Stars in the Heavens-Sand on the Sea Shore
Abraham's Double Blessing in two halves
17.’That I shall surely bless you, and I surely multiply your offspring as the stars of the Heavens and as the sand on the seashore; and your offspring shall inherit the gate of its enemies-כִּי בָרֵךְ אֲבָרֶכְךָ וְהַרְבָּה אַרְבֶּה אֶת זַרְעֲךָ כְּכוֹכְבֵי הַשָּׁמַיִם וְכַחוֹל אֲשֶׁר עַל שְׂפַת הַיָּם וְיִרַשׁ זַרְעֲךָ אֵת שַׁעַר אֹיְבָיו(8451=18 counting final Mems and Kafs as 600 and 500).
The verse can be divided so:
· That I shall surely bless you and I surely multiply your offspring- כִּי בָרֵךְ אֲבָרֶכְךָ וְהַרְבָּה אַרְבֶּה אֶת זַרְעֲךָ (1619=17=8);
· As the stars of the Heavens and as the sand on the seashore-כְּכוֹכְבֵי הַשָּׁמַיִם וְכַחוֹל אֲשֶׁר עַל שְׂפַת הַיָּם (1979=26=8);
· And your offspring shall inherit the gate of its enemies- וְיִרַשׁ זַרְעֲךָ אֵת שַׁעַר אֹיְבָיו (1813+5 words=18).
Rashi comments here that the double blessings are to both Abraham the father and to Isaac the son (Beraishit Rabbah 56.11).
I would add that as everything connected to Abraham is doubled (see my commentary to Parshat Lech-Lecha), this double blessing was entirely for Abraham who through Isaac and his offspring –Jacob and the 12 Tribes-would receive blessings in this world (sand on the sea shores) and in the World to Come (stars in the Heavens) .
This opinion is supported by the gematriot of the name “Abraham”-אַבְרָהָם (248 and 808) which corresponds to doubling. In verse 11 above Hashem calls out Abraham’s name twice. Moreover as the battle of good and evil is raging in both worlds, Abraham has both physical and Metaphysical enemies thus it is written here in the plural “its enemies”-אֹיְבָיו.
This opinion is supported by the following gematriot:
Stars in the Heaven-World to Come
כוֹכְבֵי הַשָּׁמַיִם-עולם הבא
607+4 words=611=8 or 1727=17=8
Sand on the sea shore-This World
חוֹל אֲשֶׁר עַל שְׂפַת הַיָּם- עולם הזה
1743=14=8 or 2763=18
Why is Abraham promised first the blessing in the World to Come and secondly the blessing in this world?
The answer is simple-They are One blessing in two halves, however in order to receive what is promised at the beginning in the spiritual world, the war first has to be won at the end in the physical world, where there are physical contractions of the Infinite Light and physical restrictions such as time and three dimensional space.
This matter is of fundamental importance in understanding the “work” that the Jewish People have to perform in this world in order for them to fulfill the double promise in two halves of Hashem to Abraham in our verse:
This in turn will cause Hashem to “descend” from the “World of the Heavens” and defeat the physical enemies of the Jewish People in the “World of the Earth”.
When this happens, the two circles of the World of the Heavens will close in on one another in direct relation to the closing in of the two triangles (Shield of Abraham/David) of the World of the Earth.
Only then will the two “separate” worlds be united and exist together without separation through the Unification of the Name “Hai”. Then we will enter the World to Come/ that Came which is awaiting us from before the beginning of time itself.
At this juncture in time Abraham (and Isaac and Sarah) succeeded in securing the World to Come for his (their descendants). All that remains now is for the Jewish People to finish the battle by returning to Hashem in repentance through the observation of Torah and mitzvoth.
Hashem will then finish the battle on earth for us as it is written (Shmot 14.14):
14.’ Hashem will fight for you and you will remain silent – יְהוָה יִלָּחֵם לָכֶם וְאַתֶּם תַּחֲרִשׁוּן (1615+ 5 words=1620=1+8 or 3945+ 5 words =3950=17=18 counting final Nun and Mems as 700 and 600).
The verse can be divided so:· Hashem- יְהוָה (26=8);
· Will fight for you and you will remain silent- יִלָּחֵם לָכֶם וְאַתֶּם תַּחֲרִשׁוּן (3919+4 words=3923=17=8 counting final Nun and Mems as 700 and 600).