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They say that if you repeat something often enough people will begin to believe it. In this week’s portion of the Torah we are presented with two separate, yet extremely important, stories: Joseph in Egypt and Judah & Tamar. Both stories deal with sex and in neither one does anyone “cross over” anything. Thus, these stories just serve to provide more evidence that the correct translation of the name: “Hebrews” is: “The Pregnant People” (i.e. those who have “the seed of God” planted within them).
One of the major themes I personally am drawn to is the misinterpretation by the rabbis of the prohibition against cooking a young goat in its mother’s milk. In both stories of this week’s reading we see that: “the goat” is associated with: “deception” and here we must ask: Why was a goat selected? Of course, you could simply same that’s what happened and the Torah is merely relaying to us events as they really happened. In my opinion this is absolute nonsense. The world was not created in 6 days, 6000 years ago and in the 1950’s 400,000 Chinese soldiers successfully used human wave tactics against American tanks, machine guns and jet fighters. So how could 600,000 Israelite soldiers be turned back at the borders of the Promised Land by a small local tribe armed with bows, arrows, swords and spears?
The brothers of Joseph could have dipped his coat in the blood of any animal. The Torah selects the goat for the same reason that we are told that Rebecca selected a goat to substitute for the meat of Esau’s hunt (Isaac did not request from Esau a specific animal, so why did Rebecca ask Jacob to bring her 2 goats? Why not one cow?). Likewise, Judah, we are told, was going to have his sheep sheared. Why did Tamar request a goat? Won’t it have been more logical for her to have requested a lamb?
The goat was selected because the Hebrew word for: “meat” is the root of the Hebrew word for: “preaching”. In ancient times: “each animal” was associated with: “a different type of teaching”, thus we have “pure” and “un-pure” meat (the terms: “clean” and “un clean” when referring to food are incorrect. The idea being expressed here is how close the teaching reflects the teachings of God and has nothing to do with making the body clean). The “goat” then reflects: “a teaching which is deceptive in nature, yet true”, otherwise it would be forbidden to eat goat’s meat.
Milk is something that comes from the female’s breast and in Hebrew the word for: “breast”, the word for: “spirit” and the word for: “field”, all share the same root. In the New Testament, Paul of Tarsus, before becoming a Christian, was a student of Rabbi Gamiel. He told his students that: “milk” represented: “easy to understand spiritual teachings” while “meat” represented: “teachings more difficult to understand”. Thus, even in modern times we speak of: “digesting material” when referring to books or manuals.
Therefore, the prohibition against cooking a young goat in its mother’s milk has to do with making deceptive teachings “more palatable” by improving both their “taste” and “digestibility” by mixing them with easy to understand spiritual teachings (It has absolutely nothing to do with eating cheeseburgers !!!). If the Torah wanted to forbid the eating or mixing of all types of meat with all types of dairy products then it would not have specifically mentioned: 1) a young goat 2) cooking 3) its mother’s milk. Instead it would have said: don’t eat any form of milk with any type of meat. Since this specific formula of: 1) goat, 2) cooking and 3) mother’s milk is stated twice then it cannot be an accident.
The important element here as it relates to this week’s portion of the Torah is that we are told Joseph arrives in Egypt with a camel caravan of spices and is sold to Potiphar who is clearly described as: “a cook” (captain of the guards is a mistranslation). Thus, Joseph as the select of God and the son of Jacob has a great deal of religious education and understanding. Since we mentioned “meat” is a metaphor for: “preaching”, then things like: “spices” and: “cooking” are skills or elements which improve the quality of one’s sermon (even today we still speak of: “spicing up” a talk or a lecture). Thus when Rebecca prepared Isaac’s meal she did both: a) she’d “‘cooked’ the goats” and b) prepared: “a ‘savory’ dish”.
Thus food plays an important part throughout the story of Joseph. First he is sold to: “the cook” and then, later in prison, he comes into contact with Pharaoh’s “baker’ and “wine steward”. What is crucial to understanding all these stories is that in the Old Testament (as well as the New Testament), “food” always represents: “knowledge” and: “people who work in fields” are: “scholars”, so that even today people ask: “what is your field of study”. Another important aspect to consider is in the New Testament when Martha complains to Jesus that her sister Mary is not helping her “prepare food” in the kitchen.
In this week’s portion of the Torah we are also presented with the subject of: “clothes” which are really metaphors for: “the source of one’s beliefs” (in modern times we can still determine a person’s religious beliefs by their clothes). What’s interesting about Joseph’s clothes is that twice they are used to convince somebody about something concerning Joseph which is not true.
In the story of the Garden of Eden, Adam and Eve dress themselves with fig leaves, but God changes their clothes to animal skins. The reason they chose fig leaves is the “fruit” is a metaphor for: “knowledge” (tree of knowledge….) and in the book of Judges Gideon’s son tells a parable in which the fig is described as: “a good fruit”. Since “God is good”, Adam and Eve were attempting to make themselves appear to be sources of knowledge about God. Even in modern medicine: “understanding” is associated with “life” and “lack of understanding” (i.e. brain death) is used to determine: “legal death”. Thus God told Adam that if he ate of the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil he would: “die the same day”.
There are two elements here:
1)As mentioned “meat” is the root of “preaching” and: “death” is associated with: “lack of understanding”. God by dressing Adam in Eve in the skins of: “dead meat” (i.e. dead animals) was in effect saying: “the source of these people’s religious beliefs is preachings of little understanding”
2)Joseph tells the baker and the wine steward that “days”, “branches” and “baskets” all represent the same thing. In the New Testament Jesus compares: “his disciples” to: “branches” and: “prophets” to: “trees”. Baskets are usually used to carry bread or other wheat products and, as noted, “the Torah is the bread of life”. Hence, “a day” is a metaphor for: “a source of knowledge”, but in this particular case it represents: “a lesson” or: “a level of understanding”. So God was saying to Adam: “If you study this forbidden knowledge (i.e. fruit) then you will be frozen at a certain level of limited understanding (i.e. you will be dead) and I the earth will provide you with only small amounts of food ( i.e. knowledge)”.
The last element of this week’s portion is: “dreams”. Joseph has his own dreams and he is an interpreter of dreams. Joseph says that only God provides the interpretations of dreams, but then tells the baker and the wine steward to reveal their dreams to him. Obviously then, Joseph is like the voice of God. This, I believe, is because the chronological order of birth of Jacob’s children is irrelevant. What is important is the status of his wives and Leah is the 1st wife, hence her 6 sons are the 1st six sons. Rachel is the 2nd wife, hence her 2 sons should be considered sons number: “7” and: “8”. If Joseph is the 7th son, then he is like the Sabbath and what Joseph is telling us is that on the Sabbath god will speak to those who “rest” and “stop working in the fields of men”.
Thus, when we compare the 6 sons of Leah, to the 6 days of creation and to the 6 steps leading up to the throne of King Solomon what we can then begin to see is that God has provided men with: “the school of the earth”. There are 6 levels of understanding that men must attain thru their own works ( i.e. the rabbis are right: scholarship is important and “Mount Sinai” can be translated as: “the high level of scholarship). Once man has obtained the 6th level then he must stop trying to lift himself up to even higher levels thru his own efforts. He must acknowledge the superiority of God, stop studying and allow God to provide the final level of understanding. Thus Solomon was “the wisest of all men” and he dispensed his knowledge from the 7th level of the throne.
When men sleep, in effect, they have stopped working and are resting. Dreams are lessons from Gods and on the Sabbath God will provide the answers to questions. So as noted, the rabbis are right and scholarship is important, but they are wrong when they insist that “scholarship alone” is able to bring men up to the highest levels of understanding.

 

 

 

In
this week’s portion of the Torah we continue with the story of the encounter
between Jacob and his brother Esau. Why this story is split in two is beyond me
and it would seem to have been better to have begun this week’s section just
after the separation of Jacob and Laban. Regardless, what we see in this story
is that Jacob fears Esau may be seeking revenge and as a result he sends gifts
and divides his family into groups in order of importance to him (thus Rachel
and Joseph remain in the rear).

It
is my contention when reading the Old Testament (as well as the New Testament)
that we must remember we are not reading: “The Wall Street Journal”.
Hence, all stories about: “wealth”, “herds”,
“slaves”, etc. etc. have to do with: “education” concerning
the ways of God. Thus we have the often misquoted statement that: “Money
is the root of all evil” which in reality states: “The craving for
money is the root of all evil”. What must be understood in the Old
Testament, and especially in all the stories surrounding Jacob, is that
“money” represents “teachings” and “each herd of
animals” represents “a difference aspect of preaching about
religion”. “Slaves” represent: “religious scholars
compelled to study the new material” and “land and fields”
represent: “religious schools”.

It
is my personal belief that when we read the Old Testament in Hebrew it becomes
very obvious that Yom Kippur has nothing what so ever to do with fasting or
requesting forgiveness for bad behavior. What it says in Hebrew is that on Yom
Kippur we should: “impoverish the soul”. What this means, in my
opinion, is that: “we must disassociate ourselves from all our beliefs
(especially those of men) and, each year approach God with no preconceived
ideas”. This then is what I believe we are seeing in this week’s portion
with Jacob at “Machanaim”, which means: “two camps”. Jacob
sends all his possessions over to the other side of the river and, only then,
begins his struggle with God’s messenger.

In
my opinion, Laban was a religious master and the 20 years Jacob spent together
with him was a tutorial. What happened was that since Jacob was already the
chosen of God and the son of Isaac and Rebecca, he had brought with him a great
deal of religious knowledge (so we see that Jacob “immediately waters the
sheep” instead of waiting, as was the tradition of that area).

An
important aspect of the story is that the number: “20” should be
associated with “knowing the difference between good and evil”, which
is what God said before sending the Children of Israel to wander in the desert.
So, in the 20 years with Laban, Jacob learned what Laban considered to be right
from wrong and then, with the help of God, was able to add important
distinctions to this knowledge and improve the “the intellectual
strength” of the “herds” (i.e. religious groups). Since Moses
said “his words” were like “the rain” and we can see the
story of: “Jacob and the well” and: “Jacob changing the hair of
the sheep and goats” are both associated with water (in the second example
the sheep come to drink and then have sex. Only then does Jacob use the 3
“branches” to influence their hair).

Genesis
32.4 – 36.43

 

In
this week’s portion we are again confronted with the number: “20” as
well as the number: “200”. Since Isaac (his name means:
“laughter”) was born when Abraham was 100 years old and in the New Testament
there is a story of how happy a man was when he found the 100th
sheep, we can conclude that in ancient times the number: “100” was
associated with: “spiritual happiness”.

Thus,
If “100” is “spiritual happiness”, then “200”
represents: the happiness of knowing good from evil and “400”
represents: “the happiness of uniting religious knowledge” (the name
Hebron means: “alliance” and Abraham paid: “400 shekels”
for the land/school located there).

Thus,
Esau approaches Jacob with 400 men and we are told that he now lives in another
land. My interpretation is that Esau has found a new school of thought
(“Mount Seir”) and is offering Jacob to join him and his followers
and unite their religious knowledge. In turn, Jacob sends Esau 200 animals and
20 males in order to instruct his brother in what he has learned from Laban
about good and evil. An important aspect of this, I believe, is that thru these
actions Jacob is also asking his brother for forgiveness. Thus it is possible
to interpret his gesture as saying: “As a result of my studies with Laban,
I now fully understand what I bad thing it was that I did to you”.

It
is my opinion that Esau is not a bad person and these ridiculous comments by
the rabbis that Esau really was trying to bite his brother on the neck should
simply be thrown in the trash with most of their other opinions. If Esau was a
“bad” person then: why was he the favorite son of Isaac? And: why did
Isaac still provide him a blessing after Jacob’s deception? Secondly, the name:
“Seir” is associated with: “hair” and from the story of
Samson we are told that: “hair” represents: “devotion”.

Thus,
since God has provided Esau with a land of his own (his own school of thought)
and this place is associated with a mountain (a high level of understanding) we
can clearly see that he is not being punished by anyone. Esau is a scholar. The
rabbis say that: “The Torah is the Bread of Life” and Joseph main
function in Egypt was: “supervising the wheat fields”. Esau is
associated with the field and Jacob later comments that the clothes of Esau:
“smell like the fields” (they inspire one to study).

Another
major element of this week’s portion is the rape of Dinah. Once again, as in
Greek mythology, “rape” must be considered a metaphor for: “one
people forcing its ‘ideas’ ( its “seeds”) on another”. The man
who rapes Dinah is named: “Shechem” and his name means:
“shoulders” which is, of course, the base of support for the head.
More important than this, however, is that his father is named:
“Hamor” which means: “donkey”. Why this is important is
that tradition says that the messiah will come on the back of a donkey and all
the kings of Israel rode on donkeys, not horses. So for example, when one
thinks of King Richard screaming: “A horse, a horse!!! My kingdom for a
horse!!!” we find it a little strange that Absalom, the rebellious son of
King David, attempts to flee the battlefield on a donkey.

Another,
important aspect of the donkey is that the Hebrew word for: “youth” (pronounced:
“naar”) can also mean: “the voice of a donkey” and this
makes us think of the talking donkey of Balaam: the prophet, who reminds his
master how he has supported him for years.

The
point here is that: “a donkey” is a metaphor for: “the voice of
God” or: “the teachings of God”. Thus, Joseph sends
“wheat” (the basic ingredient of “the Bread of Life”) to
his father on the backs of donkeys. David is always provided with food by
others on the backs of donkeys. Naaman: the Syrian general, brings home with
him dirt from the land of Israel on the backs of donkeys.

Thus:
“Shechem” is: “the shoulders” which provide the base of
support for the ideas of his community, but his father: “Hamor” is
the back of the donkey which carries its educational foundation as well as the
voice of the teachings of God. This is very important and even though we are
told that the brothers Simon and Levi wiped out all the males of the community,
later in the Book of Judges, when one of the sons of Gideon attempts to take
over the entire area the people identify themselves as: “The Sons of Hamor”.
Hence, “Hamor” (i.e. donkeys) represented something positive in
ancient times and we should not forget that Jacob strongly rebuked his 2 sons
for attacking these people.

As
an aside, it should also be noted that in his rebuke Jacob compared the people
of Shechem and Hamor to: “bulls”. In the story of Samson when his
wife reveals the solution to his riddle he says:”If you had not been
plowing with my heifer then you would not know the answer now”. What we
see then is that, indeed, in ancient times: “fields” were associated
with: “schools” and: “sources of knowledge” and, even
today, in universities people ask: “what’s your field of study?”.

 

In
addition to all this, Elisha, when located by the prophet Elijah was plowing a
field with 12 oxen, which is clearly a metaphor. Hence, “oxen”
represent: “the intellectual strength” which powers one’s search for
information. “Gold” represents: “the religious writings” of
a people (In the New Testament there is a debate over: What is more important,
the temple? Or: the gold on the roof of the temple?). The Children of Israel
used the gold provided them by the Egyptians to create “the golden
calf” (baby ox), which represents: “the desire to seek knowledge from
one’s own intellectual abilities, instead of depending on God”.

Although it is impossible to adequately comment on any of the weekly portions in only a few pages, certain portions, such as this week’s, are especially difficult. It is my feeling that while Abraham, Isaac and Jacob were certainly close to God and were teachers of his word, at the same time, it is also my belief that they were not fully versed in his laws and did not fully understand everything God had to say (thus, at the end of their lives, both Isaac and Jacob were described as: “blind” or: “nearly blind”). Nonetheless, I do not agree with Paul of Tarsus that Abraham was the chosen of God simply because he had faith.
While it is true that it is written: “the faith of Abraham will be counted as righteousness”, when God speaks to Isaac he clearly states that Abraham followed his laws and statutes. Therefore, I believe, when looking at the two statements together, what is meant is that Abraham followed the laws and statutes even when he was not able to understand them and, because he had faith in God, he followed these laws diligently. As a result, because of his diligence to obey instructions that he did not fully comprehend (i.e. the sacrifice of Isaac and the expulsion of Ishmael); his faith was counted for as righteousness.
What Paul of Tarsus is implying is that all one needs is faith and everything else will take care of itself, which, history demonstrates, is simply not true. Furthermore, Paul of Tarsus added his own personal laws, so: if laws were not necessary, then why did he himself create new ones?  Furthermore, adding laws to the Torah is clearly forbidden and not even Jesus himself added new laws (some people argue that Jesus did make new laws, for example, he declared that all foods were clean, but this is incorrect: 1) Jesus refused to enter the city of the Samaritans and to eat their food. 2) Simon/Peter, long after the death of Jesus, clearly states he was still keeping a kosher diet. Why would he do that if Jesus had declared all foods to be clean?).
What we see in the Old Testament is that God has established two sources of teaching: the heavens and the earth. What the Old Testament suggests is that certain places on the earth are better suited to learning the ways of God. Certain people, however, have advanced more than others and in my opinion these people are described as: “slaves”. So, for example, two of the greatest empires in history: the Babylonian and the Egyptian were founded by the descendants of Ham who was cursed and declared: “the slave of his brothers”. These “slaves” had knowledge in the same way the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil had knowledge. What is good about these slaves is that they want to develop a higher level of understanding. What is bad about them is that they wanted to develop this high level of understanding thru their own efforts and not according to the laws of God.
The point is that, although Abraham, Isaac and Jacob are linked to the land and their ideas about God (their seeds) will be link to the land, nevertheless the land cannot provide all the knowledge that these men and their descendants will need in order to successfully utilize the land. Thus we see Abraham traveling to Egypt, Isaac traveling to Gerar and, in this week’s portion, Jacob traveling to Haran.
While it appears that Abraham, Isaac and Jacob are very rich in cattle, sheep, donkeys or whatever. Each story begins with them apparently having very little. Abram enters Egypt afraid of being attacked, yet he leaves a wealthy man. Isaac enters Gerar also in fear, yet he reaps 100 times what he plants and leaves rich. Finally, in this week’s portion, Jacob enters Haran alone and penniless, but when he returns home he has slaves, sheep, and, most importantly, a family.
Since we are talking about the Old Testament and not “The Wall Street Journal” it must be understood here that: “the riches” associated with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob is not money, but: “knowledge”. In the New Testament there are two stories related to this subject. One has to do with: “the workers in the vineyard” and the second one with: “the rich man who wants to follow Jesus”.
We have already commented that the earth is a source of knowledge, hence: “a vineyard” is a metaphor for: “a school where men develop spiritual knowledge”. During the times of Jesus there was a famous religious school located at Yavne and this school was referred to by the teachers there as: “the Vineyard”. So: “the workers in the vineyard” are really: “students in a religious school” and: “their wages” are: “the teachings” or: “religious knowledge” they have obtained there.
Unfortunately, religious schools usually teach knowledge which is based upon the ideas of the teachers themselves, not God. So, for example, in the Haggadah of Passover, it is full of quotations of the rabbis, but not a single word quoting God or his prophet: Moses (I mean: there would not have been a Passover holiday without Moses, right? And: certainly, not without God).
Thus “the rich man” who wants to follow Jesus is not a person with a lot of money in the bank, but rather he is: “a man who has accumulated a vast amount of teachings from the religious leaders”. Thus Jesus tells him: “give away all you have and follow me” (Jesus is described as: “the word of God” and, as such, can be considered: “a personification of the Old Testament”). In other words: Jesus is telling the rich man to disregard all the teachings of men and follow only the teachings of God (i.e. the Old Testament).
Thus, what we see then in this week’s portion of the Torah is that Jacob has come to Laban as a student. He will: “work” for Laban for 20 years and his: “wages” will be: Laban’s daughters, plus some of his sheep and goats. What must be understood here is that the Children of Israel are always compared to a flock of sheep and “Laban’s sheep” represents: “his congregation”. Thus what we are really seeing here is that Laban is head of: “The Church of Haran” and he has agreed to take on Jacob as: “assistant pastor”.
What is crucial to understanding in this story is that the daughters of Laban are: “spiritual medians”. The name: “Leah” comes for the Aramaic word for: “cow” and the name: “Rachel” means: “ewe”. “Meat” in Hebrew is the root of the words for: “preachings” and: “the gospels” and when we first meet Rachel we are told she is taking care of her father’s sheep. To make this clear it should be recalled that when Moses meets the daughters of the Priest of Median, they too are taking care of their father’s sheep.
There are many stories in this week’s portion, but the strangest one has to deal with the spotted and streaked sheep of Laban. Are we really expected to believe that by placing 3 sticks next to fornicating sheep this will change the color of their offspring’s hair?
The first part of the story has to do with providing the sheep with water. Moses said that his words were like the rain and he told his father in law that his function was to explain the laws of God. “Water” then becomes a metaphor for: “religious explanations”. Thus Jacob: “providing the sheep with water” represents: “providing the congregation of Laban with a new explanation of God’s laws”.
In the story of the Garden of Eden we are told about: “A Tree of Knowledge…”. The Hebrew word for: “wood” and for: “tree” is the same. The rabbis say that: “The Torah is the Tree of Life” so one could interpret this to mean that: “a tree” is a metaphor for: “a book”. In the New Testament, Jesus says that: “bad fruit” represents: “the teachings of a false prophet”. In Hebrew one of the words for: “teacher” means: “archer” and arrows are made of wood. In addition to this, the word: “sin” is an archery term meaning: “to miss the mark”, hence, as with: “the bad fruit” the concept of: “sin” is related to “false teachings” and not to bad behavior. Finally, the Hebrew word for: “wood” is the root for the word for: “adviser” (while it is true that in Modern Hebrew roots are generally felt to have 3 letters, there is a new theory that these 3 letter roots developed from 2 letter roots).
In the story of Samson we are clearly told that: “one’s hair” is a symbol for: “one’s devotion to God”. Thus with water (i.e. explanations) and wood (i.e. religious teachings) Jacob was able to “color the beliefs and devotions” of Laban’s congregation.
Another important element of the story is: “sex”. Although in this week’s portion we do actually see the Jacob crossing over a river and the rabbis claim the name: “Hebrews” means: “to cross over”, I still do not agree. Everything in the promises made to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob relates: “to their seed”. In the New Testament there are many parables about planting seeds, but not a single one about: “crossing over” rivers. Furthermore, two of the 10 commandments deal with coveting women and God specifically tells the Children of Israel that the 7 nations are being expelled from the land of Canaan for sexual misconduct. According, it is my opinion that the name: “The Hebrews” means: “The Pregnant People”.
Even in modern times we still associate the bed with communicating with God. We have dreams and we pray near the bed. When Rachel is: “unable to get pregnant”, Jacob tells her that God is responsible that she has “no fruit in her womb”. We have already noted the connection between “bad fruit” and: “the teachings of false prophets”. Logically then, “good fruit” would represent: “the teaching of a true prophet”. Hence, Rachel is a medium for the word of God and God sends his teachings thru children. Thus when the mother of Jesus is pregnant she is also described as: “having fruit in her womb” and eventually: “she will give birth to the word of God”.
After Jacob provides the congregation with new explanations about God’s teachings and new advice on how to better communicate with him, the congregation (i.e. the sheep) begins to have sex. This is exactly what happened when Aaron produced the golden calf (meat) from the “the riches” (the teachings) of the Egyptians (the Egyptians gave the Children of Israel all of their gold and we have already discussed the connection between “riches” and: “the knowledge of men”). Furthermore, about 200 years ago there was a Jewish man by the name of Jacob Frank who claimed to be the messiah and sex and orgies were a regular part of his teachings (he also had a daughter who helped him “take care of the sheep”).
In conclusion, as a result of Jacob’s new ideas which he planted into the minds of Laban’s congregation, slowly he was able to win over the more intelligent members of the congregation (the strong sheep) while Laban was left with the less intelligent. Thus, “the riches” Jacob brought back with him to the land of Canaan was “the body of knowledge” he had developed while writing sermon’s for Laban. Interestingly, in next week’s portion, we will see that Jacob’s brother Esau turns down his brother’s offer: “to share his wealth” and claims: “he has enough of his own” (i.e. Esau wants nothing to do with the religious beliefs of his brother and has actually moved on to live in a different “land/school”).

                   Genesis: 23.1 – 25.18  

 In this week’s Torah portion what we actually see are 3 stories about 3 different women. What I would like to do in this article is first discuss the women and then, at the end, return to the story of Abraham purchasing Sarah’s gravesite. The portion begins with the death of Sarah and we are told that “the years of her life” were 127, but these are presented in a slightly unusual way: we are told she had 100 years, 20 years and seven years. It is my belief that, almost as in modern medicine today, “death” is a metaphor for: “inability to understand” (i.e. brain death) and therefore: “life” becomes a metaphor for: “the ability to understand”. It is also my suspicion that the numbers presented at a person’s death sums up, so to speak, their final level of understanding  the teachings of God. In the New Testament there is a story about a shepherd searching for the 100th sheep and how he happily returns home with the sheep on his shoulders. In addition to this we are told that Abraham was 100 years old when Isaac was born and the name: “Isaac” means: “laughter”. Along these same lines Noah is the 10th generation from Adam and Noah is associated with the cultivation of grapes and in a parable, told by a son of Gideon, we are informed that: “grapes make men and Gods happy”. What we see from these examples is that the number: “100” is associated with: “spiritual happiness”. In the Old Testament, after the Children of Israel refuse to enter the Promised Land, God says that all those under the age of 20 will not be punished because they do not know the difference between good and evil (which in my opinion negates any theory of: “original sin”). This then implies that the number: “20” is associated with: “distinguishing good and evil” and we see that Sarah passed judgment on Ishmael and had him expelled from the camp of Abraham. The number: “7” is, of course, associated with: “the Sabbath” and, basically, the Sabbath is the day when: “men should not work by searching for food and allow God to provide”, while other parts of the Torah state that: “no manner of work shall be done”. In order to appreciate the meaning here, one must build a chain of metaphors beginning with: “The Tree of Knowledge….”. Since Adam only eats the fruit, therefore: “fruit” becomes a metaphor for: “knowledge”. If “fruit” represents: “knowledge” then “eating” represents: “learning” and: “a tree” becomes: “a source of knowledge”. Since the rabbis have for centuries asserted that: “the Torah is the Tree of Life”, then we see that “a tree” represents: “a book”. Since the Hebrew word for: “garden” is the root of the word for: “archive”, then we can then begin to appreciate that anyone who “works in the garden” is: “a student” or “a teacher”, but in my opinion it is just easier to refer to them as: “scholars”. The point is that “to work” then becomes a metaphor for: “to study”. Thus, going back to the number “7”, we see that on the Sabbath we are not to study and we are not “to search for fruit” (i.e. knowledge). Since we are told that God will provide on the Sabbath, as well as the sabbatical year, what all this is suggesting is that Sarah at age 127 believed that: “God would provide to those who rest (the number 7) spiritual knowledge (the number 100) about the difference between good and evil (the number 20). Also, we might mention here that the name Noah means: “rest”. Upon the death of Sarah, what then is needed are 2 replacements: one for Isaac and one for Abraham. The interesting point about the “search for Rebecca” is that “the slave” Abraham sends selects 10 camels, but nothing is mentioned about the men who go with him until almost the very end of the story. One would think that in the Middle East the both the Old and New Testaments would have many stories about camels, but, except for the story of Joseph, they are hardly mentioned at all. In order to understand the significance of the camels in the story of Rebecca, it is important to remember that Joseph came to Egypt with a caravan of spices and that Pontiphar is described in the Torah as: “a cook” (The translations saying he was: “captain of the guards” are incorrect). The other important point is that the Hebrew word for: “meat” is the root for the word for: “preaching” and “gospels”. Also, in the New Testament Paul of Tarsus uses this image and compares “meat” to “difficult spiritual teachings” and: “milk” to: “easy to understand spiritual teachings”. Hence, “Joseph, who arrived with spices via camels”, represents: “a person who knows how to make ‘meat’ more digestible”. All this is extremely important in relation to Rebecca, because later we are told that Isaac “loved the meat” of his son Esau and it is Rebecca who prepares the goat’s meat which helps persuades Isaac to bless Jacob. Thus, Rebecca, like Joseph, is associated with camels because she knows: “how to make ‘meat’ taste better”. Furthermore, since we have already mentioned the connection between: “the number 10”, “wine” and “spiritual happiness” we can then see that Rebecca is a spiritual medium since 10 camels were sent to bring her to Isaac. Finally, since the ark of the Torah at first will be housed in a tent, there is no doubt as to what the function of Rebecca will be, since we are told after arriving she is immediately ushered into the tent of Sarah.   Another important element of the story of Rebecca is: “water”. Moses said that: “his words” were: “like the rain” and, basically, Moses told his father in law that his function was to explain the laws of God. Therefore, “water” becomes a metaphor for: “explanations”. This is also reflected in the New Testament where in the Book of Ephesians it discusses “cleansing with the waters of the gospels” (just to be clear: there are: “the meat of the gospels” and: “the water of explanations clarifying the gospels”). What also has to be understood here is that we mentioned that “Adam worked in the garden of Eden” and we said this meant that: “Adam was a scholar in the archive”. The Torah, however, also says that: “the animals helped Adam to work in the garden”. If the animals were: “working” and this is a metaphor for: “studying”, then we can begin to appreciate that in both the Old and New Testaments: “animals” is a metaphor for: “different types of scholars”. So a quick example: we mentioned that “the Torah is the bread of life”, in the New Testament Jesus tells a Greek woman that: “it is not right to give ‘the bread of the children’ to the dogs” (please remember: dogs also like meat). Taking these references we can then begin to better understand: “Why the slave of Abraham wanted to see whether or not Rebecca would give water to his camels” (As an aside, this also explains: why Jesus, who is described as: “the word of God” was born in a manger, which is a place where “animals are fed”).   Switching to Abraham’s wife/concubine (one place she is described as: “a wife” and then later as: “a concubine”) I would just like to mention that I do not agree with “The Rashi” that Keturah and Hagar were one and the same person. Basically, Hagar would have been at least 70 years old at the time of Sarah’s death, but in addition to this the Torah lists the descendants of Keturah and Ishmael is not included. Finally, Keturah’s children were not present at Abraham’s funeral, but Ishamel was, so: if Hagar is Keturah, why was this particular son granted special status? The name: “Keturah” means: “incense” and this implies that she was: “a source of inspiration” for Abraham. Since she “only” gives birth to 6 sons, this suggests that there is no connection with the Sabbath and her beliefs. Perhaps this is not the correct place to mention this, however, one must question: 1) Why is there space in this week’s portion to repeat the entire story of: “Rebecca and the water”, yet there is no place in the Torah to mention a procedure for conversion? 2) How is it possible that 7 of Abraham’s own sons were expelled from “the land”, yet the rabbis believe that they can “convert” people and make them one of the Children of Israel? (Here it should be mentioned that Ruth is not a convert! Even after her declaration to Naomi she is never referred to as: “a Jew”. She is described either as: “Naomi’s daughter in law” or: “The Moabitess” and even the Rashi agrees that Naomi could not have performed a conversion alone in the desert).    Probably, one of the best known descriptions of the Land of Israel is: “The Land of Milk and Honey”. We have also noted that Paul of Tarsus compared “milk” to: “easy to understand spiritual teachings”. In addition to this we mentioned that Gideon’s son told a parable about trees and said: “the grape makes men and Gods happy”. In addition he also said that the fig tree produced: ” a good and sweet fruit”. Since, it is a given that: “God is good” we can then see that “things which taste sweet”, like a fig, represent “knowledge about God” (we have already shown that “fruit is a metaphor for “knowledge”). Another story which is relavant to Abraham’s purchase is a riddle posed by Samson: In short, his wife reveals the solution and Samson says: “If you had not been plowing with my heifer, you would not know the answer now”. From this we see two things: 1)Animals (scholars) guide one’s search and provided the “power” (intellectual strenght) to get answers. 2)”To plow a field” is a metaphor for: “searching for answers”. By the way, the answer to the riddle was: “out of the strong lion came sweet honey” and what we can then begin to appeciate here is that “a lion” is a metaphor for: “intellectual strenght”. Where all these metaphors come into play is that in Hebrew the word for “field” is the same word for: 1)A woman’s breast 2)A spiritual being Thus when one: “plows” the “field/breast” the result is: “spiritual milk”. Another “play on words” is that honey comes from bees and the Hebrew word for “bee” has as it root one of the forms for: “word”. Basically, it is my contention that, since there was no television back then, poets, scholars and religious leaders used to sit around at night and play word games and these “metaphors”, “double entendres” and “analogies” made their way into the sacred writings. Thus, when we look at the story of Abraham purchasing a site for his wife’s grave certain points come up again and again: First, the man who sells the land is name: “Ephron the son of Zohar” which means: “The shovel and son of light”. Thus when we think of Samson’s “plowing for an answer” and we see: “a shovel together with light selling his field” it suggests that we are discussing: “a school”. In addition to this we have the trees and we already commented that these are metaphors for books. The last major item is the cave and in Haifa the cave of Elijah is a religious shrine. Another alternative interpretation, however, is based on the opinion that the name “Ephron” means “bird”. If this is correct, then we must recall that in Sinai the story of the 70 leaders who become the 1st rabbis (i.e. teachers of the law) is interwoven with a story of quails providing “meat” for the Israelites. Therefore, we have a “bird” (Ephron) and “light” (Zohar). Which we then mean “Bringing understanding down from the level of heaven since “a bird” is an intermediary between the sky and the earth and the Hebrew word for “sky” also means “heaven”. The other major issue is that Abraham bows down twice to the Hittites and they are described as: “the people of the land”. Here it should be mentioned that the mother of King Solomon was the former wife of Uriah the Hittite and his name means: “God’s light”. Hence, the Hittites were religious masters and Abraham came to live amongst them in order to increase his spiritual understanding, eventhough he brought with him a great deal of understanding as well. The final point I would like to focus on here is that again and again the negotiations mention: “the people at the gate”. Here we should remember that Abraham was sitting at the “gate of his tent” when the angels came, Lot was sitting at: “the gate of the city” when the angels came to him and in the New Testament it speaks several time of: “the narrow gate”. “Cities” represent: “religions”, so we the Old Testament speaks of Jerusalem and Babylon and compares the religious lifestyles of each. “Tents”, as mentioned, represent: “places of worship”. Thus the “gates”, or “openings”, represent: “the way to a higher level of understanding”.  Sarah was a spiritual medium, but she was dead. Abraham was acknowledging that he now accepted the Hittites’ ways and was willing to incorporate the knowledge he had received from Sarah into the Hittite schools. The number “4” is related to Judah, the fourth son of Leah. His name means: “to praise God”. The number: “100”, we noted, is related to “spiritual happiness”. The only place we see the number 400 in the Old Testament is when Esau comes with 400 men and invites Jacob to join him and when 400 Amalikites escape on camels from David, which suggests this number is not associated with Israelites. In the New Testament there is a parable about: “The Workers in the Vineyard”, basically, the parable deals with how much money they will be paid, but the crucial point is that in the time of Jesus there was a famous religious school located at “Yavne” and the scholars there referred to this school as: “The Vineyard”. If: “a vineyard” represents a: “religious school” and: “work” is a metaphor for: “study”, then: “money” represents: “teachings” or: “knowledge”. Thus, Abraham paying 400 silver shekels represents: “he gave a lecture to those attempting to reach a higher level of understanding (those at the gate) in order to demonstrate that he was qualified to operate the Hittite school”. Finally, I would just like to add here that the name “Hebron” means “alliance”, so it appears to me that Abraham, by purchasing “the land” (i.e. “the school”) of Ephron, is accepting as his own some of the teachings and beliefs of the Hittites and “ is laying to rest” some of the ideas represented by Sarah. In conclusion, the name of the grave site is: “Machpelah” and this means: “to double” or “to multiply”. In the New Testament there are several refrences to planting seeds and increasing the produce by 30, 60 or 100 times. In the Old Testament later Isaac will increase his yield 100 times. All these references have to do with increasing knowledge and the name: “Machpelah” implies that in this location one’s religious knowledge will expand.

 

                            Genesis 18.1 – 22.24

This week’s section of the Torah begins with Abraham sitting at “the opening to the tent”, when he sees 3 men standing in front of him. Because Abraham runs and begs them to come to his place and eat, there has always been a big debate as to: Whether or not Abraham knew they were “angels”? Or: Did he behave this way with everyone? Although Lot too is a special person, he is not as high up on the “ladder of understanding” as was Abraham, (otherwise he would have remained with Abraham and not descended to the level of Sodom). None the less, when Lot sees 2 of the same 3 angels, he too makes a special effort to bring them into his home and feed them. Thus, if Lot had the ability to discern that they were angels, then, for sure, so did Abraham. Possibly, one might argue, since Abraham lived in the desert, he didn’t encounter too many people. Hence, whenever some stranger came, he extended a greeting to them, but Lot was at the gates of the city of Sodom. Sodom was a place where male strangers were raped by the men of the town. Are we really to believe that every time a stranger came to the notorious Sodom, that Lot jumped up and invited them to his home? In addition to this, Abraham goes to a great deal of trouble to prepare the best of everything for his guests. He clearly knew who they were….

Basically, “an angel” is “an intermediary between God and men”, but rabbis are also intermediaries. In the Book of Exodus the stories about the first 70 rabbis and God sending quails are intertwined. Since birds have the ability to make contact with both the earth and the sky (in Hebrew the word for: “sky” and “heaven” are the same), we can then see that: “people with the spirit of God” are represented by: “birds”. In the New Testament there are two examples of this: 1) we are told that the spirit of God descended upon Jesus like a dove 2) After Simon/Peter makes a declaration, Jesus states that these were not his words, but: “the words of the spirit”. He then calls Simon/Peter by the name: “Bar Yona”, which means: “Son of the dove”. Thus from this second example we can then see that: “a son” is associated with the idea of: “a word”. When Jesus is called: “the son of God”, what then is meant is: “the word of God”. Thus, the men who walked around preaching the gospels according to Paul teachings were identified by Paul as: “his sons”.

Because the Ark of the Covenant was first located in a tent, we must associate: “a tent” with: “a place of worship”. One of the important points of the story of Abraham and the angels is that Sarah is inside the tent and she also prepares: “cakes” inside the tent. To get a better appreciation for the symbolism being used here we must turn to the story of Joseph in Egypt:

Very briefly, Joseph arrived in Egypt with a caravan of spices and was sold to Potiphar, whose job in Hebrew is: “a cook” (the English translation of: “Captain of the Guards” is wrong). Later, Joseph will interpret the dream of: “the prince of the bakers” who dreamt he had 3 baskets of cakes on his head and the birds came and ate them. Finally, for all intents and purposes, the function of Joseph in Egypt was to supervise the production of wheat, yet he tells his brothers he is a man skilled in divination.

What we see from all these references is that “wheat” is associated with: “religious knowledge”. Some examples of this are: 1) the messiah will be born in Bethlehem (the house of bread) 2) for centuries Jews have use the saying: “the Torah is the bread of life” 3) Jesus compared his body to the un-leavened bread of Passover and the Gospels identify him as: “the word of God”. 4) In the New Testament, most of the stories about the Pharisees have something to do with wheat fields (Most of the stories about the Sadducees have something to do with vineyards).

In the story of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil we can clearly see that “fruit” is a metaphor for: “knowledge”. In addition, even in modern times, we are familiar we the concept of: “the earth being a school” (in Hebrew the word for: “earth” and for: “land” is the same) then it should be no surprise that wheat is described as: “the fruit of the earth” while a grape is described as: “the fruit of the vine” (both “Jesus” and “The Children of Israel” are described as: “vines” and it should be recalled that the other dream Joseph interpreted was about vines and grapes). Thus, if “wheat” represents: “religious knowledge” and “bread represents: “the Torah”, then “a cook” or: “a baker” is: “someone who takes religious knowledge in its base form and makes it both: ‘enjoyable to eat’ and: ‘easier to digest’”. What all this then suggests is that Pharaoh’s baker was revealing religious secrets to mediums of other religions, or: he was giving secret lessons and this is why he was executed. Thus, the image of Sarah “preparing cakes” inside “a tent” means that “she was formulating some type of religious prayer to intercede with the angels”.

Sex, is a very, very important issue in the Old Testament. First of all we are told that the 7 nations living in the land of Canaan will be expelled simply because of sexual offenses. Joseph was thrown into prison because he was falsely accused of raping “the cook’s wife”. The Children of Israel were constantly being accused of “whoring after other Gods”. Even in today’s world we associate the bed with two aspects of communicating with God 1) dreaming and 2) praying (although not as much as in the past, some people still say their prayers before going to bed). Therefore, because “the bed” is associated with “a place to communicate with God” it should be considered “an altar” and it should be recalled how angry David was when he learned that the son of Saul had been murdered in his bed.

In this week’s portion we are told that Abraham will go to “God’s mountain”. The other name for this place is called: Mount Moriah and in Hebrew this name comes from the root of the word for: “teacher” (“mor-reh”). In the Old Testament we are told that: “on his mountain God will provide”, while in the New Testament we are told: “ask and you shall receive”. When we place these two sayings side by side, and we keep in mind that God is a teacher, what we can clearly see then is that Janis Joplin might have been a good singer, but she did not know much about theology. The function of God is not to provide people with a Mercedes Benz or a color T.V. Nor, might I add, is it the function of God to provide victory to the professional football team which prays the most sincerely in front of the television cameras.

A mountain” represents: “a high level of understanding”, thus Moses went up to the top of a mountain and brought God’s words back down to the people. By way of contrast, Jesus usually took several people up to the tops of mountains with him, but, almost invariably, we are clearly told the people did not understand what he said to them (even the disciples were confused or were unable to remain conscious). Thus if one wanted to draw a distinction between the two: Moses was simplifying higher concepts of understanding and bringing them down to the level of understanding of the people, while Jesus was attempting to bring select groups of people up to a higher level of understanding.

Thus, if we agree that: “the function of God” is: “to teach” and: “fruit” is a metaphor for: “knowledge”, then we should not be surprised to find that 1) when discussing the pregnancies of Rachel (the wife of Jacob) and Mary (the mother of Jesus) both the Old and New Testaments speak of: “fruit in their wombs” 2) the verb used to describe: “sex” in the Old Testament is: “to know”.

Carrying this line of logic further, “sex” can be seen as “a way of communicating with God” and “sexual perversions” are metaphors for: “inappropriate ways of praying”. In the New Testament, when Paul of Tarsus advises people “not to have sex”, what he is really saying is that men: “should not consult spiritual mediums”, but, rather, should attempt to contact God by themselves thru prayer. Of course, in just the same way that the disciples of Jesus were unable to comprehend his messages when they approached highest levels of understanding, the followers of Paul of Tarsus also misunderstood his messages. They interpreted his words literally and they continue to do so till this very day, by placing restrictions on sexual behavior.

None the less, the verb: “to know” is not the only verb used to describe “sex” in the Old Testament. The second verb is: “to laugh”, yet we must always remember that both: “sex” and “laughing” are: “methods for communicating with God”. Hence, Sarah is in the tent (the place of worship) and she laughs. God’s angels then say they heard her. She tries to say that she did not laugh, but they insist that she did. The important point, however, is that by laughing she placed herself in communication with the angels, even though she didn’t realize it (The other action that should be associated with: “communication with God” is: “crying”. It seems that whenever someone in the Old Testament begins to: “cry out” God hears them, but in this article we will not be discussing this point).

Reinforcing this line of logic: we see that the son of Abraham is given the name: “Isaac” which come from the root of the Hebrew word for: “laughter” and we have noted the connection between the term: “the son of something” and: “the word of something”.  Furthermore, later we are told that because Ishmael: “laughs with his brother Isaac”, this is the reason Sarah wanted him expelled from the land of Canaan. What’s the connection? How is laughter related to inheriting the land of Israel?

The answer, I believe, comes from the story of Lot and the angels. The men of Sodom surround Lot’s house and they demand the angels be brought outside so that they can have sex with them. Lot then offers to send out his two virgin daughters. Since we have already shown the connection between women and producing fruit thru sex, then what is clearly being implied is that the men are attempting to achieve an even higher level of understanding by using men as mediums instead of women. To understand the logic behind this we are then forced to turn to the story of the snake in the Garden of Eden.

Although, many translations have Eve claiming that the snake “deceived her” or: “beguiled her” or: “whatever”, in Hebrew what Eve says is that: “the snake brought her to a sexual climax”. Thus, we have the connection between sexual climax and the promise of knowledge provided by the fruit of good and evil. The implication seems to be that Eve and the men of Sodom have associated: “sexual satisfaction” with: “higher levels of knowledge”, whereas “the knowledge of God” should be associated with: “the fruit in the womb” (This association between sex and understanding is not as strange as it seems. In the 18th century a Jewish man by the name of Jacob Frank, and later on his daughter, claimed to have “messianic powers” and it was well known that sexual acts and even orgies were the basis of their teachings).

When we then look at the stories of Pharaoh and King Amimelech we see that God prevented the women of Pharaoh’s and Amimelech’s houses from becoming pregnant. Abraham was described by God as being a prophet and, after he prayed, the women regained their ability to conceive. This is the same pattern of events which took place with Rebecca and the fruit in her womb: she was unable to “bear fruit” until Isaac prayed to God.

Later, when Isaac himself is living amongst the people of Amimelech, we are told that the king saw Isaac and Rebecca “laughing together” and thus he knew they were husband and wife (priest and priestess). This is the exact same verb that is used to describe the behavior of Ishmael and Isaac. In other words, what the Old Testament is implying is that Ishmael and Isaac were engaged in a sexual act together, but I prefer to say that they were both engaged in a religious ritual.

Basically: “the inheritance of Abraham” is: “the land of Canaan”. To better appreciate what this represents we should recall that in the story of: “Elijah and the prophets of Baal” we are told that a tongue of fire comes out of heaven. If a tongue comes out of heaven, then heaven is a mouth. Likewise, in the story of Cain and Abel we are told that the earth opened its mouth to swallow the blood of Abel. “Mouths” are: “sources of teaching”, hence what we are being told in the Book of Genesis is that: “in the beginning” God created two sources of understanding: a higher one (called: “heaven”) and a lower one (called: “earth”).

Thus, Abraham will pass on to his descendants: “a source of understanding”. In other words: “the mouth of the earth” is located in the land of Canaan. Anyone who possesses the Promised Land is “closest to the mouth of God” so to speak and has the authority to relay the messages of God to the rest of: “the world body” (therefore the Israeli/Palestinian conflict is not simply about real estate).

In conclusion, what Sarah clearly saw then was that if Ishmael remained in the land promised to Abraham, and he participated in religious rituals together with Isaac (i.e. engaged in sexual acts), then people would begin to believe that he too was an authorized voice for the teachings of God. Once again, it must be recalled that the 7 nations living in Canaan were expelled for performing forbidden sexual acts. Later, Balaam, a prophet of God, counseled the Medianites to sexually seduce the Children of Israel if they ever hoped to defeat them. To prevent this, Phinehas, the grandson of Aaron, kills a member of the tribe of Simon while he is in the middle of a sexual act with a Medianite woman, and as a reward Phinehas is pronounced: “a priest forever”. Furthermore, in ancient times, the use of temple prostitutes was common in the Middle East.

It is my feeling that one of the major misunderstandings of the Torah by the rabbis is the term: “Hebrews”, which they teach means: “the ones who crossed over”. In my opinion, the term “Hebrews” means: “the pregnant ones”, the ones in whom God implanted his ideas. This is why in the Old Testament the Hebrews many times are accused of: “whoring after other Gods” and in the New Testament Jesus says: “if one does not understand the parable of the ‘Sower of the Seeds’ then one cannot understand anything”.

Thus, when Sarah saw Ishmael “laughing with Isaac” (i.e. engaged in a religious ritual) Ishmael was banished from the land by Sarah. This way there would be no doubt what so ever that only Isaac and his descendants (i.e. the Children of Israel) would be identified with: “the school of the earth” located in the Land of Canaan.

 

Introduction:

Although it is fair to say that it is almost impossible to adequately comment upon any of the weekly portions of the Torah in only a few pages, this particular section, because of its relevance to today’s political situation, is especially difficult. The only thing one can try to do here, therefore, is to focus on certain key areas while completely passing over others. Of course, for every person the definition of: “a key area” is different. Since the name: “Mount Moriah” comes from the root of the Hebrew word for: “teacher”, it is my contention that: “God” is: “a teacher who brings a higher level of understanding”. Accordingly, “the key areas” I will be focusing on in this article will be the sections which I believe will best illustrate this idea.

                                 Genesis 12.1 – 17.27

This section of the Torah begins with us being told that Abram is leaving one land and going to a new land. In modern times there is the commonly held belief that: “the earth is a school”. In the Old Testaments there are several stories which describe both “heaven” and “earth” as having mouths. It is my belief that: “a mouth” represents: “a source of teaching” and so, when we are told: “God created the heavens and the earth”, what I feel we are really being told is that: “God established two sources of understanding: one higher and one lower”. Hence, when Abram moves from: “one land to another” what is being suggested is that he is: “switching schools”.

In Hebrew the root for the word: “meat” represents: “preaching”. While many people are aware that the Hebrew word: “goy” usually means: “nation”, what few people are aware of is that it also means: “dead meat”. This, at first, is then quite shocking because we are told that Abram will be the founder of: “a great nation”, but, upon reflection, we then realize that Abram will eventually be the father of 8 sons, not just one. Of these 8, only Isaac will inherit the land promised to Abram and even Isaac ends his life being described as: “almost blind”. Hence, what we are being told is that Abram will be the founder of: “a great source of preaching”, but, since this teaching is described as being: “dead”, what we are also being told is that none of the 3 great religions associated with Abraham teach the absolute truth about God (of course, anyone even slightly acquainted with the last 4,000 years of human history would already know that….). Furthermore, if the teachings of Abraham, or any of his descendants, really knew the truth about God then there would be no need for “messiahs”, “second comings”, “final prophets” or whatever….to fill-in the missing parts.

The next important element of the narrative is that God tells Abraham that those who bless him will be blessed and those who curse him will be cursed. While this might seem rather simple and straight forward, it is my contention that, as mentioned earlier, the function of God is to teach, therefore: “all blessings from God” have to do with: “increasing ones knowledge”. The best example of this is, of course, King Solomon who was blessed by God and became the wisest of all men.

Another famous blessing is the one bestowed upon Ephraim and Manasseh, the sons of Joseph. In this blessing they receive what appears to be quite an ordinary blessing, whereby Jacob requests that God provide them with many children. It is my belief, however, that “children”, especially sons, should be considered metaphors for “knowledge” or “teachings”. The simplest example of this can be found in the New Testament where Jesus is described as: “the son of God” and “the word of God”.

The Old Testament, however, also provides many examples. If we accept that: “the fruit” of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil is, indeed, a metaphor for: “the knowledge” that is being transmitted by the tree, we can immediately appreciate that in Hebrew the words for: “first born son” and “first fruits” are the same. In addition to this there is the holiday called: “Shavuot”, so named because it takes place 7 weeks after the holiday of Passover (the Hebrew word for: “week” is: “sha-vo-ah”). Among other things, this holiday celebrates: “the giving of the law” to the Children of Israel and, significantly, the other name for this holiday is: “The Festival of the First Fruits” (or: first born sons). Therefore, it is no accident that in the New Testament, as previously mentioned, the authors of the gospels described Jesus as both “the word of God” and “the first fruit of God” (the son of God). Finally, in the Book of Genesis Rachel complains to Jacob that she is childless and he replied that God was the reason she had no fruit in her womb.

Thus, once we accept this interpretation of “the blessing” given to Ephraim and Manasseh being related to “education”, then it is much easier to understand the curses given to Adam, to Eve and to Cain (the curse placed on Ham is also related to education, but we will discuss this later on). Basically, Adam himself is not cursed. The earth is placed under a curse and it will no longer produce its fruits easily for him (the phrase actually used in the story of Noah is: “the work of man’s hands are frustrated”). Thus, if: “fruit” is a metaphor for: “knowledge”, then basically what we are being told is that the school of the earth will not reveal its information to Adam. With Eve, once we recall the story of Jacob and Rachel, we see that the same metaphor is being used and thus Eve will have problems giving birth to “the fruit in her womb”. Finally, Cain is told that the earth will produce absolutely nothing for him.

Therefore, the blessing implies that those who assist or facilitate the education of the descendants of Abram will have their own education increased (or: they will reap the benefits of the knowledge produced). Conversely, the curse implies that those who impede the education of the descendants of Abram will have their own ability to learn impeded.

In line 7 of chapter 12 we are told that the land will be given to the seeds of Abram. Since we have just discussed the connection between children and fruit, it should be noted that in Hebrew one of the structures for the verb: “to be fruitful” actually means: “to spread ideas”. In modern times the concept of: “seeds” and: “ideas” is directly linked and the term “seed money” is used when discussing financing for a new business proposal. We also have the expressions: “the room was pregnant with thought” and: “to give birth to an idea”. Hence, what we are being told then is that “the school of the earth” has many: “classrooms” and that: “the classroom” which is identified as: “the Promised Land” will be linked to the ideas of Abram forever.

The next issue I would like to discuss is the idea of: “beauty”. Sarai when she is 65 years old, and later again when she is 89 years old, is described as being so beautiful that both Pharaoh and King Amimelech want to have sex with her. In modern times we still pray at our beds and we have dreams in our beds, both acts which are associated with communicating with God. We have commented on “seeds” and noted the connection between: “fruit”, “knowledge” and “pregnancy”. My conclusion from all this is that Sarai was a spiritual medium and that: “sex” is a metaphor in the Old Testament for: “communicating with God” and this is why the verb: “to know” is used to describe: “the sexual act”. As the wife/sister of Abram, Sarai was, obviously, a very skilled medium and “beauty” was the word used to describe the level of skill a medium possessed. Reinforcing this idea of: “sex” and: “communicating with God” is that fact that we are explicitly told that the reason the peoples living in the land of Canaan will be “expelled from the classroom” is for sexual offenses.

Another important issue is the fact that in Ancient Hebrew the word for: “grass” also meant: “ideas” and the Hebrew word: “midbar”, which is usually mistranslated as: “desert” in fact means: “a grazing area for herds”. Thus, when we are told that the herdsmen or shepherds of Lot and Abram began to argue because the land was unable to produce enough grass to support both herds, what we are really being told about is some sort of religious dispute. Confirming this theory, afterwards we are told that Lot selected “the well watered” Jordan valley (the name Jordan in Hebrew means: “to go down”). My guess then is that Lot, like the Children of Israel who complained to Moses about the lack of water, felt that Abram was not supplying him with adequate explanations about the ideas of God. As a result, he took off to go study in the religious schools of Sodom which were located in the “amply watered valleys” which are described as being similar to Eden and Egypt. What is then being implied here is that “too many explanations” and “too many ideas” about the ways of God leads to a low level of understanding (Sodom is located in a valley) and later, when Moses strikes the rock which produces water for the Children of Israel, he screams out at them: “you fallen ones”.

The story about the war and rescue of Lot, plus the introduction of the character: Melchizedek is, obviously, very, very important, yet, because there are so many images and actions being described there, I have decided to skip over this section in this article. None the less, I would just like to touch upon the sandal strap mention by Abram in relation to the King of Sodom. Sandals and feet are very important images in the Old and New Testaments. In particular, there is the reference to the land rights and the removing and transferring of the sandal in the Book of Ruth and the story of the Gibbonites using their sandals to convince the Children of Israel that they are not residents of the area, which is found in the Book of Judges. 

Thus, because we spoke of the connection between: “meat” and “preaching”, what I believe is extremely important to remember is that God defines “pure meat” (the term “clean” is a mistranslation) by how an animal “chews grass” (digests ideas) and the shape of its foot (its point of contact with: “the school of the earth”). Also, for all intents and purposes: “a sandal” is: “a piece of dead meat” and God told Moses to remove his sandals when standing on: “Holy ground” But, as Rudyard Kipling said: “That is another story.…”

In the remaining paragraphs I would then just like to focus on the story of Hagar and the circumcision of Abraham. Basically, it is my contention that: “work” in the Torah is a metaphor for: “studying”. Rabbis, priests and ministers have for centuries tried to draw comparisons between the Old and New Testaments to either the Tree of Life or the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. The point is: they are all comparing: “books” to: “trees”, hence: “the Garden of Eden” is: “a library” (In Hebrew the word for: “garden” forms the root of the word for: “archive”).

Another well known saying is: The Torah is: “the bread of life”. What people usually fail to comment upon in relation to Joseph is that his main function in Egypt was to produce wheat and wheat is the major ingredient of: “the bread of life” (wheat is also described as: “the fruit of the land” while “grapes are distinguished as: “the fruit of the vine”). The other point people usually gloss over is that Joseph enslaved the entire population of Egypt. So, when Pharaoh enslaves the Israelites we consider this to be a bad thing, but when Joseph enslaves the Egyptians we pretend it never happened…. 

The point is, that Hagar is described as: “the slave of Sarai” and, as we touched upon earlier, Sarai was a spiritual medium. It is my feeling then that: “a slave” is: “a religious convert”. Someone forced to accept religious ideas, not of their own people (An example of this could be the Spanish conquest and conversion of the Indians of Central and South America or: if you consider communism to be a religion, “the conversion” of the entire population of Eastern Europe). Hence, when Noah places a curse on Ham and tells him that he will be the slave of Shem and Japheth, what we are being told is that Ham will be forced to accept the religious doctrines of his brother. This is confirmed, I feel, by the reference to: “the tents of Shem”. The Ark of the Torah was originally housed in a tent, so this is clearly a place of worship. Additionally, we already discussed how blessings are related to education, and one of the most famous blessings in Judaism begins: “How goodly are your tents O Jacob….”

Therefore, the entire episode of Hagar has to do with her being compelled “to work with rigor” under the strong hand of Sarai. Furthermore, if we are discussing: “conventional slavery”, then: why would the angel of God instruct Hagar to return to her master? Finally, in Hebrew the name: “Hagar” can be interpreted to mean: “the convert” (In ancient Hebrew there were no marks to guide pronunciation, hence all written words could be interpreted in a variety of ways). So, all references to: “work” and to: “slavery” has to do with: “studying” and to: “forced indoctrination”.

Once again, it really is unforgiveable to have to skip over large portions of this section of the Torah, but in conclusion I would just like to focus on the circumcision of Abram and “the promise this circumcision represents. While most scholars believe that the name: “Hebrews” means: “the people who crossed over” (i.e. the Euphrates river), I am sure that by now you are not surprised to learn that I don’t agree. It is my opinion that the name: “Hebrews” means: “The Pregnant People” and this is why there are so many references in the Old Testament to the Children of Israel “whoring after other Gods”. We have discussed: “seeds” representing: “ideas”, and, as in English, “seeds” in Hebrew also means: “sperm”. We have discussed: “the fruit in the womb” and the connection between the term: “first fruits” and: “the laws of God”. In the Book of Exodus the Children of Israel are described as: the first fruit of God and, even in Islam, the Jews are described as: “The People of the Book”.

When we read about the connection between the Land of Canaan and Abram, the word: “seeds” comes up again and again. Therefore, it is my belief that the agreement, or covenant, between God and the Children of Israel is between “the particular classroom of the school of the earth and the ideas, or religious teachings, of Abraham”. Thus, in my opinion, the most important aspect of the circumcision is that the translation of the word: “foreskin” means: “fruit from a tree less than 3 years of age”. Basically, skin is a piece of meat, thus what we are being told is the act of circumcision represents: “removing the ‘preaching of men’ which are based on knowledge which is not fully developed” (In the New Testament, Jesus compares: “the teachings of false prophets” to “bad fruit”).

In other words: Abraham is a student as well as a teacher. He learns in the classroom of: “the Promised Land”, but then he must pass on what he has learned to others thru his ideas. In order to pass on “only the ideas of God”, he must first remove the preachings of men which contaminate these ideas. Thus God’s first words to Abram were: get thee away from your land, the place from which you were born and your father’s house and go to a land I will show you…” Thus, in my opinion, what God is saying in regards to the circumcision is: “anyone who will not distance themselves from the false teachings of men will no longer be considered one of my people” (one of those who spread my ideas).

 

Introduction:
This commentary is based on two simple ideas: 1) That: “God’s Mountain” is also called: “Mount Moriah” and the root of this name is the Hebrew word: “moreh” which means: “teacher”. Therefore, because a mountain is a high place, “God” represents: “a teacher who brings a high level of understanding” (this is why Sodom and Gomorrah were located in a valley). 2) The Hebrew word for: “meat” is root for the word used for both: “preaching” and: “gospels”. A rabbi once told me that any animal which eats another animal is not kosher; hence: “any religious commentary which quotes another religious commentary” should be considered: “not kosher” as well, even if the person you are quoting is the Rashi. More important than this, however, is the fact that if you let your interpretation of the scriptures be guided by only a few individuals who lived and died hundreds of years ago, then you have “pre judged” (i.e. you are approaching the law with a prejudiced opinion).
Therefore, all my comments will be attempting to show that God is trying to teach us something and I will also attempt to explain the various ways he does this. Second, all my ideas will be my own and I will not be quoting a single rabbi, minister or religious scholar to shed light on any passage, I will, however, quote Plato, or Jesus, or even Greek mythology, because it is my belief that in ancient times there was a commonly accepted “secret language” of metaphors and images used by poets, philosophers and religious leaders of those times. Following these guidelines, I believe, will bring a fresh perspective to the understanding of biblical law. Not necessarily the best perspective or even a correct perspective; none the less, a perspective which, I feel, is worth while considering.
 
                                            Genesis 6.9 – 11.32
 
Far be it from me to ever criticize one of the: “Co creators with God”, none the less, if I was a rabbi I think I would have begun this section of the weekly Torah reading with Genesis 5.0 instead of Genesis 6.9 because there are some very important elements presented here that help us to understand more fully the role of Noah. Although, I don’t want to go into the significance of numbers in this article, still, I believe it is important to take note that Noah is the 10th descendant of Adam. The name: “Adam” comes from the Hebrew word: “ground” and the Hebrew word for: “garden” is the root of the word for: “archive”. Furthermore, since the rabbis have asserted that: “The Books of Moses” are a metaphor for: “The Tree of Life” (although I personally believe they represent:”The Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil”) what we then see is that the earth is a school (which is a commonly held belief, even in modern times) and that: “the garden” is: “a library” or: “a source of knowledge”. Thus, if the earth is a school and Adam is made from the ground, then what we are being told than is than Adam was some type of scholar or head of a religious institution.
Where I believe there is a basic misunderstanding in the Book of Genesis is that on the 6th day, we are told that God first created the animals and then men and woman together. Whereas, in the story of Adam we are told that Adam was created first, the animals were created second and the woman Eve was created third. Since these two versions of events clearly don’t match, what I would like to suggest then is that Adam is not the first man and Adam was not created on the 6th day. What Adam represents is: “the first man with the spirit of God within him” and he was created on the 8th day.  This hypothesis then answers all those thorny theological questions we debated in 1st grade about: Who was the wife of Cain? And: How did Cain populate the city he founded? etc., etc…. Never the less, this hypothesis does not answer that profound question posed by George Carlin: “If God is all powerful, then: Can he create a rock which is so heavy that even he can’t lift it?”
Regardless, the point is that Noah is the 10th descendant of the first man with the spirit of God within him and is not the 10th descendant of the first man on earth. In the 5th chapter of the Book of Genesis, Noah’s father predicts: “This one will provide us rest from the toil and frustrations of our hands, because of the ground which God has cursed”. The important issues raised here are: 1) the name: “Noah” means: “rest”. 2) the work of men is being frustrated, but not completely blocked as was the efforts of Cain. 3) it is the ground which is cursed, not men, and this, in my opinion, nullifies the argument of: “original sin”.
In the beginning lines of Chapter 6 we are told several important things as well:
1)    There were “fallen ones” in those days. This is important to understand, because this is term Moses will later use to describe the Children of Israel who demanded water. Most English translations of the first reference simply write: “Nephalim” as if that was the name of this group, but his is incorrect: “Nephalim” means: “fallen ones” and is a description of their status, not their name. Heaven represents a high level of understanding and these beings have “fallen from grace” so to speak, because later Noah is described as: “having found grace in the eyes of God”.
 
The other translation of “nephalim” is from a statement made by Moses and is usually translated as: “you rebels”, but this is also incorrect. “Water” represents: “explanations”, because Moses said: “his words were like the rain” and it was the function of Moses to explain the laws. In the beginning of the book of Genesis, it should be recalled that the waters were in darkness, so we can see then that they do not represent such a positive thing. Furthermore, as we shall in this week’s section: “water kills” and in the Book of Exodus: “water” is again: “used to kill” Pharaoh and his soldiers. Thus, after receiving the 10 commandments, the Children of Israel were at a relatively high level of understanding, the water of explanations, apparently, brings a person to a lower level of understanding because the person should attempt to attain understanding without explanations. Thus, one of the translations of name: “Mount Horeb” is: “high level of dryness”.
  
2)    The: “fallen ones” were attracted to the daughters of men because they were: “beautiful”. At 76 and later at 89 years of age Sarah is described as being so beautiful that both Pharaoh and King Amimelech want to have sex with her. God tells Abraham to “heed the voice of Sarah” and in the Old Testament the word “know” is used to describe “sex”. Thus: “women” are: “mediums” and their “beauty” is a metaphor for: “their level of skill as mediums”, hence Sarah, as the wife/sister of Abraham, was considered to be: “very beautiful”.
3)    The fallen ones were the giants and great heroes of the past. It is my opinion that when the Old Testament speaks of: “strength” it is referring to “intellectual strength” and that “giants” are “intellectual giants”, but I will not be discussing this in detail at the moment.
Now that we have noted these important issues from the previous weekly portion of the Torah, we can then more readily deal with the issues raised in the traditional reading beginning with Genesis 6.9.
One of the things that I believe is important to understand about the entire story of Noah is that we are not talking about bad behavior. In the New Testament Jesus comments that “right up to the time of the flood, the people were eating and drinking”. As mentioned in the introduction: “meat” is a metaphor for: “preaching”, thus “eating” is a metaphor for: “learning” and even today we still speak of “digesting information”. We also touched upon the fact that Moses said: “his words” were: “like the rain” and it was the function of Moses to explain the law. So, if: “water” represents: “explanations” then “to drink” means: “to accept” or “to believe”. Thus, what Jesus was then implying was that, until the time God sent: “a massive influx of new explanations about the world” represented by: “the flood of water”, people were engaged in preaching false information and most of the population at that time readily accepted these ideas (i.e. people were: “eating and drinking”).
Therefore, in chapter 6, line 17 we are told that God will destroy: “the meat” (sometimes this is mistranslated as: “flesh”) which is located “under heaven”. In the Old and New Testaments almost everything is related to “lower and higher levels of understanding”. In the introduction we noted that “God’s mountain” represents: “a high level of understanding”. In Hebrew the word for: “heaven” and: “sky” is the same, thus: “heaven” represents: “the highest level of understanding”. In Hebrew the idea of “suicide” and “death” is related to the concept of “losing the ability to know” and today, in most hospitals around the world, “brain death” is considered the official definition or: “criteria” of death. Thus, one’s ability to understand determines if one is dead or alive. So, when the story of Noah speaks of: “the spirit of life” and declares: “everything shall die”, what we are really being told here is that man’s ability to understand had been corrupted by false teachings and that it was necessary to force men to totally renounce these bad influences. Thus, the Christian concept of being “born again” entails: “death” or: “totally renouncing one’s previously held religious beliefs” and then “re-birth” or: “approaching the word of God with a totally new understanding and willingness only to follow the teachings of God and not men”. Hence, most Christians today are not: “born again Christians”; they are: “re-committed Christians” since they have simply: “re-accepted the teaching” of whatever religion they belong to in their youth after straying away.
In the Garden of Eden we are told that “the snake can talk”. Since we all know snakes cannot talk, obviously, another meaning is intended. Throughout, the Old and New Testaments people are described as animals. People with no religious beliefs are described as: “dogs”, Judah is described as: “a lion” and Jacob describes his son: “Dan” as: “a snake”. As commented upon already, since rabbis consider the Books of Moses to be a tree, this then suggests that the Garden of Eden is: “a library” or: “a school”. It is my contention then that: “the animals” which were placed in the garden to assist Adam were actually: “religious scholars” and that “the snake”, in particular, was: “an authority on religious law” (i.e. the name: “Dan” means: “judge”).
In the New Testament there is a very strange story about Jesus first meeting Simon/Peter (at that time his name was only: Simon). In short: Simon worked all night and was unable to catch any fish, but in the morning (a new source of light) Jesus comes and asks him to try again. Simon complies and as a result his nets are so full of fish that we are told “the boats nearly capsized”. Simon then throws himself on the floor of the boat and declares that he is: “a sinful man”.
Here we must ask ourselves: How is it possible that: “the in ability to catch fish” is described as: “a sin”? We have already shown that “water” represents: “explanations” and we have also shown the connection between: “life” and “understanding”. Basically: “fish live in water” and in the Old Testament, when the Children of Israel complain about a lack of “meat”, they begin to reminisce about the “fish of Egypt”. We have already discussed that the Hebrew word for “meat” is the root for the Hebrew word for: “preaching”, thus “a fish” represents: “some sort of religious teaching which draws is source of understanding from the explanations of men”. Jesus then, in his role as: “the word of God” makes it possible for: “men to catch fish”, yet he encourages the disciples to stop catching fish, which draw their understanding from water, and instead begin to catch men, which draw their understanding from the dry land of the school of the earth. So, we recall that in the Book of Genesis when God “split the waters” the dry firmament in the middle was described as: “heaven” and “heaven”, we noted, is a metaphor for: “the highest level of understanding”.
Thus, we begin to appreciate that Simon/Peter is implying that “his inability to catch fish” is due to: “his misunderstanding of the word of God” and that “sin” is related to: “false teachings” and: “religious misunderstandings” and not to: “bad behavior”. Naturally, if Simon/Peter is trying to “catch fish in order to increase his religious understanding” then: “a boat” must be a metaphor for: “a religious institution”. Since most boats are isolated from one another, what I believe: “boats” represent are: “religious monasteries”. Since Jesus has introduced “a new approach to catching fish” and he was able to produce an astonishing quantity of fish, when no one else could catch anything, naturally, this must have “upset the religious foundations of that particular monastery”, hence we are told: “the boats almost capsized”.
Returning then to the story of Noah, taking elements of both: “the Garden of Eden” and the story of: “Simon/Peter and the fish”, what I believe we are being told is that Noah was directed by God to establish a new religious monastery and that: “the animals” represented: “teachers all the various ‘fields of knowledge’ that were being studied at that time”. Interestingly, in Hebrew there is a word for “float”, yet, in Hebrew, we are told that the ark of Noah “walked on the waters”.
 In modern times, “the dove with an olive branch in its mouth” is usually used as a metaphor for: “peace”. This, in my opinion is incorrect:
1) in Hebrew it says that the dove has a leaf in its mouth, not a branch. In the New Testament there is a story of a fig tree. We are told that “because of the leaves”, Jesus began to search for fruit. The Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil produced fruit which “opened the eyes” of Eve, hence “fruit” is a metaphor for “knowledge”. What all this then means is that: “leaves” represent: “indicators of concealed knowledge”.
2) olive oil was used to light lamps and to anoint kings and priests. In fact, the term: “Christ” means: “anointed one”, thus all kings and priests could be classified as: messiahs (technically speaking: because Jesus was never anointed with olive oil he cannot be classified as: a messiah).
3) A hand is used: “to grasp” and even in modern times we speak of “grasping ideas”.
4) the New Testament states that the spirit of God descended upon Jesus in the form of a dove. And finally:
5) as mentioned, the name Noah means “to rest”.
Putting all the above images together we see that: “a dove with an olive leaf in its mouth, flying to the hand of Noah” thus represents: “God’s spirit will bring a comprehensible teaching, about a previously concealed knowledge, to those who rest”. 
Just briefly, I would like to mention that in chapter 8 line 21, it clearly says that God is lifting the curse placed on the earth (not on Adam) because of the sacrifice of meat made by Noah. This is not the place to discuss the symbolic meaning of “a sacrifice”, but the important point is that even if one did believe in “original sin” and that “Adam was cursed” and “not the earth”, here it clearly says that the curse was lifted. Thus, either way, we do not suffer from the effects of original sin today and it was Noah who removed this curse, not Jesus.
The story of Noah drinking the wine and taking off his clothes is extremely important, but I will only touch on it briefly here, because I would like to devote time to the story of the tower of Babel. In short, when people are intoxicated their bodies lose water and become dehydrated. Thus, when: “the waters of explanations” are removed from the body of Noah, he returns to a state of being similar to Adam and Eve, before they ate the forbidden fruit. To confirm this interpretation, during the holiday of Purim rabbis still instruct their students that they should get so drunk they can no longer distinguish between Eleazar and Hamon (i.e. between good and evil). Thus what we see here then is the knowledge of “the forbidden fruit” is: “the ability of a judge to distinguish between what is right and what is wrong”, which is why “Dan: the judge” is compared to a snake by his father Jacob. Furthermore, we see that wine neutralizes this ability. 
In the story of the tower of Babel we are told that Nimrod, the son of Cush and the descendant of the cursed Ham, is “a mighty hunter”. Generally, this is a good thing, but we must remember that Esau, the rejected brother of Jacob, is also described as: “a hunter”. In short: “hunters” are: “chasers of meat” and this is not such a positive trait by Biblical standards (remember that the people who “craved meat” in the desert were the ones struck down dead by God, not the people who simply ate the meat).
The next important issue is that the builders of the tower used: “brick for stone”. Jesus is described as: “the stone the builders rejected” and as: “the word of God”. In addition, the 10 commandments were written on stone. Basically then, “stone” is a metaphor for “the laws of God” and we should recall that the Egyptians forced the Israelites to build with bricks, not stone. The important issue here, however, is that we have shown that “heaven” represents: “a high level of understanding” and that the builders of the tower were trying: “to reach heaven”. Hence, what we are being told is that they, by “building with bricks”, were using “man made religious laws” in order to reach the highest levels of understanding and God, in effect was saying: “man cannot reach the highest levels of understanding through his own religious laws”.
When the story tells us that God confused their tongues, it does not mean that everyone started speaking different languages, like Persian, Aramaic and Greek. What we are being told is that when men reach a certain level of understanding their understanding of doctrine begins to split off into different interpretations of the source material (similar to what happened in the Protestant revolution of the 17th century. There is only one New Testament, but all of a sudden there was: Lutherism, Calvinism, Church of England, etc., etc.).
Thus in the Book of Acts we are told that the disciples began to “speak in tongues” and people from different parts of the Roman Empire understood what they were saying. This does not mean the disciples speaking different languages, what it means is in Judaism there are different interpretations of the laws and the disciples were able to comment on the law according to the different interpretations of each community of the Roman Empire. For example: even today in Israel there is a debate about whether or not it is permissible to eat rice during the Passover holidays. Some people say: “yes” and others say: “no”. The disciples therefore, were skilled enough in the law to argue from both perspectives.
In conclusion, what we see then is that God, in his role as a teacher, is able to influence the ideas of men by planting thoughts (“seeds”) in their minds. Sometimes, as in the case of Pharaoh, this is described as: “hardening the heart”. In other stories, as in the case of Samson, we are told that God even has the ability to make men fall in love with certain woman. In this section of the Old Testament we are told God: “confused the tongues of men” (“he opened their minds to different interpretations of religious laws”) Hence, the Old Testament is suggesting that God does indeed communicate with men, but men are not always aware that he is speaking to them.
 
 

 

ntroduction:

This commentary is based on two simple ideas:  1) That: “God’s Mountain” is also called: “Mount Moriah” and the root of this name is the Hebrew word: “moreh” which means: “teacher”. Therefore, because a mountain is a high place, “God” represents: “a teacher who brings a high level of understanding” (this is why Sodom and Gomorrah were located in a valley). 2) The Hebrew word for: “meat” is root for the word used for both: “preaching” and: “gospels”. A rabbi once told me that any animal which eats another animal is not kosher; hence any religious commentary which quotes another religious commentary should not be considered kosher as well, even if the person you are quoting is the Rashi.

Therefore, all my comments will be attempting to show that God is trying to teach us something and I will also attempt to explain the various ways he does this. Second, all my ideas will be my own and I will not be quoting a single rabbi or religious scholar to shed light on any passage, I will, however, quote Plato, or Jesus, or even Greek mythology, because it is my belief that in ancient times there was a commonly accepted “secret language” of metaphors and images used by poets, philosophers and religious leaders of those times. Following these guidelines, I believe, will bring a fresh perspective to the understanding of biblical law.  Not necessarily the best perspective or even a correct perspective; none the less, a perspective which, I believe, is worth while considering.

Genesis 1.1 – 6.8

The Old Testament begins by saying that in the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. In the 66th chapter of the Book of Isaiah, however, it also says that heaven is the throne (chair) of God and the earth is his footstool. The only throne that is actually described in the Old Testament is the throne of King Solomon and Solomon is described as: “the wisest of all men” and as: “The Son of God”. Solomon was also a source of answers for his people and he also decided difficult issues for them. My conclusion then is that: “heaven” represents: “a source of knowledge” (actually: “the highest knowledge”). We can also see this in the story of Elijah and the prophets of Baal where “a tongue of fire” comes out of heaven (implying that heaven has a mouth). In the story of Cain and Abel we are told that the earth too has a mouth which swallowed the blood of Abel. The point here is that: “mouths” are: “sources of teachings”. Thus, in the opening line of the Bible we are really being told is that “in the beginning” God established two sources of teachings: heaven and the earth (interestingly, the Hebrew word for: “beginning” can also be translated as: “at the head of things”).

When Joseph interprets the dreams of “the baker and the wine steward” he says that there are three baskets and three branches. He then goes on to say that: “the baskets” and: “the branches” represent: “days”. In the New Testament Jesus calls his disciples: “branches” and the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil produces fruit. This “fruit”, then is a metaphor for: “knowledge”. Since: “a basket” can hold fruit, this then makes it: “a source of knowledge” and since: “a branch” produces fruit, it too is: “a source of knowledge”. Following this line of logic: if: “fruit” is a metaphor for: “knowledge”, then: “eating” is a metaphor for: “learning” (Even in modern times, when confronted with apparently false information we say: “that’s hard to swallow”. We also use the phrase: “digest information”).

Basically, what I would like to suggest here is that 1) the earth is a school 2) each “day” being described is really: “ a lesson” (something by which knowledge is distributed). 3) every thing that was created during the first 6 days has something to do with education. For example: the Hebrew word for: “grass” in ancient times also meant: “ideas”. Moses said that “his words” were: “like the rain” and the first few lines of Genesis discuss water in both darkness and light (ignorance and understanding). Moses was “drawn from the water” and was prohibited from entrancing into the Promised Land because of the manner in which he produced water. Jesus was described as: “walking on the water” (i.e. he was above it, but the water was his base of support). God, however, “floated above” the waters (he is at a much higher level and does not use water as his base of support). Basically, it was the function of Moses to explain the law, so if: “his words were like the rain”, then my belief is: “water” represents: “religious explanations”.

The famous comedian Bill Maher repeatedly asks: Do you really believe a snake can talk? Since we all know snakes do not talk, if the Old Testament really is a holy text, then it is obvious that a snake must represent something else (i.e. it’s a metaphor for something). Jacob compared his son Dan to a snake and the name: “Dan” means: “judge”. Jesus compared his manner of death to the bronze snake and one of the main themes of the New Testament is: “the law must die”. John the Baptist described the Pharisees as: “snakes” and the Pharisees were “scholars of religious law” (usually mistranslated as: “lawyers”). From these examples, what we see then is that “a snake” represents: “an authority on biblical law”. We are specifically told that the snake was the most cunning of the animals “in the field”. Since we have already established that “the earth is a school”, what we are then being told is that: “each type of animal” (each type of meat) represents: “a different teaching”. Furthermore, in later chapters, we will be told that there are “clean animals” and “unclean animals” (Thus Jesus calls the Greek woman: “a dog”. Since the dog is a “meat eater” and is “not clean”, this is why the disciples didn’t want to help her).

To make this clearer, what we need to understand is that the Hebrew word for: “garden” is the root of the word for: “religious archive”. For centuries the rabbis have insisted that “The 5 Books of Moses” are: “The Tree of Life”. Hence, trees are metaphors for books and Adam was the head of the archive, or center of learning, while “the animals” represent: “scholars” (each an expert in his own field) who were there to assist Adam. In the Old and New Testaments usually a person’s name is associated with their function and when their function changes so does their name: For example: Abram to Abraham, Jacob to Israel, Simon to Peter. Thus when we read that Adam “named each animal” what we are really being told is: “he assigned each scholar his job in the archive” (Since the name: “Adam” comes from the word for: “ground” and the “earth is a school” then, clearly, Adam was a scholar or headmaster).

To elaborate a little further on this idea of “the earth being a school”: In the Book of Judges there is a story about Samson asking a riddle. When his wife reveals the answer to his rivals, Samson then says: “If you had not been plowing with my heifer, you would not know the answer now”. So here we have three aspects to deal with: 1) “to plow” means: “to inquire” 2) “a heifer” or “a cow” or “an ox” represents: “a medium which men can utilize to seek answers” 3) “the earth” or: “a field” represents: “a religious school” or: “a source of answers”. Thus, when the ancient Romans spoke of their dead going to: “the Elysian Fields” they were speaking of a “source of higher understanding” (similar to what we previously discussed about: “heaven”) and were not referring to a literal wheat field as depicted in the blockbuster movie: “The Gladiators”

Thus, from this little episode in Judges we then get the key to 1) Why Elisha was plowing a field with 12 oxen when he was found by Elijah? 2) Why, in messianic times, men will beat their swords into plowshares and not into saws ? (i.e. Jesus was a plowman not a carpenter, this is a mistranslation from the Hebrew) 3) Why Cain was so distressed when God told him the earth would no longer produce “food” for him? 

Moving along, I would now like to shift focus to the punishments given by God to the snake, to Adam and to Eve. First: the snake must eat “dust” for the rest of his life. This is a mistranslation: the Hebrew word is actually: “soil”, but the important issue is that God told Adam that from “soil he was made and from soil he shall return”. Thus, “the snake” is “eating the dead bodies of men” (i.e. his sources of knowledge will lack understanding).  

Second: since God told Adam he would die on the same day he ate of the fruit of the forbidden tree, obviously “death” means something else. In Hebrew the word for: “suicide” is translated as: “losing the ability to know”. The Garden of Eden, as we discussed, is a library or a source of knowledge. Hence, when Adam is: “expelled from the Garden” what we are being told is that he has been: “separated from a source of knowledge” and, therefore, he has “lost his ability to know” and for all intents and purposes “is dead”.  Since Adam and Eve ate the fruit of their own volition we could then say: “they committed suicide” (although some might argue it was: “an assisted suicide”). Furthermore, to reinforce this interpretation, we are told that from now on Adam must work the land, but the land will not yield its produce easily (Adam will be frustrated in his attempts to: “produce knowledge”).

Third: we are also told that Eve will have trouble producing children. Later, when read about Isaac and Rebecca, she is having trouble getting pregnant. Isaac then tells her that he is not responsible for her not having “fruit in her womb”. Since we have already drawn the connection between “fruit” and “knowledge” we can then see that Eve’s punishment also has something to do with producing knowledge (i.e. the children of Eve are fruit). Later, Isaac tells Rebecca that he will pray for her and then she becomes pregnant (becomes a bearer of fruit).

What we see then from these stories is that a woman is a spiritual medium, she provides knowledge to her husband and later we will actually see that God tells Abraham to “heed the voice of Sarah”.  Thus, it is by no accident that the Bible uses the word “know” to describe “sex”. Joseph tells his brothers that he was skilled in divination and later we are told of a new Pharaoh who “did not know Joseph”. Eve is described as: “the mother of all living things”, yet: How can this be? She is not the mother of the animals. She is not even the mother of Adam! Since we have already shown the connection with “death” and “ignorance”, “life” must then be a metaphor for: “understanding”. When we are told that Eve is: “the mother of all living things”, what we are really being told is that Eve, because she is a spiritual medium, is: “the mother of all understanding”. This then helps one to better appreciate what Jesus meant when he said to the Samaritan woman that he could provided her with “living waters”. “Water”, we noted, represents: “explanations”, thus: “living waters” means: “explanations which bring understanding”. 

Finally, we are told that the descendants of Eve and the snake will be enemies. That her descendants will attempt to crush the snake’s head and he will bite at their heels. Why the heel? Jacob is born holding the heel of his brother Esau; the mother of Achilles gripped her son’s heel when she dipped him into the Styx;  Jesus told his followers that if they did not permit them to wash their feet they could no longer be his disciples. Since the head is contrasted with the heel, what we apparently are being told then is that each will attack the source of understanding of the other. Moses was told to remove his sandals because he was standing on “holy ground”. My feeling is that “the feet” represent: “the location where the spiritual knowledge about God, which is transmitted thru ‘the school of the earth’, enters into the body of men” and “the heel”, it would appear, is “the genitals of the foot” since Adam and Eve “produce fruit” by having sex. Contrasting this is the head which, obviously, is the source of thinking and logic. The snake, as an authority on Biblical law, uses his head and his intellect as his source of understanding. Two methods of seeking religious knowledge are being pitted again one another: 1) those who study the law 2) those who seek knowledge by: “being fruitful and multiplying”. Thus, part of the snake’s punishment is that he loses the use of his feet.

Another issue I would just like to address is: “the mark of Cain”. As already commented upon, many Hebrew words are mistranslated or misunderstood. In the New Testament, there are many references to: “signs” or: “miracles”, but in reality the Hebrew word used to describe these actions means: “letter”. So, it is not: “a mark” on the forehead of Cain, but rather: “a letter” (Many people believe this is the reason Nathaniel Hawthorne, who studied Hebrew, entitled his book: “The Scarlet Letter”). Another misunderstanding is the word used for: “Judgment Day”. In reality, what is written in Hebrew is: “The day of the sentence”. Many people know that Jesus was described, among other things, as: “the word of God”, but less people are aware that in Norse Mythology there is also a: “Tree of Knowledge” and: “a snake”. This tree is identified as the ash tree and its wood many times is used for making bows (the name of the father of King Saul was: “Kish”, which means: “bow”). The ash tree in Hebrew is called: “etz ha mila” which means: “tree of the word” and we have already touched upon Jesus comparing himself to the bronze snake. The ash tree is a member of the same species as the olive tree and the definition of “a messiah” is: “one anointed with olive oil”. What we then see from all this is that in the Old and New Testaments there are: “letters”, “words” and “sentences” and each refers to a different level of understanding and not: “miracles” and: “the end of the world”.

One of the reasons we cannot take the story of Cain literally is because God said that 7 lives would be taken for the life of Cain. How is that possible, if at that time there were only 3 people alive: Cain, his mother and his father? In order to better appreciate what is going on here we must recall the conversation between God and Abraham over the destruction of Sodom. In short, Abraham was arguing that God could not destroy the good along with the bad. What we see God doing with Cain then is to place a little bit of spiritual knowledge within the mind of Cain. Those who “saw him” would “understand” that this was a religious man (he had a little good within) and hence would not harm him (attack his religious beliefs). We have, in our discussion of Eve, shown that “life” is a metaphor for “understanding”, thus what we are being told by God’s warning is that if the spiritual knowledge within Cain is destroyed, mankind will drop 7 levels of understanding.

While, most Jews don’t agree with the conclusions of the New Testament, few would argue that the authors of the Gospels knew absolutely nothing about the Old Testament. Jesus called the Jews: “the sons of Cain”. Since the Jews are the descendants of Cain’s brother Seth, obviously a different meaning is intended. Cain worked in the field and he “killed” Abel in the field. We have already established that “a field” represents: “a school”. By describing the Jews as: “the sons of Cain” Jesus was then criticizing their: “total dependence on religious scholarship” and was not making a reference to their genetic code.

In closing, I would just like to clarify one point: Earlier I noted that the rabbis for centuries have considered: “the 5 Books of Moses” to be: “the Tree of Life”.  By strange coincidence, the early church fathers, for centuries, have considered Jesus, in his role as: “the word of God”, to be: “The Tree of Life”. Fortunately, I am an “equal opportunity” iconoclast….

It is my opinion that neither: “the teachings of Moses”, nor: “the teachings of Jesus” can be described as: “The Tree of Life”. Both, it seems to me, are better represented by: “The Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil”. First: in the Book of Deuteronomy, Moses gives the Israelites the choice between good and evil and, in the Gospels, Jesus tells his disciples that they must behave both like snakes and doves. Second: as we touched upon, “life” is a metaphor for: “understanding”. If the teachings of Moses and Jesus were: “The Tree of Life” then we won’t need rabbis and priests to explain their meaning to us for close to two thousand years! Third: God told Moses that the names of evil people would not appear in “The Book of Life”, yet both the Old and New Testaments are filled with the names of bad people. So, in conclusion, the teachings of both Moses and Jesus are represented by a tree, it’s just not: “The Tree of Life”. 

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