Volume 30 Number 83
                 Produced: Wed Jan 12  5:56:13 US/Eastern 2000

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Pollard and Pidyun Shuvuyim
         [Chaim Shapiro]
Torah Codes (3)
         [Stan Tenen, Frank Silbermann, Chaim Mateh]
Torah MiSinai (2)
         [Shoshana L. Boublil, Joseph Geretz]


From: Chaim Shapiro <Dagoobster@...>
Date: Sun, 9 Jan 2000 13:06:38 EST
Subject: Pollard and Pidyun Shuvuyim

I have often heard that the Pollard case is one of Pidyun Shuvuyim.
Without going into the merits (or as I would claim lack thereof) of the
Pollard case, what are the parameters of Pidyun Shuvuyim in 2000?  Need
we try and gain the freedom of all the Jews who are rightfully in jail
for committing crimes?

While I think that proposition is ridiculous, I have heard stories of
Rabbis telling their Baal Habatim to perjure themselves in court in
order to keep Jewish criminals out of jail for extended periods of time!

An even worse story, I spoke to a young man in New York who has gotten
himself involved in the drug scene.  He told me of a friend of his who
looked eerily similar who was arrested in Israel for drug smuggling.
After speaking to his Rosh Yeshiva, this boy handed over his passport to
the guilty party who snuck out of the country and back to America.  It
seems that the Rosh Yeshiva told this young man that he had a Chiuv of
Pidyun Shuvuyim, and was required to engage in passport fraud!  I wonder
how many innocent young children in America have been enticed into the
drug world by this brilliant scheme!

Chaim Shapiro


From: Stan Tenen <meru1@...>
Date: Fri, 07 Jan 2000 10:56:37 -0500
Subject: Torah Codes

The subject of the Torah Codes comes up periodically.  I'd venture to
say that I've given the Torah Codes more careful consideration than
anyone else posting here.  I have been working on patterns in the letter
sequences of Genesis since 1968, and have worked full time for the
non-profit educational Meru Foundation since 1983 on various aspects of
the patterns in Torah.

Previous posters have summarized the situation fairly well:

The statistically detected codes have been badly abused by persons
confusing what was really done, with very simple ideas that make their
pet names and dates show up.  This is an abuse, and it's been picked up
on by various non-Jewish groups for their own purposes.

The statistically detected codes are _REAL_, but the meaning ascribed to
them is not real.  What I mean here is that no one who has examined the
codes research carefully disputes that there _ARE_ equal interval
letter-skip patterns.  It's the meaning of these patterns that's in
dispute.  As others have posted, there is a solid refutation of the
"prophetic meaning" of the codes published by Brendan McKay, Dror
Bar-Natan, et al., in Statistical Science, May 1999.  Here is a summary
of their findings that I wrote in email last year:

[ The original article by Witztum, Rips, and Rosenberg, published in
Statistical Sciences Vol. 9, #3, is available (in abridged version) on
the Internet at <http://www.torahcodes.co.il/wrr1.htm> The article by
McKay, et al., published in the May 1999 issue of Statistical Sciences
is available on the Internet at
<http://cs.anu.edu.au/~bdm/dilugim/StatSci/> A detailed summary of the
article and response to it can be found at

Of course, I agree with those who have posted their objections to the
use of the Torah Codes to attract Baalei Tshuvim, based on some sort of
"proof of Torah."  This abuse has been picked up on by non-Jewish
groups, who are now attracting converts based on their claims of finding
Yeshua and other names in the codes.  Whether for Judaism or for other
faiths, this is an abuse of the codes, and in the long run, IMO, is not
likely to be helpful to anyone.

The meaning of the equal-interval letter-skip patterns is much more
important and much more subtle than has been proposed by the "believers"
and debunked by the "non-believers."

There is a simple explanation for the equal-interval letter-skip
patterns, based on the first word of B'reshit. The commonly held root of
B'reshit is "reshit," based on "resh," meaning "head," or in other
words, "In the beginning."  But that's not the only possible root.  The
alternative is "reshet," and "reshet" refers to a [woven] net or
network.  We should also remember that Jacob passed to Joseph, not a
"coat of many colors," but rather a "ketonet passim," which is more
properly translated as a "striped coat."  Persons familiar with weaving
will immediately recognize that a woven, striped cloth will exhibit skip
patterns on its thread when it's unraveled.  That's the natural
consequence of unraveling something that is striped (assuming the
stripe-making dye is on the thread).  (Jacob's "striped coat" may have
been a prototype for the patterns in Torah, later received at Horeb
Sinai.  This may indicate that Joseph brought Jewish science to
Pharaoh's court, and that that was a primary source of Egyptian
knowledge at the time.)

My 30 years of research have been focused on this, and has come to
certain conclusions.  (Some of this has now been published in the
peer-reviewed Noetic Journal, Vol. 2 #2.)  Persons interested can find
essays essentially similar to the peer-reviewed material at
<http://www.meru.org/GodofAbe/onegdpix.html> "The God of Abraham: A
Mathematician's View" and <http://www.meru.org/manbitesdog.html> "Man
Bites Dog"

The first form woven by the letter-text string of B'reshit is a sort of
"tefillin strap," intended to be bound on the hand in the form of a
model human hand.  When a person wearing this primitive "tefillin" makes
gestures, the outline of each of the rabbinic Meruba Ashuris letters can
be seen.  The gestures that produce the letters match those reported in
ancient scripts, and as naturally produced by persons blind from birth
who have never seen gestures.

Examples of the weave, and how it was detected, can be found at

Because the human hand, and what's in the human hand, can be seen in the
mind's eye without difficulty, letters made this way can immediately be
seen in the mind's eye.  This means that sequences of Hebrew letters can
be used to record and to reconstruct sequences of letters in the mind,
which could specify a meditational dance.  It's my conjecture that the
meditational exercises of our prophets and sages, including the Pardes
meditation of Rabbi Akiba, are what is actually encoded in the
letter-patterns in Torah.  Where else would a Jewish sage look for the
preservation of kosher meditations except in Torah?  (Of course, it's
not the potentially idolatrous image of the letter-producing hand-model
that is used.  The image is only a student's aid to memory.  The actual
meditation is based on the feelings represented by each letter-gesture,
not by the image of the letter.)

Therefore, it's my proposal that the letter-patterns in Torah are not a
catalog of explicit prophecies (rabbis' names and dates, and the like),
but rather a meditational path by which a qualified tzaddik could attain
a state approaching prophecy.  It seems to me that the potential for
recovery of Rabbi Akiba's Pardes meditation is a lot more important than
what's been proposed previously.

This work has been informally reviewed by a number of qualified Jewish,
academic, and scientific scholars.  I'd be pleased to send a list of
"who holds by this" and some of their comments to those who inquire.  A
more complete treatment of these ideas can be found throughout the Meru
Foundation website at <http://www.meru.org>.  Specific comments (and
some pertinent links) on the Codes can be found at

Besides the potential for recovering the meditational exercises intended
in Torah, the letter-patterns also appear to describe -- in great detail
-- the design of the Temple, the priestly garments, and Temple
furnishings.  The models produced by the letter-patterns appear to
satisfy a wide range of discussion in kabbalistic texts that is now
highly disputed, paradoxical, or inexplicable.  With these models,
Kabbalah can no longer be treated as mythology or mysticism, but rather
must be understood as instructive in the science of consciousness
carried in Torah.

Unlike the statistically detected codes, the patterns at the beginning
of B'reshit appear to make use of _all_ of the letters, not just
selected skip-letters.  The patterns are so strong that if (God forbid)
any letter had been omitted, added, or changed, it would stand out like
a sore thumb -- like a missed stitch in a woven sweater -- and could be
unambiguously corrected based only on the surrounding letters.  In other
words, the model I'm suggesting is _much_ stronger and much more
statistically robust than the mechanically detected equal interval
letter-skip patterns.

To date, the best "pro-codes" book available is that of Dr. Jeffrey
Satinover (of Yale), "Cracking the Bible Code."  The best anti-codes
material is the previously mentioned Statistical Science paper by McKay
et al.

Beyond what's posted on the Meru Foundation website, I'd be pleased to
send the transcript of an ongoing discussion of these ideas that was
held on physicist Jack Sarfatti's Internet Science Education Project
"Physics & Consciousness" e-list last year, to anyone who asks.
Physicists are interested in these findings because they bear on matters
of fundamental importance.  When the letters are understood as pointing
directions of our hands, they can also be understood as pointing
directions in the more abstract sense.  All entities in quantum
mechanics are specified by what is called a "quantum state vector."  The
27 letters of the full alphabet appear to be isomorphic to the 27 lines
that solve the general cubic equation, and define pointing directions
from a hypersphere.  This means that the letters, in effect, form a
base-space for any quantum state vector.  Unlike other theories, which
tie Torah and/or the alphabet to particular physics that may or may not
pass the test of time, this conceptualization is independent of the
details of physics, and instead elegantly and compactly defines the
space in which physics takes place -- a far more fundamental concept,
almost certain to stand the test of time.

I'm looking for qualified colleagues who care about Torah, who would
like to criticize and review this work, and if it passes their
standards, help out.  My expertise is limited, and certainly not
sufficient to span what's required for a proper examination of Torah (or
of science).  If you're interested in the codes, and would like to get
to the bottom of the matter, please have a look at the Meru website, and
then please contact me directly for further information, and with your
hard questions.


From: Frank Silbermann <fs@...>
Date: Fri, 7 Jan 100 08:34:08 -0600 (CST)
Subject: Torah Codes

 From the start, my opinion on Torah Codes has been as follows.  _If_
the codes provide compelling evidence of the Torah's divine origin, then
gentiles of the world will become convinced of the truth of our faith.
Those who do not demand to be converted will pass laws ordering Jews to
do Mitzvot, study Torah, observer halacha, and resettle the entire land
promised to Avraham.  The Messianic era will be upon us.  I won't need
to look at the Torah codes; the changing world will be proof enough.

And if the codes do _not_ provide statistically significant proof of the
Torah's divine origin, then studying them is bittel Torah.

Either way, there's no point for me (not being a statistician) to look
at the codes at this time.

Frank Silbermann

From: Chaim Mateh <chaimm@...>
Date: Sat, 08 Jan 2000 23:07:28 +0200
Subject: Torah Codes

In vol 30#76, Moshe Goldberg -- <mgold@...> wrote:

<<There are many religious people who claim that the issue of Torah
codes has done much more harm than good in the way it has been developed
and presented. What do you tell someone who has become a baal teshuva
because of the Torah codes when he/she discovers that there is no
scientific basis for the claims that have been made?>>

I have heard of the "good" that the Torah Codes have done, i.e.,
convince nonreligious Jews to investigate Judaism further.  I haven't
heard any "harm" stories.  Does anyone know of such harmful effects the
Torah Codes have had.  Not theoretical potential harm, but real-life
harm.  For example, has anyone ever heard of a Baal Tshuva who became
religious only because he believed the Torah Codes to be 100%
scientifically accurate, and then upon finding out that they aren't,
left Judaism and reverted back to nonreligious?

Kol Tuv,


From: Shoshana L. Boublil <toramada@...>
Date: Sun, 9 Jan 2000 01:44:13 +0200
Subject: Re: Torah MiSinai

I have recently read that Rav Sa'adia Ga'on wrote a poem on the "number
of letters in the Torah".

Has anyone seen it?  Does anyone know if a copy exists?

Shoshana L. Boublil

From: Joseph Geretz <jgeretz@...>
Date: Mon, 10 Jan 2000 20:43:59 -0500
Subject: Torah MiSinai

I'd like to comment on a couple of statements in regards to the topic of
Torah MiSinai

>From Avi Feldblum
the Rambam was definitely not saying that every letter in our text is
exactly the same as Moshe's text. As I remember it, the Rambam was very
interested in trying to verify the Masoraitic text, and thus knew well
about textual variations. His article of faith is that from a meaning /
mitzvot perspective nothing was added or removed from the Torah by the
neveiim or later sages. If someone who has dealt with this topic more
recently I would appreciate hearing from them. Mod.]

>From Russel Hendel
2)"We are not expert in FULL and DEFICIENT":

The common theme to both of these statements would be that the Torah
which we have today, is substantially the same (word for word as opposed
to letter for letter?) as was given to Moshe Rabbeinu. However, it may
not necessarily be an exact letter for letter replica. So this might
give us a bit of lattitude within the RaMBaM's 8th. However, this is as
far as I would push it. I think that to try and insert or remove whole
words, as the original poster suggested (that the words 'and it was bad
in his (Jacob's) eyes' were missing) would fall afoul of the RaMBaM's
8th and might very well enter the realm of heresy, according to the

It's also interesting to juxtapose the fact that "We are not expert in
FULL and DEFICIENT", with the fact that we find all over in the Gemara,
all sorts of Drashos (deductions) based on FULL or DEFICIENT. So I think
that you'd have to concede that where a Drasha is based on a FULL or
DEFICIENT, a definite tradition does exist for that FULL or
DEFICIENT. To attempt to categorize such a FULL or DEFICIENT (upon which
a Drasha is based) as not being part of the text MiSinai, would be, to
my mind, heresy according to the RaMBaM's 8th, because it would be
tampering with the basis of Halacha.

Kol Tuv,

Joseph Geretz
Focal Point Solutions, Inc.


End of Volume 30 Issue 83