We are in a very special season these days between Pesach and Shavuot – and no, not tax season, though taxes do loom!!
We are counting the 7 x 7 days and weeks between these two Festivals, between leaving Egypt and arriving at Sinai, preparing ourselves to receive Torah. Here is a link where you can about this practice and maybe begin to consider some of the more mystical/practical intentions this practice provides: https://www.chabad.org/library/article_cdo/aid/276672/jewish/Daily-Spiritual-Guide.htm
Shemini, our Torah reading this week, begins with what will happen on the 8th day. We love counting, we love all things numbers, even including counting songs at our Seder. We have a system called gematria which indicates through numerical value associations between words, so for example, aleph = 1, bet = 2, etc.
“Much of gematria focuses on the various names of God and the powers of these names. The name Elohim adds up to the number 86, which equals the value of the word ha’teva (Nature). This equivalence leads to the conclusion that Elohim refers to the divine presence as it manifests in the physical world, as opposed to the name YHVH, which connects to the heavenly universe.” See: https://www.myjewishlearning.com/article/gematria/
Numbers, letters, calculations and verses – all lead us to a deeper understanding not only of God, but of ourselves. May be written and counted with many acts of chesed, throughout our lives. And may our tax bills be light.