When Reb Moshe Wolfson Made the Rebbe Laugh

During a rally in 770 that Rabbi JJ Hecht was MC’ing, he read a note that he received out loud on the microphone, to the Rebbe’s great amusement. Apparently, that gematria was first conceived by Reb Moshe Wolfson.

By Anash.org writer

During the rally on Chol Hamoed Sukkos in Tav Shin Mem Tes, the Rebbe gave over a beautiful sicha about shevet Dan, who was the last shevet in the lineup when B’nei Yisroel traveled. Rabbi Yosef Minkowitz, who was present in 770 at the time, wrote up a clever note to hand to Rabbi JJ Hecht who was directing the children’s rally.

The sicha went into the travels of the Yidden and the setup of their camping and travels. When the Yidden were commanded to travel, shevet Dan was always last and in charge of collecting any items that people forgot and left behind accidentally. They were ‘Me’asef lechol hamachanos’, they collected anything left behind by the other campers.

At the end of the rally, after the children sang Sheyibaneh and the Rebbe was preparing to leave the bima, Rabbi Hecht announced that he received a note from someone in the audience which he proceeded to read out loud to the entire shul.

“Someone just handed me a note,” Rabbi Hecht announced, “that says ‘Me’asef lechol hamachanos’ is b’gimtria 770.”

The Rebbe smiled broadly and acknowledged the message with an appreciative look. Later, it was discovered that the gematria was conceived by Reb Moshe Wolfson

Watch the clip here:

Clarification by Rabbi Yosef Minkowitz:

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  1. Rabbi Wolfson indeed thought of that gematriya earlier. But the one who sent up the note was Rabbi Yosef Minkowitz, who thought of it separately during that sicha, as he recently told over on a voice note which was shared around recently.

  2. 1. Rabbi Wolfson shared this Gimatriya with Rabbi Lustig in the Chofs. At some point in time – not at this rally – Rabbi Lustig shared this with Rabbi Hecht.
    2. At this rally, the Rebbe spoke about מאסף לכל המחנות. Rabbi Yosef Minkowitz from Montreal figured out the Gimatriya on the spot, and passed a note to Rabbi Hecht who then shared it out loud.

  3. The note was written by rabbi y. Minkowitz.
    Rabbi Wolfson said the same vort about 20 yrs earlier.
    Rabbi minkowitz says that he was unaware that Rabbi Wolfson has said the same.
    (Based on VN of Rabbi Minkowitz)

    1. In the chumash the word המחנת without a vov (and with a choilom) however the Baal HaTurim and other meforsim spell the word המחנות with a vov and that’s when its bgematria 770.

      1. The gematria is correct.
        In the same sidra (Behaloscho 12,1) Rashi says that כושית is gematria יפת מראה. In the Torah the word is written כשית (without a וא״ו), then it doesn’t equal 736.
        In parshas Shlach (15,39) Rashi says that ציצית is gematria 600. In the Torah it is spelled ציצת – then the gematria is 590.
        The meforshim explain that it is based on יש אם למקרא that you calculate the way it is read.

  4. I love this! please can anash.org post more of these types of clips – its literally rejuvenating !

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