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On Letter Skips in the Torah

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In which it will be made clear that any who have not reached the attribute of holiness,

which is the final attribute leading to the Holy Spirit,

as the Mesillat Yesharim said, "humility leads to fear of sin,

fear of sin leads to holiness, holiness leads to the Holy Spirit"

should not deal with that which is above him, for in trying to fix he may destroy.

 

Kislev 5760


Were this matter not made public and accepted by extraordinary people (who consider themselves scholars) as well as the foolish masses, we the speakers of true knowledge would not have bothered to refute it. Anyone with a lick of sense instantly understands that the matter of codes is utter nonsense, and therefore we see an absolute obligation to eradicate evil and stupidity from our midst.

 

First we will bring the words of the foolish: Since the Biblical text is Divine, it is not impossible that He would encode His codes in various and sundry ways. As is the way of G-d, He reveals the Codes to extraordinary individuals. But the trouble is that, in our case, He revealed them to people who obey the Torah and commandments but are not men of sublime spirituality; there is no need to say that they are not scholars and there is no reason to suspect that the Divine Spirit has descended upon them. But they knew the wisdom of the Gentiles, the invention of the computer, and of programs which could skip amongst the letters of the Torah scroll. They began to play with the programs' skips and fulfill on their own what was written, "Were Your Torah not my plaything" (Psalms 119:92). Their plaything Torah became a nonsensical Torah, and we will refute this on several counts, with each being enough to refute the theory of skips.

 

1. The Torah text (the Pentateuch) which we have today, upon which those who do the codes rely, is not the original text, precise down to the letter, given by Moshe to Joshua, etc. A plain gemara in Kiddushin 30a says, "[We] are not expert in defective and plene spellings."

 

This is testimony from the Talmud that the text before us does not exactly match the text which was before the early sages, and this is what the Meiri wrote: "And concerning the matter that we find masoretic works [tikkunim] by the scribes, on which we rely in writing a Torah scroll, they are based only on what we have found in scrolls which were considered precise. This is not entirely certain, and therefore I tend to be lenient on this issue and don't invalidate a Torah scroll."

And on the matter of the Mesorah preciseness, see the True Knowledge pamphlet 9 and the book "HaMikrah V'Anachnu" (edited by Prof. Uriel Simon), particularly Menachem Cohen's article "The Idea of the Sanctity of the Biblical Text and the Science of Textual Criticism."

It is clear that if one letter is missing or one letter is added in the middle of a skip, the whole issue of codes disappears and fades away like smoke. For the number of letters is different than in the Torah Moshe had at Sinai, and if there are codes, they are certainly hidden there and not in what we have today. If so, why should we jump and skip in letters which were distorted over the course of thousands of years of subtractions and additions?

 

2. And for the actual matter of codes -- it is clear to any reasonable person that in a large enough collection of letters one can skip and find all the words that his heart desires.

 

As is our way, not to say anything without examination and consideration, we purchased two Codes programs, one with the Torah text and the second with the book "War and Peace," (translated by L. Goldberg, published by Sifriat HaPoalim, Merchavia. Every seeker of truth ought to buy these.)

 

In these programs, before you find the word you are seeking, there is a space which shows how many times, probabilistically, you will find the word in the text according to statistical probability, and after examining both programs, you will always find a similarity between the number of possibilities (which the program shows in advance) and the number of words which were actually found, with a small difference not beyond the laws of probability. One who wishes to check can do so in all the existing programs and will prove that our words are honest and true.

Many good people have gone before us in this matter. See the article by Alex Lubotzky (professor of mathematics and an ex-Knesset member from the "Third Way" party), "My Outlook as an Observant Jew Causes Me to Stand Up Against the Use of Tanach as a Crystal Ball to Tell the Future" in the books section of the "Ha'Aretz" newspaper of September 3, 1997.

 

Barry Simon (I.B.M. Professor of Theoretical Physics and Mathematics at Caltech University), also an observer of Torah and commandments, wrote an article, "A Skeptical Look at the Torah Codes." He says, "This analysis has led me to believe there is much reason to doubt the assertions that there are codes in the Torah of the type studied by these groups [Eliyahu Rips and Doron Witztum]."

 

Professor Maya Bar-Hillel wrote an article in the journal "Galileo" (issue 25, 1997), "You Can Also Skip in 'War and Peace'," with Dr. Dror Bar-Natan and Dr. Brendan McKay.

 

3. The Judaic outreach professionals jumped on the bandwagon and without negating any means, be they valid or invalid, published books praising the skips method. Since the goal of returning people to religion is one of the most important commandments, they did not hesitate even to lie. We will bring one example and you, the reader, draw an analogy to the rest.

 

In his book "Masa El Pisgat Har Sinai" ("Journey to the Peak of Mount Sinai"), Rabbi Mordechai Neugroshel brings (pp. 167-169) an illustration of a menorah with five branches, with the word "Torah" found at skips of 49 letters. "We have a symmetrical picture," he says, at the beginning of each book of the Pentateuch and at its end. This is wondrous, just look with your own eyes and see the Divine Torah which reveals its codes, for the word "Torah" was revealed at such precise and wonderful skips in an exact symmetrical fashion, as befits Divine secrets. 

 

But when we checked his words we found that Neugroshel simply lied in his book (and from a thorough investigation we find that this rabbi even knew that he lied and did not change his words in the book).

 

First--the skips of the word "Torah" are not found symmetrically as he claims. In the books of Genesis and Exodus the skip does indeed start at the first tav in the book, but not from the last tav in the book. In Numbers, for example, the skip is found only from the third letter in the book and in Deuteronomy from the eighteenth from the start of the book and after many instances of the letter taf which did not yield Neugroshel the desired skip. And when we checked the end of each book, we found that in Numbers and Deuteronomy the skips are found about two chapters from the end and in Genesis and Exodus a chapter before the end. Amazing symmetry. But like a sect of liars who hide their evidence, the rabbi did not cite the chapter and verse in Numbers and Deuteronomy from which he began the skip, (as he did so loudly for Genesis).

 

Second--and much more serious than the first: the skip which the rabbi cites in Deuteronomy is 48 and not as he wrote in his book, 49. He out and out lied and said that skip 49 exists. How can he not be ashamed? Perhaps he relied on the boorishness of the readers who plan on returning to religion.

 

But he forgot the words of the sages in Sotah 42a, "The sect of liars does not receive the face of the Divine." Another thing he forgot was that "in everything which can be discovered people do not lie," even a person suspected on the topic (Bechorot 36a). As one who returns others to religion, who is suspected of false methods to return the hearts of Jews to our Father in heaven, he should have been cautious in things which could be discovered. He contested the words of the sages and made them into a fraud to cover his evil acts.

 

To prove that these skips are not codes, we took the codes program with “War and Peace” (from the beginning of the book to the 78064th letter) and the codes program with the book of Genesis, whose letter counts are equal (78064 letters), and typed in the Tetragrammaton (YHWH). We asked it to find the word at skip 49 letters (Neugroshel's magic number). We were amazed at the results; in “War and Peace” the Tetragrammaton was found 17 times while in Genesis it was found only nine times. You, the fair reader, think a bit about what those outreach professionals would have done if the results had been the other way around. They would have gone out singing it and dancing, announcing the wonders of the skips from the top of every mountain and from under every tree.

 

But we know that this is just mere happenstance and we certainly do not say that since the Tetragrammaton is encoded in the book “War and Peace” much more often than in Genesis it is a book of codes and wonders. And understand that well.

 

4. We turn to rabbis who have confined themselves in this sick-bed and have written words of approbation and support, including the gaon Rabbi Shlomo Wolbe shlita and the gaon Shmuel Auerbach shlita (HaMispacha magazine, issue 407, July 8, 1999).

 

Sages, be careful with your words for they lead to grave mishaps. Know that if we are given permission and approbation to skip in the Torah and ascribe to it Divine encoding, then permission is given to everyone, even, G-d forbid, the Christians. Now come and see the disaster of nonsense. A Christian has only to type the word "Jesus" (“Yeshu”) into the computer and ask the computer to skip those same 49 letters to find the "hinted at" Jesus in the Torah. This is a most dangerous thing, for Jesus is indeed "found encoded," as it were, in the Torah. If this is not enough, it seems that the verses in which Jesus is found encoded hint, in their meaning, at Jesus. Woe is us for this nonsense of skips. And if that were not enough, the matter occurs at the start of each of the books of the Pentateuch, just as Neugroshel says, and there is a great danger to any who clings to them. Look:

 

Genesis 2:7 "And G-d created man from dust of the ground and blew the spirit of life into him" (“Vayitzer YHWH et haadam ‘afar min haadama vayipach beapav nishmat chayim”). If you skip 49 letters from the yud of “beapav” you will find “Yeshu” [yud-shin-vav], exactly in the verse which speaks about inducing the spirit of life into a dead body.

 

Exodus 2:1 "And a man from the house of Levi took the daughter of Levi" (“Vayelech ish mibeyt Levi vayikach et bat Levi”). Skip 49 letters from the yud of the first “Levi” and you will find “Yeshu, and again, exactly in the verse which begins the story of Moshe Rabbeynu's birth. In the Christian faith, Jesus is Moshe Rabbeynu's replacement.

 

Leviticus 1:17 "He shall tear it by its wings without severing it" (“Veshisa’ oto bichnafav lo yavdil”). Skip 49 letters from the yud of “bichnafav” and you will find “Yeshu, and again, precisely in the word "his wings," which hints, as it were, at the wings of the Divine Spirit, G-d forbid.

 

Numbers 2:10 "The standard of the division of Reuben, troop by troop" (“Degel machane Reuven teymana letziv`otam”). Skip 49 letters from the yud of “teymana” and you will find “Yeshu, and again, at the standard of Reuben, Jacob's eldest whose birthright was taken from him, as it were hinting that it will in the future be returned to he from whom it was taken.

 

Deuteronomy 2:30 "For the Lord, your G-d will harden his heart…to deliver him into your power, as is now the case" (“Ki hiksha YHWH E-loheicha et rucho… lema’an tito beyadcha kayom haze”). Skip 49 letters from the yud of “kayom” and you will find “Yeshu, and again, it is hinted in the verse that those who harden their spirits will be delivered. We shudder to think what the Christians would say, who are those who harden their hearts and into whose hands they will be finally delivered.

 

And if we are dealing with Neugroshel's symmetry, note how, according to his method, each "revelation of Jesus" was found in the second chapter of each book, (pointing, as it were, at a second chapter of faith in the Creator and His leadership, the New Testament replacing the Old Testament) aside from the middle book, Leviticus, in which the hint is in the first chapter, as befits the center of the Torah.

 

And we found in some offensive Christian pamphlet the following:

encoded at skip 3 (a hint at the Christian Trinity). Jesus is  found precisely in that verse which discusses the anointing of a kohen (“kohen mashiach” – a hint to Messiah): “And the kohen who is greater than his brothers, upon whose head the anointing oil has been poured” (Leviticus 21:10). And not only Jesus is “encoded” there, but the whole sentence “Hen dam Yeshua ishe” -- “For the blood of Jesus is a fully-burnt offering.

 

This is what the Christians will do with Neugroshel, Rips, and Witztum, et. al.'s abomination of skips.

 

There is no need to say that we are repelled by the Christian faith and we have only brought their nonsensical codes to show the foolishness of codes and the danger lurking therein, for every pagan sect is able to begin using codes to prove their beliefs and absurdities.

 

Come and see just one more matter and be fearful, lest you lend your hand to such things:

If we are permitted to use codes in the Torah text, we are given permission to use codes in the book "War and Peace." Look at the results of the skipping. We took the name Yitzchak Rabin, which in gematria is 470, and added the number of his names, together 472. We asked the program to use skip 472 to see what Tolstoy "hinted at or encoded." And we were "shocked" by the result. We found two codes: one "Rabin died" (Rabin met) and the other "Peres lives" (Peres Chai). This is "amazing." In a book which presents Rabin, the Chief-of-Staff of the Six Day War (“War”) and Peres, the person who began the peace process (“and Peace”), these two people are hinted at with a skip equal to the gematria of Rabin's name, with a hint about Rabin's death and possibly a hint that the war will end and the peace will live.

 

So you, the thinking and examining person, see that with the codes programs you can "find" whatever you seek and devise an appropriate story which will fill your desire and will include the nonsense of codes; you can do whatever you want to do with it. Woe to the cheats who do these things to trap the unwary and woe, so much more so, to the enticing rabbis who back this dangerous nonsense.

 

This we will say about the rabbis mentioned above. Just as you received reward for explaining, you will receive reward for abstaining, as brought in Tractate Kiddushin 57a, "Shimon the Amsuni had explained every et in the Torah. When he reached ‘et Hashem Elokeicha tira' (Fear the Lord, your G-d), he stopped. His students asked him, ‘ But Rabbi, what will be with all the ets in the Torah?’ And he answered: 'As I received reward for the explaining, so I received reward for the abstaining'."

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