Re: Number 40

Moshe Lisker (
Wed, 11 Dec 1996 08:49:39 -0500 (EST)

The number 40 represents transition and/or change. The first number 40
which is mentioned in the Torah is the number of days which rain actually
fell during the Mabul (great flood); change the world from an evil
civilization to a new one.

Moshe Rabanu was up on Mt. Sinai for 40 days each time. This one is a bit
more obvious; the transition from a nation without Torah and Mitzvos to one
with; the purpose of Yetzias Mitzraim, Freedom from Egypt.

Forty years the children of Israel wandered through the desert; a transition
from people of slave mentality to a new generation of stronger minded, freer
and readily inclined to conquer the land of Canaan. When a Beth Din finds
someone guilty of a crime, which is punishable by man, they dole out malkos.
The Torah says "Forty less one". The purpose of Malkos is to purge the
offender of his misdeeds; change and transition with the proper undertaking
and intentions.

This brings us to a most unique and fascinating piece of information.
We all know that from the First day of Tishrei we begin to blow the Shofar
at the end of T'filas Shacharis prayer in order to awaken our sleeper and
complacement souls. To do T'shuva; to change certain character traits which
we find offensive. We give ourselves, yes, 40 days to effect this change.
For 40 days after Rosh Chodesh Tishrai is Yom Kippur, our final opportunity
defining the Ais Ratzon, an auspicious period.

Thank you for the opportunity to join the Torah Forum, I hope this
information will be helpful.

Moshe Lisker
San Luis Obispo,Ca.