I. Introduction

 

In this study I would like to examine one of the Jewish methods for Torah (Bible) exegesis. I would like to explore the fourth level called Sod.

 

The Sages indicate that there are seventy levels of interpretation which are built according to the acronym: PaRDeS.

 

xsrp - PaRDeS is the Hebrew word for orchard. Pardes is actually a roshei teivot (literally, “heads of words”), an acronym for the words:

 

P shat » simple understanding

R emez » hinted meaning

D rush » allegorical explanation

S od » esoteric understanding

 

To understand the concept of PaRDeS in this world, HaShem gave us a picture by way of His Temple. The Holy of Holies in the Temple was separated from the rest of the Sanctuary by a curtain. The walls of the Sanctuary building separated it from the rest of the Temple Mount. The Temple Mount was separated from the rest of the holy city of Jerusalem by the kotel – the wall surrounding it on all sides. Jerusalem was separated from the rest of the country by its enveloping city walls. Thus, to reach the Holy of Holies, one had to enter the city gates; gain access to the Temple courtyard; have the right of entry into the Sanctuary and be the most privileged of privileged to pass beyond the curtain before the Holy of Holies.

 

p- PSHAT - “simple” the plain meaning of (e.g.) a Scriptural passage. Rashi’s commentary was written at this level.

 

Peshat of the Torah text is akin to entering through the city gates of Jerusalem.

 

Pshat is the simplest meaning, based on the text and context. Rashi explains that pshat of the verse as follows: “In the beginning of God’s creation of the heaven and the earth, the earth was desolate and void.” This is based on a linguistic analysis of the word “Bereshit,” which does not mean “In the beginning”, but “In the beginning of...”

 

r - REMEZ - “hint” the interpretation of Scripture at the level of allusive implication. Gematria is a form of remez. Many of the explanations in the Talmud are based on rather obvious hints in the Torah such as extra words, extra letters, missing letters, missing words big letters, little letters, and the spacing between words and letters.

 

Remez of the Torah text is comparable to gaining access to the Temple Mount.

 

Remez is the “hint.” The Gaon of Vilna[1] taught that all commands of the Torah are hinted at in the first word of the Torah. For instance, Pidyon Haben - redemption of the first-born - is alluded to by an acronym of the letters of Bereshit, which spell “ben rishon acharei shloshim yom tifdeh” - the first son you shall redeem after thirty days.

 

One of the paths of Remez is that of Gematria, the search for meaning by evaluating the numerical equivalents of Hebrew words and verses by using the number values of the letters of the Aleph Bet (Aleph = 1, Bet = 2, ...etc.).[2]

 

s - DERUSH - “search” the non-literal, homiletic interpretation of Scripture (moralistic meaning), as in the Midrash or Talmudic aggadot. This level of understanding is based on a detailed logical analysis of Talmudic rules of logic. “The word ‘derush’ means ‘investigation’, implying a level of understanding arrived at only after one has delved beyond the black and white letters and words. There are two types:

 

Through derash of the Torah text we find ourselves within the holy Sanctuary.

 

Drush is the contextual and non-contextual, moral and philosophical explanations. Rashi states that there is a philosophical idea alluded to in the word “Bereshit.” The world was created for the sake of Torah which is called “reshit,” and for the Jewish people who are also referred to as “reshit.” Both are “firsts” in terms of their centrality in the purpose of Creation.

 

1. Midrash Halacha - Scriptural sources for Jewish Laws.

 

2. Midrash Aggadah - blend of history, legend and poetry.

 

x - SOD - “secret” is the Kabbalistic or mystical, super rational dimension illuminated by the teachings of the Kabbalah. Normally, the mystical understandings are studied at night.

 

Only the privileged of privileged may possess sod of the Torah text and the key to the Holy of Holies itself.

 

Sod is the hidden or secret meaning. Mishna: “The world was created with ten statements.” Gemara:[3] “But when you count them there are only nine statements! Bereshit (In the beginning) is also a statement.” The statement of “Bereshit” was the creation of time, which is a dimension of the physical world. One of the names of G-d is “HaMakom” - “The Place” - as the Midrash explains that “He is the place of the world, the world is not His place.” This concept is based on the idea that the physical world would not exist if not for G-d willing it to exist at every moment. Therefore G-d is the “Place” of the world, meaning the framework of reality in which everything exists, and He provides the possibility of existence to all of Creation. The dimension of Time and the laws of nature were created during the six days of Creation. The Sforno, The Gaon of Vilna[4], the Maharal, and Maimonides,[5] all basing themselves on the Talmud, state that the hidden meaning of the word “In the Beginning” - Bereshit - is the creation of what we today call “the space-time continuum.”

 

“The apprehension begins from the hidden Torah, and only afterwards does one apprehend the remaining portions of the Torah, and only in the end does one apprehend the revealed Torah.”[6].

 

The Vilna Gaon said something odd regarding the sod level. “How can it be that I start with the secret level in order to understand the straightforward level?”

 

In order to answer this question, we first need to better understand what we mean here when we use the term pshat, and the term sod (secret), with regard to the Torah. It can be understood by using an analogy. When I see two people talking together, there are two conditions necessary for what they are speaking about to be considered as a secret (sod) from me firstly, that I don’t hear or understand what they are saying, and secondly, the I feel that they are talking about me, or something which is pertinent to me. The first condition is obviously needed if I heard and understood what they were saying, it would not be hidden from me, and thus not a sod to me. The second condition is necessary because when we talk about the hidden part of the Torah, its secrets, we are referring only to that which the Torah talks about which is relevant to us. And, thus we have a solution to this problem

 

When is the Torah hidden from us? When we don’t know how it relates, and is relevant to us. Thus, when we first see the Torah, it seems to be a number of nice stories, along with commandments and guidance for our behavior. But we don’t see how it is relevant to us. So, while we may read it, we don’t really “hear” it. When we come to the realization, in any particular portion, or the Torah as a whole, that we don’t see how the Torah is talking about us, then we have apprehended the “Hidden Torah”. Now when this realization causes a person to feel truly what he is missing, so he acquires a lack, a deficiency, or a need and he is able to make a true prayer to HaShem to help him to fill this lack and longing that he feels. When HaShem answers his prayer, and he apprehends and realizes how the Torah is talking specifically about him, then he has apprehended the pshat (revealed) aspect of the Torah.

 

Thus, there is no difficulty with what the Gr”a says that the apprehension of the Torah begins with “sod” and ends with “pshat”.

 

Without the Sod level, the simple meaning is incomplete and, if it is represented as the whole and complete meaning, then it is in error.

 

Secrets within Secrets

 

As is widely known, there are four levels of Scriptural interpretation - pshat, remez, derush, and sod. The following teaching regarding these four levels has been passed down to us by the Chassidim, the pious ones, of an earlier generation in the name of the Tzemach Tzedek:

 

“Each of the four levels of interpretation incorporates all of the other levels.

 

Within the level of sod, for example, there is the pshat within sod, the remez within sod, the derush within sod, and the sod within sod.

 

The pshat within sod was revealed by Rabbi Shimon bar Yohai.

 

The remez within sod was revealed by the Arizal.

 

The derush within sod was revealed by the Baal Shem Tov.

 

The sod within sod will be revealed by Mashiach.”

 

* * *

 

According to the Vilna Gaon, one of the main functions of Mashiach Ben Yosef is to reveal Sod to the Jewish people, and by doing so, he will bring it back to the side of holiness and the purpose for which it was meant.

 

* * *

 

When we labor in the study of Torah it is like a man who labors in an orchard (PaRDeS):

 

Midrash Rabbah - Bereshit (Genesis) IX:9 9. R. Ze’ira said: BEHOLD, IT WAS VERY GOOD refers to Paradise; AND BEHOLD, IT WAS VERY GOOD, to Gehenna. Is then the Gehenna very good? How remarkable! This, however, may be compared to a king who had an orchard, into which he brought workers. He built a treasure house by its entrance and said: ‘ Whoever will labour conscientiously in the work of the orchard may enter the treasure house, but he who will not show himself worthy in the work of the orchard may not enter the treasure house.’ Thus for him who treasures up religious acts and good deeds, behold there is Paradise; while for him who does not lay up religious acts and good deeds, behold there is Gehenna.

 

Midrash Rabbah - Shemot (Exodus) II:2 R. Jannai said: Although His Presence is in heaven, yet ‘His eyes behold, His eyelids try, the children of men’. God was here like a King who had an orchard, wherein he built a tall tower and commanded that workmen should be engaged to do his work there. The King said that the one who was proficient in his work would receive full reward, but one who was indolent in his work would be handed over to the Governments.[7] This King is the King of kings, and the orchard is the world in which God has placed Israel to keep the Torah; He also stipulated with them that he who keeps the Torah has the entry to Paradise, but he who does not keep it is faced with Gehinnom. Thus with God; though He seems to have removed His Presence from the Temple, yet ‘His eyes behold, His eyelids try, the children of men’. And whom does He try? The righteous, as it says: The Lord trieth the righteous (ib. 5). By what does He try him? By tending flocks. He tried David through sheep and found him to be a good shepherd, as it is said: He chose David also His servant and took him from the sheepfolds (ib. LXXVII, 70). Why ‘from the sheepfolds’, when the word is the same as and the rain... was restrained? (Gen. VIII, 2). Because he used to stop the bigger sheep.

 

Sod = Secret

 

What is a secret, what is sod?

 

Now let’s look at Kabbala, the secret stuff. When a Jew talks about a secret, what does he mean? A secret is like the secret of hitting a home run, or bowling a strike, or any similar act. It is not something that can be taught. It is not that we do not want to teach, on the contrary the cow has a greater desire to nurse, than a calf has a desire to drink. A teacher desperately wants to teach all the Torah he can. However, some things are given by HaShem and cannot be taught. I can lead you all around a concept, but until HaShem gives it, and you “fall in”, it cannot be learned. This is a secret in Judaism. A secret is not something I teach only to the initiate. I try to teach everything I know about Torah.

 

A secret is like answering the question:  Do I exist? While philosophers grapple with this issue, it is a secret that only one who has nearly drowned, but finds air at the last possible moment, only he knows that he exists. He knows because he knows, and for no other reason. When an airplane is in danger of crashing, no one debates whether he exists. He worries about his children, or his own health, but not whether he exists. And when he steps out on the tarmac, he knows that he exists, there is no further debate.

 

Finally, the gospel of John and the books of 1John, 2John, 3John, and Revelation, are all secrets. For example:  John says, “in the beginning was the Word”. Why not say Yeshua? Clearly because a deeper concept is being taught. Messiah is being equated with the spoken word, the word spoken by HaShem. The secret is that the Word is the Torah, the spoken word of HaShem. However, until you internalize the answer and grasp it’s conceptual root, it is still incomprehensible. If it were easily comprehended, there would be no trinity, there would be no one saying that Yeshua is HaShem. That all falls away. Never the less, this secret can be taught with the help of HaShem.

 

Sod in Context

 

The following chart puts sod within the context of PaRDeS:

 

 


 

 

פרדס

פשת

רמז

דרש

סוד

PaRDeS

Pshat

Remez

Derash

Sod

Definition

Simple

Hint

Explore - Ask

Secret

Literary level

Grammatical

Allegory

Parabolic

Mystical

Audience level

Common People

Noble

(Lawyers, Judges, Scientists)

Kingly

(civil servants, political scientists)

Mystic

(psychologists)

Hermeneutic level[8]

7 Hillel Laws

13 Ishmael Laws

32 Ben Gallil Laws

42 Zohar Laws

Rabbinic level

Mishna

Gemara

Midrash

Zohar

Gospel

Marqos (Mark),

1 & 2 Peter

I and II Luqas (Luke)

Matityahu (Matthew)

Yochanan (John) 1, 2, 3, and Revelation

Presentation

HaShem’s Servant

Son of Man

The King

Son of G-D

Gospel

Marqos[9]

(Mark)

Luqas[10]

(Luke)

Matityahu

(Matthew)

Yochanan

(John)

Principle Concern

What do we have to do?

What is the meaning behind what we have to do?

How do we go about establishing HaShem’s Kingdom on earth?

What metaphysical meaning is there to what is happening?

World

Asiyah

Yetzira

Beriah

Atzilut

Symbol

Man

Ox/Bull

Lion

Eagle

Mazzaroth

Deli

Shaur

Aryeh

Aqurav

Tribe

Reuben

Ephraim

Judah

Dan

Temple

Outside Chatzer

Chatzer

Kodesh

Kodesh Kodashim

Purim

Mikrah Megillah

Matanot L’Evyonim

Mishloach Manot

Seudat Purim


II. PaRDeS in the Nazarean Codicil

 

There is evidence to suggest that the books of the Nazarean Codicil are formulated according to the four PaRDeS interpretations:

 

Peshat Mark, Jude, 1Peter, 2Peter.

Remez Luke, Acts, Romans, Paul’s Epistles.

Derash Matthew, Hebrews.

Sod John, 1John, 2John, 3John, and The Revelation.

 

It should not be surprising to discover that the Nazarean Codicil[11] would follow the Jewish way of interpretation. After all, His Majesty, King Yeshua was Jewish. All of the Patriarchs, Prophets, and Apostles were all Jewish. It stands to reason that they would write according to the Jewish style of HaShem.

 

Psalm 2:1-8 mission statement for Mashiach with Romans 9, 10, 11:

 

Psalm 2:1-8 Why do the nations conspire and the peoples plot in vain? The kings of the earth take their stand and the rulers gather together against HaShem and against his Anointed One. “Let us break their chains,” they say, “and throw off their fetters.” The One enthroned in heaven laughs; the Lord scoffs at them. Then he rebukes them in his anger and terrifies them in his wrath, saying, “I have installed my King on Zion, my holy hill.” I will proclaim the decree of HaShem: He said to me, “You are my Son; today I have become your Father. Ask of me, and I will make the nations your inheritance, the ends of the earth your possession.

 

III. Hidden Things

 

The fascinating data which is concealed in the various levels of Torah study is often alluded to in Scriptures. In this section we will examine some of the references.

 

Israel to be used for signs and symbols.

 

Yeshayahu (Isaiah) 8:18-19 Here am I, and the children HaShem has given me. We are signs and symbols in Israel from HaShem Almighty, who dwells on Mount Zion. When men tell you to consult mediums and spiritists, who whisper and mutter, should not a people inquire of their God? Why consult the dead on behalf of the living?

 

Devarim (Deuteronomy) 28:45-47 All these curses will come upon you. They will pursue you and overtake you until you are destroyed, because you did not obey HaShem your God and observe the commands and decrees he gave you. They will be a sign and a wonder to you and your descendants forever. Because you did not serve HaShem your God joyfully and gladly in the time of prosperity,

 

Some signs will be sealed till the time of the end:

 

Daniel 12:4 But you, Daniel, close up and seal the words of the scroll until the time of the end. Many will go here and there to increase knowledge.”

 

The sign of Jonah

 

Matityahu (Matthew) 12:39 He answered, “A wicked and adulterous generation asks for a miraculous sign! But none will be given it except the sign of the prophet Jonah.

 

Luqas (Luke) 11:29 As the crowds increased, Yeshua said, “This is a wicked generation. It asks for a miraculous sign, but none will be given it except the sign of Jonah.

 

The sign of Mashiach’s coming and the end of the age:

 

Matityahu (Matthew) 24:3 As Yeshua was sitting on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to him privately. “Tell us,” they said, “when will this happen, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?”

 

The Pharisees ask for a sign:

 

Marqos (Mark) 8:11-13 The Pharisees came and began to question Yeshua. To test him, they asked him for a sign from heaven. He sighed deeply and said, “Why does this generation ask for a miraculous sign? I tell you the truth, no sign will be given to it.” Then he left them, got back into the boat and crossed to the other side.

 

The Child sign:

 

Luqas (Luke) 2:12 This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”

 

Sign from heaven:

 

Luqas (Luke) 11:16 Others tested him by asking for a sign from heaven.

 

Jews ask for a sign:

 

Yochanan (John) 2:18 Then the Jews demanded of him, “What miraculous sign can you show us to prove your authority to do all this?”

 

The crowd seeks a sign:

 

Yochanan (John) 6:30 So they asked him, “What miraculous sign then will you give that we may see it and believe you? What will you do?

 

Hidden things revealed:

 

Matityahu (Matthew) 11:25 At that time Yeshua said, “I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children.

 

Luqas (Luke) 10:21 At that time Yeshua, full of joy through the Holy Spirit, said, “I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children.[12] Yes, Father, for this was your good pleasure.

 

Things hidden since creation:

 

Matityahu (Matthew) 13:35 So was fulfilled what was spoken through the prophet: “I will open my mouth in parables, I will utter things hidden since the creation of the world.”

 

Tehillim (Psalms) 78:2 I will open my mouth in parables, I will utter hidden things, things from of old--

 

Romans 16:25-27 Now to him who is able to establish you by my gospel and the proclamation of Yeshua Mashiach, according to the revelation of the mystery hidden for long ages past, But now revealed and made known through the prophetic writings by the command of the eternal God, so that all nations might believe and obey him-- To the only wise God be glory forever through Yeshua Mashiach! Amen.

 

Hidden things fulfilled:

 

Luqas (Luke) 18:31-34 Yeshua took the Twelve aside and told them, “We are going up to Jerusalem, and everything that is written by the prophets about the Son of Man will be fulfilled. He will be handed over to the Gentiles. They will mock him, insult him, spit on him, flog him and kill him. On the third day he will rise again.” The disciples did not understand any of this. Its meaning was hidden from them, and they did not know what he was talking about.

 

Blinded unbelievers:

 

II Corinthians 4:2-4 Rather, we have renounced secret and shameful ways; we do not use deception, nor do we distort the word of God. On the contrary, by setting forth the truth plainly we commend ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God. And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel of the glory of Mashiach, who is the image of God.

 

The secret things of God:

 

1 Corinthians 4:1 So then, men ought to regard us as servants of Mashiach and as those entrusted with the secret things of God.

 

1 Corinthians 2:6-8 We do, however, speak a message of wisdom among the mature, but not the wisdom of this age or of the rulers of this age, who are coming to nothing. No, we speak of God’s secret wisdom, a wisdom that has been hidden and that God destined for our glory before time began. None of the rulers of this age understood it, for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.

 

Milk vs. Solid food:

 

1 Corinthians 3:1-2 Brothers, I could not address you as spiritual but as worldly--mere infants in Mashiach. I gave you milk, not solid food, for you were not yet ready for it. Indeed, you are still not ready.

 

Mystery made known:

 

Ephesians 1:9 And he made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Mashiach,

 

Ephesians 3:9 And to make plain to everyone the administration of this mystery, which for ages past was kept hidden in God, who created all things.

 

Colossians 1:26-27 The mystery that has been kept hidden for ages and generations, but is now disclosed to the saints To them God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Mashiach in you, the hope of glory.

 

Colossians 2:1-3 I want you to know how much I am struggling for you and for those at Laodicea, and for all who have not met me personally. My purpose is that they may be encouraged in heart and united in love, so that they may have the full riches of complete understanding, in order that they may know the mystery of God, namely, Mashiach, In whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.

 

The hidden manna:

 

Revelation 2:17 He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes, I will give some of the hidden manna. I will also give him a white stone with a new name written on it, known only to him who receives it.

 

In the Nazarean Codicil we find further allusion to the hidden things when Mashiach said the following:

 

Matityahu (Matthew) 8:4 Then Yeshua said to him, “See that you don’t tell anyone. But go, show yourself to the priest and offer the gift Moses commanded, as a testimony to them.”

 

Mashiach commanded others, many times, not to reveal some information. He also clearly revealed that some information was not for everyone:

 

Matityahu (Matthew) 8:4,

Matityahu (Matthew) 9:30,

Matityahu (Matthew) 11:25,

Matityahu (Matthew) 12:16,

Matityahu (Matthew) 13:11,

Matityahu (Matthew) 16:20,

Matityahu (Matthew) 17:9,

Marqos (Mark) 1:44,

Marqos (Mark) 5:43,

Marqos (Mark) 7:36,

Marqos (Mark) 8:30,

Marqos (Mark) 9:9,

Luqas (Luke) 5:14,

Luqas (Luke) 8:10,

Luqas (Luke) 8:56,

Luqas (Luke) 9:21,

Luqas (Luke) 10:21,

II Luqas (Acts) 23:22

 

IV. In The Nazarean Codicil

 

My teacher, Hakham Dr. Yosef ben Haggai, taught me about the Sod level. The following illustration from the Nazarean Codicil demonstrates the beauty of Sod and the fallacy of literal interpretation:

 

Yochanan (John) 8:1-11 Yeshua went unto the mount of Olives. 2 And early in the morning he came again into the temple, and all the people came unto him; and he sat down, and taught them. 3 And the scribes and Pharisees brought unto him a woman taken in adultery; and when they had set her in the midst, 4 They say unto him, Master, this woman was taken in adultery, in the very act. 5 Now Moses in the law commanded us, that such should be stoned: but what sayest thou? 6 This they said, tempting him, that they might have to accuse him. But Yeshua stooped down, and with his finger wrote on the ground, as though he heard them not. 7 So when they continued asking him, he lifted up himself, and said unto them, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her. 8 And again he stooped down, and wrote on the ground. 9 And they which heard it, being convicted by their own conscience, went out one by one, beginning at the eldest, even unto the last: and Yeshua was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst. 10 When Yeshua had lifted up himself, and saw none but the woman, he said unto her, Woman, where are those thine accusers? Hath no man condemned thee? 11 She said, No man, Lord. And Yeshua said unto her, neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more.

 

SYMBOLS AND THEIR MEANING

 

Yeshua (HaShem Saves[13]) – The incarnation of the Word of HaShem.

 

Mount of Olives – Place of worship and preparation during the galut (exile).

 

Temple – Place of worship during the Messianic era. It is also a place of judgment and of intimacy.

 

Early morning – The beginning of the Messianic age.

 

All the peopleIsrael, the body of Mashiach.

 

Sat down         All Torah teaching is delivered by a teacher who is sitting. Sitting is also the position of a Judge. The Hebrew word “Yoshav”, which means “to sit”, is the root for Yeshiva, a school for Talmidei Hakhamim.

 

Scribes:           Those who rule, providing justice, the Children of Israel in HaShem’s name. These represent the written word. They are Hakhamim, Rabbis, who have been trained in the law of Moses.

 

Pharisees:       Those who rule, providing justice, the Children of Israel in HaShem’s name. These represent the oral word. They are Hakhamim, Rabbis, who have been trained in the law of Moses.

 

Woman – A community of peoples, a nation. In this incident, the woman is the Children of Israel as a community.

 

AdulteryOne who whores after other gods, an idolater.

 

Stoned – returned to the dust from whence she was created.

 

Ground – Dust, the source of man’s heart.

 

Writing – Revelation of the soul.

 

Stooped down – Submitting to their authority.

 

Lifted upOne who has authority to rule.

 

Eldest – The Rosh Bet Din.

 

Man – An Ish, a nobleman or ruler.

 

The Mount of Olives was a place for men after their expulsion from the garden, as we explored in-depth in the study titled EAST. Night is used by Chazal as indicating the galut (exile). This pasuk suggests that Israel as a nation will not have an accuser when she stands before the Rosh Bet Din, Yeshua. The Rosh Bet Din will not condemn Israel if there is no accuser.

 

As we study this incident, we need to note that though the woman was caught in the “very act”, there is no man. If this story could be interpreted at the Pshat level, we must have the man being judged with the woman. The fact that the man is entirely absent suggests that the ONLY one caught in the “very act”, was THE WOMAN. Adultery requires two to tango. Idolatry does not require two. Idolatry requires only one. Therefore, only the one is brought to trial.

 

* * *

 

Rules: Triangulation. If two points are pointing at something, then the third point can be assumed to point in the same direction.

 

* * *

 

This study was written by

Rabbi Dr. Hillel ben David

(Greg Killian).

Comments may be submitted to:

 

Rabbi Dr. Greg Killian

4544 Highline Drive SE

Olympia, WA 98501

 

Internet address:  gkilli@aol.com

Web page:  http://www.betemunah.org/

 

(360) 918-2905

 

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Send comments to Greg Killian at his email address: gkilli@aol.com

 



[1] Gaon of Vilna in Aderet Eliyahu, Bereshit 1:1; Maharal of Prague

[2] In Pirke Avot (3:23), the Mishnah quotes Rabbi Eliezer ben Chisma as follows: “The laws of bird-offerings and the laws of Pischei Niddah are essential lawsastronomy and gematriaot are like the seasonings of wisdom.” The Mishna may be referring to mathematics in general as “gematriaot,” but certainly the specific meaning referred to above is included, as well.

 

Rashi himself uses the technique of gematria occasionally (e.g. Shemot 23:21), but the parshan who specializes in the technique is the Baal HaTurim, Rabbi Yaakov ben HaRosh, the Talmudic giant who codified the Laws of Judaism during the Middle Ages in the “Four Turim.” Most of the gematriaot he offers check out computationally; that is, the gematria of one word-set does in fact equal the gematria of the other word-set. However, surprisingly, some do not!

 

[3] Ethics of the Fathers 5:1; Megillah 21b

[4] Gaon of Vilna in Aderet Eliyahu, Bereshit 1:1; Maharal of Prague

[5] Maimonides, Guide for the Perplexed 2:30 (13th Century)

[6] The Vilna Gaon. - the book of “Siddur”

[7] As a slave.

[8] The Hermeneutical Laws for the first and second levels of Rabbinical Hermeneutics you will find in the Siddur. In the ArtScroll Siddur (Nusach Sfard), pp. 53-54, which are found in the Morning Service on the “Offerings Section” before the “Kadish D’Rabanan” (The Rabbi’s Kaddish) and which are a quote from the Sifra. The laws of Hermeneutics for this second level are recited every single day of the year by all Torah Observant Jews!

[9] Greek form of the Hebrew Mordecai.

[10] Greek form of the Hebrew Hillel.

[11] The so-called New Testament which is neither new nor a testament.

[12] Since the men of the Great Assembly removed the desire for idolatry from the world, they also removed prophecy which is the opposite of prophecy. Today vestiges of prophecy are found in three places:  Dogs, mad men, and young children, all of whom cannot speak. See Yoma 69b.

[13] Only HaShem saves… see Yeshayahu (Isaiah) 43:11.