eight 8

V.  Torah Portions. 8

VI.  Events of the eighth day. 9

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I.  Introduction

 

In this study I would like to examine the meaning and significance of the number “eight”. The number eight always alludes to a departure from the “natural” world, and entry into the supernatural world.

 

There are exactly sixty-four days between Purim and Lag B’Omer. Sixty-four days is equivalent to eight multiplied by eight. The number eight represents the spiritual world. The multiplication of eight by eight represents the totality of the spiritual world. Purim and Lag B’Omer are one holiday that is broken up into two parts. The holiness of this single holiday begins on Purim. On this day HaShem reveals his hidden guidance of this world. We then spiritually refine ourselves in sequences of eight until we reach the eighth of the eighth, which is Lag B’Omer. We then merit to discover the secrets of Torah. The period between Purim and Lag B’Omer is the time we master our spiritual understanding of HaShem and his Torah.

 

This uniquely Jewish concept of man having the ability to transcend his nature is represented by the number eight.

 

The value of the Hebrew letter ח, chet, is eight. חית, Chet is also the Hebrew word for fence. To understand the number eight, we need to examine the letter ח, chet. Rabbi Michael L. Munk in, The Wisdom in the Hebrew Alphabet, tells us the following:

 

“The number seven symbolizes the complete purpose of human existence, combining the spiritual level of the Sabbath with the physical effort of the week. Going beyond seven, the number eight symbolizes man’s ability to transcend the limitations of physical existence. Thus, with a gematria of eight, ח  stands for that which is on a plane above nature, i.e., the metaphysical Divine. The study of the Torah and the practice of its commandments are the ways by which Israel can strive to exalt human spirituality towards the realm above the natural (Maharalz).”

 

The first use of the number eight is in Bereshit 17:12.

 

Bereshit (Genesis) 17:12  And he that is eight days old shall be circumcised among you, every man child in your generations, he that is born in the house, or bought with money of any stranger, which [is] not of thy seed.

 

Strong’s defines “eight” or “eighth”  as:

 

8083 shemoneh, shem-o-neh’; or  shemowneh, shem-o-neh’; fem. shemonah, shem-o-naw’; or     shemownah, shem-o-naw’; appar. from 8082 through the idea of plumpness; a cardinal number, eight (as if a surplus above the “perfect” seven); also (as ordinal) eighth:-eight ([-een, -eenth]), eighth.

 

This first use of the number eight reveals that the number is intimately connected with circumcision.

 

The value of  the Hebrew letter פ, pey, is 80, which is 8 x 10. פ also contains the meaning of eight.

 

II.  The Temple Service

 

The number eight is involved in various aspects of the Temple service, as noted by R’ Bachya:

 

1.    The eight holy vestments of the High Priest.     Shemot (Exodus) 28

 

The Midrash highlights this:

 

Midrash Rabbah - Vayikra (Leviticus) X:6  AND THE GARMENTS (VIII, 2). R. Simon said: Even as the sacrifices have an atoning power, so too have the [priestly] garments atoning power, as we have learnt in the Mishnah[1]: The High Priest officiated in eight garments, and an ordinary priest in four, namely in a tunic, breeches, a mitre, and a girdle. The High Priest wore, in addition, a breastplate, an ephod, a robe, and a head-plate; the tunic to atone for those who wear a mixture of wool and linen,[2] as it is said, And he made him a coat [tunic] of many colours (Gen. XXXVII, 3)[3]; the breeches atoned for unchastity [lit. the uncovering of nakedness], since it is said, And thou shalt make them linen breeches to cover the flesh of nakedness (Ex. XXVIII, 42); the mitre atoned for arrogance, since it is said, And thou shalt set the mitre on his head (ib. XXIX, 6); the girdle was to atone, some say, for the crooked in heart, and others say for thieves. R. Levi said the girdle was thirty-two cubits, and he [the priest] wound it towards the front and towards the back[4]; this is the ground for stating that it was to atone for the crooked in heart.[5] The one who said [the girdle was to atone] for thieves [thought that] inasmuch as the girdle was hollow it bore resemblance to thieves, who do their work in secret;[6] the breastplate atoned for those who pervert justice, as it is said, And thou shalt put in the breastplate of judgment (ib. XXVIII, 30); the ephod was to atone for idol-worshippers, since it is said, And without Ephod or teraphim (Hoshea (Hosea) III, 4).[7] As for the robe, R. Simon, in the name of R. Nathan, said: For two things [i.e. sins] there is no atonement,[8] yet did the Torah provide atonement for them, namely, unintentional manslaying,[9] and evil speech,[10] and the Torah provided means of atonement. How is it atoned for?-By the bells of the robe, since it is written, A golden bell and a pomegranate, a golden bell and a pomegranate, upon the skirts of the robe round about. And it shall be upon Aaron to minister, and the sound thereof shall be heard (Ex. XXVIII, 34 f.): the implication is, let this sound come and make atonement for the other sound.[11] There is no atonement for one who unintentionally slays a human being, but the Torah provides a means of atonement. How does he obtain atonement?--By the death of the High Priest, as it is said, But after the death of the High Priest the manslayer may return unto the land of his possession (Num. XXXV, 28). The forehead-plate was to atone, some say, for the shameless,[12] others say for blasphemers. He who said for the shameless deduced it from the daughters of Zion: it is written here [of the forehead-plate], And it shall be upon Aaron’s forehead (Ex. XXVIII, 38), while there it is written, Thou hadst a harlot’s forehead, thou refusedst to be ashamed (Jer. III, 3).[13] He who said [the forehead-plate was to atone] for blasphemers [derived it] from [the case of] Goliath.[14] Here it is written, And it shall be always upon his forehead (Ex. XXXVIII, 38), there [in the case of Goliath] it is written, And the stone sank into his forehead (I Sam. XVII, 48).

 

The Kohen Gadol, or High Priest, had eight vestments made especially for him. These included a pair of linen pants, linen, checkered tunic, a linen turban, and an embroidered sash. Over the tunic, he wore a blue, woolen, sleeveless robe called a Me’il. The bottom of the Me’il had a design of blue woolen pomegranates and golden bells which would tinkle as he walked. Over the Me’il he wore an Ephod, an apron-type of garment with shoulder straps. It was woven from five different types of threads. A golden breastplate called the Choshen, was connected to the Ephod. Twelve different jewels corresponding to the twelve tribes, were embedded in the Choshen. Each of the stones had a different tribe’s name engraved on it. The eighth vestment was a golden head plate called a Tzitz. It was worn on the High Priest’s forehead. The regular Kohen only wore the first four vestments when he did the service in the Mishkan, the shirt, pants, sash and a hat. Because the Kohanim could not even wear shoes, there was a special chamber called the Beit HaMokad, where the Kohen could warm his feet before doing the service on the cold floor. One of the reasons for the great amount of attention and detail paid to the clothing was to impact upon the Kohen’s appreciation of his responsibilities. The unique uniform that had to be worn would impress upon the Kohen the uniqueness of his mission as representative of the nation. The garments also served as atonement for specific sins that the nation had transgressed collectively as a group. For example, the Me’il atoned for the sin of Lashon HaRa, evil slander. The Choshen atoned for improper judgment, the pants for immorality, the hat for arrogance, the belt for jealousy, the Ephod for idolatry, and the Tzitz for chutzpah.

 

The High Priest changes garments eight times on Yom Kippur in his attempt to transcend the physical.

 

2.  Eight varieties of spices, four for the oil of ointment, and four for the incense.

           

Shemot (Exodus) 30:23-24 “Take the following fine spices: 500 shekels of liquid myrrh, half as much (that is, 250 shekels) of fragrant cinnamon, 250 shekels of fragrant cane 800 shekels of cassia--all according to the sanctuary shekel--and a hin of olive oil.

 

Shemot (Exodus) 30:34-37  Then HaShem said to Moses, “Take fragrant spices--gum resin, onycha and galbanum--and pure frankincense, all in equal amounts, And make a fragrant blend of incense, the work of a perfumer. It is to be salted and pure and sacred. Grind some of it to powder and place it in front of the Testimony in the Tent of Meeting, where I will meet with you. It shall be most holy to you. Do not make any incense with this formula for yourselves; consider it holy to HaShem.

 

3. Eight poles for carrying the vessel in the Sanctuary:

Two for the Ark,

Two for the Table,

Two for the Golden Altar, and

Two for the Copper Altar.

            Shemot (Exodus) 25

 

4. Eight musical instruments, accompanying the psalms of the Levites during the service, i.e., seven instruments and the choir itself, for a total of eight.

 

Stringed instruments - Psalm 4:1

Flutes - Psalm 5:1

Gitis - Psalm 8:1

Machalas Le’annos - Psalm 88:1

Yedusun - Psalm 39:1

Harp - Psalm 33:2

Lyre - Psalm 33:2

Voices

 

5.  From the eighth day, after their birth, onwards, animals could be offered as sacrifices in the Temple.

            Vayikra (Leviticus) 22:27

 

6.  The harp of Messianic days has eight strings, while the harp of the world to come has ten strings.     

 

Midrash Rabbah - Bamidbar (Numbers) XV:11 TAKE THE LEVITES (VIII, 6). Halachah: How many cords should there have been in the harp upon which the Levites played? R. Judah said: There were seven cords in the harp, as may be inferred from the text, Fulness of (soba’) joy in Thy presence, sweet melodies in Thy right hand (Ps. XVI, 11)[15]: do not read ‘soba’’ (fullness of) but sheba’ (seven joys).[16] Similarly, David says, Seven in the day[17] do I praise Thee, because of Thy righteous ordinances (ib. CXIX, 164). In the days of the Messiah it will be made of eight cords; for so in fact says David in the melody, For the Leader; with string-music; on the Sheminith--eight- stringed  (ib. VI, 1). In the time to come it will be made of ten; for it says, O God, I will sing a new song unto Thee, upon a psaltery of ten strings (ib. CXLIV, 9). Who ordained the instruments for them? Shmuel (Samuel) and David; as it says, Whom David and Shmuel (Samuel) the seer did ordain in their set office (I Chron. IX, 22).[18] It was they who established the divisions for the singing.

 

* * *

 

Bereshit (Genesis) 24:67

Source:   Baal HaTurim

 

When Yitzchak took Rivka as a wife, the Torah writes that he took her, “into the tent.” This word (ha’ohelah) is written eight times in the Torah.

 

The eight times it is mentioned allude to the eight places where the Divine Presence was destined to rest among the Jewish people.

 

The seven places where the Divine Presence already rested were:

 

1) The Mishkan (the sanctuary) in the desert,

2) Gilgal,

3) Shiloh,

4) Nov,

5) Givon,

6) the first Beit HaMikdash, and

7) the second Beit HaMikdash.

 

The eighth place will be the third Beit HaMikdash which will be built in the Days of Mashiach.

 

III.  Torah Commandments

 

Several of the Torah’s commandments involve the number eight:

 

1.  There are eight threads, made up of two groups of four that make up the tzitzith.

            Bamidbar (Numbers) 15:37-40

 

2.  Circumcision (Brit milah) is to take place on the eighth day.

            Bereshit (Genesis) 17:12

 

Brit milah acts as a threshold of sorts for the new baby, over which he crosses to enter into the world ABOVE mazel. Accordingly, the brit milah, whose significance is the metaphysical modification of our physical nature, occurs on the eighth day.

 

The eighth day - the day of circumcision.

 

The eight days of Chanukah - “The candle of HaShem is the soul of man.”[19]

 

The circumcision of the foreskin of the lips on Chanukah.

 

The circumcision of the foreskin of the ears on the eighth day of Succoth.

 

The circumcision of the foreskin of the heart on Yom Kippur, the eighth day of the High Priest’s separation.

 

3.  The Torah is given after completion of seven weeks following the exodus from Egypt.

 

The Torah represents the metaphysical covenant with Israel.

 

4.  We celebrate the eighth day of Succoth as a Sabbath called Shemini Atzeret.

            Vayikra (Leviticus) 23:36

 

5.  Chanukah is eight days long.

 

The oil, which should have lasted one day in the Chanukah miracle, lasted for eight. HaShem’s message was that the military victory should not be explained in material, political or in other physical terms. The number eight points to the intervention of the supernatural. It reminds us that the invisible hand of HaShem is at work in all human enterprises, no matter how mundane.

 

Our Sages explain that there is particular significance in the fact that the Chanukah menorah has eight lamps, and that we celebrate the festival for eight days. In the Holy Temple, the golden Menorah kindled each day in the Sanctuary had only seven lamps. The number seven represents the natural cycle of time: the seven days of the week, corresponding to the six days of Creation and the seventh, the Sabbath Day. Throughout history, since HaShem created the world, time has been measured according to this seven-day cycle. The number eight, however, represents a level that is higher than nature, and above time. This is the level of the miraculous, which is not bound by the laws of nature. It is especially fitting that we celebrate the miracle of Chanukah with eight lamps, culminating on the eighth day... for the number eight is also associated with the revelation of Mashiach, may he come speedily, in our days!

 

In order to appreciate the nature of the Chanukah miracle, we should examine other, similar miracles. Let us begin with the first Temple, the Mishkan.

 

The parasha of the Mishkan does not conclude with the finishing touches to the construction of the edifice and its vessels, nor even with the commencement of the sacrifices during the seven days of dedication. The whole enterprise peaks on the eighth day,

 

Vayikra (Leviticus) 9:4 “for today God is revealed to you”.

 

Without this eighth day, the entire construction of the Mishkan is meaningless:

 

“For all seven days of dedication ... the Shechinah did not rest there, and Bnei Israel were saddened and said to Moshe, ‘Moshe Rabeinu, all the labor that we performed [was] in order that the Shechinah should dwell amongst us...”.[20]

 

Even after Bnei Israel had completed all the preparations as commanded, the Mishkan remained an empty shell until the moment of revelation:

 

Vayikra (Leviticus) 9:22  “And a fire came out from before God and consumed the burnt offering and the fats, and the entire nation saw and they rejoiced, and they fell upon their faces”.

 

Correspondingly, we find in the case of the first Temple:

 

II Divrei HaYamim (Chronicles) 7:1-3 “And when Shlomo had finished his prayer, the fire descended from heaven and consumed the burnt offering and the sacrifices, and the glory of God filled the House ... and all of Bnei Israel saw the descent of the fire and the glory of God upon the House, and they prostrated themselves upon the floor, and bowed and thanked God for He is good, for His mercy is forever”.

 

So long as HaShem’s glory is revealed in the Temple, it is not permissible to enter the Holy of Holies at will. It is instructive that immediately following the divine revelation in the Mishkan, at the moment Nadav and Abihu sacrificed their ‘strange fire,’ “a fire came out from before HaShem and consumed them”.[21] However, after the destruction of the first Temple, when HaShem’s glory is no longer apparent:

 

Eicha (Lamentations) 5:18 “for Mount Zion which is desolate; foxes walk there”

 

Strangers enter the Temple without suffering any harm:

 

Eicha (Lamentations) 1:10  “For she has seen Gentiles coming into the Temple - those concerning whom You commanded ‘They shall not come into your congregation’”.

 

How remote is the era of the destruction from that eighth day when Aaron’s sons were punished! HaShem’s glory, which was once manifest so clearly, is perceptible no longer. For this reason, when the nation returned from Babylon to build the second Temple, once again some sign was required to indicate that the Shechinah, as it were, had returned.

 

In the book of Maccabees we read as follows:

 

II Maccabees 2:1 “And now that our hearts desire to celebrate the day of the rededication of the altar ... you shall celebrate it, like the day upon which Nehemiah found the holy fire when he returned to build the Temple ... For when our fathers were exiled, the holy Kohanim secretly took the fire and hid it ... and it came to pass after many days that the king sent Nehemiah to Jerusalem ... they could not find the fire, and found only freezing water instead ... and it happened that when they offered God’s sacrifice, he commanded them to sprinkle some of the water on the wood and on the sacrifice which was upon the altar, and they did so. When they had finished, and the sun shone upon the earth and the clouds were scattered, behold a heavenly fire ignited the sacrifice, and the entire nation surrounding it was astonished, and the Kohanim and all the nation fell upon their faces ... and the Kohanim sang praise and thanks to God.” 

 

Aside from this miracle which took place at the time of the rededication of the Temple, the Gemara describes another miracle which occurred daily in the Temple and which was similar to the miracle of the cruse of oil both in terms of form as well as character:

 

Shabbat 22b “It was testimony to the entire world that the Shechinah rested with Israel. What was this testimony? Rav said: This refers to the western lamp (the western-most light of the menorah in the Temple), which received the same amount of oil as all the other lamps, and from which the Kohen would light the others, and it lasted the longest.”

 

According to the Gemara, in Yoma 39a, this miracle occurred even during the period of the Second Temple, up until the death of Shimon Ha-Tzadik (and of Yeshua HaMashiach).

 

In all of the above cases, the significance of the miracle is that it bears testimony to the fact that the Shechinah dwells amongst Israel. The necessity of the sign comes about as a result of the nature of the Divine Presence in general. In order to clarify this issue, let us turn our attention to the sphere of prophecy.

 

Thus the miracle, which follows the construction of the Temple, expresses the same Divine will, which stands at the foundation of:

 

 “and I shall dwell amongst them.”

 

It is only through this miracle which testifies that the Shechinah dwells amongst Israel that there is any significance to the command:

 

“Let them make Me a Temple.”

 

At the beginning of the period of the second Temple, the ‘western light’ bore faithful testimony that the Shechinah dwelt amongst Israel. But once Yeshua, and Shimon Ha-Tzadik, died, the light no longer remained lit.

 

When HaShem took pity on His nation and the Chashmonaim prevailed, they purified the Temple and rededicated the altar. But where was the testimony? Where was the Shechinah? If there were no heavenly sign, what would all the efforts of the Maccabees be worth? In this context, the significance of the miracle of the cruse of oil becomes apparent. After the Temple had been defiled, this tiny cruse bore witness that the Shechinah dwelt amongst Israel.

 

In light of the above it becomes clear that although the actual event which was celebrated was the rededication of the altar, our Sages understood that the significance of this rededication rested on the miracle of the cruse of oil. This miracle returned the glory of the nation to its stature from the days of Shimon Ha-Tzadik. In the words of the Penei Yehoshua:

 

Shabbat 21b”Therefore it would seem that the crux of the miracle was that it was performed only to show God’s love for them ... For this reason this miracle, too, was performed for them concerning the lights, which was testimony for Israel that the Shechinah dwelt amongst them, as we have explained with regard to the western light. But after the death of Shimon Ha-Tzadik, even the western light sometimes was extinguished. Therefore a miracle was performed regarding this exact matter, at that time which was a time of Divine favor, in order to show that they had returned to their original status of being beloved in God’s eyes. This appears to me the correct interpretation.”

 

Hence, it is not surprising that the story of the miracle of the cruse of oil is absent from the books of the Maccabees. For it was not for this miracle that Chanukah was established, but rather for the rededication of the actual altar. But following the desecration of the Temple by the wicked Antiochus, the miracle of the oil represented the awaited signal from HaShem, which imbued the dedication of the altar with its significance. A close inspection of the books of the Maccabees reveals an emphasis of these motifs, the desecration of the Temple by the Hellenists and its purification by the Chashmonaim.

 

During the time of Antiochus, HaShem’s glory is absent from the Temple:

 

II Maccabees 5  “And Antiochus destroyed all the holy vessels with a wicked hand ... and were it not for God’s anger against His nation because of their many sins, the hand of God would have struck him as it did Heliodoros when he went, by order of Silikus, to rob the treasury of the Temple. But because God did not choose His nation because of His city, but rather chose His city because of His nation, and because He watched over His nation, therefore He watched also over the Temple.”

 

And with the victory of the Chashmonaim, they returned and purified the Temple and rededicated the altar, and for this reason Chanukah was established:

 

II Maccabees 10 “From God this thing came about, to purify the Temple on the very day upon which the gentiles had defiled it, which was the twenty-fifth day of the month of Kislev. And they celebrated a festival of eight days to God ... and sang songs of praise and thanks to God Who gave them salvation, to purify His Temple. And a decree was sounded throughout the cities of Judea, to celebrate this festival each year.”

 

Chanukah celebrates not merely the rededication of the altar, but also the glory of God, which once again became manifest in the Temple. This is why the book of Second Maccabees (ch. 1) compares it to the day of the dedication of the Temple in the time of Nehemiah, when the miracle of the hidden fire occurred. On Chanukah the Chashmonaim regained the same level of HaShem’s love as they had enjoyed at the beginning of the period of the second Temple.

 

The conclusion, which arises from the above discussion, is that there is no contradiction between the Book of Maccabees and the version recorded by the Sages.

 

The book of Maccabees makes reference to the historical event upon which Chanukah was established. From this perspective, Chanukah was indeed in honor of the rededication of the altar by the Chashmonaim, but our Sages perceived the profound significance of the moment. After the defilement of the Temple by Antiochus, this rededication would have been hollow without that essential heavenly signal, the miracle of the cruse of oil, which bore testimony to HaShem’s Presence amongst Israel.

 

In the Nazarean Codicil we have another association of the Shechinah with the eighth day:

 

Luqas (Luke) 9:27:36   I tell you the truth, some who are standing here will not taste death before they see the kingdom of God.” About eight days after Yeshua said this, he took Peter, John, and James with him and went up onto a mountain to pray. As he was praying, the appearance of his face changed, and his clothes became as bright as a flash of lightning. Two men, Moses and Elijah, Appeared in glorious splendor, talking with Yeshua. They spoke about his departure, which he was about to bring to fulfillment at Jerusalem. Peter and his companions were very sleepy, but when they became fully awake, they saw his glory and the two men standing with him. As the men were leaving Yeshua, Peter said to him, “Master, it is good for us to be here. Let us put up three shelters--one for you, one for Moses and one for Elijah.” (He did not know what he was saying.)  While he was speaking, a cloud appeared and enveloped them, and they were afraid as they entered the cloud. A voice came from the cloud, saying, “This is my Son, whom I have chosen; listen to him.” When the voice had spoken, they found that Yeshua was alone. The disciples kept this to themselves, and told no one at that time what they had seen.

 

Notice again, that we have the Shechinah, the glory of HaShem, associated with the eighth day. From Peter’s desire to build three Succoth, tabernacles, we can surmise that this is the eighth day of Succoth which is called Shemini Atzeret.

 

Keep in mind that HaShem and Yeshua are to be in place of the Temple:

 

Revelation 21:22   I did not see a temple in the city, because the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its temple.

 

So, this transfiguration could be seen as the Shechinah filling the “Temple”.

 

Bava Kama 60b May our eyes merit seeing the return of God to Zion with mercy, and the fulfillment of God’s promise: “And I shall build it with fire, as it is written, ‘And I shall be unto her (Jerusalem) a wall of fire round about, and My glory shall be within her’.

 

So on the eighth day Of the Mishkan’s dedication, fire from HaShem appeared.

 

On the eighth day of the Temple’s dedication, fire from HaShem appeared.

 

The one day supply of oil in the Menorah lit by the Maccabees, burned for eight days.

 

Yeshua was circumcised on the eighth day, Shemini Atzeret. (See my study on the birth of Yeshua)

 

IV.  Mashiach and the number eight

 

The book of Ruth is surely the most poignant book of the Tanak. The Messianic allusions are numerous. Since this book concerns itself with the goel, the kinsman-redeemer, we would expect this book to have many allusions to the number eight.

 

The Yalkut Shimoni[22] points out that every verse in Ruth begins with a ו, “vav”, except for eight verses.  Rabbi Hiya expounds: this hints at Ruth’s deep attachment to the Covenant.  The digit eight (and its decimal multiples) do signify the Covenant.  It surely is noteworthy that the Megilla proper (excluding the five verse epilogue which is a genealogical addenda) is composed of exactly 80 verses.

 

The entire account of the first seven days of creation requires only eighty verses. In John chapter one, we see that The Word created everything during those seven days.

 

V.  Torah Portions

 

Several Torah portions are associated with the number eight (8):

 

1.  There is a Torah portion in the annual cycle, Vayikra (Leviticus) 9”1 - 11:47, which is named “Shemini” or “eighth”. The Haftorah for Shemini is II Shmuel (Samuel) 6:1 - 7:17.

 

The Torah portion of Shemini opens with a description of the eighth and final day of the consecration of the Sanctuary, the day when the Divine Presence first rested therein. The name of the portion, Shemini, means “eighth” and alludes to the special significance held by the number eight.

 

2.  The Torah portion for the eighth day of Passover, celebrated outside of Israel, is Devarim (Deuteronomy) 15:19 - 16:17 and Bamidbar (Numbers) 28:19-25. The haftorah is Yeshayah (Isaiah) 10:32 - 12:6

 

3.  The Torah portion for the eighth day of Succoth, known as Shemini Atzeret, is Devarim (Deuteronomy) 14:22 - 16:17 and Bamidbar (Numbers) 29:35 - 30:1. The haftorah for this portion is I Melakim (Kings) 8:54-66.

 

VI.  Events of the eighth day

 

The Mishkan, the Tabernacle in the wilderness, was inaugurated on the eighth day:

 

Vayikra (Leviticus) 8:33 - 9:24   Do not leave the entrance to the Tent of Meeting for seven days, until the days of your ordination are completed, for your ordination will last seven days. What has been done today was commanded by HaShem to make atonement for you. You must stay at the entrance to the Tent of Meeting day and night for seven days and do what HaShem requires, so you will not die; for that is what I have been commanded.” So Aaron and his sons did everything HaShem commanded through Moses. On the eighth day Moses summoned Aaron and his sons and the elders of Israel. He said to Aaron, “Take a bull calf for your sin offering and a ram for your burnt offering, both without defect, and present them before HaShem. Then say to the Israelites: ‘Take a male goat for a sin offering, a calf and a lamb--both a year old and without defect--for a burnt offering, And an ox and a ram for a fellowship offering to sacrifice before HaShem, together with a grain offering mixed with oil. For today HaShem will appear to you.’” They took the things Moses commanded to the front of the Tent of Meeting, and the entire assembly came near and stood before HaShem. Then Moses said, “This is what HaShem has commanded you to do, so that the glory of HaShem may appear to you.” Moses said to Aaron, “Come to the altar and sacrifice your sin offering and your burnt offering and make atonement for yourself and the people; sacrifice the offering that is for the people and make atonement for them, as HaShem has commanded.” So Aaron came to the altar and slaughtered the calf as a sin offering for himself. His sons brought the blood to him, and he dipped his finger into the blood and put it on the horns of the altar; the rest of the blood he poured out at the base of the altar. On the altar he burned the fat, the kidneys and the covering of the liver from the sin offering, as HaShem commanded Moses; The flesh and the hide he burned up outside the camp. Then he slaughtered the burnt offering. His sons handed him the blood, and he sprinkled it against the altar on all sides. They handed him the burnt offering piece by piece, including the head, and he burned them on the altar. He washed the inner parts and the legs and burned them on top of the burnt offering on the altar. Aaron then brought the offering that was for the people. He took the goat for the people’s sin offering and slaughtered it and offered it for a sin offering as he did with the first one. He brought the burnt offering and offered it in the prescribed way. He also brought the grain offering, took a handful of it and burned it on the altar in addition to the morning’s burnt offering. He slaughtered the ox and the ram as the fellowship offering for the people. His sons handed him the blood, and he sprinkled it against the altar on all sides. But the fat portions of the ox and the ram--the fat tail, the layer of fat, the kidneys and the covering of the liver-- These they laid on the breasts, and then Aaron burned the fat on the altar. Aaron waved the breasts and the right thigh before HaShem as a wave offering, as Moses commanded. Then Aaron lifted his hands toward the people and blessed them. And having sacrificed the sin offering, the burnt offering and the fellowship offering, he stepped down. Moses and Aaron then went into the Tent of Meeting. When they came out, they blessed the people; and the glory of HaShem appeared to all the people. Fire came out from the presence of HaShem and consumed the burnt offering and the fat portions on the altar. And when all the people saw it, they shouted for joy and fell facedown.

 

The eighth day began the inauguration of the Mishkan. It was on this day that the Divine Presence finally descended and “inhabited” the Mishkan. For, the number eight always alludes to a departure from the “natural” world, and entry into the supernatural world.

 

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Bereshit (Genesis) 17:9-14  Then God said to Abraham, “As for you, you must keep my covenant, you and your descendants after you for the generations to come. This is my covenant with you and your descendants after you, the covenant you are to keep: Every male among you shall be circumcised. You are to undergo circumcision, and it will be the sign of the covenant between me and you. For the generations to come every male among you who is eight days old must be circumcised, including those born in your household or bought with money from a foreigner--those who are not your offspring. Whether born in your household or bought with your money, they must be circumcised. My covenant in your flesh is to be an everlasting covenant. Any uncircumcised male, who has not been circumcised in the flesh, will be cut off from his people; he has broken my covenant.”

 

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1 Shmuel (Samuel) 17:12  Now David was the son of an Ephrathite named Jesse, who was from Bethlehem in Judah. Jesse had eight sons, and in Saul’s time he was old and well advanced in years.

 

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II Divrei HaYamim (Chronicles) 29:15-17 When they had assembled their brothers and consecrated themselves, they went in to purify the temple of HaShem, as the king had ordered, following the word of HaShem. The priests went into the sanctuary of HaShem to purify it. They brought out to the courtyard of HaShem’s temple everything unclean that they found in the temple of HaShem. The Levites took it and carried it out to the Kidron Valley. They began the consecration on the first day of the first month, and by the eighth day of the month they reached the portico of HaShem. For eight more days they consecrated the temple of HaShem itself, finishing on the sixteenth day of the first month.

 

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I Tzefet (Peter) 3:18-20  For Mashiach died for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God. He was put to death in the body but made alive by the Spirit, Through whom also he went and preached to the spirits in prison Who disobeyed long ago when God waited patiently in the days of Noah while the ark was being built. In it only a few people, eight in all, were saved through water,

 

Midrash Rabbah - Bereshit (Genesis) XLIX:13  AND HE SAID: OH, LET NOT THE HaShem BE ANGRY... PERA DVENTURE TEN SHALL BE FOUND THERE (XVIII, 32). And why ten? So that there might be sufficient for an assembly [of righteous men to pray] on behalf of all of them.[23] Another reason, why ten? Because at the generation of the Flood eight righteous people[24] yet remained,’ and the world was not given a respite for their sake. Another reason, why ten? Because he thought that there were ten there, viz. Lot, his wife, his four daughters and four sons-in-law.[25] R. Judah b. R. Simon and R. Hanin in R. Johanan’s name said: Here ten were required, while in Jerusalem even one would have sufficed,[26] as it is written, Run ye to and fro in the streets of Jerusalem... and seek... if ye can find a man, if there be any that doeth justly (Jer. V, 1); and thus it says too, Adding one thing to another, to find out the account (Eccl. VII, 27). R. Isaac said: How far can an account be extended [for one city]? As far as one man [27]

 

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Yechezkel (Ezekiel) 40:28-31 Then he brought me into the inner court through the south gate, and he measured the south gate; it had the same measurements as the others. Its alcoves, its projecting walls and its portico had the same measurements as the others. The gateway and its portico had openings all around. It was fifty cubits long and twenty-five cubits wide. (The porticoes of the gateways around the inner court were twenty-five cubits wide and five cubits deep.) Its portico faced the outer court; palm trees decorated its jambs, and eight steps led up to it.

 

It is interesting to note that the following phrase is repeated three times in the book of Yechezkel; in Yechezkel (Ezekiel) 40:31, 40:34, and 40:37:

 

Its portico faced the outer court; palm trees decorated its jambs, and eight steps led up to it.

 

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Revelation 17:7-11  Then the angel said to me: “Why are you astonished? I will explain to you the mystery of the woman and of the beast she rides, which has the seven heads and ten horns. The beast, which you saw, once was, now is not, and will come up out of the Abyss and go to his destruction. The inhabitants of the earth whose names have not been written in the book of life from the creation of the world will be astonished when they see the beast, because he once was, now is not, and yet will come. “This calls for a mind with wisdom. The seven heads are seven hills on which the woman sits. They are also seven kings. Five have fallen, one is, the other has not yet come; but when he does come, he must remain for a little while. The beast who once was, and now is not, is an eighth king. He belongs to the seven and is going to his destruction.

 

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The Arizal explains that numbers have their origins in the supernal spiritual worlds. Single digit numbers correspond to the physical realm Asiyah, the sefirat Malkhut. Tens correspond to the angelic realm Yetzirah, the sefirat Tiferet. Hundreds correspond to the Neshama realm Beriah, the sefirat Binah, Imma. Being that hundreds emanate from the realm of Imma, they are the source of blessing. Therefore, all offerings are the rectification of 100% of the produce offered.

 

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This study was written by

Rabbi Dr. Hillel ben David

(Greg Killian).

Comments may be submitted to:

 

Rabbi Dr. Greg Killian

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Olympia, WA 98501

 

Internet address:  gkilli@aol.com

Web page:  http://www.betemunah.org/

 

(360) 918-2905

 

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[1] Yoma VII, 8

[2] Prohibited in Deut. XXII, 11.

[3] Y.T. explains that this coat was similar to one made of the forbidden mixture. The verse, however, seems out of place; perhaps one should emend as in J. Yoma VII, 5: the tunic... Linen, while some say, to atone for bloodshed. The present verse rightly follows since it was this coat which stirred up the hostility of Joseph’s brethren. The proof-text there. however, is: And they dipped the tunic in blood (v. 31).

[4] T.J. ‘ this way and that ‘.

[5] Since the numerical value of לב (heart) is thirty-two.

[6] Hide the stolen goods in hollows and caves.

[7] Rabbenu Gershom (to ‘Ar. 16a): In the absence of the Ephod something is lacking to expiate the sin of teraphim, i.e. idols. Cf. Ger;. XXXI, 19, 30.

[8] ‘ No atonement by means of sacrifice.’ ‘Ar. 16a.

[9]  V. Num. XXXV, 9 ff.

[10]  Slander, calumny, back-biting.

[11] Sc. of evil speech.

[12]  Lit. ‘ bold-faced’. v. Ab. v, 20 (Sonc. ed.), p. 73, n. 8.

[13] Addressed to Jerusalem, personified as a woman, i.e. the daughter of Zion.

[14] Who blasphemed, V. I Sam. XVII, 45.

[15] E.V. ‘In Thy presence is fullness of joy, in Thy right hand bliss, etc.

[16] Each cord is a separate joy.

[17] I.e. on a seven-stringed harp. E.V. ‘Seven times a day’.

[18] This refers to the various of officials in the Sanctuary.

[19] Mishlei (Proverbs) 20:27

[20] Rashi

[21] Vayikra 10:2

[22] Ruth 608

[23] Ten is a quorum for public prayer.

[24] Noah, his three sons, and their wives.

[25] But he was mistaken in thinking them righteous (M.K.).

[26] But not even one was to be found.

[27] Mah.: Translating, the righteousness of one man saving one town.