Sunday, February 28, 2016

Who the Torah was written for?

I just wanted elaborate more about who the Torah was written for and its interpretation.

Torah was written for WISE, RATIONAL and REASONABLE people. 
Not idiots or religious fanatics.

This means that Torah is not going to explain absolutely everything. We are not robots and Torah is not some computer software. We are human, a higher beings, so we are perfectly capable of understanding those parts of the Torah that are not explicitly stated. 

For example, let's take Deuteronomy 12:21:
YLT Dt 12:21 'When the place is far from thee which Jehovah thy God doth choose to put His name there, then thou hast sacrificed of thy herd and of thy flock which Jehovah hath given to thee, as I have commanded thee, and hast eaten within thy gates, of all the desire of thy soul;
As you can see, the way we should actually kill the animal is not listed. Orthodox Jews claim it is a proof of their "oral torah". And I say, it just means that we are to kill the animal in a most humane manner possible. More specifically, right now we have the technology to stun animals before slaughter, so I think Torah means that we should use it, as opposed to fully manual (traditional) way of slaughter.

As you can see, unlike Orthodox Jews, normal people would not even think twice to make up something like that from one unrelated word and verse. This is what I mean, when I say that there has to be a certain degree of rationality and reason in the interpretation process.

Orthodox Jews further claim, that this verse is proof of "oral torah" since if the method of killing is not specified in the Written Torah, it must mean that there was some other torah (an oral one).

This is, of 'course, a preposterous statement because how one word can mean an entire concept? How one obscure word in the obscure verse almost at the end of the book can mean anything but what its plain meaning is? 

Of'course it can't! This word and verse is not a proof of any torah. This verse just states to do the ritual according to the rules outlined in the beginning of the book and kill the animal in the most humane way possible.

This is what I mean by Torah was written for WISE, RATIONAL AND REASONABLE people, who would not require an explanation for everything single thing and can think for themselves.

PLEASE NOTE: That even though Written Torah was given to Hebrews, it is applicable to every single human being on this planet. Yes, some rituals and commandments reserved specifically for Hebrews, but other nations and other people are also required to observe these laws and commandments. Torah states numerous times in Genesis that all nations of the earth will be blessed because of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. This means that eventually, all nations and all people of the earth will come together and worship the same God and practice the same laws.

Saturday, February 27, 2016

Does Torah allow birthday celebrations?

Does Written Torah allow birthdays and birthday's celebrations? As far as I know, there is no single reference to a birthday of a Hebrew in the Written Torah, except the birthday of Pharaoh. Let's take a look. It is Genesis 40:20
YLT Gn 40:20 And it cometh to pass, on the third day, Pharaoh's birthday, that he maketh a banquet to all his servants, and lifteth up the head of the chief of the butlers, and the head of the chief of the bakers among his servants,
As you can see from this verse, a birthday celebration was clearly practiced in Egypt and was definitely the Egyptian custom. But what about Hebrews?

I know of only one clue that can support a claim that Hebrews celebrate birthdays too. It is  Genesis 21:8.
YLT Gn 21:8 And the lad groweth, and is weaned, and Abraham maketh a great banquet in the day of Isaac's being weaned;
Obviously, if Abraham celebrated weaning of Isaac, he most certainly celebrated day of his birthday as well. Isaac was beloved son of Abraham's old age, so he was dear to him, meaning that he celebrated everything about his son, including his birthday. 

A birth of a child, particularly sons, was a very important occasion among Hebrew people. It is Genesis 22:20
YLT Gn 22:20 And it cometh to pass after these things that it is declared to Abraham, saying,  'Lo, Milcah hath borne, even she, sons to Nahor thy brother:
As you can see, a birth of a child was a good news that was delivered to Abraham.

Not to mention, that we have extensive genealogies in the Torah that emphasise how long people lived, which means that counting years of one's life was important to the Hebrews.

So I think we can definitevely say that a birthday is a good tradition that we should embrace. There is nothing selfish or abhorrent to God in this tradition. So I think Torah definitely allows it, even though it definitely does not command it anywhere.

About sex change procedures

Written Torah prohibits any modifications to a penis (Deuteronomy 23:1) so there is absolutely no justification for sex change. 

All forms of sexual deviances is a direct violation of the 7th commandment. Also, if such person did a sex change, who would he sleep with? It clearly prohibits for male to sleep with another male (regardless if he had sex change or not). Its Leviticus 18:22 and 20:13. 

A better question would be if someone was born with a penile anomaly and it got fixed by means of stem cells (meaning completely), would such person be eligible entering back the assembly? 

Sex change makes you a non-Jew, so non-Jews can do sex change. But Jews should never approve or encourage non-Jews to do it.

Friday, February 26, 2016

Are we capable of understanding God and Written Torah?

Some people ask me how do I know if I am right about my Torah statements and research. How do I know that I am capable of understanding God and Written Torah (His Law) completely.

The answer is in the Written Torah itself. Let's take a look at Genesis 3:22-23
YLT Gn 3:22 And Jehovah God saith,  'Lo, the man was as one of Us, as to the knowledge of good and evil; and now, lest he send forth his hand, and have taken also of the tree of life, and eaten, and lived to the age,' -- 
YLT Gn 3:23 Jehovah God sendeth him forth from the garden of Eden to serve the ground from which he hath been taken;
As you can see from Genesis 3:22, God clearly stated that we (humans, both men and women) are like God in understanding and knowledge of life (both good and evil parts of it). The only difference between us and God is that God lives forever. Otherwise, there is no difference between us and Him. We are just as capable of doing what He is doing (to a degree of course, but nevertheless). This is how I know that my understanding of His Law is possible and more or less correct.

Also, there is Deuteronomy 29:29
YLT Dt 29:29  'The things hidden are to Jehovah our God, and the things revealed are to us and to our sons--to the age, to do all the words of this law.
As you can see, Torah is stated to be ours and our sons, so ALL of us (both men AND women) are perfectly capable of understanding and interpreting the Torah. 

Do not be afraid! Stand up for yourself! Do not let some illegitimate impostors, like rabbis and other illegitimate authorities that are not mentioned in the Torah. (see Deuteronomy 17:8:13), tell you what to do, what Torah says and how you should live your life.

Trust ONLY God, Levites and Judges, and do not believe or listen to anything other than the Written Torah. You are perfectly capable of understanding the text yourself. Torah requires that you know the text.

My Hi-poly and Lo-poly 3D models of the Tabernacle (Mishkan)

I've decided to release to the public some of my Hi-Poly and Lo-Poly 3D models of the Tabernacle and its artefacts. 

The files are still bearing my copyright and I am only releasing them for non-commercial and educational use. If you want to use these models in commercial project, please contact me to discuss royalty. 

However, because these models can help many people to better understand Written Torah and Tabernacle, I've decided to make it available. These are exact models that I use on this blog to create images for my posts.

Here are the links:

All models were created with Blender 3D. I used older version(2.48-49 I think) which is why some files may not display properly and some things may not work. Otherwise, the files should open and export fine from any version of Blender.

I hope you will enjoy these models. Thank you.

A little bit about history of the Written Torah

I just wanted to elaborate a bit about history of Torah as we know it. Here is my other article on the subject.

First of all, we only have surviving witnesses from the 2nd Temple era. We do not have a single scroll of Torah from before that.

Three witnesses have survived and are known: Masoretic Text, Samaritan Pentateuch (Samaritan Torah) and the Dead Sea Scrolls (Qumran Scrolls). While there are not many significant differences between all three, Samaritan Pentateuch is still the most important one since it is still being used by Samaritans in worship. Septuagint (LXX) is another good source, but it is a translation (Hebrew to Greek) and most people even read translation of the translation (Hebrew-Greek-English or other language). Very few people a fluent in Ancient Greek.

What is important to understand is that we can't trust only one of the witnesses. We can only trust all of them together. Some people do not understand that Samaritan Pentateuch (and Dead Sea Scrolls) are very important sources of the Torah and can't be dismissed lightly.

I do not trust sages of the Talmud for that very reason. First of all, there was already Samaritan Pentateuch with all its differences in the time of the sages. Secondly, sages who wrote Talmud were from generation of the Temple destruction and final/total exile of Hebrews from the Land of Canaan. So how can one trust sages interpretation of the Torah if they were ones responsible for exile? Talmud is surely a great historical source and a decent Written Torah commentary, but it is by no means divine or even correct/relevant in our time and with our current knowledge of the Torah.

So, as you can see, it is important to use all Written Torah witnesses together as they all provide valuable information about the original text.

Why there were Cherubim on top of the Ark of The Covenant?

Some people get confused by the commandment to make Chrubim on top of the Ark of the Covenant because the 2nd commandment prohibits molten and graven images. Here is the answer why.

Let's take a look at the second commandment:
Not you shall make for yourself a carving, and any likeness, which is in heavens from above, and which is in an earth from beneath, and which is in waters from under earth; not shall  you bow down to them, and not you shall be a slave to them; for I am Yahuah, your God, God jealous, visiting iniquity of fathers on sons of the third generation and fourth generation of ones hating Me; and doing kindness to a thousands generations of ones loving Me and ones guarding My commandments. (Exodus 20:4-6)
As you can see, we are forbidden to make graven images only for purposes of worship. Cherubim were never worshiped by anyone, so it is not an idol by any definition. Torah does not prohibit artworks. Torah prohibits worshiping idols. This is why Cherubim were allowed on the Ark.

Some say that Cherubim were of different genders, male and female, to symbolize the dual nature of God and the human.

Thursday, February 25, 2016

A few Tabernacle construction videos

I found this web site that has nice pictures and videos of the Tabernacle and its construction just like my blog. It is not precise model, particularly the overview of the structure and the courtyard (its size is not correct). However, it is still relevant to the subject of the Tabernacle so I recommend you to check out their YouTube channel as well. Below is one of the videos:

What kind of oil was used for Holy Anointing Oil?

If you will look at Exodus 25:6, you will see that it does not say anything about oil for Holy Anointing Oil, it only talks about aromatics for it.
YLT Ex 25:6 oil for the light, spices for the anointing oil, and for the perfume of the spices,
Cross-referencing the word oil, produces a clue - Exodus 27:20
YLT Ex 27:20 'And thou--thou dost command the sons of Israel, and they bring unto thee pure beaten olive oil for the light, to cause the lamp to go up continually;
As you can see from the verse, it was [pure beaten olive] oil. 

Cross-referencing the word beaten and pure produces the following verses:
YLT Ex 29:40 and a tenth deal of fine flour, mixed with beaten oil, a fourth part of a hin, and a libation, a fourth part of a hin, of wine, is for the one lamb. 
YLT Num 28:5 and a tenth of the ephah of flour for a present, mixed with beaten oil, a fourth of the hin; 
As you can see, the word "pure" is not present anywhere else, besides Exodus 27:20. Does this mean that "pure" oil was reserved for the lighting, and non-pure oil was acceptable for all other purposes?

Also, there is no word "olive" in Exodus 29:40 and Numbers 28:5. Does this mean it can be any oil? I.e vegetable oil?

I think the answer is more simple. 

Since Exodus 25:6 does not mention any other type of oil, except the one for the lighting of the Menora lamps, we have to conclude that it was the only oil donated. Why use other, less quality oil for holy offerings and especially for anointing? This does not make sense. It does not say that any other type of oil was donated and it probably was not.

This means, that for all three purposes (offerings, lighting Menorah and anointing) they used "pure beaten olive oil" as Exodus 27:20 states. 

This theory makes most sense to me in the absence of other evidence. Most likely, it is textual inconsistency and the original read "pure beaten olive oil" in all verses.  

How do we know that God exists?

This is more of a beginner's post. I just want to cover the basics and discuss how do we know that God is real and that God exists.

First of all, science has proven that everything came out of one source (a singularity) of infinite attributes (mass, size, temperature, e.t.c). This is a famous Big Bang theory, which has been accepted by most scientists today. And it confirms that there is only one God who created everything.

Here are some facts from the Written Torah:

  1. Name of God (Yahuah) means literally "Existing one". It seems that God wants to underline most that He exists. His other attributes, such as mercy, jealousy, e.t.c are not mentioned in His name.
  2. God is perfect, so He must exist because existence is one attributes of perfection by definition.
  3. There are no other gods. They are not real and they do not exist. Only we make them real, which is why it is prohibited by the 2nd commandment. Please see Deuteronomy 4:28.
  4. Existence of God is pretty much axiomatic. It can't be denied by any more of less rational person. The difficulty is not to believe in existence of God... the difficulty is to BELIEVE GOD, meaning trusting what He gives you, obeying His Written Torah and commandments ,e.t.c Please see my other post on the subject. Please also see my video lecture on the subject.
  5. The Law of God is obviously Written Torah. God couldn't have not leave some kind of instruction manual to life - this would make some people go crazy. Written Torah provides all important answers about God, His existence, how, why, e.t.c. Written Torah is pure science (as in observations of the world) which is why it is very important not to confuse the Law of God with the rest of the Bible, which are simply works of men.
  6. The only dwelling of One God is Tabernacle (Mishkan). Written Torah never mentions any temples and explicitly states many times that Tabernacle is forever. Levites are also to serve in the Tabernacle forever and all the artefacts of the Tabernacle are never allowed to be "taken to some temple".
I hope this has convinced you that God indeed exists, and Yahuah is the only, ONE, true God. And Tabernacle (Mishkan) is His ONLY dwelling place.

Are sea sponges kosher?

Let's take a look at seafood and what Torah says about it. It is Leviticus 11:9-12
YLT Lv 11:9 'This ye do eat of all which are in the waters; any one that hath fins and scales in the waters, in the seas, and in the brooks, them ye do eat; 
YLT Lv 11:10 and any one that hath not fins and scales in the seas, and in the brooks, of any teeming creature of the waters, and of any creature which liveth, which is in the waters--an abomination they are to you; 
YLT Lv 11:11 yea, an abomination they are to you; of their flesh ye do not eat, and their carcase ye abominate. 
YLT Lv 11:12  'Any one that hath not fins and scales in the waters--an abomination it is to you.
As you can see, Lev 11:10 provides valuable detail, namely "any creature which liveth". Since sea sponges are alive animals, they are definitely not kosher. So any other water creature that does not have fins and scales.

Please also note that the text talks about freshwater seafood as well (Lev 11:10)

More interesting questions would be seaweed, which is not an animal but rather a "plant" of sorts that grows under water, on the bottom. Is it kosher? I will discuss it in my next posts and I touched on that in my previous posts in this section.

About Deuteronomy 29:29 and its connection to the Tabernacle

I wanted to comment very briefly on Deuteronomy 29:29 and its connection to the Tabernacle (Mishkan). Let's take a look at the verse:
YLT Dt 29:29  'The things hidden are to Jehovah our God, and the things revealed are to us and to our sons--to the age, to do all the words of this law.
As you can see, this verse implies that Tabernacle is for us and our sons, forever. Torah gives us very clear instructions about Tabernacle and provides all details for us to build it. It was revealed to us, so it is ours. Not God's or some messiah's. Nobody is going to rebuild the Tabernacle for us, except ourselves. So it is up to us to rebuild it. 

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

More problems with Deuteronomy

I just wanted to elaborate more on the Book of Deuteronomy (Dvarim), because it is the only book that is inconsistent with the rest of the Written Torah.

For example, names of the places in Numbers 33 is different from what is written in Deuteronomy. Why? Do we have corrupted text? How do we reconstruct the path of their desert journeys? Which names are wrong...?

Another well-known example is Passover. Directions in Exodus 12 are different from Deuteronomy 16:2. What place? Tabernacle? Sure. It says in Numbers 9:1-14 that they kept Passover in the desert, which means that the Tabernacle was involved (as they have already built it). It also says that they slaughtered at the Tabernacle and stay all night by it. See Deuteronomy 16:1-8.

Does this mean that because there is no Tabernacle, we can slaughter Passover at a Synagogue or other place (where God chose His name to dwell)? 

I think this would be logical, as in the absence of the place, we should observe it as they did in Mizraim, as Exodus 12 prescribes it. I think, in this case, the rules of Deuteronomy can't be applied, because there is no place where God dwells. This is why we need to rebuild the Tabernacle so God can show us the place. Tabernacle itself would be a place. God would just show us where to put it.

Please also note that in Deuteronomy 16:2 it says "flock and herd", while in Exodus 12:5 we see another description that does not imply "herd" (only "flock"). This is another clear textual inconsistency.

The account of the Ten Commandments in Deuteronomy 5:6-21 is slightly different from the account of Exodus 20. How do we harmonize both passages?

There are other issues as well. For example, as I have discussed in my previous posts, many people think that Torah forces the victim of rape to marry her rapist because this is what it pretty much says in Deuteronomy 22:29. There is clear textual inconsistency in Deuteronomy here, because in Exodus 22:16-17 it clearly says that this is ONLY with the consent of the woman's father (and the woman). As you can see, such textual inconsistencies can be very damaging to Torah reputation.

There are much more inconsistencies that I will address in my later posts.

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

When do children become adults according to the Written Torah?

Let's take a look at verses that discuss coming of age for children.

For boys, it is Genesis 17:25
YLT Gn 17:25 and Ishmael his son is a son of thirteen years in the flesh of his foreskin being circumcised;
And for girls it is obviously defined by start of their period, which also occurs normally around 13 years of age. 

At this age, boys and girls become men and women and become responsible for their own actions. They are now responsible to keep all Written Torah commandments.

The reason why children less than 13 years of age are not responsible is stated in Deuteronomy 1:39.
YLT Dt 1:39  'And your infants, of whom ye have said, For a prey they are, and your sons who have not known to-day good and evil, they go in thither, and to them I give it, and they possess it;
For boys, there are few other levels of maturity according to the Torah. First is when they become eligible for military conscription at 20 years of age. Its Numbers 1:2-3
YLT Num 1:2  'Take ye up the sum of all the company of the sons of Israel by their families, by the house of their fathers, in the number of names--every male by their polls; 
YLT Num 1:3 from a son of twenty years and upward, every one going out to the host in Israel, ye do number them by their hosts, thou and Aaron;
Second, when descendants of Aaron are eligible for Service of the Sanctuary (service in the Tabernacle) at 25 years of age. It is Numbers 8:24-26
YLT Num 8:24  'This is that which is the Levites': from a son of five and twenty years and upward he doth go in to serve the host in the service of the tent of meeting, 
YLT Num 8:25 and from a son of fifty years he doth return from the host of the service, and doth not serve any more, 
YLT Num 8:26 and he hath ministered with his brethren in the tent of meeting, to keep the charge, and doth not do service; thus thou dost to the Levites concerning their charge.'
So, as you can see, the division is as follows:
  1.  13 years old(first period for girls). This is the age when children become adults, have to observe all Torah commandments and can have sexual relations (age of consent).
  2. 20 years of age. This is the age when men are ready for military service and eligible to kill.
  3. 25 years of age. Mature enough to serve in the Tabernacle.

Friday, February 19, 2016

Redeeming your Firstborn

Written Torah commands to redeem/ransom every firstborn male of human and of unclean beast. It talks about males only, because the word "opening up" is in masculine form. 

Let's take a look at the whole passage:
CLV Num 18:15 Every male opening up the womb of all flesh which they may bring near to Yahweh of human and of beast shall be yours. Only you shall ransom, yea ransom the firstborn of humans, and the firstborn of an unclean beast shall you ransom. 
CLV Num 18:16 As for his ransom, from a month old up shall you take ransom by your appraisal with five silver shekels by the shekel of the holy place. It is twenty gerahs. 
CLV Num 18:17 Only the firstborn of kine or the firstborn of sheep or the firstborn of goats you shall not ransom. They are holy. Their blood you shall sprinkle against the altar, and their fat you shall cause to fume as a fire offering for a fragrant odor to Yahweh. 
CLV Num 18:18 Yet their flesh shall be yours, like the chest of the wave offering, and like the right leg shall it be yours.
As you can see, you need to redeem all firstborn males of humans and unclean beasts. You must redeem your firstborn after they reach 1 month of age (1 lunation basically)

According to my Shekel Section, Shekel is 5 gram. This means that 5 shekels is 25 grams of silver. This, in today's prices is 25*0.5=$12.5. Very affordable, even to the most poor. With maximum traditional value of the Shekel you would have to pay 14.34*5=71.7g of Silver or 71.7*0.5=$35.85. Three times more!!!

This verse means silver, and not money, so you must donate actual silver (72 grams in maximum case). IMPORTANT: When buying coins, watch out for deities like the liberty god on the US Dollars. I found this one to be the best.

Please note that you must give this money to a kohen(a priest), descendant of Aaron. This person must be able to prove it by blood, otherwise redemption does not count. If you are a priest and redeeming your firstborn, you redeeming your firstborn from a High Priest (eldest kohen). See Leviticus 21:10.

So, today (02/19/2016) it will cost you ~$12.5 USD to a Kohen (priest, descendant of Aaron) to redeem your firstborn males. As Jewish tradition states, if no one redeemed you and you are a first born, you must redeem yourself. A Kohen can be found in most Synagogues, Jewish Temples, Shuls e.t.c. Just go to the near one and ask a rabbi (or just people) to show you a kohen. And then just give him the money, saying that it is for redemption of your firstborn.

Was Silver Shekel of the Sanctuary equal 20 Carats?

I've discussed value of the Shekel of the Sanctuary (Exodus 30:13) before, particularly in this post. However, its value remains unclear to me. 

Silver Shekel is said to be 20 gerahs (Exodus 30:13, Lev 27:25, Num 3:47, Num 18:16). 

However, as the above post indicates, gerah was neither a grain of cereal (barley) or a cud (bolus) of the cow. The latter is very strange, considering that the word "gerah" (גרה) used to refer to "cud" in Leviticus 11:3-7 and Deuteronomy 14:6-8.

Traditional sources indicate that Shekel of the Sanctuary was equal either 11.95 grams or 14.34 grams, which would make Talent 35.85 kg and 43.02 kg respectively. This seems to be too much, because it would put weight of the Tabernacle parts very close to maximum carrying limit for a human. See my Tabernacle Calculator.

I found one article that describes a rather interesting theory. The article is by Turnbull, L. A.; Santamaria, L.; Martorell, T.; Rallo, J.; Hector, A. (2006). "Seed size variability: From carob to carats". Biology Letters 2 (3): 397–400.

Here are a few excerpts:
"The seeds of various plants were used as weights because their mass reputedly varies so little. Carob (Ceratonia siliqua), which has given its name to the carat, is particularly famous in this regard. But are carob seeds unusually constant in weight and, if not, how did the myth arise? The variability of seeds sampled from a collection of carob trees (CV=23%) was close to the average of 63 species reviewed from the literature (CV=25%). However, in a perception experiment observers could discriminate differences in carob seed weight of around 5% by eye demonstrating the potential for humans to greatly reduce natural variation. Interestingly, the variability of pre-metrication carat weight standards is also around 5% suggesting that human rather than natural selection gave rise to the carob myth."
"Here, we attempt to unravel the relationship between the carat and the carob and propose an explanation for the myth of constant seed weight. There appears to be a long history of a weight carrying a name associated with carob and with a mass close to that of a single carob bean. For example, the ancient Greeks had a small weight, the kerat, while the siliqua (from the Latin for carob, siliqua Graeca) is the smallest subdivision (1/1728) of the Roman pound (Smith 1870). Incidentally, the measure of gold purity—also called the carat (UK English) or karat (US English)—derives from the time of the Emperor Constantine when a new gold coin was struck at 72 to the Roman pound, meaning that each coin weighed 24 siliquae or carats. While the exact modern equivalents of ancient weights are of course unknown, various methods such as weighing ancient coins, give widely accepted values for the siliqua in the range 189–192 mg (Smith 1870). According to the Oxford English Dictionary (OED 1989) the word carat first appeared in 1555 but its weight varied from place to place prior to its standardization at 200 mg in 1907 (Zhengzhang 1991)."

"The average mass of seeds from female trees (200.5mg+/-2.47 mg) was very close to the metric carat (200 mg) while seeds from hermaphrodite trees were lighter (175.8mg+/-7.1 mg) possibly reflecting the cost of pollen production."
Here is a brief quote from Carob article on Wikipedia:
"The word carob comes from Middle French carobe (modern French caroube). It may have come from the Ancient Greek, where the seeds were used as units of weight (karat) or is alleged to be taken into Europe from Arabic خَرُّوبٌ (kharrūb, "locust bean pod"), which derives from Akkadian kharubu. Ceratonia siliqua, the scientific name of the carob tree, derives from the Greek kerátiοn (κεράτιον), "fruit of the carob" (from keras [κέρας] "horn"), and Latin siliqua "pod, carob." The term "carat", the unit by which precious metal and stone weight is measured, is also derived from the Greek word kerátiοn (κεράτιον), alluding to an ancient practice of weighing gold and gemstones against the seeds of the carob tree by people in the Middle East. The system was eventually standardized, and one carat was fixed at 0.2 grams. Carob was eaten in Ancient Egypt. It was also a common sweetener"

As you can see, it is being proposed that Gerah = 1 Carob Seed = 1 Carat, meaning that 1 Silver Shekel of the Sanctuary was equal to 20 Carats of Silver. This means that Silver Shekel of the Sanctuary weigh 0.2g*20 = 4 grams. In today's prices (2/19/2016) it is 4g*$/g0.5 = $2. This puts Talent of Silver at 4g*3000 = 12kg. This value seem to be much more reasonable.

Here is approximate picture of what 4g Silver Shekel of the Sanctuary might have looked like:

Unfortunately, the problem is, there is no any connection between carob, carat and gerah so even though it is the most plausible theory, we still can't accept it as correct. The explanation of what is gerah should be simple and elegant. All other units of measure rely on human body, so perhaps gerah is also somehow connected to that.

Friday, February 12, 2016

Women's rights in the Torah

Let's take a look at what Torah says about women, and what rights they have according to it.
YLT Gn 2:18 . And Jehovah God saith,  'Not good for the man to be alone, I do make to him an helper--as his counterpart.'
As you can see from this verse, women are basically our counterparts, which means that they should participate in all of activities of their husbands. Not absolutely all, but most perhaps.

Exodus 15:20 says that Miriam was a prophetess. Deuteronomy 4:1 or Deut 4:10 states that Moses to "teach" them the words of the Torah. So we can assume that Miriam was also a teacher. Torah states that somewhat explicitly in Exodus 15:20-21, where Miriam taught Israel the Song of the Sea.

Also, daughters of Zelophehad were allowed to inherit the land and property after their father (Numbers 27:7). 

So women have pretty much equal rights with men. Except the priesthood of the Tabernacle, which is explicitly reserved for Aaron's sons. However, wives and daughters of the Priests had special privileges over regular women(i.e Lev 22:13)

Laver of the Tabernacle was symbolically constructed from the mirrors of the women(Exodus 38:8). 

If you think that women are somehow inferior to men, you are terribly mistaken.

This means that women are just as involved in the Torah and its rituals as men. There are even special commandments that are related only to women (i.e menstruation laws or laws for atonement for the children that woman have borne). So it is a responsibility of every man to teach his wife(s) and daughter(s) Torah and all of its commandments, just like he would do to his sons and male relatives.

Torah is not chauvinistic and is fair to both, men and women. So what is being practiced in some (ultra)orthodox Jewish communities is not right and is not according to the Torah.

How many Shabbats and Holy Meetings are there in a Hebrew year?

Let's see how many Shabbats and Holy Meetings there are in a Hebrew year.

As you know, per Exodus 12:2, Hebrew year begins in the month of Aviv (Passover month). Torah defines days, months and years by sun-moon system (Genesis 1:14).

Click here to view my calendar.

According to my calendar, there are exactly 60 Shabbats every Hebrew year. This corresponds to 60 pillars of the Courtyard that surrounded the Tabernacle. 55 pillars (11 months) represent the Courtyard itself, while 5 remaining pillars (1 month) were reserved for the gate of the Courtyard and had different fabric on them. This confirms my theory that Pillars of the Tabernacle Courtyard are related to time somehow. Please see more details in this post. Here is the image of the Courtyard:

As you can see, this is much better number than traditional meaningless number of 52 Shabbats per year in traditional calendar.

There are exactly 12 month in a Hebrew Lunar year, but 13th month is added just like in traditional system, depending on equinox and the ripening of barley/wheat of the Land of Canaan.

Let's count Holy Meetings now. Holy Meetings are ALWAYS Shabbats. For example, 7th of Passover and 50th of Omer fall on Shabbats. Offerings would be added up, as it says numerous times in Num 28:10, Num 29:6 e.t.c

Let's take a look at Leviticus 23 and Number 28-29:

Leviticus 23 (Holy Meetings):
  1. Lev 23:3 - Shabbat
  2. Lev 23:7 - 1st of Passover
  3. Lev 23:8 - 7th of Passover
  4. Lev 23:21 - 50th of Omer
  5. Lev 23:24-25 - Yom Teruah / 1st of 7th Month (Day of the Blast)
  6. Lev 23:27 - Yom Kippur
  7. Lev 23:35 - 1st of Sukkot
  8. Lev 23:36- 8th of Sukkot
Numbers 28-29(Moedim/Offerings)
  1. Num 28:3-4 - Morning Daily Offering
  2. Num 28:3-4 - Evening Daily Offering
  3. Num 28:9 - Shabbat Offering
  4. Num 28:11 - 1st of the Month / New Moon Offering
  5. Num 28:18 - 1st of Passover
  6. Num 28:25 - 7th of Passover
  7. Num 28:26 - 50th of Omer
  8. Num 29:1 - 1st of the 7th Month / Yom Teruah (Day of the Blast)
  9. Num 29:7 - Yom Kippur
  10. Num 29:12 - 1st of Sukkot
  11. Num 29:35 - 8th of Sukkot
As you can see, Leviticus 23 excludes New Moon for some reason. Most likely, it is a textual inconsistency. In my calendar New Moon is the Shabbat so it does not really matter to me if it says in the text that it is a holy meeting or not, because it is the Shabbat (which is already a holy meeting per Lev 23). I think, however, that New Moon was in Lev 23 and was a holy meeting with work of a slave restrictions. This, of'course can't be answered until we have an older witness of the Torah that shows these omissions. Unfortunately, there are no significant differences between Leviticus and Numbers in the Samaritan Pentateuch and Dead Sea Scrolls, so no help there.

Secondly, as you can see from the count, there are total of 11 "moedim" (Num 28:2), some of which are also called "miqra qodesh"(Holy Meetings) in Lev 23:2. So it means that New Moon Offering in Num 28:11 was a Holy Meeting that is currently omitted from the count in our text of the Torah. But because it is listed separately from all other offerings (i.e daily offering, shabbat offering or 1st of 7th month offering) in Numbers 28-29, it means that New Moon was a separate Holy Meeting. That is my best interpretation of these inconsistencies.

Thirdly, 1st of Omer most likely was also a Holy Meeting because it is a Shabbat and because we bring Grain Sheaf offering to the High Priest.

And last but not least, 8th of the 1st month when we take a Passover Lamb for safekeeping until the 14th evening. This is a Shabbat and most certainly a Holy Meeting.

So, reconstructed list for Leviticus 23 should look like this(listed in order of moedim):
  1. Lev 23:3 - Shabbat
  2. missing - New Moon / 1st of the Month
  3. missing - 8th of the 1st Month / Taking of Passover Lamb for safekeeping.
  4. Lev 23:7 - 1st of Passover
  5. Lev 23:8 - 7th of Passover
  6. missing - 1st of Omer / Grain Sheaf offering - First Bread.
  7. Lev 23:21 - 50th of Omer
  8. Lev 23:24-25 - Yom Teruah / 1st of 7th Month (Day of the Blast)
  9. Lev 23:27 - Yom Kippur
  10. Lev 23:35 - 1st of Sukkot
  11. Lev 23:36- 8th of Sukkot
Total of 11 Holy Meetings.

This is because 11 Holy Meetings (11 "moedim") correspond to 11 pillars of the Tent of the Tabernacle. I did suspect that Corner Boards of the Tent of the Tabernacle refer to Shabbat (see this post) so I guess this confirms my theory. Here is the diagram that shows Pillars of the Tent of the Tabernacle:

So 5 of the front pillars probably symbolize 5 major Holidays (Passover, Omer, Yom Teruah, Yom Kippur and Sukkot), not sure what other pillars may mean. But the number of the pillars fits with the numbers of "moedim" / Holy Meetings. But definitely, each pillar represents a "moedim" and a "holy meeting".

As you can see, everything has meaning and is interconnected in the Written Torah, especially in the Tabernacle structure.

Monday, February 8, 2016

My Blog Review

Here is a nice review of my blog from Facebook. Enjoy!

RasTafari Rabbi - - Sabbath Torah Portions
Posted by Ras Mika'el Raä on Sunday, March 8, 2015

Written Torah Hebrew names for days and months of the year

Traditional English names for days of the week and months of the year contain names of other Gods and therefore should not be pronounced (Exodus 23:13). So how do we call days and months? Torah, of'course, provides the answer.

Hebrew Names of Days of the Week:
  1. Yom Echad - Day One - Genesis 1:5
  2. Yom Sheni - Day Second - Genesis 1:8
  3. Yom Shlishi - Day Third - Genesis 1:13
  4. Yom Revii - Day Forth.- Genesis 1:19
  5. Yom Chamishi - Day Fifth - Genesis 1:23
  6. Yom HaShishi - Day The Sixth - Genesis 1:31
  7. Yom HaShvii - Day The Seventh - Genesis 2:3 / Yom HaShabat - Day of The Rest - Exodus 20:8
Hebrew Names of Months of the Year:
  1. Chodesh HaRishon - Month The First - Leviticus 23:5 / Chodesh HaAviv - Month of The Ripening - Exodus 13:4
  2. Chodesh HaSheni - Month The Second - Genesis 7:11
  3. Chodesh HaShlishi - Month The Third - Exodus 19:1
  4. Not Listed, Most likely Chodesh HaRevii - Month The Forth
  5. Chodesh HaChamishi - Month The Fifth - Numbers 33:38
  6. Not Listed, Most likely Chodesh HaShishi - Month The Sixth
  7. Chodesh HaShvii - Month The Seventh - Genesis 8:4
  8. Not Listed, Most likely Chodesh HaShmini - Month The Eighth
  9. Not Listed, Most likely Chodesh HaTshiit - Month The Ninth
  10. Chodesh HaAsiri - Month The Tenth - Genesis 8:5
  11. Ashtey Asar Chodesh - One Ten Month - Deuteronomy 1:3
  12. Not Listed, Most likely Shtem Esreh Chodesh - Two Ten Month
  13. Not Sure. Most likely Shlosh Esreh Chodesh - Three Ten Month. Sometimes there is a 13th Month in Lunar Shabbat calendar system. We add 13th month if spring equinox falls on the 1st month. Secondary sign is if barley/wheat is not ripe by the time 12th Month ends. I am not sure yet how to explain this addition by the text. 
Days of the Month are pronounced in the similar fashion. For example, day 27th would be Yom Shiveah VeEsrim - Day Seven And Twenty - Genesis 8:14. Same with years.

To avoid pronouncing names of deities in English, you can say that today (02/08/2016) is 8th day of the Month instead of saying day of the week, or you can say it in Hebrew - Yom HaShmini (Day The Eighth). Or you can simply write/say the full date (02/08/2016).

Sunday, February 7, 2016

About Blemishes

In regard to the prohibition of blemishes in the priest and in the offered animals, are the listed blemishes the entirety of what is prohibited? That is, the lists define what a prohibited "blemish" is. Or those are just examples and there are more blemishes which would be prohibited as well?

I have not studied this topic in details so I can only provide my current understanding of things. 

As far as I understand there is a difference between people blemishes and animal blemishes. I think people blemishes are those that are specifically mentioned in the Torah (i.e Lev 21:17-23). 
There are some tricky ones too. Is mental illness can be considered a blemish? 

As far as animals go, Torah says simply says blemish or anything bad so my assumption that it means ANY blemish and it can be interpreted as more things than what is considered a blemish for a human, a priest. "Glatt kosher" of the Rabbinic Judaism pay have a point in terms of slaughters and what Priest can eat. And since we have an x-ray (and other) technology perhaps the animal blemish can also be internal rather than only external as in cases of the priest. However, it is debatable.

It also raises an interesting issue of medicine. If a priest has a blemish but got, say, a leg transplant or got it cured somehow otherwise, can he approach the Tent and the Altar?

I think it is possible that only the blemishes listed are what count as a problem for priesthood, but I am unsure. Complicating things further is that some of the blemishes listed are not exactly certain in their translation (I have looked at the LXX as well and it only offered some potential insight).

I would think that blindness is one eye might qualify simply as blindness. Ulceration/mingling of the eye I think to refer to corneal ulcers, the LXX supports this as "white-speck" of the eye.  Previously I thought it might mean heterochromia but I think ulceration is likely correct now.

I don't think the Torah really speaks of mental illness in the sense of it as a blemish. Obviously it would be an issue if one could not distinguish between clean and unclean and holy and profane. I do not think priests are necessarily required to work every day, although obviously some priest(s) would need to be active at all times.

I don't really have any new thoughts regarding the internal blemish issue in animals.

Regarding having surgical repair/etc, I think it is possible that it could remove a blemish. For example, a break is no longer "in him" if the arm or leg is repaired or healed correctly, I'd think. However, I might question it some because a break will generally heal without intervention but whether it will heal to be as it was before and not crooked/etc is another issue. So I don't know. I wouldn't think it would be considered a break any more if it healed, but I wouldn't think someone who broke their arm then had the arm heal back crooked, for example, would be considered blemish free either.  Maybe that would qualify as a different blemish.

For example, some people do not have same cartilage structure in one ear as the other ear. Basically the top half of the ear (inside the curvature of the edge) is more or less flat rather than curved.  It can be fixed with plastic surgery, and that relates to what I mentioned as well. I don't think that this is one of the listed blemishes and maybe it's not an issue but I'm not sure. I guess it could still qualify as one of the unclear ones (sarua, charem). However I would think it also to be a non-issue visually when wearing a turban (the ear looks normal when pressed against the head).

Here is what I've noticed about the text... It uses the word "blemish" when giving the commandment for both humans and animals. However, in verses about animals it says "any blemish bad" or "any matter bad". So perhaps only "bad" blemishes are forbidden or perhaps it can also be read as "any blemish" so all blemishes are forbidden. Personally, I would err on the side of caution here because we are talking about priesthood and offering which are holy. In this ear case, perhaps if your hearing is not affected it would not be considered a blemish but I am not sure. 

It is not completely clear regarding whether the list includes all relevant blemishes or not. I would think that the list would contain the primary issues but then see Lev 21:21 (any man who in him blemish).

Interestingly, deafness is not actually listed and we do know the word for it (cheresh).

Who has the authority to interpret Written Torah?

Let's see who has the authority to interpret the Written Torah...

First of all, "Rabbi" is not a word, a title or a position that is found in the Written Torah at all. Rabbis (descendants of Pharisees) have usurped the power after the 2nd Temple destruction from the Levites and they have bee unlawfully interpreting the Torah.

The only people who can interpret Torah are mentioned in Deuteronomy 17:8-13:
YLT Dt 17:8 'When anything is too hard for thee for judgment, between blood and blood, between plea and plea, and between stroke and stroke--matters of strife within thy gates--then thou hast risen, and gone up unto the place on which Jehovah thy God doth fix, 
YLT Dt 17:9 and hast come in unto the priests, the Levites, and unto the judge who is in those days, and hast inquired, and they have declared to thee the word of judgment,
YLT Dt 17:10 and thou hast done according to the tenor of the word which they declare to thee (they of that place which Jehovah doth choose; and thou hast observed to do according to all that they direct thee. 
YLT Dt 17:11  'According to the tenor of the law which they direct thee, and according to the judgment which they say to thee thou dost do; thou dost not turn aside from the word which they declare to thee, right or left. 
YLT Dt 17:12 And the man who acteth with presumption, so as not to hearken unto the priest (who is standing to serve there Jehovah thy God), or unto the judge, even that man hath died, and thou hast put away the evil thing from Israel, 
YLT Dt 17:13 and all the people do hear and fear, and do not presume any more. 
As you can see from these passages, the ONLY people who have authority to interpret the Torah are the Levites (priests in particular) and Judges(for civil matters). These are the only legitimate authorities that Torah prescribes that we are to listen to and obey. 

However, please note that the ONLY time when you are to listen to Levites and Judges is if they rely on Written Torah ONLY. If a Levite or the Judge is telling you something that is not in the Written Torah, or telling you something from some other book/work, you are NEVER to listen to such a person as he is leading you astray and away from God. This is how you know who to trust.

This is of'course aside from prophets, messengers, God Himself and other legitimate Torah authorities.

You can also trust people like me because we also preach only Written Torah. I am like Eldad and Medad, who prophesied in a camp and who were not prophets or any other legitimate Torah authorities. Besides, I am actually a Levite (R1A1A haplogroup) and I have a spirit of Yahuah upon me so even though I am not a prophet, I do prophesy in a way sometimes.
YLT Num 11:26 And two of the men are left in the camp, the name of the one is Eldad, and the name of the second Medad, and the spirit resteth upon them, (and they are among those written, and have not gone out to the tent), and they prophesy in the camp; 
YLT Num 11:27 and the young man runneth, and declareth to Moses, and saith,  'Eldad and Medad are prophesying in the camp.' 
YLT Num 11:28 And Joshua son of Nun, minister of Moses, one of his young men, answereth and saith,  'My lord Moses, restrain them.' 
YLT Num 11:29 And Moses saith to him,  'Art thou zealous for me? O that all Jehovah's people were prophets! that Jehovah would put His Spirit upon them!'

So until Rabbinical authority is dismissed, Levitical priesthood is restored and Tabernacle rebuilt, God will keep Hebrews in exile forever. So keep this in mind. Do not give money or power over yourself to the Rabbis, false prophets, or anyone else who is not a legitimate Written Torah authority.

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Some Tabernacle Fabrics

My friend, Shelley Houser, sent me some samples of materials she found that were comparable to those used in the Tabernacle construction.

Here it is. One on the left is "fine linen" and one on the right "blue, purple and scarlet" fabric.

Here is a close-up view on the fabric. The ones that were used in the Tabernacle were like that but thicker (4-5mm approx.).

Fabric on the left is שש משזר ("shesh moshezar" - "twined linen") and was used for Courtyard Hangings for example (I.e Exodus 27:9) and the fabric on the right is תכלת וארגמן ותולעת שני ושש משזר ("techelet veargaman vetolaat shani veshesh moshezar" - "blue, and purple, and scarlet, and twined linen") was used for Tabernacle Tent Curtains and Courtyard Gate Hangings.(I.e Exodus 26:36, Ex 27:16).

UPDATE 02/05/2016: Here is the image of the colored fabric from the review Shelley is talking about. As you can see, it only has 2 layers, while the Tabernacle had 3 (blue, purple and scarlet), or maybe even 4 (twinned linen). But still, this fabric is the closest what we could find to the Tabernacle curtains and hangings.

Value of a Cubit

This is more of an informative post, since most of you know what the cubit is and how much is it. But I wanted to summarize and add a few points.

Cubit or Amah (אמה) is first mentioned in Genesis 6:16. Mostly, cubit is important for Tabernacle construction.

Torah defines all units of measurements based on the human body or other biological measurements. Omer, for example, is defined as a handfuls (also a human body measurement).

So is cubit, is the length of the forearm(from the tip of the elbow to the tip of the middle finger):

Cubit is a variable constant and varies from person to person and between genders and ages.

Tabernacle was probably based on a cubit of Moses, Bezalel or Aaron. 

Google defines cubit as 18 inches. I checked, and my cubit is 18.5 inches (I am 5' 11") and my female friend's cubit is 16.5 inches.

Living on Manna Bread by Shelley Houser

This is a guest post by my friend Shelley Houser of, in which she tries to survive a day on leavened Manna bread as Hebrews had to do in the desert for 40 years. This is an abridged version, so go to her web site for more details or email her at


Leavened Manna Bread Experiment:

I baked 6 loaves of the leavened manna, per the recipe.  Each loaf was approximately 7 1/4 inch long.

1.5 C whole wheat flour
2 + 1/4 teaspoon active dry yeast
1/2 C warm water
2 Tablespoons honey
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 C olive oil (have 1 to 1 1/4 C available)

I multiplied each ingredient's amount by 6, and proceeded with one large batch. When the time came for shaping each loaf, I put the dough on the scale, and divided the dough into 6 equal masses. I then proceeded with the final rising and baking of the 6 loaves.

My husband and I picked a loaf each, and I put each loaf in a separate bag, with our names on them, so we would not get them mixed up.

The children of Israel had flocks with them in the wilderness. Exodus 12:38 says that when they left Egypt, they had "very much cattle". Near the end of the time in the wilderness, Exodus 32:1-26 says the children of Gad and the children of Reuben wanted some land on the wilderness-side of the Jordan, because it looked good for their cattle.

Since they would have had some milk from the cattle, we added milk in to the daily ration. Assuming there would have been at least a little green foliage in the wilderness for the cattle, we added a very small amount of fresh salad.  

For the experiment, we started eating rather late in the day, because the children of Israel would have had to gather the manna, grind it, and prepare it. We ate breakfast at about 9:30 am. We decided to eat when we felt hungry, and not on any particular time schedule, as is our normal routine. We found that we were very comfortably full on the breakfast amount described above. I did not feel hungry again until 12:30 pm. My husband did not eat again until 1 pm.

We ate until we were comfortably full for lunch. We were not hungry, particularly, the rest of the evening. At approximately 8:30, we decided to eat a supper before we got ready to go to bed. My husband was too full after eating his 4 slices, and I gave up eating the rest of my 3 slices, eating only 2.5 slices of the bread, with the rest of the salad and milk.

Adult Male's Results:
  1. For breakfast, he had 4 slices of toast with butter, and 8-ounces of whole milk.
  2. For lunch, he had 4 slices of toast with butter, and 1/3 C total of fresh coriander leaves, peeled cucumber, and tomato dices, and 8-ounces of whole milk.
  3. For supper, he had 4 slices of toast with butter, and 1/3 C total of fresh coriander leaves, peeled cucumber, and tomato dices, -and 8-ounces of whole milk.
Total left from his loaf: 1.25 inches

Amount of loaf consumed: (7.25 inches - 1.25 inches)/7.25 inches x 100% = 82.76% consumed.  

Total estimated calories for the day:
  1. Loaf = .8276 x 2691 estimated calories per loaf = 2,227 KCal
  2. Butter = 1 teaspoon per slice x 12 slices x 1 Tablespoons/3 teaspoons x 100 Kcal/ Tablespoons = 400 KCal
  3. Milk = 3 cups x 150 KCal/cup = 450 KCal
  4. salad = negligible calories = 0 Kcal
Total for Adult Male: 3077 Kcal.  

Adult Female's Results:
  1. For breakfast, she had 3 slices of toast with butter, and 8-ounces of whole milk.
  2. For lunch, she had 3 slices of toast with butter, and 1/3 C total of fresh coriander leaves, peeled cucumber, and tomato dices, and 8-ounces of whole milk.
  3. For supper, she had 2.5 slices of toast with butter, and 1/3 C total of fresh coriander leaves, peeled cucumber, and tomato dices, and 8-ounces of whole milk.
Total left from her loaf: 3 1/8 inches 

Amount consumed from her loaf: (7.25 inches - 3.125 inches)/ 7.25 inches x 100% = 56.90% consumed.

Total estimated calories for the day:
  1. Loaf:  = .5690 x 2691 estimated calories per loaf = 1531 KCal
  2. Butter = 1 teaspoon per slice x 8.5 slices x 1 Tablespoon/3 teaspoons x 100 Kcal/ Tablespoon = 284 Kcal
  3. Milk = 3 Cups x 150 KCal/cup = 450 KCal
  4. salad = neglible calories = 0 Kcal
Total for Adult Female:  2,265 KCal

There was plenty of food in the daily ration for both the adult male and the adult female. There was some left over from each person's daily bread. The scaled amount of bread that was left over makes us want to try using the definition of an omer as being "the amount of grain that can be held in one person's cupped hands". Since hands are generally scaled to a person's overall body size, that definition of an omer would have a scaling effect in the resulting daily ration of food.  

I used the same amount of flour for each loaf. This makes me want to try using the amount of flour that would be generated from each person's hands full of wheat berries as basis for the amount of flour to use,  to see if we all end up using the same percentage of our own hand's-sized loaf.

[Aleksandr Sigalov]: These leftovers are perhaps what Torah is talking about in Exodus 16:19-20. They tried to keep the leftovers, but as the verses state it started to stink and breed worms.

[Shelley Houser]: The picture below show a full loaf, and what was left from the trial. I am showing the end of the loaves to show they are lined up with the ends of the rulers. In the photo, there is a bit of parallax, and it looks like the loaves are not lined up with the end of the rulers.

Unleavened Manna Bread Experiment:

I made six individual batches of the manna recipe below, with soft white wheat flour.

1.75 C (1 3/4) Cups of whole wheat flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 C olive oil (with another approx. 1/4 C for kneading)
2 Tablespoons honey
4-5 Tablespoons water (to dough consistency)

I then chose a preparation method for each separate batch. Because our family prefers the shallow oil pan-fried method the best, I prepared 3 batches that way. I then prepared one batch by baking thin wafers in the oven, one batch in little round cookies baked in the oven, and one batch I deep-fat fried. Each batch was kept separate from the other batches during mixing, preparation, and cooling.

I then assembled 6 individual "day packs" in this way:

I got 6 small, closable bags labeled with the preparation method. For batch one, I tared a platter, and put the entire batch on the platter. I recorded the weight, and divided the mass by 6. I then weighed out as closely as I could the desired number of grams that would be allocated to each of the six labeled bags. I got to roughly +/- 2 gram accuracy in the equality of each subdivision. Some of the pieces of the bread were larger than the others, and some were not easily divided, such as the round cookies. The number of the round cookies was not divisible by six, so 3 packs got 4 cookies, and 3 packs got only 3 cookies.

I continued this process, until I had divided out equally all six of the batches into 24 smaller, labeled bags. (3 batches of pan-fried bread in 6 bags, 1 batch of baked thin wafers in 6 bags, 1 batch of baked cookies in 6 bags, 1 batch of deep-fat fried wafers in 6 bags.)

I then separated out the individual bags into larger, gallon-sized closable bags, labeled either as a person's daily ration, or a generic "day 1", or "day 2" label.

So, then, one daily packet was a mixture of 4 different types of the unleavened bread preparations.

I didn't weigh the contents of all the packets, but the three I have left here have these masses:

Pack 1: (My daily test pack, before I ate anything)  368 g
Pack 2:  354 g
Pack 3:  358 g

My husband and I tried eating the unleavened manna from our daily packs for one day.  My husband started eating his breakfast at 6:30 am, because he had to get to work early this morning.  I started eating my breakfast at about 8:30 am this morning, because the unleavened bread takes less time to prepare than the leavened manna, and the children of Israel would possibly have been able to eat breakfast earlier, if they decided to eat unleavened bread for the morning meal.

We did not specify what type of bread was to be eaten at any particular time, or have set meal times. We just ate what we wanted, when we felt hungry. Today's test did not include any milk or extra butter, for when the cows would not be giving milk. We did each eat 1/3 Cup total of a salad, composed of fresh cilantro leaves, peeled cucumber dices, and tomato dices, with the supper meal.

The results:

Adult male:

My husband ate the most for breakfast. He got hungry again at approx. 11:30 am. He had a smaller lunch than breakfast. He then ate more in quantity at 4:00 pm. He ate the salad at 5:00 pm when he arrived home from work. This day's ration seemed skimpy to him, and he is worried he will run out of bread before the end of the day. He did not feel as satisfied with the unleavened bread as with the leavened bread and milk test yesterday.

Leftovers: I did not measure his exact starting weight, but I will use the 368 g from my pack for his starting weight. He had 118 g left over. There were two higher-fat items (pan-fried, and deep-fat fried), and two lower-fat items (baked wafers and baked cookies). My husband ate all of the pan-fried wafers, which is is favorite preparation method.  He ate about 1/3 of his baked items, and almost none of his deep-fat fried items.

Total estimated calories is a bit difficult to figure, since there are differing amounts of fat in each batch. I will estimate an additional 2 Tablespoons of fat got absorbed into the pan-fried wafers (per full batch), compared to either of the baked items, and an additional 3 Tablespoons of fat got absorbed into the deep-fat fried wafers (per full batch). This is based on how much oil I needed to add to the pan when frying the wafers, and how much more greasy the deep-fat fried wafers tasted then the pan-fried ones.

Total estimated calories:

For the unprepared batch:  1803 Kcal
Base calories of what he ate:  ((368g total - 118 g left)/368 g total) x 1803 KCal = 1,224.8 Kcal
Additional calories from frying:
(368 g total - 118 g left) = 250 g consumed.

3/6 of his total available ration was pan fried, and all of that was consumed. This also corresponds to 1/2 of a total batch, so I will add an extra 1 Tablespoon of oil for this amount.  Or: 1/2 batch x 100 % consumed x 2 Tablespoons/batch = 1 Tablespoon oil extra.

1/6 of his total available ration was deep-fat fried. I estimate he only at 1/6 of his deep-fat fried portion. Therefore: 1/6 of total ration x 1/6 of deep fat fried ration consumed x 3 Tablespoons oil/batch of deep fat fried =  0.08 Tablespoons oil added for the deep-fat fried portion.

Total extra oil consumed from base batch:  1.08 Tablespoons.  Kcal = 119 Kcal /Tablespoon x 1.08 Tablespoons = 129 KCal added from fat in the preparation.

Total estimated Kcal consumed for the day:
1224.8 base + 129 extra oil + 0 for salad = 1,354 Kcal.

Adult female:

I ate approximately equal amounts for breakfast, snack, lunch, afternoon snack, and supper. I had my breakfast at 8:30 am, but I got hungry earlier in the day than yesterday, and had to have a snack at about 10:30 am, which is unusual for me. I then had my lunch at about 12:30 pm, and a snack at 3:00 pm. This afternoon snack is also unusual for me. I then had my supper at 5:00 pm, with the salad. I have less leftover today than I had yesterday. I feel that I ate until I was full, but I got hungry again faster than I normally do.

Leftovers: I had 102 g of food leftover. This means I ate more than my husband did today! That is unusual. However, over the past two days, he ate more calories than I did, so that probably figured in to the situation.

I ate 100% of the baked items, and 95% of the deep-fat fried items. I ate about half? of the pan-fried items.

Here is an estimate of my calories consumed:

Percent of ration consumed:  (368 g - 102 g)/368 g x 100% = 72.3% of daily ration consumed.
Base amount: (368 g total - 102 g leftover)/368 g total x 1803 Kcal = 1,303 Kcal consumed from base batch preparation.

Additional oil consumed (estimate):

1/6 of total ration x 0.95 consumed x 3 Tablespoons/total ration = 0.48 Tablespoons added for the deep-fat fried portion I ate 1/6 of total ration x 0.5 consumed x 2 Tablespoons/total ration = 0.17 Tablespoons added for the pan-fried portion I ate 0.48T + 0.17T = 0.65 T Oil consumed x 119 Kcal/Tbs = 77.4 Kcal extra consumed from oil in preparation method.

Total calories estimated consumed:

1,303 + 77.4 = 0 for salad = 1,308 Kcal

The similar value in calories consumed between my husband and I today is actually quite surprising to me.  (1354 Kcal for him vrs. 1308 Kcal for me).

Both of us felt like we were skimping a bit in what we were eating, although I did eat until I was full. I added extra snack times in for myself, when I got hungry in-between normal meal times. I think there was a psychological component in today's test, though, that was not there in the leavened manna test.

My husband and I have never been on a strict diet before, so we are not used to measuring out daily portions and only eating that amount. With the leavened manna test, he did not see his loaf during the day. I prepared his meals, and brought his plate to him.  So, he could not see the loaf diminishing. I saw I had plenty of loaf left, and did not feel that I needed to limit my consumption during the day to make it last.

However, with the unleavened manna test, I gave my husband his daily pack, and he went to work. He was in charge of when and how much he ate. He reported back that as he saw the amount decrease in the bag, he began to worry he would not have enough to last through the day, and so limited his consumption from what he would have done, had he felt there were more starting material. I also experienced this feeling, and did not eat an additional snack in the middle of the afternoon, to save more for the end of the day. This is a new experience for us, since we have both always had plenty of food to eat. (Praise God).

So, our total calories for both of us probably would have been closer to the 1803 for the total batch. Also, if we had added the 3 glasses of milk that we added during the leavened manna test, that would have added another 450 calories, to be a total of around 1750 Kcal.

After living on the manna for 2 days, I have lost 1.5 pounds.

There seems to be leavened bread in every society. Since it is so much more work, and takes extra time to prepare compared to unleavened bread, there must be a good reason for it. After the previous test of leavened bread, and the current test of unleavened bread, we think it may have to do with how satisfying the leavened bread is compared to the unleavened bread for the same amount of flour used. On the current unleavened bread test, we both needed to eat more frequently, and ate less than we probably would have, because we got closer to consuming our daily portion allotted amount.

The amount of unleavened bread made from a man's sized omer (1 US C), was sufficient to get us through the day, even without supplementing with milk or butter.  However, since we only consumed about 1300 Kcal, we probably could not sustain that over a long period of time.

Additional tests of perhaps a 1-week test of the unleavened manna would be in order, to test long-term viability of this amount of food, and preparation method.

In the photo, I am showing a day's portion on the the bottom. The plate in the top left is what I had left over. The green plate on the top right is what my husband had left over. On the bottom platter, the preparation methods are: (Clockwise) Top left (more brown pile, about 11:00): deep fat fried wafers. At approx. 1:00-3:00, the pan fried wafers. At bottom of platter, at approx. 6:00 is the baked cookies. At approximately 8:00, is the baked wafers.)

The leftovers are arranged in the same order, so you can see what portion of the ration each of us ate.

About Rephaim

Torah mentions a nation of very tall people and provides some information about their size. Let's take a look:
YLT Dt 3:11 for only Og king of Bashan had been left of the remnant of the Rephaim; lo, his bedstead is a bedstead of iron; is it not in Rabbath of the sons of Ammon? nine cubits its length, and four cubits its breadth, by the cubit of a man.
First of all, who are Rephaim? Simple cross-reference points out to Genesis 14:5, Deuteronomy 1:28 and Deuteronomy 2:10-11
YLT Gn 14:5 And in the fourteenth year came Chedorlaomer, and the kings who are with him, and they smite the Rephaim in Ashteroth Karnaim, and the Zuzim in Ham, and the Emim in Shaveh Kiriathaim, 
YLT Dt 1:28 whither are we going up? our brethren have melted our heart, saying, A people greater and taller than we, cities great and fenced to heaven, and also sons of Anakim--we have seen there.
YLT Dt 2:10  'The Emim formerly have dwelt in it, a people great, and numerous, and tall, as the Anakim; 
YLT Dt 2:11 Rephaim they are reckoned, they also, as the Anakim; and the Moabites call them Emim. 
As you can see, it was some ancient nation that was tall, great and numerous. Sons of this nation sacred the spies that Moses send out to spy out the land of Canaan.

Secondly, 9 cubits is 13.5 feet based on 18 inch cubit. According to Wikipedia, the tallest verified man in the world was Robert Wadlow, who was 8 feet 11 inches at his death. This is almost 6 cubits. Normal people, as shown in the picture below are 4 cubits on average.

As you can see, if we, humans, can reach 6 cubit height, the sons of ancient nations could've been 9 cubits tall. And judging by a picture above, no wonder that Hebrews were scared of such tall and great people. 

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

About dying and afterlife

I wanted to elaborate more about death. Please see my previous post about it. Today, I would like to concentrate on what Torah says about dying and afterlife. Let's take a look:
YLT Gn 25:8 and Abraham expireth, and dieth in a good old age, aged and satisfied, and is gathered unto his people. 
YLT Gn 25:17 And these are the years of the life of Ishmael, a hundred and thirty and seven years; and he expireth, and dieth, and is gathered unto his people;
YLT Gn 35:29 and Isaac expireth, and dieth, and is gathered unto his people, aged and satisfied with days; and bury him do Esau and Jacob his sons.
YLT Gn 49:33 And Jacob finisheth commanding his sons, and gathereth up his feet unto the bed, and expireth, and is gathered unto his people. 
YLT Num 20:29 and all the company see that Aaron hath expired, and they bewail Aaron thirty days--all the house of Israel.
YLT Dt 31:16 And Jehovah saith unto Moses,  'Lo, thou art lying down with thy fathers, and this people hath risen, and gone a-whoring after the gods of the stranger of the land into the midst of which it hath entered, and forsaken Me, and broken My covenant which I made with it; 
YLT Dt 32:50 and die in the mount whither thou art going up, and be gathered unto thy people, as Aaron thy brother hath died in the mount Hor, and is gathered unto his people
These verses all use the word "gawvah", which means "to breathe out". So basically, you "breathe out" first (make you last exhalation), then you die and then you are "gathered (or added) to your people". You are "lying with your fathers"(Dt 31:16) so to speak.

There are absolutely no references to afterlife or heaven(as in a place) in the Written Torah. Once you die- that is it. Lights out! ;) 

For that reason Torah makes emphasis on choosing life (God and Torah) so that one may live long and well, so as to delay the inevitable day of death. See Deuteronomy 6:1-3, Deut 30:15, Deut 30:19-20, Deut 32:40, Deut 32:47.
YLT Dt 14:1 'Sons ye are to Jehovah your God; ye do not cut yourselves, nor make baldness between your eyes for the dead;
Torah says, DO NOT grieve too long for the dead as they do not care and there is no way to dring them back. Grieve a month and move on with your life. Celebrate life!

However, it is interesting to note that in Genesis 5:24 it seems that Enoch did not die like others(i.e Gen 5:20) but rather became "no more" as God took him for his righteousness before Him(Gen 5:22).

As far as I understand, after you die, you begin to live your life all over again in the same body and under the same circumstances. Since we have free will, perhaps it means that sometimes it is possible to change the outcome of one's life. But regardless, you are you forever. And the only time when you will mean anything is while you are alive. This is why Torah tell us to treasure every second and choose life over death.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

About Messiah and Messianic Age

First of all, the word "messiah" means "anointed one". Namely, anointed with the Holy Anointing Oil outlined in Exodus 30:23-33. 

There are only two references in the Written Torah. 
  1. Priestly "messiah" - Aaron - he is from the tribe of Levi, from the Priests(kohens). He must have four male children as well. See Exodus 29:4-7.
  2. The King (he is NOT a "messiah"). The king is said to be from the tribe of Judah. See Genesis 49:10. However, it is possible for a king to be from other tribes. Think Saul.
As far as I can tell, only the legitimate prophet of our God can anoint Priestly "messiah". Moses anointed Aaron for example.

PLEASE NOTE: The king is NOT allowed to be anointed with Holy Anointing oil. This is because Holy Anointing oil was reserved exclusevly for Priestly messiah, for Aaron and his sons.

As far as Messianic age goes, Torah mentions several things. Let's take a look:
YLT Gn 22:16 and saith,  'By Myself I have sworn--the affirmation of Jehovah--that because thou hast done this thing, and hast not withheld thy son, thine only one-- 
YLT Gn 22:17 that blessing I bless thee, and multiplying I multiply thy seed as stars of the heavens, and as sand which is on the sea-shore; and thy seed doth possess the gate of his enemies; 
YLT Gn 22:18 and blessed themselves in thy seed have all nations of the earth, because that thou hast hearkened to My voice.'
When Abraham passed the test of God, God said to him that in his seed (Hebrews) all nations of the earth will be blessed. This means that eventually all earth will worship Yahuah as one and only God and follow His Written Torah as the only law of human beings. This blessing is repeated in other places as well. I.e Genesis 26:4, Genesis 28:14.

The book of Deuteronomy says that at the end, Hebrews will be gathered again into the land of Canaan and will live there according to the Written Torah(Deut 30:10):
YLT Dt 30:1 .  'And it hath been, when all these things come upon thee, the blessing and the reviling, which I have set before thee, and thou hast brought them back unto thy heart, among all the nations whither Jehovah thy God hath driven thee away, 
YLT Dt 30:2 and hast turned back unto Jehovah thy God, and hearkened to His voice, according to all that I am commanding thee to-day, thou and thy sons, with all thy heart, and with all thy soul-- 
YLT Dt 30:3 then hath Jehovah thy God turned back to thy captivity, and pitied thee, yea, He hath turned back and gathered thee out of all the peoples whither Jehovah thy God hath scattered thee. 
YLT Dt 30:4  'If thine outcast is in the extremity of the heavens, thence doth Jehovah thy God gather thee, and thence He doth take thee; 
YLT Dt 30:5 and Jehovah thy God hath brought thee in unto the land which thy fathers have possessed, and thou hast inherited it, and He hath done thee good, and multiplied thee above thy fathers. 
YLT Dt 30:6  'And Jehovah thy God hath circumcised thy heart, and the heart of thy seed, to love Jehovah thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, for the sake of thy life;
As you can see, this is yet to come to pass. We are currently living in exile and under a Deuteronomic curse. Once it is fulfilled, Hebrews will be gathered again. 

As far as I understand, Torah is the eternal law that never changes. This means that story of Moses repeats itself. This means that all events recorded in the Torah approximately from Abraham to the death of Moses are repeating every once in a while. Meaning, that at some point in the future, a man will arise who will lead Hebrews from the slavery of Mizraim, and who will gather them and bring them back to the land of Canaan, with God's help and authority.

According to the Torah events, Priestly "messiah" (Aaron) comes first, and only then King "messiah" comes. This also means that the Tabernacle must be restored.

Recent technological advances are a sign that Messianic event and age is close. It may not happen within our lifetime but within next 200-300 years for sure IMHO.

Such theory of recurrence of the story of Moses can be verified by simple calculation of Genesis timeline. According to the plain summation of all people, timelines mentioned in Genesis genealogies and in the Torah would put the creation of the world at ~4000 BC. This is obviously not true because there is undisputed scientific evidence that the Earth is much older than that. This means that story of Moses repeated many times before and Torah and humanity is much older than traditional 6000 years belief. Written Torah is probably millions of years old IMHO.

P.S. Belief in Moshiach in its colloquial definition is not in the Written Torah. So do not believe those who tell you to wait for him because he will NEVER COME !!! IT IS UP TO US TO FULFILL THE JOB OF MOSHIACH !!!

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