In the Hagadah (page 8 of here), there is a line by the wicked son that says you should "remove his teeth" (hakeih et shinav). A common explanation is that the gematria of "rasha" (reish shin ein: 570) minus "his teeth"(shin nun yud vav: 366) equals "tzadik"(tzadi daled yud kuf: 204). What is the earliest use of this gematria to explain that line?

  • hebrewbooks.org/pagefeed/hebrewbooks_org_49191_40.pdf - attributes it to "the world says".
    – Yishai
    Commented Mar 31, 2014 at 17:50
  • @Yishai When was that published?
    – Double AA
    Commented Mar 31, 2014 at 17:52
  • @DoubleAA, very recently. The edition I linked to is 4 years old or so, not sure if there was an earlier version. It is just interesting that he researched the subject and didn't find much of a source.
    – Yishai
    Commented Mar 31, 2014 at 17:54
  • Check commentaries on Tehillim 3:8
    – user3113
    Commented Mar 31, 2014 at 19:15
  • 1
    Its a cute vort but הכה with a כ means hit. קיהה with a ק means take away sharpness and functionality, see Koheles 10, Yirmiyahu 31, rashi on taanis 7b. Blunt in the translations means to make his teeth blunt, not to hit them or remove them.
    – user6591
    Commented Jul 6, 2014 at 2:29

1 Answer 1


The אגישמקע וורט on the Haggadah writes that both the Alshich and the Arugas HaBosem say this vort.

And I saw in one of the commentaries that the explanation of this vort is that when it says in the Haggadah to blunt the teeth of the wicked son, it means to you should endeavor to remove from him his wickedness so that he becomes a Tzaddik.

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