It surely has not been lost on anyone that in this year, 5779 (2019), for this parsha, parshat Bo, the parsha which mentions the plague of 4 varieties of the single species of locusts which were brought upon Mitzrayim, that a swarm of locusts from a single species descended upon Mecca, the Capital city of Islam.

Is there any connection, according to the Torah, between Mitzrayim and the first redemption and the final redemption and the potential Capital of those who correspond to Pharoah and his Capital, meaning Mecca, in this generation?

  • 2
    The Mitzrim were not B'nei Yishmael. Egypt was the richest, most powerful nation on earth at the time of the exodus. If anything, the "potential capital of those who correspond to Pharoh and his Capital" would be Washington. Assuming we're playing that game, of course :) – Josh K Jan 13 at 3:10
  • Don’t know, but probably a very good visual aide for teaching children. – Dr. Shmuel Jan 13 at 5:30
  • Tanchuma Bo 4 describes how all the Makkos that came to Mitzraim will come upon Edom the end of days. Edom != Yishmael, of course, but still noteworthy. – DonielF Jan 13 at 14:29

Interestingly, there does seem to be some kind of relationship when considering the letter transformation known as Mispar Katan (Small Sum Gematria).

The two cities mentioned in the Torah in the story of the Exodus as the Treasury Cities in Mitzrayim were Pitom (פתם) and Ra'amses (רעמסס). They were, according to Rashi, built by Pharaoh and his advisors to amass and display their wealth which they extracted from their subjects and to afflict the children of Israel like is found in Shemot 1:9-11.

וַיֹּ֖אמֶר אֶל־עַמּ֑וֹ הִנֵּ֗ה עַ֚ם בְּנֵ֣י יִשְׂרָאֵ֔ל רַ֥ב וְעָצ֖וּם מִמֶּֽנּוּ׃ י הָ֥בָה נִֽתְחַכְּמָ֖ה ל֑וֹ פֶּן־יִרְבֶּ֗ה וְהָיָ֞ה כִּֽי־תִקְרֶ֤אנָה מִלְחָמָה֙ וְנוֹסַ֤ף גַּם־הוּא֙ עַל־שֹׂ֣נְאֵ֔ינוּ וְנִלְחַם־בָּ֖נוּ וְעָלָ֥ה מִן־הָאָֽרֶץ׃ יא וַיָּשִׂ֤ימוּ עָלָיו֙ שָׂרֵ֣י מִסִּ֔ים לְמַ֥עַן עַנֹּת֖וֹ בְּסִבְלֹתָ֑ם וַיִּ֜בֶן עָרֵ֤י מִסְכְּנוֹת֙ לְפַרְעֹ֔ה אֶת־פִּתֹ֖ם וְאֶת־רַעַמְסֵֽס׃

The corresponding cities in modern day Saudi Arabia would appear to be Mecca (מכה) and Medina (מדינה).

Mecca was purported to be the birthplace of their prophet and the place he initially established as his base of operations.

Medina (also known as Yathrib) was the city that their prophet migrated to when he abandoned Mecca. This was because of fierce opposition from other Arab tribes at the time.

Medina became the new base of his operations and ultimately was his burial place after his passing even though he returned to Mecca after the crushing of his resistance in Mecca.

Pithom (פתם) has a Mispar Katan of 16 and Ra'amses (רעמסס) has a Mispar Katan of 25. The sum of them both together being 41.

Mecca (מכה) has a Mispar Katan of 11 and Medina (מדינה) has a Mispar Katan of 19. Together, their sum is a Mispar Katan of 30. When including the letters (8) and the names themselves (2), together with the kollel (1), that these two cities are seen as a combined unit, the resulting sum is 41, the same as Pitom and Ra'amses.

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