Categories
General Shorties

Shorty: Telling Real from Fake Struggle-for-Freedom

We cherish people’s “Struggle for Freedom” because we cherish freedom.

But how do we tell a real Struggle-for-Freedom from a fake one, namely, a sheer display of violence (self-inflicted, directed towards others or both)?

The criterion is straightforward. And it is surprisingly extremely simple:

Check whether the weapon, used in the “Struggle for Freedom”, is directed solely towards the common enemy, or is it also directed towards one’s own people?

If the former — real. If the latter — fake.

And that is the whole story. Believe not other stories.

 

 

Categories
Historical Coincidences My Research on the Bible and Biblical Hebrew Shorties

Shorty: When was an Earlier Climate Change and What Caused it?

Earlier Climate Change:

“In the sixth hundredth year of Noah’s life, in the second month, the seventeenth day of the month, on that day all the fountains of the great deep burst forth, and the floodgates of the heavens were opened. And rain fell on the earth for forty days and forty nights” (Genesis 7:11-12).

What Caused It:

“Now, the earth was corrupted in front of God, and the earth was filled with Chamas” (plunder, extortion). “And God looked upon the earth, and, behold, it was corrupted because all flesh had corrupted its ways upon the earth” (Genesis 6:11-12).

Categories
My Research on the Bible and Biblical Hebrew Shorties

Shorty*: How Do the Ten Commandments Comport with Free-Will?

A Divine Commandment is always fulfilled, to the letter.

An example:

“And Elohim said: “Let there be light”, and there was light” (Genesis 1:3).

If that is so.

If divine command, by definition, is always fulfilled:

  • How is it that the same has not materialized with regard to another set of Divine Commandments, the Ten Commandments?
  • How come that since its inception at Mount Sinai, about three thousand and three hundred years ago, we are witnessing violating of the Ten Commandments by the human species throughout history, abundantly, continuously, right, left and center?

And more generally:

How do the Ten Commandments comport with free-will, endowed by The Creator onto humankind, the created?

Free-will is emphasized in the Bible, again and again:

  • “See, I set before you today life, and that which is good; and death, and that which is bad” (Deuteronomy 30:15);
  • “I call Heaven and earth to witness this day against you that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; Therefore, choose life that both you and your seed may live” (Deuteronomy 30:19).

Hebrew prophets, likewise, do not cease to insist (emphasized mine):

  • “He has told thee, O man, what is good and what does Jehovah requires of you, but to do justice and love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God” (Micah 6:8).

If emphasis on free-will is so prevalent throughout the Bible, and given the wide-spread ignoring of the Ten Commandments, throughout history, how should we account for this seeming inconsistency in the Bible?

The answer to this intriguing question is simple and straightforward:

In its original biblical Hebrew, the Bible does not have a concept of “Ten Commandments”.

Instead, biblical Hebrew for the Ten Commandments is “Devarim”.

The root of this word, in its verbal form, means to speak. “Devarim”, literally, implies divine utterances.

A thorough discussion of this concept, with biblical quotes, is delivered in:

“Diber” or “Dever” – Two Modes of Divine Dialogue with Humankind in a World of Free-Will .

* Shorty is a short post

Categories
My Research on the Bible and Biblical Hebrew Shorties Videos

Is Torah Divinely Inspired?

(Related podcast at: Is Torah Divinely Inspired? (Podcast) )

The first verse of Genesis reads:

“In the beginning Elohim created the heaven and the earth”.

This means that there are two worlds apart: The heaven and the earth.

Two cultures prevail over Planet Earth:

Culture 1: There is only “The earth” (namely, the observable physical world). There is no heaven.

Culture 2: There are two worlds, and our duty is to connect the two.

The first, Culture 1, prevails in current Western Civilization.

Culture 2 is cornerstone in Judaism, and probably also in other monotheistic faiths.

The question of whether Torah is divinely inspired is tightly linked to the choice between the two cultures (as succinctly outlined above):

According to Culture 2, Torah is divinely inspired. Therefore, it represents the Divine moral code, the spiritual dimension of our physical existence on Planet Earth, with the Ten Commandments at its center, and details scattered throughout the Five Books of Moses (Torah). If Torah is divinely inspired, we are here to connect the heaven and the earth.

According to Culture 1, Torah is a historic relic of human writings from ancient times. In view of the scientific progress, made over recent centuries, in understanding how the physical world is structured and how it is functioning, Torah is no more relevant to our lives. Torah can only serve in academia as a subject of scientific research of ancient cultures.

How do we decide between the two cultures?

How can we lend scientific validity to the truth of one culture over the other?

In other words: How do we scientifically prove, or disprove, that Torah is divinely inspired?

Numerous words and lectures, nowadays also videos, have been produced to address this extremely critical question. Endless number of words of persuasion, one way or another, have been put forward.

We believe that there is a single method to scientifically address this question:

To find out whether certain patterns, recently discovered by science to widely prevail in scientific models of the physical world, whether these same patterns also prevail in Torah and in its original language, namely, biblical Hebrew.

Can we scientifically demonstrate that, indeed, “In the beginning, God created the heaven and the earth”?

Three such research efforts have been carried out in recent years (expounded in three meticulously-produced videos by Oren Evron):

  • Rav Ginsburgh, on Fibonacci numbers in biblical Hebrew (Hebrew; English subtitles, please activate):
  • Professor Haim Shore (me), on the reflection of numeric values of physical reality in corresponding biblical Hebrew words (English):
  • Oren Evron, on the associations between numbers, relating to the first verse of Genesis (in its original biblical Hebrew) and constant Pi, cornerstone and frequent-visitor in numerous scientific models of physical reality (English):
Categories
My Research on the Bible and Biblical Hebrew Shorties

Values of Hebrew Day-Names in Genesis 1 Represent Ordinal Positions

All week-days in Genesis 1 have specific names.

These are (Hebrew, left to right):

Echad (“One”; Sunday); Sheni (“Second”; Monday); Shlishi (“Third”; Tuesday); Reviee (“Fourth”; Wed.); Chamishi (“Fifth”; Thurs.); Yom Ha-Shishi (“The Sixth Day”; Friday); Yom Ha-Sheviee (“The Seventh Day”; Sat.) or Shabbat (Sabbath).

Each of these biblical Hebrew names has a specific numerical value, the sum total of the numeric values of the Hebrew letters comprising the name.

Do these values represent the ordinal position of the days they represent?

Pursuing the same method used by me throughout my research of the Bible and biblical Hebrew (namely, “linear plot indicates same set of values, represented by two different scales”), the attached plot, with the explanatory comments that follow, seem to support the claim expressed in the title of this post:

,

Categories
General Shorties

Black Holes and Near-Death Experience (NDE) — A One-way Flow of Information

Black Hole is a place in space where gravity pulls so much that even light can not escape. There are three different types of black holes: Tiny, stellar or supermassive (Source: NASA NASA: what-is-a-black-hole?). Scientists have found proof that every large galaxy contains a supermassive black hole at its centre. The supermassive black hole at the centre of the Milky Way galaxy is called Sagittarius A. It has a mass equal to about 4 million suns and would fit inside a very large ball that could hold a few million Earths.

Near Death Experience (NDE) is a testimony, delivered by individuals who have biologically died, however have been resuscitated to normal life. The testimony delivers the experience an individual went through while the medical team struggles to return that individual to life. NDE is well documented for many years. An example of a recent report of NDE, one of many, is by Shaman Oaks (Jan., 2022):

Man Shocked by What He Saw His Pets Doing in Heaven

There are several features shared by most testimonies of NDE, like “flying” through a black tunnel, total life-review and others.

A basic condition of human life on planet Earth is our total ignorance of where we have come from, or where do we go after we die (if indeed the soul survives the body). This basic life-condition represents to us a unique experience of a one-way flow of information. We are aware of information we produce while we live, or information we are exposed to. Yet we are blocked from any information beyond our life-span, namely, pre-birth or post-death.

A similar statement of our basic human condition may be traced to the first verse of Genesis:

“In the beginning God created The Heaven and The Earth”.

We know much about The Earth (the universe), yet nothing about The Heaven. Indeed, the Bible does not describe the nature of The Heaven, neither does it explicitly refer to it anywhere else in the Jewish Bible, except for the first verse of Genesis (an exception is a single verse, which may be interpreted as describing a hidden two-way communication between humankind and The Heaven (of Genesis 1:1); Find details in this post:

The basic human condition: “Angels of God ascending and descending”.)

These four types of experience (or source of knowledge), accessible to us all, testify to the most fundamental of human condition on Planet Earth:

  • Total ignorance of where we came from (pre-birth), and where do we go from here (post-death, if at all);
  • Deafening silence (lack of explicit communication) on behalf of the “other side”;
  • Supportive testimonies of individuals (NDE), explicitly stating that to preserve free-will, while shaping our life-experience, we are not amenable to glimpses of the “other side” (except, occasionally, via NDE, or messages delivered by uniquely gifted mediums, spiritualists);
  • Lack of any knowledge of The Heaven (existence of which is explicitly stated in the first verse of Genesis).

There is one commonality shared by them all:

One-way flow of information.

Information of what play out here, on earth, is known and exposed to the “other side” (as revealed by NDE reports); Yet, we do not receive explicit communication from the “other side”, barring the possibility of a dual-way mode of communication!!!

These features of our everyday experience on Planet Earth share a surprising commonality with the most basic property of black holes — absorbing from the physical universe, as we know it, but never leaking back information, in the form of matter, energy or any other conceivable form of information (dark energy?).

This stunning similarity between the physical properties of black holes (the one-way flow of information), and the most fundamental condition experienced by us on Planet Earth (as expounded earlier), this similarity naturally begs the question:

Do black holes form one-way exit avenues, through which our souls are doomed to pass after we die?

Categories
My Research on the Bible and Biblical Hebrew Shorties

“Shamayim” — The Most Counter-intuitive Yet Scientifically Accurate Word in Biblical Hebrew

(Related podcast: “Shamayim” — The Most Counter-intuitive Yet Scientifically Accurate Word in Biblical Hebrew (Podcast) .)

The word Shamayim in Hebrew simply means Sky (Rakia in biblical Hebrew; Genesis 1:8):

“And God called the Rakia Shamayim, and there was evening and there was morning second day”.

Rakia in biblical Hebrew, like in modern Hebrew, simply means sky.

So why, in the first chapter of Genesis, is the sky Divinely called Shamayim?

And why, according to the rules of biblical Hebrew, is it fundamentally counter-intuitive, yet, so scientifically accurate?

The word Shamayim comprises two syllables. The first is Sham, which simply means there, namely, that which is inaccessible from here. The second syllable, ayim, is a suffix, namely, an affix added to the end of the stem of the word. Such suffix in added, in Hebrew, to words that represent a symmetric pair of objects, or, more generally, to words that represent objects that appear in symmetry. Thus, all visible organs in the human body that appear in pairs have same suffix, like legs (raglayim), hands (yadayim), eyes (einayim) and ears (oznayim). However, teeth, arranged in symmetry in the human mouth, though not in pairs, also have same suffix. Teeth in Hebrew is shinayim. Other examples may be read in my book at Chapter 5.

Let us address the two claims in the title:

  • Why Shamayim is counter-intuitive?
  • Why is Shamayim so scientifically accurate?

The answer to the first claim is nearly self-evident. When one observes the sky, at dark hours, the observed is far from symmetric. So much so that the twelve Zodiacal constellations had to be invented, in ancient times, to deliver some sense to the different non-symmetric configurations of stars that to this day can be observed by the naked eye in the sky.

Yet, despite the apparent non-symmetry observed in the sky, the Divine chose to grant the sky a word indicative of the most fundamental property of the sky, as we have scientifically learned it to be in recent times, namely, its symmetry (as observed from Plant Earth), or its uniformity (as preached by modern cosmology).

To learn how fundamentally uniform (or symmetric) the universe is, the reader is referred to Chapters 5 and 7 of my book, and references therein. Another good source to learn about the uniformity of the universe, as observed via telescopes and as articulated by modern science, is the excellent presentation by Don Lincoln at Wondrium channel:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CRQvp3XPH_s

Note the term Desert, addressed in the lecture. The term is used, in modern cosmology, to denote the uniformity of the universe at the Big Bang (“In the beginning”).

Surprisingly, the words, Tohu Va-Vohu, describing the universe “in the beginning” (Genesis 1:2), are also associated with desert, as they are employed elsewhere in the Hebrew Bible.

Consider, for example Jeremiah (4:23, 26):

“I beheld the earth, and, lo, it was Tohu Va-Vohu…I beheld and, lo, the fruitful land has become the desert…”.

Refer also to Isaiah (34:11).

So:

  • Shamayim is counter-intuitive and at odds with the picture, revealed in ancient times to the naive observer, our pre-science ancestors;
  • Shamayim yet accurately describes current scientific picture of the universe, as formed in the last hundred years or so, based on cumulative empirical data (gathered via telescopes), and based on modern theories of the evolution and structure of the universe.

Articulated more simply:

Whatever direction in the sky you point to, Shamayim states that it is all the same, contrary to what the naked eyes are telling us, in conformance with what modern science is telling.

Personal confession, mind boggling…

Categories
My Research on the Bible and Biblical Hebrew Shorties

In biblical Hebrew — “Yom” is not necessarily “Day”

In a recent post (and an accompanying podcast), we have shown that Erev and Boker, in Genesis creation narrative (Genesis 1), do not represent “Evening” and “Morning”, as commonly interpreted, and as traditionally assumed. Rather, these two words represent, respectively, two states — one of “Mixture”, Erev, the other of its opposite, Boker (outcome of sorting out the mixture into its constituents, namely, a state of “non-mixture”).

Does Yom in Genesis 1 mean “Day” (as commonly translated into English)?

Or perhaps the word, as used elsewhere in the Hebrew Bible, has a more general meaning, denoting, simply and non-specifically, “Period of time”?

To answer this intriguing question, we inspect verses in the Jewish Hebrew Bible, where Yom is used. The latter appears therein, with variations, no less than 2291 times. Naturally, in most cases Yom, and its variations, represent “Day”.

But…not always and not necessarily so.

We find out that in a considerable proportion of the verses, Yom simply denotes “Period”, whether in the future (future period, “in/on that day”) or currently (present period, “to this day”). We note that “Time”, in the common sense, does not appear at all in the Bible (where it rarely does appear, it means exclusively a specified point in time, like in “appointment time”). Therefore, “Day” is used instead to denote unspecified period of time. No other meaning can possibly be attached to the word, as it appears and being used in those verses.

Here are a few examples:

[1] “…he is the father of Mo’av to this day” (Genesis 19:37-38);

[2] “The lofty looks of man shall be humbled, and the haughtiness of men shall be bowed down, and Jehovah alone shall be exalted on that day” (Isaiah 2:11);

[3] “And it shall come to pass on that day that Jehovah shall beat out his harvest from the strongly flowing river to the Wadi of Egypt, and you shall be gathered up one by one, O Children of Israel” (Isaiah 27:12);

[4] “In that day shall the Lord of Hosts be a glorious crown, beautiful wreath for the remnant of his people” (Isaiah 28:5);

[5] “For the day is near, the day of Jehovah is near, a day of clouds, a time of doom it shall be for the nations” (Ezekiel 30:3);

[6] “In that day people will come to you from Assyria and the cities of Egypt, even from Egypt to the river, and from sea to sea and from mountain to mountain” (Micha 7:12);

[7] “On that day Jehovah will be one and His name One” (Zechariah 14:9).

Categories
My Research on the Bible and Biblical Hebrew Shorties

“Becoming Holy” — The Bible Prescription

(Related podcast: “Becoming Holy” — The Bible Prescription (Podcast))

The desire to become holy, as a means to ascend to higher spiritual dimensions, is as ancient as human civilization.

But what does it mean to become holy? How do you become holy?

Several paths to holiness have been offered in the past. These include.

Path 1. Seclusion in an isolated place, disconnected from human beings.

Path 2. Refrain from talk (keeping silent) for an extended period of time.

Path 3. Pursuing the path of a Nazarite (including abstinence from the other sex and from alcohol).

Path 4. Adoption of certain dietary menus to cleanse the body, hopefully leading to holiness.

What is the Bible prescription to becoming holy?

It indeed departs appreciably from all the paths just described.

However, it is exact. And it is specific.

The Bible delivers a prescription to becoming holy in the form of ‘Do’s and ‘Do-not do’s. These are scattered throughout the Bible (particularly, in Torah and the prophets). Yet, it is described in detail, in a concentrated fashion, in a certain segment of the Jewish Torah, generally referred to, in Jewish tradition, as Parashat Kedoshim (Segment “The holy ones”).

The prescription starts with a Divine assertion, repeated, nearly verbatim, close to the end of the Parashah.

Here is the opening verse (Leviticus 19:1):

“And Jehovah spoke to Moses saying, speak to all the congregation of the Children of Israel and say to them: “Holy shall you be because holy am I, Jehovah your God”.

In a verse, prior to the end of the Parashah, the same assertion is repeated (Leviticus 20:26):

“And you shall be holy to me for holy am I, Jehovah…”.

Throughout the Parashah, the signature of the Divine is repeated, time and again, at the end of a set of ‘Do’s and ‘Do-not do’s, as if to remind the listener (or reader), of their Divine source:

“I am Jehovah”.

(For example, Leviticus 19:16).

In this post (and the accompanying podcast), we concentrate on a certain small segment of ‘Do’s and ‘Do-not do’s. They are not related in particular to the Israelites (as are, for example, dietary Kashrut commandments). These ‘Do’s and ‘Do-not do’s are of a universal value, applicable to all aspiring for holiness in their lives.

We refer to verses 16 to 18 of Leviticus 19. They represent some of the ‘Do’s and ‘Do-not do’s, prescribed by Torah as a path to holiness in Chapters 19 and 20. We start with the ‘Do-not do’s.

Do-not do 1 (Verse 16):

“Do not walk around offering your merchandise of slander”.

(Expressed in four words, in the original biblical Hebrew).

In short, do not engage in slander.

We note that slander, in biblical terms, means telling un-pleasant truths about a fellow human being. This is a profound diversion from modern judiciary systems, where slander exclusively means telling un-pleasant lies, about a specific individual or about a group of people. According to Torah, these do not constitute slander. These are simply lies, or falsehoods. In Torah terms, slander exclusively relates to telling truths, unpleasant or embarrassing as they may be.

Do-not do 2 (Verse 16):

“Do not stand still, while your fellow human-being is in a potentially threatening blood-shedding situation. I am Jehovah”.

(First sentence expressed in five words, in the original biblical Hebrew).

Do-not do 3 (Verse 17):

“Do not hate your fellow human-being in your heart”.

Do-not do 4 (Verse 18):

“Do not do wrong in return for wrong-doing committed unto you”.

In short, do not take revenge.

Do-not do 5 (Verse 18):

“Do not reserve resentment”.

We note, that resentment may lead to revenge. This is comparable to coveting (subject of the Tenth Commandment), which may lead to stealing. The Torah commands, in both cases — Eliminate the root-cause: Resentment that may lead to revenge; Coveting that may lead to stealing.

We proceed to the “To do” list in the same small segment (Leviticus 19:16-18).

Do 1 (Verse 17):

“Reproach your fellow human-being lest you carry his sin, on your account”.

In the original Hebrew text, a different interpretation is also possible.

“Reproach your fellow human-being lest he carries a sin, due to you”.

In other words, because you have refrained from reproach, when one was needed, your fellow human-being may carry a sin, namely, become a sinner.

Do 2 (Verse 18):

“Love thy neighbor as yourself. I am Jehovah”.

Five ‘Do-not do’s and two ‘Do’s in a very small segment of Divine prescription to becoming holy. These are a small representative sample.

To become truly holy, the Divine prescription, as articulated in Torah and in the prophets, need to be learned in depth, and then re-learned, and re-learned again. Until this prescription is practiced on a regular basis.

Once this happens, the prescription is engraved as a way of life, the ‘Do’s and ‘Do-not do’s are absorbed to become like second nature.

In the language of Torah, a ‘Do-not do’, which has formerly been observed as Divine command that needs to be fulfilled, is now replaced with “Not being able to do” (for example, Deuteronomy 21:16).

An aspiring individual, wishing to be holy, then no longer merely fulfills a Divine commandment: “Be holy, for I, Jehovah, am holy”.

Rather, he, or she, becomes God-like.

To become like God is an ancient desire. It had formerly been expressed, in Torah, in a perverted way, by Adam and Eve, who desired to be like Elohim (Genesis 3:5). To be Elohim-like means to resemble the Creator, namely, dominate nature.

This time, same desire, to be like God, is expressed differently, materializing the right way. It is expressed as a desire to become Jehovah-like via becoming truly holy.

Why becoming truly holy, Torah fashion, implies becoming Jehovah-like?

Because,

I, Jehovah, am holy”.

Categories
My Research on the Bible and Biblical Hebrew Shorties

Shorty*: The Pandemic — Divine Signal for End of an Era of Free-Will (??)

Jewish biblical prophets continuously relate to the era of free-will as temporary, not everlasting. I have referred to it previously and provided quotes form the Bible (for example, here and here).

Two major conclusions of these sources (and others) are these:

  • Free-will is temporary;
  • You cannot have free-will coupled with the certainty that God exists. The latter, by definition, deprives you of absolute free-will.

A poor analogy (yet herewith pursued) is when one wishes to commit an offence against state law, knowing the police is all around. This knowledge deprives you of absolute free will. There are limitations imposed by the ruler of the environment where you exist. Visible presence of the keepers of the law limits free-will. And a limited free-will, logically and by definition, is no free-will.

What is the most outstanding outcome of the pandemic (apart from threat to one’s own existence)?

Social Distancing

Fellow human beings no longer represent a focus of desire that one wishes to draw close to (whether for favorable, moral, intentions or otherwise). Rather, your fellow human beings pose a threat, a trigger for a fright and then flight (“Social Distancing”).

What does that imply?

We are forced to be on our own — alone with our own tribe (cessation of international traffic), alone with our own family (when state lockdown is imposed), or not-alone with our own self (when individual isolation is imposed). We are then forced to learn our own nature — exercising introspection, learning who we really are, who our family are, what keeps our tribe together.

There is another aspect to how the pandemic forces us to limit our absolute free-will. We no longer have the absolute freedom to “Escape from Freedom” (to borrow a term from Erich Fromm’s book of same title). No longer can we rely on society to think for us (via mass communication channels), making decisions for us, choose for us. Barring absorption in society via “social distancing”, escape from freedom becomes harder to pursue.

A plague in biblical Hebrew is Dever, from the root “to speak”; Not much different from Davar or Diber (the biblical Hebrew singular for The Ten Commandments, Dvarim or Dibrot, respectively; find details in another post on this blog).

If we consider the plague, this lesson in modesty for humankind, as:

  • A Divine signal to prepare for things to come;
  • A Divine signal to be on our own, stop being confused by the society around us, concentrate on our own very “Life Condition”;

If we consider the plague that way, does current pandemic imply that in the near future a catatonic change in our perception of reality is about to happen?

(“For then I will convert to peoples a purified language; that they all call upon the name Jehovah to serve Him shoulder to shoulder”; Zephaniah 3:9)

***************************

  • shorty* is a short post