Volume 42 Number 44
                 Produced: Thu Apr 15 22:53:22 US/Eastern 2004

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

         [Avi Feldblum]
Ain Dorshin
         [Stan Tenen]


From: Avi Feldblum <mljewish@...>
Date: Thu, 15 Apr 2004 22:51:51 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Administrivia

I have removed a number of quotes and excerpts that Stan included in his
reply to get the message to be short enough to fit in (and fully take up)
an issue. Anyone who wants the removed material can feel free to contact
Stan directly, he will be glad to send it out to you. With this reply, I
think it is accurate to say that there are a number of people on this list
who agree fully with the Anonymous poster and there are others that may
agree with what Stan posts. I have no intention of allowing this mailing
list to become dominated by a point / counter-point arguement on Stan's
work. When appropriate posting from Stan are sent on topics we are
discussing, I will review and may post them. I will post appropriate
disagreeing responses as well. I do not plan on posting another full issue
length response from either Stan or others on this topic again.

Avi Feldblum
mail-jewish Moderator


From: Stan Tenen <meru1@...>
Date: Sun, 11 Apr 2004 18:34:15 -0400
Subject: Re: Ain Dorshin

At 03:57 PM 4/11/2004, Anonymous wrote:
>What follows is undoubtedly a gross violation of the rules of discourse
>required by mailJewish.  However, when Torah is misused and corrupted,
>it calls for the strongest possible reaction.

It is amazing to me that a person who needs to remain anonymous can be
so bold.  My posting included an offering to send people statements from
those who hold by this.  As Avi and many regulars on mail-jewish know,
my work has been reviewed and continues to be reviewed by persons of
impeccable halachic pedigree.  My work has also been published in
peer-reviewed "Science and Consciousness" journals, and even in B'Or
HaTorah.  Obviously, if I were misusing or corrupting Torah, none of
this would be possible.

>[As I am aware of the poster's knowledge in Torah and the clear focus of
>the posting is to clarify / correct what the Talmudic discourse is, it
>is my opinion that this is appropriate to appear here. Mod.]

This is more than an opinion.  It is based entirely on presumption and
misunderstanding.  I will attempt to respond as reasonably and briefly
as I can.

>An explanation was given for the Mishna in Chagiga (11b) which
>represents a total distortion of the Talmudic discourse, taking a
>straightforward discussion -- that matters relating to prohibited sexual
>unions should not be taught to groups of three -- into something
>undreamed of by our Sages.

Excuse me.

If the perspective I am presenting were undreamed-of by our Sages, how
is it that there are highly educated and respected individuals in the
halachic community who believe that what I'm proposing is an honest and
proper interpretation, consistent with the teachings of our Sages?

All agree that Ain Dorshin is difficult to understand, and all those
whom I have spoken with agree that the straightforward discussion of
prohibited sexual unions is only the most superficial aspect of Ain

And, by the way, I am in no way excluding the traditional, simple
interpretation.  Far from it.  What I am proposing amply supports
traditional, simple explanations, by providing an even stronger and more
robust logical and Torah-sound underpinning.  (But it's a long
discussion.  <smile>)

Let me say that again.  If what I am proposing is valid, then it adds
validity to current understanding, and does not conflict with current
understanding in any way whatsoever.

Deeper understanding does not undermine understanding; it supports
understanding.  Deeper understanding is not in conflict with simple
understanding.  It is the source of simple understanding, and by being
deeper, brings validation and credibility to simple understanding.

>  To point out all the absurdities in
>rendering that statement as meaning "The discussion of No-Thing
>generates distinctions in threes" would take Ain-Sof time.

The test of any scholarly or scientific theory or proposal is in the
results it leads to.  What I am proposing leads to an understanding of
B'reshit, our alphabet, Merkaba, and Pardes, that confirms and fulfills
what has been taught by our Sages for the past centuries.  No
"prohibited sexual union" discussion can possibly do this.

Further, there are many discussions in the Gemara that become clear and
unambiguous when interpreted geometrically.  These discussions then
enable a deeper and more explicit understanding of a wide range of
Talmudic and Kabbalistic texts that are now perplexing.

The proof is in the pudding.  (But part of my thesis is that the reason
that we no longer have a full understanding of some of these matters is
because they simply cannot be adequately conveyed in words alone.  Once
what I call "geometric metaphor" is lost, it leads to interpretations
which are increasingly poetic and difficult to understand.  So, the
proof I'm referring to -- actually, "demonstration" -- is not possible
to write about convincingly without access to, and discussion of,
geometry and geometric patterns.  In other words, to appreciate what I'm
proposing, you really do have to see it, and no amount of discussion,
nor piles of wordy references, can ever make the case.)

The way to discover if what I'm proposing is real and consistent with
the teachings of our sages, is to look at the pictures and ask
questions.  If the responses provided by this perspective are
satisfying, and if they enable deeper and clearer understanding, then
that should be obvious. If not, not.

There is a section in the Gemara, for example, that appears to directly
parallel Ezekiel in the Haftarah Vayyigash.  I would be pleased to work
through this with anyone who is interested. Then, those who have had a
chance to examine the effectiveness of this approach can report on it
from their own perspective.

>Suffice it to say that it not only violates common sense, but slides
>over the fact that the g'mara explains the word "bishlosha" (for which
>it would be a stretch in any event to mean in threes, since the
>singular -- "in three" -- is used) actually is to be understood as
>"lishlosha," meaning _to_ three.

I have no problem with this interpretation of "bishlosha".  The fact is
that the first whole after unity is triplicity.  There are many ways to
demonstrate this.

It is also true that the most compact number system for recording
information is ternary, base-3 (not binary, as is used in computers, and
not base-10 either).  There is a simple proof of this by S.V. Fomin that
I can forward to anyone who would like to see it.

I'm saying -- ultimately -- Ain Dorshin is telling us to count the
letters of the full 27-letter alphabet in base-3, and that this leads to
the "re-weaving" of the "reshet" (of B'reshit).  This, in turn, leads to
the Merkaba and the Pardes experience.

>The writer then states,
> > Is there any confirmation for this logical approach? Yes. The Gemara
> > says so. In commenting on the translation with regard to not
> > discussing 'forbidden unions' in a class of three students, the Gemara
> > asks, 'My tama?' -- 'What is the reason?'  The gemara then responds,
> > S'bara hu -- 'It is [simply] logic,' and then goes on with further
> > explanation, based on the standard translations. The word for "logic"
> > that is used here, S'bara, is spelled Samek-Bet-Resh-Alef. This itself
> > is a direct reference to B'reshit (Bet-Resh-Alef.....), and
> > Bet-Resh-Alef is preceded by Samek, "to sustain".  In other words, the
> > Gemara is telling us that the Mishna is here to sustain the logic of
> > B'reshit."
>Of course, the g'mara makes no such statement.  The expression "s'vara
>hu" is a common one in the Talmud, and is inevitably followed by an
>explication of the reasoning involved.

The Gemara makes exactly this statement.  Otherwise, what is written
above is correct.  Following this statement, an explication of the
reasoning is provided.

For purposes of my posting, the words "logic" and "reasoning" are
synonymous.  My point is the same.  Ain Dorshin is a discussion of logic
and reasoning.  It is a discussion of the logic and reasoning that
descends directly from the presumption of "No-Thing".

There is a book by a topologist named G. Spencer-Brown which starts with
what he calls the "primary or first distinction".  This is a distinction
in "No-Thing," because nothing precedes it.
[Please contact Stan if you would like a quote from the book. Mod.]

>   Thus, e.g., the g'mara (Shabbat 96b) provides a Biblical source for
>not carrying from private to public domains on Shabbat, and asks for a
>source for the opposite direction.  The answer is "s'vara hu," it is
>reasonable, that since it is the transfer of domains, what difference
>if it is going out or going in.

I have no problem with this. I agree. But I don't see how it's relevant
to what I'm proposing with regard to Ain Dorshin.

>How would the writer explain this passage on the basis of the
>samch-beit-reish-alef spelling?

Exactly as you do.  I don't understand the problem.

It's not as if the _only_ evidence for what I'm proposing in the Gemara
is the simple statement, "s'vara hu".  That's just the simplest
statement of the principle I'm pointing to. Chances are, if I'm right
about Ain Dorshin, there are many other places in the Gemara where
"s'vara hu" also implies that the discussion in the Gemara is not only a
particular example of logic, but is a logical discussion, and/or a
discussion based on reasoning.

>His entire "confirmation" is to justify an off-the-wall interpretation
>of the Mishna by giving an equally wild interpretation of the g'mara.
>This confirms his misreading of the Mishna?

Not by itself.  To provide no example would have made my claims even
less credible.  To have provided many examples would have made my
submission too lengthy and confusing to be likely to be posted.  Now
that you bring up the point, we can discuss it in any detail you'd like,
and if you'd like other examples -- many more robust, though less simple
to interpret -- then that would be fine also.

>(Incidentally, "s'vara" does not mean logic; it means reasonableness.

Yes. For the purposes of my discussion, "logic" and "reasonableness" are
essentially synonyms.

My point is that Ain Dorshin is a logical discussion of what descends
from an initial distinction -- tzim-tzum -- in Ain Sof, and that this
underlies and is the source of the simple discussion with regard to
prohibited sexual unions.

What, you might ask, is the connection between prohibited sexual union
and the culmination of Ain Dorshin in the Pardes experience of Rabbi
Akiba?  The connection is straightforward.  The sexual experience is the
commonplace metaphor for the Pardes experience.  The sexual experience
includes "le petit mort", and this is analogous to the "bitul-making"
ego-death required for the Pardes experience.  Both the sexual
experience and the Pardes experience require explicit levels of
maturity, puberty in the case of the sexual experience, and the
confrontation with one's own mortality in the case of the Pardes

So, if I'm right, the logic I'm proposing is most commonly and easily --
and correctly -- understood in terms of sexual metaphor.

>When the term is used, especially in the form of "mistabra," it is not a
>logical necessity, but one of reasonableness.  As any mathematician
>knows, the two are not identical.  Many reasonable statements turn out
>to be untrue, and any counterintuitive theorem mathematically proven is
>ipso facto logical but not reasonable.)
>One is tempted to say that the explanation of the writer's
>interpretation can be seen in his name, whose consonants are

This, of course, is an ad hominem attack.

The fact is, my name is not spelled "Tav-Nun-Nun". The usual spelling
for "Tenen" is "Tet-Nun-Nun".  (I've used both spellings at different
times.)  Neither is actually my name, but rather, a name that my father
adopted for the family when I was an infant.  My name is actually
Rubinstein. (And no, I don't know if it's spelled "Rubinstein" or
"Rubenstein", because the documents from that era are inconsistent.)

>Tav-nun spells "tein," give; while "nun" is a fish in
>Aramaic.  Hence, it means to give fishy explanations.

I would like Avi to explain how this ad hominem attack is appropriate.
Is it now going to be acceptable to make fun of people's names?

And by the way, a Nun is not just a "fish" -- that's Aramaic.  A Nun is
also a "prince".  How can Nun be both?  A fish swims in the midst of the
sea, a prince stands in the midst of the line of succession, and the
letter Nun sits directly in the middle of a base-3 cube, completely
surrounded -- logically -- by all of the other letters.  (To see this,
see http://www.meru.org/Lettermaps/mirrorsymm.html ).  This is also part
of the description of the alphabet in Shefa Tal.

>I submit that this makes as much sense as the "interpretation" given
>for the word "s'vara" as "sustaining B'reishit."

Well, if you actually follow the logic, you'll see that it does "sustain
B'reshit."  Counting the letters by threes enables the first verse of
B'reshit to define a tallis with tzitzit, and a specially-shaped
"tefillin strap" that when worn, produces the outlines of every letter
as a naturally and universally meaningful gesture.  (But of course, you
have to see this to understand it.)

I wonder if the anonymous person who wrote this response ever looked at
the graphics in the PDF file.  I wonder if they understood them.  I
wonder why they did not ask questions, if they did not understand them.

>Not only is the Torah part corrupted.

Again, for those who would like to know "who holds by this", please ask.

Consistent with my interpretation of Ain Dorshin is a body of work that
includes materials that have been published.  This includes "Shabbos and
Resonance," in R. Hecht's Nishma Introspection, "Man Bites Dog" in B'Or
HaTorah, and a varied selection of technical and political materials
which have appeared on a wide range of Jewish e-lists under a number of

As I mentioned in my original posting, we hold a regular Tuesday night
"Sharon Colloquium" here in Sharon, MA., and those in the
Boston/Providence area are welcome to attend.  Come and see for

[Response on mathematics portion deleted to make response fit issue
size. Mod]

And as it turns out, when we interpret Ain Dorshin to be telling us to
"count in threes", the letters of B'reshit pair off to form recognizable
geometry that then matches later descriptions in the Gemara.

Understood geometrically, Ain Dorshin is telling us what to do with the
first letter of B'reshit, Bet.  When we understand Bet to represent the
function of "housing" (not just a house per se), and make use of the
function of "housing" by nesting boxes, we naturally arrive at the
base-3 count that Ain Dorshin is pointing us to.  You can see an
illustration of this -- how "Bet-ing" produces "naked distinctions in
threes" at http://www.meru.org/Posters/lambdoma1101.html .

What I'm proposing is not ad hoc, it's not a shot in the dark, it's not
"Stan's chiddush".  It fully supports traditional understanding, and
goes beyond, to make the Gemara for Ain Dorshin understandable.  It also
clarifies the meaning of a wide range of Kabbalistic texts whose meaning
is now disputed, and as a bonus, utterly undermines and demolishes the
anti-Torah School of Higher Criticism and documentary hypothesis.  (But
that's an even longer story. <smile>)

Make me prove it. <smile>

Be well.

[Excerpts or full text from the evaluation of Rabbi Dr. Meir Sendor of
Young Israel of Sharon and Yochanon Bogart, current President of Meru
Foundation is available from Stan upon request.]


End of Volume 42 Issue 44