Volume 18 Number 71
                       Produced: Sun Mar  5  0:52:34 1995

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Codes in Torah
         [Stan Tenen]
Stan Tennen's Work
         [Avi Teitz]
Uncertainty Principle, the Incompleteness Theorem and Chaos Theory
         [Moshe Koppel]


From: Stan Tenen <meru1@...>
Date: Sun, 19 Feb 1995 19:04:56 -0800
Subject: Codes in Torah

Prof. Harold Gans was kind enough to forward a reply to an earlier
posting of mine.  This is a response to his posting on m-j 18 #49.

First let me repeat what I have posted before.  Friends who attended the
AOJS convention last summer brought me a copy of a videotape on the
codes in Torah by Prof. Gans.  This was a superior presentation.  Prof.
Gans was clear about what was proven and what was not, and he did not
cross the line into unfounded claims that I have heard from other
persons who lecture on the codes.

I am pleased to see that Prof. Gans is clear that "There is no "proof of 
Torah" or "proof of G-d" in the mathematical sense."  On this we agree.

However I do not agree that "such detailed knowledge of the far future
as the codes demonstrate is scientifically not possible."  And I am
somewhat nonplussed by Prof. Gans' condescendingly worded: "The
demonstration of this last assertion is somewhat long and technical.  It
is based on the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle of Quantum Mechanics;
the Godel Incompleteness Theorems for Arithmetic and First Order Logic;
and modern Chaos Theory which has revealed the extreme dependence of
phenomena on exact initial conditions in nonlinear systems."  Prof.
Gans' stream of buzz words and impressive sounding language serves more
to confuse than to enlighten.  I do not mean to flame here, but to me
this seems like what my school friends used to call a "snow job."

But let me reply seriously anyway: I am quite familiar with the
Uncertainty principle, the Incompleteness Theorem, and some aspects of
Chaos theory.  (While I don't know much about First Order Logic by that
name, I do know about simple logical systems.)  There is no doubt that
we live in a world where all of the above pertain, and this makes REAL
prophesy only possible as a true miracle from a true prophet.  There
never can be any entirely logical, mechanical, or technological way to
predict the future.  A wide range of conditions at every level in life
are extremely sensitive to initial conditions, and that, as Prof. Gans
implies, leads to chaos and inherent unpredictability.

If the codes in Torah actually do predict the future (and not only
_appear_ to predict the future), then that would be truly amazing.  But,
do they?  How much work has been done on attempting to refute this part
of the conjectures on the codes?  I know that the statistics themselves
are good because I have read the statistician's paper(s) for myself.
But are the presumptions of what the statistics refer to and what
context applies equally as good?

There are alternate explanations for the seemingly prophetic patterns
that the codes uncover.  I gave one possibility as an example - which
was dismissed without adequate response - a few weeks ago.  What if the
names and dates of famous sages were applied retroactively as
honorifics?  That, or some variation, would explain nearly all of the
seemingly prophetic patterns.  There are other possible alternate
explanations as well. How many of these have been explored?

I am befuddled by Prof. Gans" statement: "I would answer that even if
the codes did nothing more than provide strong evidence for the divine
authorship, this is certainly not trivial or content-free."  But, indeed
it is "content free," for Prof. Gans said previously that "There is not
proof...."  Well if there is no proof, then what "strong evidence for
the divine authorship" is there?  Weak proof?  - This is the problem.
The only thing offered is "weak proof," and this is what can so easily
turn into what is referred to as "damning by faint praise."  "Weak
proof" is NO proof at all.

So, I too "would answer that even if the codes did nothing more than 
provide strong evidence for the divine authorship, this is certainly not 
trivial or content-free;" but this is not the case, because the codes do 
not appear to provide strong evidence of anything other than their 
presence.  _That the codes are present_ is, I believe, very important. 

I do not believe my conclusion, that the codes as they are known to date 
consist of "trivial and content-free messages," is either unwarranted or 
premature.  I have read the paper by Witztum, et. al. in preview form as 
it was sent to Prof. Michael Klass at UC Berkeley in early 1994.  This 
(excellent) paper does not deal with the issues I am raising. 

I could not agree more with Prof. Gans when he says: "It is easy to 
mislead oneself (and others) with fascinating patterns that appear very 
significant. In reality, these types of unusual phenomena can become 
quite common if the data set is large or if the number of patterns 
searched for is large."  I have made the same point myself repeatedly.  
This is also discussed by Prof. Hasofer in his article in B'Or HaTorah 
No. 8 - English, that I have mentioned previously, and that I include 
with all my mailings that include information on the codes in Torah 

I also agree with Prof. Gans' assessment of the codes in Quran and codes 
in the Christian Bible that I have seen.  It is all simplistic and most 
of it is statistically (and otherwise) unjustifiable.  There are some 
very intriguing patterns in the Quran however.  What is most interesting 
is that some of the numerical sequences seem to consist of prime numbers 
added to their own rank - making a sort of dimensional-symmetry 
invariant.  But, that is not the issue.  Whether or not the codes in 
Quran, etc. are a problem does not depend on reality but on perception.  
Hardly any of the persons being lectured to about the codes is able to 
evaluate what they are being shown for themselves.  So if the Quran 
codes are not meaningful, that won't matter.  Their audiences will be 
just as impressed with possibly spurious codes as our audiences would be 
with the Torah codes.  I have already seen J's name spelled in codes in 
the Torah as discovered by Christians.  The work is technically 
nonsense, but the audiences are still very impressed.  Is this how the 
public is going to be asked to judge the legitimacy of Judaism vs. Islam 
vs. Christianity?  I hope not.  In my opinion, intemperate use of the 
codes in Torah findings only encourages inappropriate comparisons.

Apparently "anomaly" is a special word to statisticians.  I meant the 
whole phenomena of codes was an anomaly - it was unexpected.  I did not 
know or even know of the careful specialist's definition of "anomaly" 
used by statisticians.  Sorry for any misunderstanding.

I completely agree with Prof. Gans (who was agreeing with me) that we 
should get on with the real work of discovering the intended meaning of 
the codes, but I do not agree that the only way to do this is to 
continue with the same procedures as before.  Of course we must study 
standard commentaries and the Talmud.  In this business, I hope that 
that goes without saying.  But more is needed.  We must also study the 
texts that are supposed to be discussing "Codes in Torah" - kabbalistic 
texts.  And we must study them for their intended meaning and not be 
satisfied with the mostly empty academic-style translations that are so 

And we must follow the rules laid down in Talmud also.  We are expressly 
prohibited from "Mystakel," speculation on these matters.  I know of no 
valid and powerful field of study more removed from content than 
statistical investigation. (Not statistics, statistical investigation)  
This is the most speculative of all tools because no hands on knowledge 
of the content of the subject is even considered.  If we are to take Ain 
Dorshin's prohibitions seriously we must never engage in statistical 
investigation of kabbalistic subjects like codes in Torah without also 
seeking and engaging the hands on spiritual experience that goes with 
it.  I believe that the statistical results are misleading explicitly 
because they have not been backed up by any real experience of the 
subject matter.  We see the statistical patterns but we do not live 
them.  (That requires SUBJECTIVE meditational experience.  Since the 
subjective is not allowed in academia's sciences, I believe that the 
codes work cannot be properly done in that context.  A Torah context is 

The "better way of doing this" is to study the whole of the Torah and 
not just statistical patterns.  My investigation has also discovered 
patterns in Torah, but I did not make use of any statistics.  This does 
not mean that the patterns I have found are not statistically 
significant.  They are.  But, rather than using statistics to say when a 
ball thrown into the air is likely to return to the ground, I am using 
the law of gravitation.  The law is tested by statistics and limited by 
statistics of course, but it is much more than the statistics that 
support it.  Likewise, the patterns that I have found are supported by 
statistics (yes, we have done a little statistical checking just to be 
sure), but they go far beyond that.  What we have found offers an 
explanation as to how and why most of the equal interval skip patterns 
are where they are and what they are supposed to do.  Our work is not 
statistical; it is intended to be an explicit identification of the 

My work has not been formally peer reviewed mainly because there is 
simply no appropriate reviewing body.  However, we have several dozen 
highly respected technical, rabbinic, and academic advisors who have 
reviewed this work.  I have posted Rabbi Fleer's letter, which should be 
sufficient to attest to this work being "kosher," and I have posted 
Prof. Lou. Kauffman's letter (and m-j has posted his clarifying 
responses and additions), which should be sufficient to demonstrate that 
this work is not trivial or a waste of time from a professional 
mathematician's point of view.

I have attended Aish HaTorah presentations in the past, and have been 
greatly disappointed and disheartened by the exaggerations and 
technically unsupported claims made, and by the inability of the 
presenters to respond to my questions.  Prof. Gans' videotape is much 
more credible.  There is an Aish presentation scheduled for this area in 
a few weeks.  I will attend - and report on it - if I can.

I mean to say this in a caring and non-threatening way.  Please forgive 
me if I fail.  (This is not only in response to Prof. Gans' posting.)  I 
am saddened by my inability to communicate here.  There seems to be a 
general impression that I have not done my homework.  Prof. Gans "name-
dropped" Godel and Heisenberg, both of whom I have discussed here, and I 
can only assume he was unaware that I had already raised the issues he 
was lecturing me on.  I have done my homework.  I have been a serious 
student of the alphabet and B'Reshit for nearly 30-years.  I have 
studied as many ancillary subjects as possible - including other 
traditions, mathematics, physics, "sacred" and ordinary geometries, etc. 
etc. etc. - If you are not a scholar or serious Talmud student, try to 
imagine what reading 3000-books over 20-years amounts to.  I would like 
to have the benefit of the doubt.  I have done independent research and 
have achieved startling results.  That means that I am not rehashing the 
same old lightweight magico-alchemical nonsense that most Jews and non-
Jews take for kabbalah, I do know about modern physics and mathematics, 
and I am capable of appreciating and using the scientific method.  
While, as Prof. Kauffman pointed out (and as I have pointed out 
repeatedly in the past) the evaluations of famous persons should not 
influence your evaluation of my work, they do attest to this work being 
worth the trouble to evaluate for yourself.

I am, in a friendly and open way, challenging those who are actively 
interested in the equal interval letter skip patterns in Torah to 
examine my findings and to criticize them.  Without in any way intending 
to seem self-serving, I honestly feel that to fail to examine them, 
given that respected individuals have said that this work-in-progress is 
real, is simply not intellectually honest.  To wait for me to formally 
publish this work before examining it simply guarantees that it will not 
be examined.  If it is not examined, it cannot be published. 

Once again, I offer to send an introductory information packet on this 
work to anyone* who asks and sends their surface mail address.  (*I have 
not sent a packet to one person who asked, for reasons that I have 
communicated to that person and would prefer to remain private.)

Stan Tenen                     Internet:    <meru1@...>
P.O. Box 1738                  CompuServe:  75015,364
San Anselmo, CA 94979 U.S.A.


From: <TEITZ.AVRAHAM@...> (Avi Teitz)
Date: Tue, 21 Feb 1995 09:04:49 -0500
Subject: Stan Tennen's Work

I find Stan's work intriguing (even if I don't actually understand it -
I'll have to get the pictures). However, The whole brouhaha regarding
"proofs" I think is beside the point.  We have learned that "hakol
bashamayim chutz miyiras shamayim" (everything is in the hands of heaven
except for fear of heaven).  Therefore, unimpeachable proofs (whether
the Rambam's philosophical ones or others) can not be obtained.
However, isn't it possible that HKBH left clues and patterns for man to
find and be amazed at, in order to provide chizuk (strengthening) for
ones emunah?  Furthermore, these patterns and clues can be found (if one
looks carefully) in so many diverse areas (the sciences, nature, etc.) ,
so that each person can find them according to one's own understanding
and nature.

BTW, I would not be surprised if someone finds that DNA, with its four
basic building blocks, forms a series of kabalistic yichudim of the
tetragamatron (four letter name for Hashem) which then finds its
expression in the myriad of forms expressed in the living world.

Avi Teitz   


From: koppel%<bimacs@...> (Moshe Koppel)
Date: Mon, 20 Feb 95 09:35:55 +0200
Subject: Uncertainty Principle, the Incompleteness Theorem and Chaos Theory

Harold Gans claims to be in possession of a proof which invokes
the Uncertainty Principle, the Incompleteness Theorem and Chaos
Theory. I've seen many "proofs" which are uncertain, incomplete and
chaotic but I've never seen a real proof which depends on all 
those heavy-duty tools.
Tell us more.  (Or are you refering to Tipler's book, "Physics and



End of Volume 18 Issue 71