Volume 22 Number 59
                       Produced: Wed Dec 27 21:25:44 1995

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Judging others and Breslov Hasidism
         [Yaacov-Dovid Shulman]
Torus, Torah & Kabbalah
         [Stan Tenen]
Torus,Torah & Kabbalah
         [Max Shenker]


From: <YacovDovid@...> (Yaacov-Dovid Shulman)
Date: Wed, 6 Dec 1995 14:01:00 -0500
Subject: Judging others and Breslov Hasidism

     This past Shabbos, I heard Avraham Greenbaum (author of Under the
Table and How to Get Up, et al.), describe teaching #282 from Likutei
Moharan as the central teaching of Breslov Hasidism.  It is also
relevant to recent postings on the proper attitude toward Jews who are
     The following is an abridgement of that teaching.
     As to how to apply it to specific individuals who are actively
hostile to the Torah, I do not know.
     A person has to judge everyone favorably.  Even if someone is
completely bad, one must search for even a little bit of good in him.
In that little bit of goodness, that person isn't bad.
     As a result of finding this little bit of good in the person and
judging him favorably, one actually raises him up, and one can cause him
to repent.
     This is related to the verse, "A little more and there is no wicked
person; You will look upon his place, and he is not there" (Ps. 37:10).
     This verse exhorts us to judge everyone favorably.  Even though you
see that someone is completely bad, you must find some little bit of
good in him where he isn't evil.  This is what the verse means when it
says, "A little more and there is no wicked person."  You must find that
little more of goodness that he still has, where he isn't bad.  Even if
he is bad, how is it possible that he doesn't even have a little bit of
good?  How could it be that he never did a mitzvah or some good deed in
his life?  By finding some small area of goodness where he isn't bad and
judging him favorably, you raise him from the side of guilt to the side
of merit, until he repents.
     As a result of finding a little good where he isn't wicked, then
"you will look upon his place and he is not there."  When you look upon
his place, his level, you will see that he is no longer there; by
finding some little bit of good in him and judging him favorably, one
moves him from the side of guilt to the side of merit.  =

     Understand this.
     One must also apply this technique to oneself.  A person has to
work hard to be constantly joyful and to keep from being depressed.
     Even if, when a person begins to look at himself, he sees that he
has no good in himself and that he is full of wrong-doing; even if the
Evil One wants to cast him into depression--he must not allow himself to
fall!  Instead, he must search and find in himself some little bit of
good.  How could it be that he never once did a mitzvah or some good
     It is possible that, looking into that good deed, one will see that
it was imperfect, full of flaws and ulterior motives. =

Nevertheless, how is it possible that it didn't contain some little
good?  At the very least, there was some point of goodness in what one
     One must find that little bit of good in oneself and use it to
revivify oneself and become joyful.
     Then one moves from the side of guilt to the side of merit, and one
can repent.
     One must judge oneself favorably; one must strengthen oneself so
that one won't fall completely.  One must revivify oneself and make
oneself joyful with the little bit of good one finds within oneself,
with the fact that one managed to do some mitzvah or good deed.
     After one has done that, one must search yet more and find some
other bit of good.  Even though that bit of good is also mixed with a
great deal of waste, one must draw out the good point.
     One must search for and gather all the good points.
     In this way, one makes spiritual melodies with one's soul, like a
musician who plucks out the notes that comprise a melody.


From: Stan Tenen <meru1@...>
Date: Wed, 27 Dec 1995 08:45:05 -0800
Subject: Torus, Torah & Kabbalah

Jerome Parness confirms that even with a "rather wide ranging scientific
background" he "can not fathom the three dimensional complexity of the
presumed mathematical relationships between the letters of Bereshit
without seeing the pictures."

- So, why not look at the pictures?  (Just ask and send your surface
mail address.  We can send a floppy with a selection of my m-j postings
on the Meru Foundation work, a sampler videotape, and a packet of
printed materials and drawings, etc. to anyone who sends us their
surface mail address.)

With regard to the form of letters used at the time of Moshe, the best,
most readable and undeniably halachically acceptable discussion I know
of is in the appendix to Rabbi Michael Munk's "The Wisdom in the Hebrew
Alphabet" written by Rabbi Nosson Scherman (Artscroll, available
everywhere) R. Scherman discusses a wide range of options and opinions
and then offers a solution.

     "Radbaz offers an ingenious solution to this problem.  It is true,
he maintains, that the first Tablets were inscribed in Ksav Ashuris.
But after Israel sinned by building and worshipping the Golden Calf, the
nation was no longer worthy of receiving Tablets written in Ksav Ashuris
- just as they could not receive them by the hand of God.  Therefore,
when God gave the Second Tablets to Israel, He inscribed them in Ksav
Ivri. [This basic line of reason is similar to that of Rabbi (Sanhedrin
22a) who holds that Ksav Ashuris remained with the people until they
became so sinful that, close to the destruction of the Temple, they were
caused to forget it.]
     "This resolves all the problems. It is true that the original
script of holiness was Ashuris.  It was the script of the First Tablets
and was transmitted to the leaders of all generations in a chain of
tradition that began with Moses and culminated with Ezra, who taught it
to all the people. In the First Tablets, the centers of the Mem-Sofit
and the Samek were suspended miraculously, but since the Second Tablets
were inscribed in Ksav Ivri, only the triangular Ayin was enclosed, and
its center remained suspended."

Beyond this there is some confusion about the significance of the word
Ashuris.  It can mean Assyrian/Babylonian, but Rabbi Scherman writes:

     "According to Rabbi, the Ashuris is not at all related to Assyria.
He says, Lama nikrah sh'ma Ashuris, she-m'oo-she-res b'ksav, Why is it
called Ashuris? - because it is the most exalted of all scripts.  Rambam
explains (Comm. to Mishnah, Yadaim 2:5), its name implies glory and
status.  It is derived from the word Ashrei, meaning praises, fortunate,
in the sense that Zilpah's second son was given the name Asher ..."

Besides the above opinions, there is a logical reason why the Torah MUST
NOT have been originally written in Ksav Ivri.  All of the letter shapes
of Ksav Ivri are Canaanite/Phoenician simplifications and stylizations
of earlier hieroglyphic letters.  Most of the hieroglyphics are pictures
of pagan idols, and most of the Canaanite and Ivri letters still contain
recognizable vestiges of these idolatrous images.  For example, the Ivri
letter Aleph is just a simplified picture of Alpu, the pagan deity
representing a Bull or Ox, the symbol of the Solar age of that period,
lying on its side.  (Turn a modern sans serif English A upside down to
see the original image of Alpu.  The two "legs" at the base of the
modern A become the two horns on the head of Alpu when the figure is
inverted.  Nearly all scholars and researchers agree, and it is
generally accepted, that the Ivri letter is the same form, but on its

So, how could a Torah scroll be written with letters that are little
more than thinly disguised images of local idols?  Only when attempting
to teach to Torah to persons who can only read Ivri does it make sense
to use the Ivri letters - and then only as an introductory teaching

Meru Foundation's research indicates that the Ashurit letters were known
by Moshe even before he received the Tablets and they were likely known
even in Egyptian tradition.  The Akenaton Solar Disk icon is shown with
22-descending rays, each tipped with a hand.  These 22 "views of the
central source" are identified (when the pagan adumbrations are removed)
as the 22 hand gestures that look like the 22 Hebrew letters.

However, the Ashurit letters were not used for commercial or everyday
purposes.  These letters were reserved for "sacred" use (such as on
Torah scrolls) and for recording and reading meditational exercises.
Only those persons qualified to meditate needed to know the Ashurit

The geometric forms woven (ReSheT, root of B'Reshit, refers to a "woven 
net") by the sequences of letters in B'Reshit include a model of 
Continuous Creation in the form of the 3,10 Torus knot.  (It looks like 
a woven wreath with 10-nodes and 3-layers of winding.)  When inverted 
(turned inside-out), this knot consists of 6-sections (around a central 
"Shabbos" whole-in-the-doughnut) that look like model human hands made 
up of Tefillin strap (and bound on the hands.)  Viewing the specially 
shaped Tefillin Strap bound on the hand while making different gestures 
displays all of the Ashurit letters - with the natural meaning of the 
gesture matching the traditional meaning of the letter's name.

Now, instead of designating a central Unity by drawing a picture of the
pagan solar deity, we can simply point to our "central unity" at our own
solar plexus and trace an outline of the shape of our (or our model
Tefillin strap's) hand while we make this gesture.  The outline looks
like the old "k-shaped" Rashi/Nachmanides/Elephantine Ashurit Aleph.  It
does not look like anything that any sane person could misunderstand as
an idol because the only thing depicted is a view of one's own hand.
Who but an idiot would worship their servant, their own hand?  (The
circa 300 BCE Elephantine letters appear to be outlines of actual human
hands, while the later Rashi/Nachmanides letter shapes appear to be
formed from the Tefillin strap model hand bound on the hand.)

I know that this sounds hopelessly confusing and complicated. It is not.
It is very simple and very elegant and, contrary to the impression I,
with my limited learning may give, it is entirely consistent with the
teachings of our sages, it is entirely consistent with halacha and it
solves literally dozens of kabbalistic (and other) riddles
simultaneously.  The explicit, non-statistical patterns we have found in
B'Reshit even explain the equal interval letter skip patterns in Torah.
The sevivon is one of the forms woven by the sequences of letters in

(Non-mathematicians may ask how geometric forms, such as the cube-shaped 
sevivon, could be determined by knotted patterns woven in a text.  As it 
turns out, the basic Torus knots, are each a model of Unity in their own 
right, specify the sequence of symmetry groups that we call the platonic 
solids:  The trefoil (2,3) knot (with a linked ring) is identified with 
the E7 symmetry group and it displays cubic and octahedral symmetry; the 
3,4 Torus knot represents the E6 group and tetrahedral symmetry; the 3,5 
knot represents the E8 group and icosahedral and dodecahedral symmetry.)


From: Max Shenker <shenker@...>
Date: Wed, 27 Dec 1995 09:03:57 +0200 (IST)
Subject: Re: Torus,Torah & Kabbalah

> From: Jerome Parness <parness@...>
> ... to the best of my knowledge the Torah was NOT
> given or written in Ktav Ashurit, as modern Hebrew is known, but in Ktav
> Ivri, or ancient Hebrew letters.  Ktav Ashurit, if I remember correctly,
> was not introduced to Israel until some five hundred to seven hundred
> years after the presumed time of Matan Torah - i.e., some time around
> the Assyrian invasion of the fertile crescent from what is now Northen
> Iraq/Persia.  Even if Assyrian traders reached Israel before the actual
> invasion, it is clear from the historical record that Ktav Ashurit is a
> relatively late development in the history of the Jewish people.  The

Just a source to contribute to the discussion: In Megilla 2b-3a there is
a discussion of the graphics of the final letters in Hebrew.  It says
there that the me'm sofi and the samech stood miraculously in the luchot
because they are circular letters and they were engraved completely
through the stone of the tablets so that they could be seen from either
side.  This is clearly ktav ashuri since in ktav ivri those letters are
not circular.  There are many problems presented by this gemara some of
which are dealt with in a fascinating piece by the Ritv'a.  To
summarize: He says that it is clear that the true "holy" script is ktav
ashuri, and it was therefore used in the luchot.  However, this script
was so holy that it was reserved for this use alone and the luchot were
hidden in the aron; sifrei torah were written in ktav ivri (it is
unclear whether the origninal sefarim that Moshe wrote were in ashuri or
ivri).  At some point in history the Assyrians got ahold of some
document that contained the ktav "ashuri" and appreciated its holiness
and began to transliterate their language into the Hebrew ashuri letters
(hence the letters are called ashuri since they were used by the
Assyrians).  Ezra, upon his return to Eretz Yisrael, instituted the use
of ktav ashuri for all purposes.
	Please see the Ritv'a inside, and see also the Pachad Yitzchok
on Chanuka, maamer 6 on why Ezra specifically restored the use of ktav

Max Shenker


End of Volume 22 Issue 59