Parshat Naso by: Rabbi Moshe Goodman, Kollel Ohr Shlomo, Hebron בס"ד
Discover the Holy Presence in the Holy Land
22 Chromosome Pairs and the Gender Chromosomes
The first parshiot of the book of Bamidbar mention various types of groupings of the People of Israel. One grouping pertains to the three main groups of Israel: Kohanim, Levites, and Israelites. Another grouping pertains to the seven encampments enumerated in these parshiot: the encampment of Yehuda, Reuven, Ephraim, Dan, and the Levite encampments of Kehot, Gershon, and Merari. Of course, another grouping pertains to the twelve tribes, each tribe enumerated separately. Altogether we see 22 groups here.
A year ago, in Parshat Vayeshev we mentioned that throughout the dreams associated with Yosef, either that he dreamed or dreams told to him, the themes of the numbers three [in the dreams of the butler and baker], seven [in Pharaoh’s dreams] and twelve [in Yosef’s dreams] reappear in what we called “doubled-dreams,” dreams that have the same number reappearing in another consecutive dream [both butler and baker have dreams with the number three, Pharaoh dreams two “double dreams” with seven in them, Yosef dreams two dreams with twelve]. We noted that these numbers correspond with the Sefer Yetzira which emphasizes the significance of a group of three, a group of seven, and a group of twelve, together comprising the 22 [3+7+12] letters of the Hebrew alphabet.
Here too it seems that when the Torah wishes to make 22 groupings of the People of Israel, corresponding to the 22 letters of the alphabet. Indeed, we find that the number 22 is very significant in the census of the People, for the Levites were numbered exactly 22,000 and also the tribe of Shimon at the end of Bamidbar is 22 thousand. Our Sages further say that the Holy Presence does not rest upon less than 22,000 souls of Israel [this is learned from a verse in Parshat Behaalotcha]. This teaching sheds light on the individual tribes of Levi and Shimon that were numbered 22 thousand to show that each tribe is a microcosm of all Israel. This idea of a tribe being a microcosm of all Israel can also be seen in the law of erroneous rulings of the Sanhedrin that were obeyed by “all of Israel” (as mentioned in the verse), as ruled by Rambam (Shegagot 13, 2): “If the majority of the inhabitants of Eretz Yisrael acted according to the erroneous ruling even if the transgressors were only from one tribe…the court is liable for this sacrifice and the transgressors are exempt… We are not concerned with the inhabitants of the Diaspora, for the term kahal (“congregation”) applies only to the inhabitants of Eretz Yisrael. The tribes of Efraim and Menashe are not considered as two tribes in this context. Instead, they are counted as one tribe [i.e of Yosef].”
In science, we find that there are 22 chromosome pairs and the gender chromosomes [X&Y]. According to the Denver Classification of these chromosomes, as shown in the tables below, the chromosomes are divided into seven groups, based on their length, the point where the chromosome pair are joined, and more. Based on the groupings of 22 letters of the alphabet according to Sefer Yetzira, we also find here that there are three chromosome pairs in group A, seven pairs in group C, and twelve in the other groups [save the gender chromosomes which belong to a different category altogether as will be further discussed]. Now we can make a parallelism between the twelve tribes and the twelve chromosome pairs of the other groups [i.e aside of A and C] are divided into the following groups: B, which has two chromosomes, seem to correspond to the tribes of Yosef and Binyamin, direct descendants of Rachel our Matriarch. D and E, which are very similar, correspond to the descendants of Leah our Matriarch, who bore three sons, Yehuda, Yissachar, and Zevulun as one group and are therefore always grouped together in the Torah, and three other sons as a second group. Groups F and G seem to correspond to the tribes that are descendants of Bilhah and Zilpa, each one bearing two children, and also each group of F and G contains two chromosome pairs. What about the gender chromosome pairs? According to the Kabbalists, the 22 letters represent the “building blocks” or “vessels” of all matter, while in relationship to them stand the five elongated “final letters” of mem, nun, tzadi, peh, and kaf, which are not part of the 22 letter count [they are also not “separate” letters since their non-elongated version is already part of the 22 letters], but rather pertain to a “gender” concept, or element, in spiritual terms.
Hebron means unity and is also the Beacon of our Holy Land, teaching us the inherent unity between the Torah and the science of the natural world. When we unite with the holiness of our holy earth through Hebron we also are able to see the holiness and the Divine Plan upon all earth, and upon the entire natural world.
Miracles from the Holy Land:. Thirty-Nine Rockets:
In 1991, without any Israeli instigation, Iraq tried to provoke Israel into retaliating by firing 39 missiles into Israel. Throughout all of the numerous strikes on the West Bank, there was not a single death. Two missiles disappeared. To this day, nobody has taken credit for preventing their strikes and they have never been found. Another missile struck a garbage dump and for some reason did not explode. One missile landed just several feet away from a gas station, which could have caused devastation, but incredibly it also did not explode. Multiple missiles missed Iraq’s intended targets, instead landing in the Mediterranean Sea. One of which had gotten thrown off course by some inexplicable strong winds. There were other missiles that did hit and did actually explode. One of these exploded between two buildings and completely destroyed both of them, but somehow not a single soul was lost in this strike. Not everyone realized the magnitude of this miracle until over 40 were killed in a single missile strike on a U.S. marine bunker in Saudi Arabia.