The Making of A Torah Code Documentary
Dan Gordon emailed Professor Haralick requesting him to see if the name of Gordon's Broadway play, Irene's Vow, is also encoded. The Hebrew key words for Irene's Vow were added to the list of key words. Surprising the smallest area table was still in the same place. With expected number of ELSs set to 50, the probability that a text from the ELS random placement text population would produce as compact a table as that produced by the Torah text is 2.5/100,000.
As can be seen from the table, verses in the table span from Deuteronomy 19:4 through Deuteronomy 21:9. When Professor Haralick emailed Dan Gordon the table, he wrote the following regarding the section of the Torah that the table is in.
You might want to read that section very carefully and in some intuitive way find some verses which are a close connection. For instance in Deuteronomy chapter 20 verses 3-4 says:
And He shall say unto them, Hear, O Israel, you are approaching this day to do battle against your enemies: let your hearts not be faint, do not be afraid; do not panic, and do not be broken before them; For HASHEM your God is the ONE that goes with you, to fight for you against your enemies, to save you.
Perhaps this parallels one of your Israeli army experiences?
Now we let Dan Gordon again speak for himself.
Well, of course this did indeed parallel the experience that I had as a soldier in the second Lebanon war. Indeed, it was exactly the feeling that I had during that experience.
I replied to Haralick's email:
I must ask you to forgive what will be a lengthy email but I think you will find it worthwhile, especially in response to your comment "perhaps this parallels one of your Israeli army experiences." First of all, it certainly does. I was in the second Lebanon war in 2006 and had the most profound experience of my life. I knew beyond the shadow of any doubt that nothing could happen to me. I had a sense of a deep peace. It was not bravado or false courage, I simply knew I was exactly where Hashem wanted me to be doing exactly what Hashem wanted me to be doing. I had rockets explode around me for four weeks and never had as much as a scratch. One hit on the other side of a tree and it was the tree that saved my life. Had I been standing an inch to the left or right I would have been cut to pieces. And yet I don't think it even raised my heart rate. I knew I was completely safe.
One evening I was driving though a place known as katyusha alley. It was a small valley near the Lebanese border. I was driving to rejoin my unit, half the valley was in shadow as the sun was beginning to set when suddenly a truly hellacious rocket attack began. It occurred to me that I was in the valley of the shadow of death and I truly feared no evil. The rockets rained down on both sides of the road and I continued driving, without a scratch.
A few weeks later I was in a town called Ma'alot which was completely deserted because of the constant rocket attacks. It was the end of the day and I was quite hungry and to my amazement I actually found a restaurant that was open. It was like a scene out of the Twilight Zone. A completely deserted town with a lovely restaurant with tables set on its terrace overlooking Lebanon and the owner of the restaurant and I being the only people still in that town. He was kind enough to make me dinner and as we sat down to enjoy our food the air raid sirens began going off. I told the owner that he should go to the air raid shelter but that I had not had a hot meal in four days and I was not about to miss this one. He replied that he was tired of going to the shelter and so we clinked our glasses and sat there as katyusha rockets began to fly overhead from Lebanon into Israel and Israeli 155 millimeter howitzer shells flew from Israel into Lebanon. The 23rd Psalm once again echoed in my ears, thou preparest a table in the midst of my enemies (verse 5). I cannot recall a meal at which I have ever felt more at peace.
Shortly after the war I wrote a series of articles about my experiences and reflections on that conflict. An artist by the name of Robin Hanely contacted me, she had read one of the articles. She did extraordinary artwork that incorporated actual photographs that were photo montaged with overlaying elements to create truly stunning pieces of art. She said she wanted to make something for the families of the fallen soldiers. For that she wanted photographs of Israeli soliders in combat. She would then overlay an image of the Israeli flag and of King David and his mighty warriors gazing at the Israeli soldier showing the direct link between the biblical warriors of old and those who fought for Israel's security today. I told her I would be happy to try but there was a good deal of beaucracy involved in getting the Israeli army to release photos of its solider's in combat. I tried several channels but came up empty. Finally I sent to her a few pictures that I had taken and one picture that one of my fellow officers Captain Doron Spielman had taken of me on patrol by the Lebanese border with puffs of smoke from artillery hits in the background. We were on the crest of a hill looking down into Lebanon with a deputy brigade commander when our radio man received word that we had been spotted by a Hezbollah unit that was in the process of targeting us with an anti-tank missile. Needless to say, we hastily changed our position. The reason I thought the photograph would be helpful was it simply looked like a generic reserve solider of indeterminate rank or age in a combat situation. Robin said that the photo would work just fine and she sent me back her artwork which I've attached below.
Robin put a verse from the Pslams as a caption and it was presented to all the families of the fallen.
Some time later, I was going to be making a speech in front of about five thousand people about the war and Tsipi Livni, then Israel's foreign Minister would be the speaker after me. I suggested to Robin that if she would make up a large portrait I would present it to the Foreign Minister. She made up the large portrait and took it to be engraved with the Hebrew verse from the Psalms. I've attached her email to me describing the encounter. The engraver was a rabbi and said it was not fitting to engrave a scripture from the bible if the purpose was inappropriate. She showed him the portrait and explained it to him and he said the purpose "was appropriate." But he did not think the verse from the Psalms was the right one. He was a Lubavitcher Hassid and said he would like to take the picture to the rabbis and discuss with them what the appropriate verse to be engraved should be. He came back several days later and said that after consultation with the rabbis they had decided upon the verse that should go with the montage and he engraved a placque. This is shown below.
Now, when I had seen that the Torah code table was in a passage from Deuteronomy I tried to remember whether or not that was the one engraved under the montage. I could not remember and I searched my old emails and could not find the email telling me what chapter it was. So I called Robin, and asked her if she recalled. I said I remembered it was in Deuteronomy but I could not recall chapter or verse. She said she did not remember, but would call back after looking in her Bible because the verses were underlined there.
When I picked up my Bible which is next to my bed it fell open in my hands with no book-marker, no post- it, precisly to Deuteronomy chapter 20.
Once she found the underlined verses, she called Dan back and this is what she said.
Dan it was underlined just as I remember underlining it when I spoke with Rabbi Avroham as he gave it to me and read it to me over the phone. Exactly verses 3 and 4.
When I told her the entire story, both of us were almost in tears.
I wrote Professor Haralick,
The exact place where my name, birthday, and profession appears in the Torah Codes corresponds to the versese that were engraved in the protrait. I am speechless. I cannot imagine that there are any odds on this one.
After emailing the above account to Professor Haralick, he emails back:
Please read Psalm 145. I attach a writeup, an interpretation that I did for it that helps get people sync'ed into it.
Then follow the directions of the Psalm. And talk about this to other people. This is an instance of the glory and miracles of God that are spoken about in the Psalm. And of course pay attention to how your consciousness changes as you do so. You will be more than uplifted and you will become even more sensitive to noticing the miracles that are easy to not see.
As you are a playwrite, you must write it up and make it publicly known. If you want you can give your writeup to me and I will make a webpage for it in the site that I and Rabbi Glazerson maintain on Torah codes: torahcode.us. And of course we can use the art work with Robin's permission.
I replied to Haralick's email:
Thank you so much for your wonderful exegesis on Psalm 145. I have been pondering it all night, measuring it against my own experience, experiencing it's reality within me and sharing it with people I love. Thank you and thank you again.
I shared Haralick's email with Robin. This is what she emailed me.
There is no more important work being done on earth today than what these guys are doing! And you are embarking on a mission that HaSHem has appointed for you! I have finished Robert's commentary on Psalm 145. I wept throughout. As I read his anointed interpretations I had so many scriptures cross referencing or I should say dancing through my mind that correlated with Robert's interpretations. To me, Robert's wisdom below is key and more than accurate and purest truth:
To be on a spiritual level that we always have this awareness is hard. The best we can do is discover ourselves in it and try to maintain ourselves in this level of consciousness. And when we realize we are out of this level of consciousness work hard at trying to return to this level. Returning to this level is not easy. It means we have to give something up. Usually what we have to give up is what our body and heart is most tightly attached to. Such a level of attachment actually means that we have placed it ahead of God. So by giving up our attachment we can make a place for God consciousness and with God consciousness we become aware how God is indeed satisfying our highest level of spiritual desires in each moment.
I believe the thing that holds us back from attaining this level of oneness with God is Ego. I think of Jacob at Machanaim, when he encounters the angels of God. There can be two schools of thought, probably many more, but personally I find it apropos that the meaning is "double camp.". A place of Divinity and humanity. The two interpretations seem contrary but I think they are really harmonious He says "Surely God in this place and I did not know." Did he find God in the "I" of himself? In his fear and anger of his exile did he discover the potential of the Divinity within him? A place of where God can reside? Or is he saying it is the "I" the self of Jacob that he did not know? When we are not filled with ourselves, when we empty ourselves of the ego and self-serving we can truly experience God's presence and be confident of how ever- present he can be. When we are empty He can fill! When I am nothing ... He is EVERYTHING!.
Dan Of course you have my permission for the use of the portrait. It is your portrait as well as mine. I will send an attachment rather then the insert that I sent you in the email today of the framed portrait and the portrait by itself. This is all so wondrous and timely.
And now everyone can know that it is because of Psalm 145 in this context that we put up this webpage.
Professor Haralick writes,
I looked at the photo of the collage with the plaque. I enlarged the plaque to see if I could read its letters. As best as I can make out, the last five words of the first line of the plaque are the words עם רב ממך לא תירא מהם. These are the 9th through the 14th words of verse 1 of Deuteronomy Chapter 20. The last word on the plaque is אתכם. This is the last word of verse 5 of Deuteronomy Chapter 20. So the plaque has engraved verses 1 through 5. And yet Robin had underlined in her Bible, verses 3 and 4, the very verses I had suggested to Dan to read and the verses that Robin said the Rabbi who did the engraving read to her.
I thought that there is something more unusual here, more than meets the eye. Somehow, the hand of heaven is here. The tie between the playwrite Dan Gordon and the artist Robin Hanley is not by chance. I decided to make a new experiment adding as key words Robin, Hanley, and her profession Artist. And while I was at it, the key word author, another descriptive term for Dan's profession and I would try each of the four forms that could be used for the year of his birth 1947. I used the same protocol as the original experiment. None of the results were interesting. I repeated the experiment setting the expected number of ELSs to 100. The best table is shown below. ELSs for each of the additional key words were found in the same section of the Torah as the original experiment.
The verse in Deuteronomy had to be "appropriate," pondered, and then applied to the artwork. And now, long after all these decisions were made and the art completed, all these codes seem to verify this simple act -- documented in the Torah for all time over 3,300 years ago!
Lee Cantelon makes some concluding remarks.
Looking back on these events, it is clear to me that there exists an undeniable pattern, both in the Code as it is in our mysterious existence as human entities, that cannot be merely random. Though hindsight provides us the possibility to be imaginative when assessing destiny, it is always startling to review how surely paths came together in a remarkable sequence, and how bonds were born that transcended religious and cultural boundaries. A disparate group was being drawn together, bound by the realization that God has and continues to speak within a living text, assembling a diversity of intellects and personalities to cooperate, to be servants to a revelation that will be broadcast to a waiting world, one that is longing for hope and truth's illumination in these troubling times, a "...clear sign involving the very birth of the world."