My Research on the Bible and Biblical Hebrew Podcasts (audio)

Agag, Haman the Agagite, Gog, Magog, Gag — What binds them all together? (Podcast)

On the general concept of “Roof” in the Hebrew Bible, and what does it really signify:

Podcasts (audio)

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

The deeper meaning and implications of the biblical Hebrew Shamayim (Sky; A post of same title may be found here ):

Historical Coincidences My Research on the Bible and Biblical Hebrew

God of History and Verse Number in Torah

In the First Commandment, conveyed by the Divine to the Israelites in Mount Sinai, God “introduces” Himself not as creator of “the Heavens and the Earth” (Genesis 1:1), but as ruler of History.

This complies with Jewish tradition, which asserts that God continuously engages in human affairs, in the history of the created, to implement the unknown and humanly-unknowable Divine Design (refer to my related post: “And Elohim Saw Ki Tov” (“that it was good”)” (Gen. 1) — A Different Viewpoint).

The First Commandment starts:

“I am Jehovah your God, who have brought you out of the Land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage” (Exodus 20:2).

In compliance with this tradition, of Jehovah as God of History, Kabbalah claims that each verse in Torah corresponds to a single Hebrew-calendar year, and the verse consecutive (serial) number in Torah is indication of the Hebrew year, to which the content of the verse relates.

The above is based on introductory comments by Rabbi Benjamin Blech in a lecture of February, 1-st, 2021, a link to which is given below.

In this short post, we list verses from Torah (including some from the afore-cited source), with possible links to historic events that have occurred the same Hebrew year, as the verse serial number. We pursue Rabbi Blech comment that these cannot and should not to be used to predict the future; first, because the full historic significance of a Torah verse can only be comprehensively comprehended only post-factum (namely, after the Hebrew-calendar year, to which the verse supposedly refers, is already part of history); Secondly, because human prophesizing, lacking explicit Divine inspiration and authorization, goes against the most fundamental condition of human existence, namely, Free Will.

Here are some examples (from Rabbi Blech presentation and else):

  1. Historic Event: Nazi Germany executing the “Final Solution” (Holocaust still in full swing, 1944; Jews uprooted from their place of residence to Concentration Camps, mostly in other countries); Hebrew-calendar year: 5704 (1944); 5704-th verse in Torah: “And Jehovah uprooted them from their land in anger, and in fury and in great wrath and cast them into another land, as it is this day” (Deuteronomy 29:27);
  2. Historic Event: End of World War II (also end of Holocaust, now revealed in its full dimensions, with lingering question mark in the minds of people-of-faith – “where was God??”); Hebrew-calendar year: 5705 (1945); 5705-th verse in Torah: “The hidden belong to Jehovah, our God, and the revealed are for us and for our offspring forever, that we may do all the words of this Torah” (Deuteronomy 29:28);
  3. Historic Event: Founding of the State of Israel; Hebrew-calendar year: 5708 (May, 1948); 5708-th verse in Torah: “Then Jehovah your God will restore you from your captivity, and have compassion on you, and will gather you again from all the peoples that Jehovah your God has scattered you” (Deuteronomy 30:3);
  4. Historic Event: Mass Jewish immigration to the State of Israel during its first 3 and a half years of existence, mostly from Moslem Arab countries (“Some 688,000 immigrants came at an average of close to 200,000 a year… As approximately 650,000 Jews lived in Israel at the time … this meant in effect a doubling of the Jewish population”; Source: site of The Jewish Agency for Israel); Hebrew-calendar years: 5709 (1949) – 5712 (1952); 5709&5710-th verses in Torah: “If your outcasts be at the ends of the earth, from there will Jehovah your God gather you and from there will He fetch you; And Jehovah your God will bring you into the land which your fathers possessed, and you shall possess it, and He will prosper you and multiply you more than your fathers” (Deuteronomy 30:4-5);

Comment: Based on lecture of Feb 1, 2021:

Kabbalah: Can It Predict the Future? (Ft. Rabbi Benjamin Blech)

Historical Coincidences My Research on the Bible and Biblical Hebrew

Signature of Evil — “M” and “N” Combination in Names of Willing Executioners of the Jewish People (Bible perspective)

Following the sin of eating of the forbidden fruit, God asks Adam (original Hebrew followed by English):

וַיֹּאמֶר מִי הִגִּיד לְךָ כִּי עֵירֹם אָתָּה הֲמִן-הָעֵץ אֲשֶׁר צִוִּיתִיךָ לְבִלְתִּי אֲכָל-מִמֶּנּוּ אָכָלְתָּ

(בראשית ג: י”א)

“And He said: Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten of the tree of which I commanded you that you should not eat?”

(Genesis 3:11)

The Hebrew word marked in red comprises three Hebrew letters:

{Hei (ה), Mem (מ,ם), Nun (נ,ן)}

Note that two of the letters appear in two forms: the first (read right to left) — as regularly written; the second — as it appears at the end of a Hebrew word (there are altogether five such Hebrew letters).

Surprisingly, the same word, marked in red above, appears in exactly same form (though pronounced differently) elsewhere in the Bible. This is the name of a biblical hero, Haman, who had “the privilege” of being the first person on Planet Earth to conceive, publicly declare and actively planning executing the “Final Solution” on the Jewish people. The book of Esther relates how Haman had initiated a plot to murder all Jews in all provinces of the kingdom of the Persian King Ahasuerus: “Letters were sent by couriers to all the king’s provinces, to destroy, to slay, and to annihilate all Jews, young and old, women and children, in one day, the thirteenth day of the twelfth month, which is the month of Adar … And the king and Haman sat down to drink” (Esther 3:13, 15). How very familiar…

Jewish Bible scholars failed-not noticing the astounding similarity between the above two words, similarly written but pronounced differently, while carrying absolutely different meanings:

 ” המן מן התורה מנין? שנאמר (בראשית ג, יא) “המן-העץ

(תלמוד בבלי, חולין קל”ט-ב)

“Haman from the Torah, how do we know that? As it is written (Gen. 3:11) “the tree of which” (Babylon Talmud, Hulin, 139-2).

It is an incredible coincidence that Haman found his death by being hung on a tree (Esther 7:10), while tree is mentioned, adjacent to “his name”, in Genesis 3:11.

The incredible coincidences, however, do not end there. They only start there…

Observing appearance of the last two letters in Haman’s name, “M” and “N” (adjacent to one another, when written in Hebrew), in names of historic foes of the Jewish people, those plotting to annihilate the Jewish people or its modern-day representative, the State of Israel — that combination of letters is incredibly represented therein, disproportionately and abundantly. Furthemore, the same order of the letters, as in Haman, is preserved throughout, without exception.


  • Haman;
  • Nazi Germany;
  • Eichmann (Nazi officer in charge of executing the Final Solution (exterminating six million Jews) in Nazi Germany);
  • Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini (father of the Iranian Islamic Revolution and its first Supreme Leader, 1979-1989);
  • Ayatollah Ali Khamenei (Second Supreme Leader, 1989 to present);
  • General Qassim Soleimani (chief architect of Iranian expansion in the Middle East, arch-terrorist assassinated via targeted-killing by USA, Friday, January 3 (US time), 2020).

A direct linkage between the sin of Adam and Eve (relating to God by Elohim, neglecting Jehovah), and its ultimate products — Haman, Eichmann and Soleimani.

(refer also to Hebrew Samech and Its Occurrence in Names of Jewish-Nation Enemies)

Historical Coincidences My Research on the Bible and Biblical Hebrew

Kavod — The Most Peculiar Word in Biblical Hebrew

Link to podcast-audio:

“Kavod – the most peculiar word in biblical Hebrew” (Podcast-audio)

Kavod in modern Hebrew means honor, respect or glory. A person may show Kavod to his fellow human being, and a military medal of honor, bestowed unto a military service person, is a medal of Kavod (Ot Kavod).

The word appears in the Jewish Bible no less than 199 times. Numerous times it appears therein in the same sense as in modern spoken Hebrew. Examples:

  • “Akhan, My son, give, I pray thee, respect to Jehovah, God of Israel..” (Joshua 7:19);
  • “And on that day it shall come to pass that the glory of Jacob shall fade..” (Isaiah 17:4);
  • “The Heavens declare the glory of God..” (Psalms 19:2).

Yet, this is only one sense with which Kavod appears in the Bible and it is not the most frequent one. A more frequent usage does not relate at all to the created giving glory to the Creator. Rather, it relates to Kavod as intrinsically linked to the Divine. And here we encounter the impossible combination of words:

Jehovah’s Kavod.

What does that mean?

Jewish bible interpreters have attempted, throughout the ages, to impart plausible meaning to this bizarre idiom; however, they have always relied on the traditional sense of “honor” or “respect” or “glory”. In most Bible translations (from biblical Hebrew), “Jehovah’s Kavod” translates into “Jehovah’s glory”.

As we shall soon realize, all those interpretations fall short of satisfactorily explaining most usages of this combination of words in the Jewish Hebrew Bible.

Thus, we are left helpless figuring out and imparting any sensible meaning to this bizarre expression; That is, until we scrutinize instances where it appears, and try to integrate these with scientific knowledge we currently possess about the universe. Once we do that, stunning amazement and deep appreciation for Jehovah’s Kavod follows.

Let us start with a few examples:

  • When Moses expresses desire to learn of Jehovah’s ways in leading His world, he asks: “Please show me Kevodcha” (“Your Kavod”). The Divine response: “..I will make all my goodness pass before thee, and I will proclaim the name of the Lord before thee; and will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and show mercy on whom I will show mercy. And He said, thou cannot see my face for no man shall see me and live” (Exodus 33:18-20);
  • Prophet Isaiah explains why the world exists (seemingly the only time the Bible relates so explicitly to this question): “All that can be named, by My Name and for my Kavod I have created it, I have formed it, I have even made it” (Isaiah 43:7);
  • Prophet Isaiah delivers an account of his vision, hearing the Seraphim crying to each other, saying: “…Holy , Holy, Holy is the Lord of hosts, the whole earth is full of his Kavod” (Isaiah 6:3).

How can we settle the first example with the last, while they seem so much at odds and unrelated to one another?

In the first example, Moses obviously requests to learn how the Divine is leading His world. While the response Moses gets is unsatisfactory (“I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious”), the Divine response affirms that what Moses really desired in his request (“Show me your Kavod”) is to learn the ways by which God is leading His world. No reference whatsoever to God’s glory, as the latter is seemingly implied by the last example!!

Jewish tradition makes a reasonable distinction between two types of Divine leadership of the universe: By Law-of-Nature and by Divine Intervention (often explicitly expressed on a personal level as Divine Providence, or Hashgachah Pratit).

The former, Law-of-Nature, relates to the Ten Divine “sayings” of Genesis Creation narrative (Genesis 1). Later, after Noah’s flood, God re-assures humankind that Law-of-Nature exists and that it is ever-lasting: “While the earth remains, seed time and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night would not cease” (Genesis 8:22).

The latter, Divine Intervention, relates to divine intervention in the world to exercise a system of justice: “..Would not the Judge of all the earth do Justice?” (Gen. 18:25). However, this Divine intervention is mitigated by Divine graciousness and mercy, as the former quote of God’s response to Moses has shown. Furthermore, leadership by Divine intervention is not restricted to the confines of Law-of-Nature; Occasionally, it operates contrary to Law-of-Nature, as the Ten plagues of Egypt (Exodus 7:20-12:30) testify.

Let us assume that indeed Jehovah’s Kavod is an overall term for the two basic Divine leaderships of the universe: By Law-of-Nature and by Divine intervention.

Is there indication for Law-of-Nature in Jehovah’s Kavod?

Is there indication for Divine intervention (or Divine moral code) in Jehovah’s Kavod?

Expressed differently: Can one find evidence, within the term itself, that Jehovah’s Kavod indeed represents the double-faceted Divine leadership of the world?

Surprisingly, the answer is a resounding YES.

Let us address the former first. As quoted earlier, prophet Isaiah describes his vision of Seraphim crying to each other, saying: “the whole Eretz is full of his Kavod.” (Isaiah 6:3). However, as addressed in my book (Section 14.1, p. 201), Eretz (earth in biblical Hebrew) implies either “world” or “Earth”. Given current scientific knowledge, we may therefore re-translate Isaiah thus: “..Holy , Holy, Holy is the Lord of hosts, the whole universe is permeated with his Kavod.” (Isaiah 6:3).

Is there any hint in Jehovah’s Kavod for Law-of-Nature, something that, by modern science, permeates the whole universe?

We can think of one answer only:

The gravitation force!! (in modern spoken Hebrew, force of Kevidah).

By Einstein’s general theory of relativity, the gravitation field, generated by any celestial mass (like galaxies and stars), determines the most fundamental properties of the four-dimensional space-time, as we experience it in daily life and as we observe throughout the universe via astronomy, aided by scientific theory (Einstein’s General Theory of Relativity, with succeeding derivatives up to the present Super-string theory). There is indeed nothing else that we can state permeates the whole universe.

And how do we, mere Earth-bound mortals, experience gravitation force?

By feeling that every physical object, large and small, is heavy, carries weight. We nowadays are aware that this sensation of physical articles being heavy is due to gravitation force. That is how we experience it in our every-day life. Additionally, by modern science, we have learned that the gravitation force (indeed gravitational field) determines the fundamental properties of the four-dimensional space-time continuum, in which we live, and the gravitational field indeed permeates the whole universe.


  • If Jehovah’s Kavod expresses modes of Divine leadership of the universe (as Moses used the term in his request to God, “Show me thy Kavod”);
  • And if one of the two modes of leadership, by Jewish tradition, is Law-of-Nature;
  • And if per modern science, the most central and fundamental force-of-nature to determine the basic properties of the space-time continuum, permeating the whole universe, is the gravitation force;

Given all that, does Jehovah’s Kavod in any way points to the gravitational force???

Amazingly, Biblical Hebrew makes the impossible and implausible link between two utterly non-related concepts: Jehovah’s presence in the world via Law-of-Nature, and the most basic force of the universe, the most influential on observed Law-of-Nature, only known by modern science— the gravitation force.

Heavy, in biblical Hebrew, is Kaved (same root as Kavod, implausible as this may sound). Examples (altogether 41 instances of Kaved in the Bible imply heavy):

“Behold, tomorrow about this time I will rain heavy hail, the like of which has not been in Egypt since its foundation until now” (Exodus 9:18,24);

“And now my father had burdened you with a heavy yoke and I will add to your yoke..” (1 Kings 12:11).

We finally address the second question, put forward earlier:

Is Jehovah’s Kavod also indicative of Jehovah’s leadership via Divine intervention, imposing the set of moral Divine commandments via a system of justice operating within the confines of free-will?

The answer is similar to that for the previous question: As Jehovah’s Kavod indicates a major Law-of-Nature (Gravitation Law), so it hints at a major Divine commandment, the fifth commandment, which starts with Kabed (meaning honor):

Kabed thy father and thy mother” (Exodus 20:12; Deuteronomy 5:16).

We summarize:

  • Jehovah’s Kavod, mostly wrongly interpreted to-date as Jehovah’s glory, has been shown in this post to really mean, consistent with Jewish tradition, Jehovah’s double-faceted leadership of the universe;
  • It is completely incomprehensible why biblical Hebrew should link “glory” with… ”heavy” (as both derive from same linguistic root);
  • Aided by modern science, and pursuing the new interpretation of Jehovah’s Kavod, an incredible link has been established between Kavod and Kaved (both emanating from same biblical Hebrew root);
  • Consistent with the new interpretation, Jehovah’s Kavod is appropriately indicative of both force of gravity (leadership by Law-of-Nature) and of the Ten Commandments (leadership by Divine intervention).

Personal confession: Mind boggling…


Comment [1]  (added April 28, 2019): The three-letter Hebrew root of Kavod (and related words) is “כ.ב.ד” (K.B.D). The gematria value of this root is the same as Jehovah (26). This is perhaps further evidence that Kavod in biblical Hebrew is indeed a general term for all modes by which the Divine manifests its presence in the world.

Comment [2] (added June, 17, 2020): The Coronavirus pandemic, denoted by WHO (World Health Organiztion) — COVID-19 (COronaVIrus Disease-2019), is indicative of, sounds like — Kavod (a stunning insight by Avinoam Ben-Mordechai); Read a separate post about the pandemic here.

Comment [3] (added June, 19, 2020): In the most prominent biblical demonstration of Divine intervention in the affairs of humankind (Divine leadership, Kavod), the Ten Plagues of Egypt, the word Kavod, with variations, appears Ten Times (within only three chapters!). Five times the word describes, as adjective, four of the plagues (“natural” disasters), stating that they were “heavy”; the other five times, Kavod describes Pharaoh’s “heavy” heart, refusing “Let My People Go”. Here is the list in Exodus (Chapter: Verse):

{ (8:11), (8:20), (8:28), (9:3), (9:7), (9:18), (9:24), (9:34), (10:1), (10:14) }.


Free Will— The Act of Separating and Choosing

The essence of being human is exercising free will. This is the act by which we continuously create ourselves and form our personality and character.

The Divine has created mankind (“So God created mankind in his own image…”, Genesis 1:27); but He has also formed it (“And the Lord God formed mankind of the dust of the ground…”, Genesis 2:7). We, human beings, whether we wish it or not, are doomed throughout our lives to repeat, via exercising free will, the two acts of creating (establishing a solid link between soul and body, while we grow) and forming.

What is the needed environment for human beings to be able to exercise their free-will?

There are two conditions (necessary and sufficient):

[1] Existence of “Good” and “Bad” mixed together (as in “The Tree of Knowledge, good and bad”, Genesis 2:9);

[2] Hidden-ness of God and the concealment of God’s hidden-ness.

Prophet Isaiah delivers succinct and stunning expression to the existence of the first condition:

“That men may know from the rising of the sun to its setting that there is none besides me— I am Jehovah and there is no one else; Forming light and creating darkness, making peace and creating the bad, I Jehovah am doing all these” (Isaiah 45:6-7).

Note that creating (“something from nothing”) precedes forming ((“imprinting form on the created”), just as forming precedes making. Yet prophet Isaiah sets absence of light (darkness) and the bad (the harmful, the evil) at a level higher than that of light— the former were created, the latter was “just” formed.

Existence of the second condition, a daily human experience revealed in countless debates on whether God exists, is evidenced both by biblical Hebrew and by the Bible. In biblical Hebrew, “World” (Olam) derives from same root as all Hebrew words pointing to concealment. Examples: Ta’aluma (Mystery); He’almut (disappearance); Ne’elam (unknown (noun), as in an algebraic equation); Alum (secret, adj.). In other words, the whole world is testimony to the hidden-ness of God. Prophet Isaiah repeats same motive:

“Indeed, thou are a God who hides thyself, O God of Israel, savior” (Isaiah 45:15).

Concealment of God, however, is itself concealed (“Does God exist?”):

“And I will surely hide my face on that day…” (Haster Astir; Deuteronomy 31:18).

The repeat of same root twice (in two consecutive words) is traditionally interpreted by Jewish scholars as implying concealment of the concealment, an integrated fact of life that we all have probably experienced at one time or another throughout our lives (“Does God exist?”).

Having studied the two conditions for the existence of free-will, the next question to ask is:

What are the limitations to exercising free-will and what does the latter entail?

We continuously live in two worlds, intermingled and most often inseparable and indistinguishable from one another: “World of Law-of-Nature” and “World of Randomness”. We can exercise free-will only in an environment that allows choice, namely, in the “World of Randomness”. Unlike in the “World of Law-of-Nature”, where external constraints force us to behave in certain ways (and not others, namely, no free choice is available), in the “World of Randomness”, where randomness prevails, we are free to exercise whatever our heart desires. It is only then, in the “World of randomness”, that we become an agent of our own free will.

What exercising free-will is comprised of? It comprises two actions:



We need to separate “Good” from “Bad”, before choosing. Most often in our daily lives, the good and the bad are intermingled to a degree that the two can rarely be told apart; Therefore, we need to separate before choosing. God created darkness (per prophet Isaiah), thereby allowing the good and the bad in our world to co-exist, mixed. Consider the biblical Hebrew word for “evening” (as in “…and there was evening and there was morning…”; Genesis 1:5, for example). The Hebrew word derives from same Hebrew root used for mixing (as in “mixture”). The “Tree of Knowledge good and bad” also implies mixed together. In biblical terms, one may allegorically assert that we all have eaten of “The Tree of Knowledge, good and bad”, where “Good” and “Bad” are mixed together in the same fruit. And since then, “Good” and “Bad” have become intermingled in our body and soul, delivering us our mission in life to grow and mature and create ourselves and form our personality and character, all via the process of separating (“Good” from “Bad”) and then choosing.

The act of separating (good from bad) is two-folded and it is expressed differently in the two worlds we inhabit:

  • In the “World of Law-of-Nature”, we need to separate “good” from “bad” because absent this separation we may choose the “bad”, thereby harming our well-being and possibly even endangering our life. Thus, buying fruit in the supermarket, we are careful to separate good apples from the bad ones (rotten apples) so that we can then make the correct choice of purchasing good apples only, benefiting our health and well-being. Separation is also inherent to many of our bodily processes (like in the kidney);
  • In the “World of Randomness”, the act of separating good from bad (or “good” from “evil”, as commonly used in biblical parlance) is a much harder task. Unlike in the “World of Law-of-Nature”, where science assists us in forming clear distinction and separation between the good and the bad, we do not easily, clearly and immediately differentiate between the two in the “World of Randomness”. Let us demonstrate with a simple example. I am selling a used car, aware that the car carries a certain defect. I can inform the buyer about it or I can inform her not. In the latter case, the thinking goes like this: “I have allowed the buyer to inspect and check the car thoroughly, have I not? However, the defect was not exposed. It is the buyer’s responsibility to identify the defect, not mine, is it not?”. Such thinking testifies to the daily blurring, in the “World of Randomness”, of “good” and “bad” (or “good” and “evil”, in biblical terms). Therefore, Jewish Torah explicitly instructs: “Thou shalt not curse the deaf, nor GIVE a stumbling block to the blind…” (Leviticus 19:14). In other words, one cannot hide behind an argument like the one just articulated. It is the seller’s responsibility to turn the blind into non-blind by alerting the buyer to the car’s defect.

Once we understand the act of separation in the two worlds, and grasp the role of science in assisting us separating in the “World of Law-of-Nature”, how do we separate and choose right in the “World of Randomness”?

Moses, speaking to the Children of Israel on behalf of the Divine, set to them clear separation and clear choice:

* Separation: “Behold, I have given thee this day life and the good, and death and the bad” (Deuteronomy 30:15);

* Choosing: “I call upon heaven and earth to witness this day against you that I have set before thee life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore, choose life that both thou and thy seed may live” (Deuteronomy 30:19).

Is free-will an endowment of the human species, granted to it for eternity?

Not according to Scripture. The free-will act bestowed on humankind, that of separating and choosing, has a limited life-span. It is not eternal. Time will come when God will reveal Himself and then free-will, by definition, will be no more:

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

“And Jehovah will be king over all the earth; on that day Jehovah will be one and his name One” (Zechariah 14:7).

Furthermore, not only the task of separating and choosing no longer be in the hands of mankind; At End-Times, the Divine will conduct a process of separation of His own; However, the separation process will not be between “Good” and “Evil” (as the latter exists in the “World of Randomness”), but rather between the righteous and the evil (who exist amidst humankind):

“I will also turn my hand against thee, and will purge away your dross as with lye and remove all thy alloy” (Isaiah 1:25);

“Therefore, thus says the Lord of hosts: Behold, I will smelt them and try them…” (Jeremiah 9:6);

“As silver is melted in the midst of the furnace, so shall you be melted in the midst of it…” (Ezekiel 22:22);

“I will bring the third part through the fire, and refine them as one refines silver and test them as one tests gold…” (Zechariah 13:9);

“But who may abide the day of his coming? and who shall stand when He appears? For He is like a refiner’s fire and like the washers’ soap; and He shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver…” (Malachi 3:2);

“Many will be purged, and purified and refined…” (Daniel 12:10).





My Research on the Bible and Biblical Hebrew Videos

Biblical Hebrew Linkage to Physical Reality (Video; Hebrew, English captions)

A possible linkage between biblical Hebrew and physical reality is discussed in this new video, based on lecture delivered by Professor Haim Shore at Bar-Ilan University,  November 2015, now with English captions:

Biblical Hebrew Linkage to Physical Reality -Prof. Haim Shore (Hebrew with English captions)


My Research on the Bible and Biblical Hebrew Videos

One-on-One with Avi Ben Mordechai and Haim Shore (Three half-hour episodes)

Below are links to three videos, produced by Avi Ben-Mordechai, following our three-hour talk during the meeting that took place at the office of the university:

Episode 1:

Episode 2:

Episode 3:

Episode 1 maintains a certain line-of-thought conveyed to the viewer from beginning to end. The other two comprise short excerpts from our talk about various subjects that came up during the conversation.

No pre-publication review of the produced videos had been done on my part.

I am indebted to Avi Ben-Mordechai for kindly allowing me to post these videos in public on my YouTube personal channel.


General My Research on the Bible and Biblical Hebrew

Present-Day Double Message of the Forbidden Fruit

The forbidden fruit, in Adam and Eve Genesis narrative, carries a double message for our time.

As humans we experience two worlds: The “World of Law-of-Nature” and the “World of Randomness”. Violating law in the former incurs immediate penalty. In the latter world, we are uncertain of the consequence of our decisions and therefore it is in this world solely that we may exercise free will. I have addressed this distinction at some length previously (for example, here and here) and therefore will not elaborate on it further here.

The relevance to our days and time of the sin of eating of the forbidden fruit, as described in Genesis (3: 1-19), had been discussed by me in a separate post. Here I expand on that and address the double message conveyed by the story of Adam and Eve eating from the forbidden “Tree of Knowledge, Good and Bad” (Etz ha-Daat, Tov ve-Ra), or “Good and Evil” (as commonly translated, erroneously in my opinion).

Studying present-day relevance of the forbidden fruit, particularly with regard to the two worlds, as just described, reveals stunning new insights. Let us start by elaborating on the true meaning of the Hebrew Daat (knowledge).

There are two modes of learning (obtaining knowledge), which in biblical Hebrew are denoted by two separate terms: One may learn by absorbing new information, utterly dis-associated from the source of knowledge; or one may learn (and know) by experiencing, by connecting to the source of knowledge. An example for the first mode is conducting research on the Internet. No personal experiencing of the subject of learning is involved. An example for the latter mode is touring a mountainous area, as a result of which one is acquainted, connected, knowing by personal experience, the visited area.

The Bible is permeated aplenty with the distinction between “Acquiring knowledge” (Haskalah) and “Knowing by Experiencing”, or “Knowing by Connecting” (Daat). For example, prophet Jeremiah calls, in the name of the Divine: “Thus says Jehovah: “Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, neither let the mighty man glory in his might, let not the rich man glory in his riches; but let him that glories glory in this – Haskel (“Acquiring knowledge”) and Yadoa Oti (“Knowing Me”) that I am Jehovah exercising grace, justice and righteousness in the land, for in these I delight”, so says Jehovah” (Jeremiah 9:22-23). And elsewhere in the Bible: “He who keeps the commandment shall experience no evil thing (Lo yeda davar ra); and a wise man’s heart would discern (“Yeda”) both time and method” (Ecclesiastes 5:5). And similarly: “And Adam once more knew (Va-yeda Adam od) his wife and she bore a child and she called his name Shet” (Genesis 4:25). Likewise, in modern day Hebrew we wish a bereaved family Lo tedeo od machov (“You shall know pain no more”). Knowing here is devoid of any of the common sense reserved for knowledge, but everything to do with personal experiencing.

Given these sources and others, it is essential that we take note that the forbidden tree is not a tree of wisdom, neither a tree of understanding or of advice. No. This is a tree of “Knowing by Experiencing”, Etz ha-Daat, which spells a two-stage learning process: First we experience and then we internalize that experience so that we are capable of telling apart the “bad” from the “good”. The first stage of the learning process is prone to pain and suffering because only after experiencing the “good” and the “bad” may one tell them apart. Not a moment earlier. Adam and Eve, not privy to the agony associated with experiencing the “bad”, are eager to eat of the forbidden fruit noticing only the end result— that they will be like Elohim (God as creator). In modern day parlance, such a fake imaginary process of learning is called “Instant Learning”

But what is “Good” and “Bad”?

Given the two worlds that we constantly experience in our lives, the “World of Law-of-Nature” and the “World of Randomness”, it is obvious that one needs to specify “Good and Bad” in terms of both worlds. Not coincidentally, the narrator of the story of the sin of Adam and Eve already relates to the Divine only by the double name, Elohim-Jehovah, imparting the two aspects of leadership that the Divine exercise in His world: Leadership by Law-of-Nature (scientifically exposed, “public” leadership by the creator, Elohim); and the hidden, concealed leadership by Jehovah in the world of free-will, in the seemingly “World of Randomness”. There is perhaps no better demonstration for the latter than the famous dialogue between Abraham and Jehovah:

“And Abraham drew near and said:” Wilt thou also destroy the righteous with the wicked?  .. Shall not the Judge of all the Earth do justice?”; And Jehovah said: “If I find in Sodom fifty just men within the city then I will spare the whole place for their sakes” (Genesis 18:23, 25-26).

But fifty righteous men were not found, neither ten. And the people of Sodom were puzzled, probably to their last moments, why the world is so random and unexplainable. As were probably the residents of the corrupt “Sodom-like” ancient Pompeii, destroyed by random by mother-nature at 79 AD.

“Good and Bad” in the story of eating of the forbidden fruit therefore carries double meanings: “Good” and “Bad” in the physical world, which is governed by “Law of Nature” (imprinted on nature by Elohim, the creator); and “Good” and “Bad” in the “World of Randomness”, governed by “Law of Justice and Grace” (emanating from Jehovah, ultimate source of morality):

“For thus says Jehovah, creator of the Heavens, he is the Elohim that has formed the Earth and has made it”; Isaiah 45:18).

The double message of the “Tree of Knowledge” sounds loud and clear for our times:

Message 1: Not all that can be experienced in the physical world, in the “World of Law-of-Nature”, is allowed.

There is a spiritual dimension to our existence as human beings that imposes limitations on our behavior in the physical world and on what we may experience. Eating of the “Tree of Knowledge”, supposedly the most natural and beneficial thing to do, is not without boundaries. And once these are crossed, seemingly without inflicting physical harm, the spiritual dimension may adversely be affected, ultimately causing harm also in the physical world (due to loss of ability to exercise free will in the “World of Randomness”). This realization may at times be extremely excruciating and agonizing. Ask any ex-alcoholic, or ex-narcotics-addict, who had gone through rehabilitation, and you may get a faint idea what the process of “knowing by experiencing” may look like once the spiritual dimension of our existence is ignored.

(Again we note that Adam and Eve’s idea is limited, nearly contrary to reality: According to their perception, eating of the forbidden fruit would educate them how to distinguish “the bad” from “the good” in the physical world so that they would instantly be Elohim-like; all the while being unaware of the pain and suffering that this prolonged learning process, ignoring the spiritual dimension, may entail.)

Message 2: To live life fully, it is not sufficient to distinguish “Good” from “Bad” within Law-of-Nature only.

The “World of Randomness”, where free-will is exercised, has its own “Good” and “Bad”, decided by the “Law” that prevails in this world (law of morality, grace and righteousness; or law of Karma, as preached in some religions). And that law, relating to our spiritual dimension, should be heeded, learned and internalized no less than the “visible”, scientifically validated, Law-of-Nature, that we are so intent and careful on pursuing every single moment of our lives on this planet.



Shorty*: The Human Desire to be like God

At the core of all human endeavors is the burning desire to be like God. The desire is already expressed in the third chapter of Genesis:  “For God knows that on the day you eat of it” (of the Fruit of Knowledge) “then your eyes shall be opened and you shall be as God..” (Genesis 3:5).

But what does it mean to be like God?

The serpent expresses it explicitly: “You shall be like Elohim, knowing good and bad” (Genesis 3:5)  (Elohim is Hebrew for God as the creator).

Jewish prophets have incessantly preached differently:

“I am Jehovah speaking righteousness, I declare things that are right” (Isaiah 45:19) (Jehovah is Hebrew for God as source of morality and virtues).

Human history is the tale of nations and individuals seeking to be as powerful as Elohim via dominating resources (whether of knowledge, of humans beings (erroneously perceived as resource) or of physical properties).

Human history is also a tale of nations and individuals ignoring the message of the Jewish prophets that to be like God also means to be like Jehovah

(all the while concurrently harming the carriers of this inconvenient message).


* A “Shorty” is a newly invented word for a new idea or thought, expressed as shortly as possible..