• Home
  • Parashah
  • Ask the Rabbi
  • Festivals
  • Freemasonry
  • Articles
  • About
  • Books
  • Media

    The sign of the four – Vayyishlach

    “The Sign of the Four” is a famous Sherlock Holmes story. The number four has a long lineage. It is a well known symbol in ancient logic, borrowed and used in the numerical sections of the Ethics of the Fathers.

    Much earlier, it figures in the Bible from the early chapters of B’reshit onwards, and in the Torah reading this week we meet in the name Kiryat Arba, “the town of four” (e.g. Gen. 35:27), the town named after four giants or four patriarchal couples who were buried there at Machpelah. It had additional names: Mamre, the area, and Chevron (“Friendship Town”: Gen. 23:2), where Abraham and Isaac dwelt (and Sarah died).

    Abraham was called the Friend of God. The Bible says that God is our Friend, who loves us and protects us; the idea that Abraham is God’s friend suggests that the believer must bring lustre to God and His Name.

    Comments are closed.