Volume 42 Number 54
                 Produced: Wed Apr 28  6:00:28 US/Eastern 2004

Subjects Discussed In This Issue: 

Bi-Gender Nouns
         [Stan Tenen]
Internet Tanach
         [Stan and Levanah Tenen]
Original Pronunciation of Hebrew
         [Stan Tenen]
R' Akiva's students and Bar Kochva
         [Stan Tenen]


From: Stan Tenen <meru1@...>
Date: Fri, 23 Apr 2004 11:15:25 -0400
Subject: Re: Bi-Gender Nouns

It's interesting to examine the standard masculine and feminine plural

They are not explicitly masculine or feminine, but rather, each embodies
a particularization that in one case is masculine-like, and the other,
feminine-like, in its generative and multiplicative properties.

The masculine plural suffix, Yod-MemSofit, obviously cannot be _always_
just masculine, or just plural, because after all, these are the last
two letters of Elokim, starting from the first verse of B'reshit.

Yod is a point, and MemSofit is an expanse, and the allusion is to
plurality in the sense of "one seed among an expanse of seeds". This
designates male reproduction. But its fundamental meaning is simply that
there is an expanse of individuals -- and this is why it becomes a
designation for masculine plural.

The feminine plural suffix, Vav-Tav, similarly is neither plural, nor
feminine per se.

Vav is of course a pin, or a line, and Tav is also a line. Vav is a line
in the sense of a spinal column, where there is a stack of vertebrae and
a central line around which the body appears to unfurl and unfold. (This
is an embryonic description also.)

Tav, meaning "sign" or "mark", is the sort of line that forms a mirror
around which things are internally and externally reflected.

Thus, Vav-Tav "reflects everything in line with itself", or "everything
in its line". The line of female descent is from womb to umbilicus,
continuously through all generations. Every female is "in line" with her
grandmothers and her daughters, endlessly.

So, in general, Yod-Mem is used for a designation of plurality that
follows the male pattern, and Vav-Tav is used for a designation of
plurality that follows the female pattern.

However, in particular cases, since neither Yod-Mem nor Vav-Tav is
intrinsically masculine or feminine, either can stand for either,
depending on other considerations.

In the case of Elokim, obviously Yod-Mem does not designate plurality in
the normal sense, but rather, the vastness of the expanse of

Be well.


From: Stan and Levanah Tenen <meru1@...>
Date: Fri, 23 Apr 2004 12:07:04 -0400
Subject: Re: Internet Tanach

>From: Eli Turkel <turkel@...>
>< see http://www.halachabrura.org/alephlink.htm>
>Does anyone know a site where the Torah is available on the web in
>"binary" form.  i.e. I want to be able to play with individual letters
>in some language and not just do searches

I'm not quite certain what Prof. Turkel is asking for, but perhaps it's
related to some materials I've been working with.

As those reading mail-jewish probably know, I have been working with the
letter-text of B'reshit for the past 30 years. What I found,
essentially, is that if you count the 27 letters with finals at the end
in base-3 (ternary/trinary), you can pair off the letters at the
beginning of B'reshit in a way that produces recognizable geometric
forms which are of fundamental importance in Judaism (and in math, too).

I'll send Prof. Turkel some materials on this via email, in case it's of
interest to him, and if others would like to see these materials also,
they should just ask.

With regard to the logo for Halacha Brura, I can't help but notice a
similarity to a glyph that I've worked with:


In this case, the glyph is supposed to represent "As above, so
below". (And it is related both to the beginning of B'reshit and to the


PS from Levanah: In the early 1980's, through Prof. Emmanuel Tov, we
obtained a "transliterated" BHS text of the five books from what was
then the U. of Pennsylvania "Facility for Computer Analysis of Texts".
(We used this in our early research.)  At the time these files were
freely available for research purposes (with proper acknowledgement of
copyright).  I just did a google search, and, surprisingly, can't find
the files online any more.  Anyone interested in them can contact me
privately.  Alternatively, you might check out
http://rosetta.reltech.org/TC/vol08/Tov2003.html , which is Tov's 2003
summary of all the electronic resources on Tanach that he was aware of
at that time.


From: Stan Tenen <meru1@...>
Date: Fri, 23 Apr 2004 12:50:13 -0400
Subject: Re: Original Pronunciation of Hebrew

I have greatly appreciated reading the discussions of the history of the
pronunciation of Hebrew, as we are able to reconstruct it. However,
there is another approach, which is not generally considered.

It seems to me that it makes sense to assume that our sages were fully
aware of the difficulty of accurately transmitting sound, and in
particular, the sound and pronunciation of the letters. And even if our
sages were not consciously aware of this potential problem in the
preservation of an accurate rendition of Torah, surely, in a sense,
Hashem would be aware of this, and if it was of importance, it would be
provided for -- especially over the centuries where no mechanical
recording equipment was available.

Here's one way that this could be done.

My research demonstrates that the full set of shapes and meanings of the
27 letters of the rabbinic form of the Meruba Ashuris "Torah alphabet"
is generated by a specially shaped "Ur-tefillin strap" that is defined
(exactly) by pairing the letters at the beginning of B'reshit.

This same "First Hand" (my name for it) also appears to take the form of
all of the 9 voices mentioned in the 150th psalm, and in many other

How so? The "First Hand" from B'reshit looks a bit like a shofar. So,
blowing into the tip of the form (the "thumb" of the model) makes use of
the form as a shofar. Likewise, blowing across the top of the column is
like a flute. Likewise, clapping the "earth-planes" together is like
cymbals and/or drum-heads. And of course, a harp is often referred to as
"a hand", and strung accordingly between the "thumb" and the
"fingertips".  (It's impossible to follow what I'm saying here without
working through the names and the illustrations one by one.)

My point is that the same form that generates the shapes and the
meanings of the names of the letters (when understood as gestures with
natural meaning) also generates a series of musical instruments and/or
voices, and their tonality and their capability for producing various
tones, chords, and combinations of tones can be deduced and/or
demonstrated and tested.

In other words, "First Hand" as defined by the letter-sequences at the
beginning of B'reshit appears to generate not only the shape and meaning
of each letter, but also to tie each letter to a particular instrument,
and a particular tone or set of tones.

If (the "if" is important, because this is not proven, and needs
considerably more work just to be presented properly) this is a valid
approach, then we should be able to find it referred to in our
traditional sources, and we should be able to reconstruct it, confirm
it, and thus regain the true original intended sounding for each letter.

Here's how Prof. Dan Matt's translation of Zohar puts it: (From the new
Stanford/Pritzker edition of the Zohar, Vol. 1, 2004, p. 114-115):

    "'The enlightened will shine like the zohar, radiance of the sky'
(Daniel d12:2)(53)--like musical intonations,(54) whose melody is
followed by the letters and vowels, undulating after them like troops
behind their king. The letters are body; the vowels, spirit.(55) All of
them range in motion after the intonations and halt with them. When the
melody of the intonation moves, letters and vowels follow; then it
stops, they do not move but stand in place.

    "'The enlightened will shine'--letters and vowels. 'Like the zohar,
radiance'--melody of the notes. 'Of the sky'--extension of the melody,
like those extending, prolonging the melody.(56) 'And those who lead
many to righteousness'--pausal notes, halting their movement, as a
result of which the word is heard.(57) 'Will shine'--letters and vowels
shining as one on their journey into a mystery of concealment, a journey
on concealed paths.  From this all expands.(58)"

Of course, Prof. Matt is a scholar who adheres to the belief (at least,
I understand him to be saying this) that Torah (and that would include
everything that follows from Torah) is the result of the writing and
editing of inspired sages in Babylonia, and that Zohar is merely the
fantastical and probably confabulated discussion of some mystical quest
by a group of mystics. In other words, his understanding conforms to the
school of higher criticism and the documentary hypothesis, which denies
Torah Min HaShemayim.

I'm proposing that while we should put aside Prof. Matt's personal
beliefs, his English translation is indeed masterful and comprehensive
when considered as scholarship. In other words, instead of writing off
the content as mystical speculation based on the idea that Zohar is, in
effect, a "pious forgery", Torah Jews might be more inclined to take
Zohar seriously and then search for the serious and deep meaning behind
discussions that are essentially inscrutable when interpreted as
mythology, magic, fantasy, or mystical quest.

This approach -- the search for what I call a "science of consciousness"
in our tradition -- is far more productive. In this case, we're offered
the opportunity to regain precise knowledge of the proper pronunciation
or sounding of the letters (and vowel sounds) of our alphabet and



From: Stan Tenen <meru1@...>
Date: Tue, 27 Apr 2004 16:53:23 -0400
Subject: Re: R' Akiva's students and Bar Kochva

There is a deeper interpretation of the story of R. Akiba and his talmidim.

As it turns out, the story is isomorphic with the geometry.

The geometry of the Pardes meditation includes "12-pairs of masters"
(usually translated as "12,000 pairs of students").

When the geometry "implodes", it is as if the lungs of the body of Adam
Kadmon have collapsed. This is the basis of the teaching that the 12,000
pairs of Akiba's original students died of a breathing disorder.

Inside, there are "5 new centers". These correspond to the 5 womb/seed
chambers in the middle of a typical apple-like fruit.

All of this is discussed in great detail -- at the geometric level (not
at the story level) -- in Ain Dorshin, Chagigah.

And because the Pardes experience is an ego-death and rebirth
experience, it is typified by "skinlessness", our skin being
symbolically that which separates us from the world. When a person drops
their ego and becomes toku k'varo, they are essentially "skinless".

As Ramban tells us 1000 years later in his disputation before James I of
Aragon, Moshiach is waiting in Gan Eden, which is Pardes (the
meditation).  This is why Akiba is able to designate Ben Kassiba as Bar

Did the history actually literally happen? Probably, yes and no. There
certainly was a real history, but the details and flourishes of the
story are included to designate the geometry of Pardes. The details of
the story and the details of the geometry (which is the same geometry as
is produced by pairing the letters at the beginning of B'reshit) match 1
to 1.

Be well.



End of Volume 42 Issue 54