Why Is 70 Particular? – And ten situations in Jewish custom the place 70 is critical
In honor of of 10 Shevat 5780, which marks 70 years because the Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson, assumed management, we current this text on the importance of the quantity 70.
There’s one thing particular concerning the quantity 70. Curiously, we see this quantity arising time and again in Scripture and Midrash:
- Seventy nations and languages: The Torah lists 70 descendants of Noah after the Nice Flood, and tells us, “These are the households of the sons of Noah . . . the nations have been separated on the earth after the flood.” From right here the sages study that humanity contains 70 nations, every with its personal language.
- Seventy members of Jacob’s household come to Egypt: The Torah tells us that the variety of Jacob’s descendants that got here all the way down to Egypt was 70 (together with Joseph and his sons who have been already in Egypt) .
- Seventy elders: Greater than 200 years later, Moses is advised by G‑d to assemble 70 elders of the Jewish individuals to face along with him. Later, the Sanhedrin (the rabbinical excessive courtroom) would even have 70 judges, plus the top of the Sanhedrin, representing Moses (i.e., 70 plus 1).
- Seventy “faces” of the Torah: The Midrash tells us that because of the profoundness and multifacetedness of G‑d’s Torah, there are 70 legitimate methods or views of understanding the Torah (which is one motive given for the 70 members of the Sanhedrin).
- Seventy years of exile: By the prophet Jeremiah, G‑d promised that after the destruction of the First Temple there can be 70 years of the Babylonian exile, after which G‑d would keep in mind and redeem His individuals.
- Seventy holy days: The Midrash calculates that there are 70 Biblical holy days in a photo voltaic calendar 12 months (word that by rabbinic decree, Passover, Shavuot and Sukkot are celebrated for an additional day within the diaspora, and Rosh Hashanah is prolonged right into a second day in all places):
7 days of Passover
1 day of Shavuot
1 day of Rosh Hashanah
1 day of Yom Kippur
8 days of Sukkot
- Seventy Divine names: In Scripture, G‑d is referred to by many names. Actually, in accordance with the Midrash, He’s recognized by at least 70 completely different names.
- Seventy names of the Jewish nation: As G‑d’s chosen nation, Israel is a mirrored image of its Creator. Simply as G‑d is referred to in Scripture with 70 completely different names, so too are the Jewish individuals.
- Seventy names of Jerusalem: The Midrash continues to say that the holy metropolis of Jerusalem, website of the Holy Temple, can be referred to by 70 names in Scripture.
- Seventy full years of an individual’s life: The Torah tells us that we’re commanded to honor the aged. Effectively, when does “previous age” start? King David says, “The span of our life is 70 years, or, given the energy, 80 years . . .” This tells us that solely these with “additional energy” attain and surpass the age of 70, and are due to this fact deserving of honor.
The truth that the quantity 70 is talked about so many occasions in Scripture signifies the preeminence of this quantity. What’s the significance of the quantity 70?
Completeness of Nature
The mystics clarify that the pure order is represented by the quantity 7. G‑d selected to create the world in 7 days, leading to per week that consists of seven days, equivalent to the 7 attributes (Chesed—Kindness, Gevurah—Severity, Tiferet—Concord, Netzach—Perseverance, Hod—Humility, Yesod—Basis, Malchut—Royalty).
Any quantity occasions 10 represents the completeness of that quantity. (Ten is a “full” quantity, as a result of after after we attain the quantity 10, we begin counting once more with 1. For instance, the quantity 11 is 10 plus 1.) Ten corresponds to the ten mystical sefirot. And seven occasions 10 represents the completion of the pure order—every facet of nature is full and made up of all 10 sefirot.
Seventy Linked to Management
The Lubavitcher Rebbe explains that the quantity 70 is very related to management.
Within the Mishnah that’s recited as a part of the Haggadah on the evening of Passover, Rabbi Elazar ben Azariah declares: “I’m like a person of 70 years previous.” The Talmud explains that the rationale he declared that he was like a person of 70 is that he wasn’t really 70; the truth is, he was solely about 18 years previous. Nonetheless, regardless of his younger age, the sages wished to nominate him because the nassi, chief of the Jewish individuals. Rabbi Elazar ben Azariah was reluctant as a result of his age, so a miracle occured and white hairs appeared in his beard, giving him the respectable look of a 70-year-old who was match for the management place.
The Rebbe explains that his showing particularly as a 70-year-old was not random. Moderately, as defined, the quantity 70 represents the completion or fullness of an individual’s life, because the verse states, “The span of our life is 70 years . . .” Thus the quantity 70 represents refining one’s 7 attributes (since every attribute is comprised of 10 sefirot) in addition to refining the world typically. Solely somebody who has reached this degree of private and international refinement is match to be the nassi. Thus, solely after Rabbi Elazar ben Azariah’s look turned that of a 70-year-old was he glad that he was match to be the nassi and chief of the Jewish individuals.
What Comes After Seventy?
Whereas the quantity 70 represents the completion of the pure order, going past 70 represents reaching even increased than the pure order, till we in the end attain the messianic period. Could it’s speedily in our days!