Volume 15 Number 34
                       Produced: Sun Sep 25  0:35:04 1994

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Marriage - Part 2
         [Shaul Wallach]
Meru: Names, Bagels, and Bulls
         [Stan Tenen]


From: Shaul Wallach <F66204@...>
Date: Thu, 1 Sep 1994 09:32:33 -0400
Subject: Marriage - Part 2

     As mentioned at the end of Part 1 of this post, some of the
responses on this topic reflect values which I think are alien to
the Torah (esp. Rabbinic) perspective on marriage. Here I will first
reply briefly to the comments, and in Part 3 will give a presentation
on marriage based on our Rabbinic sources.

     In Vol. 14, No. 90, Leah Gordon wrote, in part:

>In response to Shaul Wallach, Naomi Graetz has written a well
>thought-out and accurate reply.  I would add the following comments:
>>Is the writer of this communication aware of how much wife-beating is
>>tolerated among Yemenite Jews (and considered natural by the women-- "we
>>must have done something to deserve this".
>Not only that, but does Mr. Wallach really think it is reasonable to
>promote pedophilia by allowing marriages of girls only 11 or 12 (or even
>13) years old?

      In our modern society, it might not be wholly desirable. But
Halacha explicitly mandates it, and the Talmud calls a man who delays
the marriage of his mature daughter a Rasha` `Arum (a "cunning evil
man"). The Rambam (Hil. Ishut, Ch. 2) defines the age of maturity
for girls as 12 years and 6 months, provided she is physically
developed (see the Rambam for the details). At this age she is
legally an adult and does not even need her parents' consent to marry.

     Early marriage was widespread even among European Jewry, as
R. Manis Friedman remarks in his popular book "Doesn't Anyone Blush
Anymore" (Harper, 1990). It was still prevalent among the older
generation of Oriental and North African Jewry. For example, my
mother-in-law A"H married at 12, as did the mother of our matchmaker.
About 2 years ago a prominent teacher of Yemenite Jewry passed away
in Qiryat Ono, in his 90's. His wife was 11 when they married, and
they lived over 70 years together. I know personally several of their
children and grandchildren, and cannot say that the family suffered
because of the mother's early age at marriage.

     I suspect that some of the readers might not look with favor on
the position of the woman the Yemenite Jewish home. From what I have
observed in Israel, however, there appears to be a great deal of
reverence for the woman both as a wife and a mother. Thus R. Yosef
Qafeh writes that a husband is not a dictator who gives orders, nor
is he a lowly man who awaits the grace of his wife. He also noted
that in Yemen, even the sons tended to honor their mother more than
their father, because the mother took exclusive control of their
upbringing and cultivation of their personailities.

>It seems to me that the men are to be blamed equally for any mingling--
>how peculiar to blame problems that have always existed (wife-beating,
>divorce, unhappy marriages) on women becoming more free.

     I don't remember using the word "blame" in any of my posts on
this subject. But I don't think anyone would deny that there is a
positive correlation, if not a causal relationship, between the greater
tendency of men and women to work together and the rising divorce rate.
I remember several cases at our co-ed public school of teachers getting
divorced and remarried among themselves.

     On the other hand, the Torah strongly discourages such mingling.
We have already mentioned the Mishna telling men not to indulge in
conversation with other women. I don't have the reference now, but I
believe the Me'iri (13th-14th century France) ruled that men and
women should not work together. Today there is a book called "Re'e
Hayyim" by R. Hayyim Wosner which warns men very strongly not to
engage in behavior outside the home (such as even a few extra words
with the teller at the bank) which lead afterwards to feelings of
marital dissatisfaction. I am not aware of any comparable book for
the women.

      However, in traditional Jewish communities, the women did not
demand what we call today "freedom", and they kept themselves pretty
much away from the men. Thus in Yemen, for example, women used to
walk on streets that were not frequented by the men. The Rambam (Hil.
Ishut 13:11) praises the woman who stays at home, as it is written
(Psalm 45) "All the glory of the king's daughter is inside", and this
was the norm in many traditional Jewish communities.

>Also, Mr. Wallach writes, "...roles between man and wife"-- this
>language is extremely offensive.  If this seems an unreasonable
>criticism, replace it with "...between woman and husband" used in a
>general sense to refer to marriage.

     In this particular instance, "husband and wife" would have been
a better choice of words for the usage intended. But I will use "man
and wife" as a translation of "ish we-isha" (like R. Kitov's "Ish
U-Veito"), not "woman and husband", in a "general sense to refer to
marriage" when this is appropriate, and I will make no concessions to
modern ideologies. I believe that no Orthodox Jewish woman would have
reacted in the above manner 30 years ago, and that the comment reflects
a foreign influence that must be recognized and dealt with openly.

                              *  *  *

     Similarly, Connie (Chana) Stillinger wrote as follows:

>Although I agree that one serious problem with the modern world is a
>failure to take marriage seriously,

     The consensus I perceive among the other responses is the reverse
- that we take marriage today too seriously; i.e. that we expect too
much out of it. But I agree that marriage needs to be taken more
seriously in the sense that more needs to be done to strengthen it.

>                                    I think it is important to realize
>that divorce rates may rise when individuals are given some freedom
>precisely because they find the freedom to end lousy marriages.

     Here again, this talk about "freedom" reflects modern, alien
influences. Our Rabbis gave us this definition of freedom: "There is no
free person but one who occupies himself with the Torah." In most cases
it is not the marriage itself that is "lousy" but the devotion of the
partners to Torah values. If they really behaved themselves the way the
Torah teaches them, they would find the ultimate freedom within their
marriage. On this point I will dwell at length in Part 3 of this series.

>Indeed, the fact that divorce rates rise sharply in communities where
>women (and men) experience new freedom could indicate that
>"traditional" match-making practices don't do a very good job.

      See Part 1 for my views on this. I prefer to believe that the "new
freedom" is itself a symptom of the altered mindset that predisposes
towards higher risk of divorce.

>                                                                Should
>children be raised and socialized by miserable parents who share no

      If parents had enough love between them to bring the children
into the world, then they can find enough love to raise them together.
As the saying of R. Nahman of Breslaw goes, "If you believe it's
possible to corrupt, then believe it's possible to repair."

>     ...                            *I* take offense at the suggestion
>that women's freedom (to work outside the home and mingle with men) is
>a threat to the quality of marriage.

     See my reply to Leah's comment in the same vein.

     As noted, these comments disturb me because I see them as a
product of an alien secular culture premised on values that are totally
at variance with the Torah view of life. The concepts of "freedom" and
"equality" as expressed above have no place in the Torah world order.
In particular, they reflect what I see as a kind of generation gap which
has penetrated today even into strictly observant Jewry, and which
threatens the stability of the Jewish family. In Part 3, I will attempt
to present an overview of the authentic Torah perspective on marriage,
based on Talmudic and Rabbinic sources.




From: Stan Tenen <meru1@...>
Date: Wed, 31 Aug 1994 13:23:41 -0700
Subject: Meru: Names, Bagels, and Bulls

No explanations necessary.  I am grateful for your posting and I fully 
understand the effects of late night internetting.  Perhaps you are 
psychic - my mother tells me that I was supposed to be called Steve, but 
she changed her mind at the last minute.

I was unaware of the Taurus/Torus problem until a person who had 
attended an early lecture started asking me about astrology.  I couldn't 
figure out why she thought I knew anything about astrology.  It is a 
common error and it is usually not a typo.  More folks these days are 
into astrology than are knowledgeable in mathematics.  That is not at 
all comforting to me, but it is the way the world is these days.

Let me take the opportunity of this response to post some additional 
remarks about Meru's findings.  This work must seem very mysterious to 
those trying to figure out what we are talking about from ONLY the 
previous postings here.

Meru has found that it is possible to line up the letters at the 
beginning of B'Reshit in such a way that either identical letters are 
paired OR letters whose positions in the alphabet (counted in Base-
3/ternary numbers) are mirror images, are paired.  This process is very 
similar to the way a child assembles a paper model.  The child puts "Tab 
A" into "Slot A" and "Tab B" into "Slot B", etc. and the paper is forced 
to fold up into the intended form.

When B'Reshit is written out, letter by letter, with each letter a 
separate "bead" on a "bead-chain", it is possible to arrange for the 
Bet-Resh-Alef of B'Reshit to line up (just like the corresponding slots 
and tabs of a child's model) with the Bet-Resh-Alef of B'ra.  Likewise 
the Alef-Tov-Heh sequence appears twice in the repetition of ET-Ha- and 
its letters can also be paired.  Odd letters, like Lamed. Vov, and 
Mem(medial), which appear only once and thus cannot be paired with their 
twin, are paired instead with their mirror image count letters in Base-

Lamed, in ternary, is 102
Resh, in ternary, is 201
Thus Lamed and Resh can be paired.

Vov, in ternary, is 012
Tov, in ternary, is 210
Thus Vov and Tov can be paired.

Mem(medial), in ternary, is 110
Heh, in ternary, is 011
Thus Heh and Mem(medial) can be paired.

This may seem a bit complex, but when you see it, it is obviously 
elegant, compact and coherent.  In fact, the pattern of letters in the 
first verse of B'Reshit is so coherent, that (G-d forbid), if a letter 
had ever been lost or miscopied it could be uniquely replaced or 
corrected by reference to the only the other letters of the first verse 
(and the Base-3 count) ALONE.

This sort of pattern is NOT like a statistical pattern.  Every letter is 
accounted for in one coherent, and as we will see, meaningful, pattern.  
If the pattern is, as one coherent whole, meaningful in a relevant 
context, the statistics would be irrelevant because this would be a 100% 
identification subject to zero chance of being accidental.  (But, I only 
just wrote that here.  Don't believe me until you can see and evaluate 
the coherence of the pattern for yourself.)

What does it mean?  Well there are pages, if not books, I could write on 
this, but there is one extraordinary finding that has really excited us.  
(We will include our draft paper on this pattern and its relationship to 
the second verse of Sefer Yetzira with the information packets -- 
unfortunately, it contains too many graphics to be intelligible in 
straight ascii, so it can't easily be uploaded to the mail.jewish 

When you pair all the letters in B'Reshit 1.1 and arrange the result in 
the tightest and most elegant possible way(s) (depending on dimension 
there are different "most" elegant ways), the verse is found to define 
the surface of a torus.  The torus (a 2-torus to be precise - an 
ordinary doughnut or bagel shape is a 2-torus), in turn, is defined by 
its 7-seven-color map. The 7-color map is an invariant topological 
quality of all 2-tori.  Mathematicians have long proven that on a torus 
it is possible to draw a map consisting of 7-different "countries" or 
regions, where all bordering regions are different colors.  Thus each of 
the 7-regions is surrounding ONLY by the 6-other regions (labeled with 
different "colors.")  When all of the regions are made exactly the same 
shape (allowing for their positions on the torus), the edge of the 7-
color map always has exactly 3-turns as it spirals around the torus (or 
bagel.)   (I know it is hard to believe, but this 7-color map was likely 
known to our sages.  It is alluded two in the Mishneh in Pirke Avot that 
discusses the 10 things created on the eve of the first Shabbos - as the 
"tongs that hold the tongs" - but that is another discussion.)

There are two ways that you can wind a bagel with 3-turns.  You can 
either spiral around the hole 3-times for each dive through the hole, or 
you can dive through the hole 3-times for each time you go around the 
hole.  Both 3-turn spiral vortices are topologically identical.

In nature tori are found in many forms: hurricanes, magnetic fields, 
whirlpool flow patterns, and fruit.  A fruit, as it is first known in 
B'Reshit 1.11 and as quoted in the introduction to the Sefer Zohar is 
the whole of "a fruit tree bearing fruit whose seed is inside itself."

If we take an apple-shaped fruit (this is the apple aspect of the tree 
the Gan Eden, there are other aspects, including pomegranate and wheat, 
as well) as our idealization and if we remove the stem, the seeds and 
the flower, what remains is a "dimpled-spheroid" form of 2-torus.  It is 
like a fat bagel.  Still a bagel - still a 2-torus - because it has its 
one hole (the parts we took out), but fattened into roughly a spherical 
shape.  When we draw the 3-turn spiral vortex on this fattened bagel-
torus and lift off half of it (a 1 1/2-turn section starting at the 
seed-center and extending up over and around where the stem was until it 
flops down on the equator of the apple-shape) and examine it carefully 
we discover a startling fact:

When we look at this specially shaped 1 1/2-turn spiral vortex from 
different directions we can immediately see and read all of the Rashi-
Nachmanides style Meruba Ashurit rabbinic script letters!

In other words, the first verse of B'Reshit seems to specify a form that 
generates all of the Hebrew letters.  How we determined that this form 
was actually a kind of Tefillin strap that models our human hand is the 
next part of the story.

I had better stop here.  I am sure that there will be many questions.  
Yes, we know that the rabbinic script letters are NOT the same as those 
described in Mishnas Sofrim for use on Torah scrolls and other holy 
documents.  Yes, we know that the Canaanite-Phoenician letters are 
supposed to be older (according to academic scholars and SOME rabbinic 
sources.)   Yes, I have left out some (many) details.  No, you should 
not expect to be able to follow everything I have said before you have 
had a chance to see some of the forms and patterns.

And, especially, yes, I am aware that these forms, if they are taken to 
be things, could lead to idolatrous ideas.  In all of the Meru work, it 
is essential to remember that our models are NOT models of things, they 
are models of relationships, processes, and feelings.  The necessary 
"sacred" geometry is only the accounting system, the "spread-sheet", 
that helps us to organize, study, and teach these concepts. 

Thanks again for your time, interest and kind remarks.  More later, if 
folks seem to want it,
Stan Tenen				Internet:	<meru1@...>
P.O. Box 1738			CompuServe:	75015,364
San Anselmo, CA 94979 U.S.A.


End of Volume 15 Issue 34