Chabad House Bullet Ridden Torah Scroll

On Thursday November 27, 2008 when it became known that the people in the Chabad house may have been killed, six Zaka volunteers from Israel flew to Mumbai to assist in bringing the bodies back to Israel. They arrived in Mumbai on Friday November 28. On Saturday the bodies were brought from Chabad house to an Indian hospital where the Zaka volunteers explained to the Indian authorities not to do autopies or remove the bullets from the bodies in order to best preserve the sanctity of the bodies.

On Sunday morning, Yehuda Meshi-Zahav, the chairman of Zaka, arrived in Mumbai. When he went into the Chabad house, he and the other Zaka volunteers went to the holy Ark holding the Torahs. There they found four Torahs.

The Ark at Chabad
Opening the holy Ark

As they were taking out the Torahs, they realized that one Torah was bullet ridden. When they opened that Torah, someplace in the damaged sections, they saw that the bullets had torn a hole just below the verse "And Hashem spoke to Moshe after the deaths of the two sons of Aaron", Leviticus Chapter 16, verse 1. This is a verse often cited in situations of inexplicable unjustified deaths of innocent people. The coincidence of this verse, which is an appropriate verse, and the bullet holes so surprised them that they reported this to the media. They took some pictures, two of which are shown below.

Bullet-ridden Torah
Torah with Bullet Holes

So surprising was this coincidence that when the the victims' families, Chabad support, and the damaged Torah scroll were waiting for the plane that would be flying them and the remains of the victims to Israel, the Chabad Shliach to New Delhi, Rabbi Shneur Kupchik, related this story. Naturally they opened the Torah scroll themselves to see. The entire delegation stood frozen in shock after seeing this coincidence.

On the same date that the Zaka volunteers left Israel for Mumbai, Thursday November 27, 2008, Torah code researcher Dr. Moshe Katz, who for many years has been finding Torah code tables related to current events, found a compact table with ELSs of the key words Chabad House, Terror and Bombay in the verses beginning in Parsha Acharey Mot, which begins in Leviticus Chapter 16, verse 1. The top part of the bullet hole goes through the verse Leviticus Chapter 16, verse 3. Professor Rips later found ELSs of two different key words for Attack in the same table and Professor Haralick found an ELS of the key word India. The extended and slightly larger table is shown below. This table begins in Leviticus Chapter 16, verse 2, the second verse of Parsha Acharey Mot.

Bombay Terror Attack Chabad House
The automated search produced a cylinder size of 81 columns. With expected number of ELSs set to 50, the probability that a random placement monkey text would produce a table as compact as that found in the Torah is 3.5/1000.
Findings by Dr. Moshe Katz, Professor Eliyahu Rips, and Professor Robert Haralick

There are four events that characterize what happened: two in Mumbai India and two in Israel.

Can we determine or estimate the probability of these four events?

Let us suppose that of the verses in Torah, the ones regarding Aaron's two sons who died are the most appropriate of all verses relative to the Massacre in Chabad House, Mumbai India. Let us also suppose that the Torah scroll has about 248 colunmns and that 30 columns of these 248 pages were damaged by bullet holes. There are 248-30+1 = 219 contiguous sections of Torah that can each contain 30 columns. Of these 219 contiguous sections, there are 30 contiguous sections that contain the column having the beginning of Leviticus Chapter 16. The bullet damaged the Torah scroll in one of these 30 sections. This is the first event. Given that the bullets damaged one section of 30 columns, the probability of the bullets hitting a section that contains the interesting column is 30/219. This is, perhaps, a much higher probability than people intuitively expected. But intuition with regard to probabilities is often faulty.

When the Zaka volunteers opened the Torah, they were not interested in the columns that were not damaged. Their interest was in any pertinant Torah verse that got damaged. They knew of one interesting verse. They took a picture of the column having this interesting verse. From the picture, we can see that the bullet hole/tear is one line away from the interesting verse. The bullet hole/tear is 6 lines in height. The interesting verse is 2 lines. There are 42 lines in a column. There are 37 possible vertical positions for a bullet hole/tear that is 6 lines in height in a column of 42 lines. Of these 37 possible positions, there are 9 in which the bullet hole/tear is within 1 line of the interesting verse. Therefore, the second India event has a probability of 9/37.

Now let us turn to Moshe Katz's two events in Israel. Assume that the table that he found and which was subsequently extended with additional key words can be considered to have all a priori key words. His first event is finding a table as compact as he and the others found. With expected number of ELSs set to 100, the probability that a table as compact as this would be produced by a text from the random placement ELS text population is 3.5/1,000.

For his second event, he found a compact table whose beginning verse is on the same Torah scroll column as that photographed in India. The probability of the first line of this table appearing on any one of the 248 Torah scroll columns we assume to be the same 1/248.

We know that Moshe Katz's table was found on Thursday, November 27, 2008, and there was no communication between him and the Zaka volunteers who in Mumbai India opened the bullet ridden Torah on Sunday November 30. If we assume that each of these four events are independent, the probability of the joint occurence of the events is about 30/219 x 9/37 x 3.5/1,000 x 1/248 = 4.703/10,000,000, less than 1/2,000,000.