Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Touching Unclean Animals

We know the Law commands to not eat unclean animals, but additionally, we are commanded to not touch unclean beasts when they are dead. However, living unclean animals are not a problem.

[Aleksandr Sigalov:] My friends seem to see some kind of inconsistency in the text, however, the meaning of the text is pretty clear. Even if the text does not say "to touch" dead unclean swarmers or creepers, it most certainly implies that. Touching a dead mice or even cockroach would make you unclean until the evening and you have to wash yourself as well.

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Did Moses Have Horns?

When Moses came down from the mountain, most translations tell us his face shone. This scared the Israelites, so Moses started wearing a veil when he spoke with them. However, the word "qaran" is indeed literally used to refer to horns in the text.

(Thumbnail graphic from public domain)

[Aleksandr Sigalov:] Traditional translation is more or less correct. In this case, the word "qaran" or "horns" means "rays", so Moses's face shone out rays of light or energy. Below is the best visualization I could find. Thumbnail graphics on my friend's video is another good illustration of what was going on.

The Provision for the Needy in the Torah

Farming practices are commanded in the Law to ensure the provision of the needy, the poor, and the sojourner. The edges of the field and the gleaning of the vineyard are to be left for them. Furthermore, there is a general provision in Deuteronomy for a person to eat their satisfaction from the field of their neighbor, and Deuteronomy also commands the "year of the tithe" to provide access in the gates to the Levite, sojourner, orphan, and widow.

(Thumbnail graphic from public domain)

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Is the Law a Burden, or is Change a Burden?

The concept of something being "burdensome" is largely subjective. We all have different ways of living, and we all have patterns of behaviors. If a person's ways of living are vastly different than the ways of the Torah, then the Law will inherently be perceived as more burdensome to that person than it would to someone else. If we are seeking to serve God with all of our being and if we recognize the Law is what He commanded, then the issue of whether it is a "burden" or not becomes less relevant. The question is, are we going to take the effort to make the change to do what is right?

Misappropriation of the Tithe and Its Biblical Purpose

Are we supposed to give 10% of our income to the church? Where does this come from? What are the actual biblical criteria and purposes for the tithe? The Levites are to be given the tithe as their inheritance in exchange for their work in the Tent of Meeting.

Photo by: via #FFCU

Do You Really Know that You're a Gentile?

Many biblical teachings simply assume that people have Gentile ancestry, but how much information do we really have about our ancestors? We may have traditions about where our family came from, but where did their ancestors before them come from?

[Aleksandr Sigalov:] Rabbis have changed the Law to determine the lineage by a mother instead of the father. This has been going on for the last 2000 years, which created a situation where some Jews do not have the Jewish blood and some non-Jews have the Jewish blood. Complete confusion.
Please see this page for more information about who is considered Hebrew.

Monday, May 22, 2017

Remembering What Amalek Did in the Way

We are commanded in Deuteronomy 25:17 to remember what Amalek did. As the Israelites were brought out with signs and wonders, God made it evident He was with them. Even though that was the case, Amalek still came and attacked the Israelites. Israel had to take decisive action themselves to resolve the situation. What might we consider from this situation? 

(Graphic from public domain)

Friday, May 19, 2017

The Torah Does Not Command a Temple

Read with me what the Torah says about the rituals and sacrifices. These commands are very specific and precise, and we wouldn't substitute a bull for a goat or a fish for a dove. We should also recognize WHERE the Torah tells us to do these rituals.

(Thumbnail graphic from public domain)

[Aleksandr Sigalov:] Check out the article on the same subject as well as my Importance of the Tabernacle page.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Torah Legal System: 2 or 3 Witnesses

There is a high standard for evidence in legal cases in the Torah. While eye-for-an-eye is a part of the Torah law, it is not a matter of vigilante justice or mobs, but it is a matter of the official legal system involving officially appointed judges, evidence, and cross-examination.

(Thumbnail graphic from public domain)

[Aleksandr Sigalov:] Torah's justice system is most certainly righteous and absolutely civilized. I think normal people would agree with me that keeping a murderer on death row for 10 years and then executing him by questionable means is much less humane than quick stoning. Torah system proposes swift and severe punishments for some offences for a good reason - so that people would see and fear not to do these horrible things.

Monday, May 15, 2017

Not Eating the Blood, but Spilling it as Water

The Law repeatedly commands us to not eat blood, either of mammal or bird. How do we go about removing the blood by the commands? What is the textual requirement? Are we supposed to wash meat until all the iron-based pigment is gone, or soak it for hours or days in salt water, or cut out all the vessels, or are we just supposed to drain the blood?

(Thumbnail graphic derived from public domain)

[Aleksandr Sigalov:] So always look into the text for answers to these questions. All answers are in the text if you read it slowly and carefully, accounting for every word.

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Did the Israelites Eat Quail in the Wilderness? Raising More Questions

This is an update on my early Clean and Unclean video. Was the corn crake considered a type of quail? Is the Arabic "salwa" evidence for quail or evidence against quail? Do we just assume the Latin translation and tradition was right? In my opinion, the answers are not yet clear, and this issue deserves further research.

Corn crake picture derived from photo by Ron Knight from Seaford, East Sussex, United Kingdom (Corn Crake (Crex crex)), via Wikimedia Commons

Quail picture derived from photo by Luis Miguel Bugallo Sánchez (Lmbuga Commons)(Lmbuga Galipedia) Publicada por/Publish by: Luis Miguel Bugallo Sánchez (Own work) [GFDL ( or CC-BY-SA-3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

[Aleksandr Sigalov:] I think that traditional "quail" translation is correct. However, my friend is absolutely right when he says that we do not really know what these words mean. Unless the Torah Hebrew becomes a living(spoken) language again, we will not be able to tell for sure. Please check out my trilinear pentateuch as SP shows a slight difference in Exodus 16:13, which provides additional clues as to what this word may be.

Friday, May 12, 2017

The "Old" Covenant was not Annulled, but is Remembered!

Leviticus 26:41-45 states that even though Israel will violate His Law and break the covenant and be thrown out of the land of Canaan, God will NOT nullify the covenant, but instead He will remember the Mosaic Covenant when Israel repents. Righteousness and mercy were already present with the Law (Deuteronomy 6:25, 7:9). The "old" covenant is actually the Current Covenant.

(Thumbnail graphic derived from public domain)

[Aleksandr Sigalov:] It is unclear from the Torah how this last redemption will happen. Is it going to be another Exodus? Or is it going to be something else? I will write about this issue in the next season of my blog.

It's not just "Jews and Gentiles", there's also the rest of Israel

The term "Jew" is not synonymous with "Israelite". The Jews represent primarily one single tribe of Israel. All Jews are Israelites, but not all Israelites are Jews. There are also the ten lost tribes and the Levites, the rest of Israel. The rest of the tribes are still out there, even though they have lost their identities, and they are still our brethren.

(Thumbnail graphic derived from public domain)

[Aleksandr Sigalov:] My friend oversimplifies the explanation. There is total of 13 Tribes of Israel. 13 - Jews - Levites = 11 Lost Tribes. Although some say that there is a group of people in Israel that associates themselves with Benjaminites, so perhaps it is indeed only 10 lost tribes and we know the three.

Also, the proper term for Israelites is Hebrews. This is how they called us (properly) in the Soviet Union and present-day Russia. So every Jew is a Hebrew but not every Hebrew is a Jew.

Friday, May 5, 2017

Yarmulke, Kippah, and Headcoverings: Not Commanded

While head coverings are a stereotypical Jewish observance, they are not actually commanded in the written Torah for the general public. These traditions are simply traditions, not requirements.

(Photo for thumbnail derived from work by Laliv Gal via the PikiWiki - Israel free image collection project)

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Causing to Return Loose and Straying Animals

In Exodus 23:4, we are commanded to cause to return a bull or donkey belonging to our enemy if we meet it in the way. If there is not an obvious way to contact the owner, I suggest a solution that will cause the animal to be returned to its owner.

(Thumbnail graphic is from public domain)

Half-Moon 05/03/2017

I took this picture around 8PM PDT on 05/03/2017. As you can see the moon is exactly half. The moon stays "in phase" within a day from conjunctions, which is why I was able to take this picture almost 24 hours after the conjunction. As you can see, the moon is still visibly half. This is normal for months at the beginning and at the middle of the year due to the moon cycle.

Here is a picture for comparison: I took this picture during the conjunction on 05/02/2017 @ 8pm PDT. As you can see, the picture above is almost identical. The moon still looks half. This means that the moon phase lasts approximately 3 days, conjunction being in the middle. So we can all three days for the Shabbat. Exact day depends on the alignment of other conjunctions (phases).

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Alcohol and Drunkenness: Permitted in the Law

Alcohol is generally permitted by the Torah. There are no general prohibitions for the public regarding drinking alcohol or being drunk. Some alcoholic beverages do have kosher concerns, but the issue of drinking itself, regardless of whether we consider it unwise or unhealthy, is not forbidden.

(Photo for thumbnail art by Bart Everson (Flickr: Liquor) [CC BY 2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons)

[Aleksandr Sigalov:] I think the most important verse is Leviticus 10:10. Alcohol affects your judgement so that you stop to differentiate between good and bad. While this may have useful practical purposes when done in moderation and when appropriate,  it is most certainly a very bad idea to drink at work or even when at home. So while there are no explicit prohibition, the consequences of alcohol use usually bear negative connotations in the Torah. Please see this and this  and this posts for more information.

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Water into Blood Explained

Here are couple of recent articles on this natural phenomenon. As you can see, it occurs in nature by itself.

So as you can see from the above articles, water into blood phenomenon is very common in nature. The reason why it was called a wonder in the Torah was because it was happening at the command of Moses and God. Otherwise, there was no "magic" or anything illogical or "miraculous" about it, which is why the Pharaohs scientists could replicate this phenomenon as well.

So one can say that it was not God per se who was punishing the Mizraim, it was the nature itself bloating the Mizraim out of existence.

Each human being is a biological entity and we all interconnected with each other and with nature that surrounds us (God). So if we live unrighteous lives we become out of sync with nature and it bloats us out like it did with Mizraim. This behavior is similar in all living organisms, from simple ones like a bacteria to the complex one like the humans.

So choose to live according to the Written Torah, the law that nature itself manifested in the written form for us to follow. This way you will be in sync with nature (God) and the nature (God) will protect you from harm because you are useful to it and in sync with it.

Monday, May 1, 2017

3 Steps in Starting to Observe the Law

We have realized that God's commandments are good and right in His sight, and that we want to seek after what He has asked. But where do we start? I suggest a three step approach: 1. Stop working on the Sabbath, 2. Get rid of graven images of gods, 3. Set habits to ensure we continue learning the law.

Links referenced in the video:
US Employment Law:

Graven Image Issues playlist:

Index of Torah commands:

[Aleksandr Sigalov:] I would also add that one needs to be circumcised to perform some of the commandments. I.e. Passover. And it is also helpful to listen to the entire Written Torah at least once a year. We are commanded to do it every 7 years but doing it more often would not hurt imho. The recordings are available on the right sidebar of this blog or at the What is the Written Torah page.

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