בס"ד This is a blog for Jews who feel a sense of deep identification with HaYachad (Dead Sea Sect). This group is for Jews who feel nostalgia and longing for a Judaism that was, and a profound yearning for it to be again. Our way leads to the Self-realization and, on an even more deeply satisfying level, the Mutual-Realization of Mashi'ach. That is what differentiates us from HaPrushim. NO MATERIAL HERE IS TO BE REPRODUCED WITHOUT PERMISSION.

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Location: Tzfat, Israel

Thursday, April 29, 2004


Marketing the Pseudo-Kabbalah

On the Forum of the web site of Tzfat, under General Discusssions,

you will find a thread entitled "The Galut As Ignorance of How to Read the Torah".

On that thread you will find the recommendation of a contributor that I visit a site and the URL to the site. Upon visiting that site I found one of the most glaring examples of misuse and marketing of the pseudo-Kabbalah that I have encountered in awhile. I do not think the intentions of the woman who owns the site are dishonorable. I believe she really thinks she is helping people. I think she herself has been misled by her mentors.

My responses to the B-I-G BUSINESS of marketing the pseudo-Kabbalah are to be found on that thread.



This is a letter I sent to Sara Schneider, Owner of A Small, Still Voice. The subject title was: I'm sorry I had to be gruff. I will also send a copy to Rabbi Ginsburgh.

Dear Sara:

I'd like to share a short passage from my book נקבה - הקרבנות והכפרות with you. I hope it will help make you understand why I reacted to your "Eating as Tikun" as I did:

Here is the passage:

Please consider the following חילופים:

השטן = 700+9+300+5 = 1014 = 15 = י-ה

The author is aware that the reader will most probably find the above חילופים for the value 15 disturbing. Upon opening our hearts and minds to the חילופים we become increasingly aware that everything, absolutely everything, without any any exception whatsoever, is ה' יתברך בהתגלמות....We have gone beyond the duality of "good" and "bad" - all is השם. We are now able to understand the meaning of the מדרש that tells us that before אדם וחוה ate the fruit of The Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil השטן = י-ה was external. After they ate of the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil השטן = י-ה became internal. That is, they understood that both the "good" and the "evil" are י-ה.

Consider this חילוף too:

הנחש = המשיח

You have been taught that אדם was led into sin by חוה who listened to the instruction of the big, bad נחש. How wrong your teachers are! המשיח came and taught the secrets of Torah to חוה. Your teachers have never had this truth revealed to them. They do not know and presume to teach.

Please allow me to demonstrate one last חילוף:

משיח = נחש = השמחה = ספר הגי = את ספר תורה = 1357 = 358

You, my dear lady, *are* the ספר תורה. Understanding this is משיח.

Everything you have been taught about what משיח is in the Pharisaic/Rabbinic tradition is wrong. Now go and learn from the Dead Sea Scrolls.

It is because I am aware of this that I cannot conscience the dissemination of pseudo-Kabbalah. It is also the reason that I am not all sweetness and light. God is not all sweetness and light. How, and why, should I be? When I have to rally my yetzer hara to defend the Truth of Torah I can, and do.

Sara, I am sure that you are well-intentioned. I am also sure that you have been mislead by those who understand but a smattering of Torah. Please, be careful and responsible about what you teach.

With blessings for a Shabbat Shalom,
Doreen Ellen Bell-Dotan, Tzfat :0)

Wednesday, April 28, 2004



In part 1 of this two-part essay I wrote: ” … the desirable and correct creation and description of time is the continual unfolding of the hidden depths of Torah and the adaptation and application of the mitzvoth to the realities that are created as a result of proper kavvanot and learning.” In this second part of the essay we will, with God’s help, now see that the correct punctuation of time is the correct punctuation and pronunciation of the Torah as we learn it in order to find formerly unrevealed depths and to develop the הלכה.

"רק חזק ואמץ מאד לשמר לעשות ככל-התורה אשר צוך משה עבדי אל-תסור ממנו ימין ושמאול למען תשכיל בכל אשר תלך: לא-ימוש ספר התורה הזה מפיך והגית בו יומם ולילה למען תשמר לעשות ככל-הכתוב בו כי-אז תצליח את-דרכך ואז תשכיל:" יהשוע א:ז-ח

The thesis presented in this paper will be based on the simple meaning of the two פסוקים above and חלופים of a few basic gematriot that demonstrate the points raised in this paper quite simply, clearly and straightforwardly. The encompassing importance of חילוף cannot be overestimated, as we will, בע"ה, see.

A caveat: we always use the גמטריות to elevate what our minds understand to be the ‘meanings’ of the words. The widespread misuse, or more correct to say abuse, of the גמטריות to lend false validity to our delusions of evil or prove that our private prejudices are true is rife throughout the “Kabbalah”.

As is known, when words share a common value they are various aspects of one and the same mega-concept. By showing a number of חילופים for a value we can see its many aspects and layers of meaning emerging. All of those meanings are always true and mutually contained one within the others and all within any one.

Various inflections of the word that we are familiar with in the form הגוי can be found in the scrolls [see The Dead Sea Scroll Concordance, Volume One, the Non-Biblical Texts from Qumran, Part One, by Martin G. Abegg, Jr. with James E. Bowley & Edward M. Cook & in Consultation with Emanuel Tov, Copyright 2003 by Koninklijke Brill, Leiden, The Netherlands for the exhaustive list of cites]. There are apparently anomalous spellings of words throughout the Dead Sea Scrolls. Those “anomalies” are filled with meaning as will be explicated, with HaShem’s help, in a book I am currently writing. The spellings the gematriot of which appear below appear in this form in the scrolls.

Please note that in cite 4Q417 1i17 we find the word הגוי, which, depending on the punctuation and context, can mean ‘the People’ or ‘meditation’. The significance of this will be discussed in brief anon.

Let us first examine the simplest inflection of the word הגוי that appears in the scrolls. It is the word spelled thus:

הגי = 18 = חי

It becomes immediately evident from this one חילוף alone that as we meditate upon and learn Torah, so we live.

We can also see that the following must be true:

הגי + האדם = 628 = חיים* = אגרת הגוי

*Unless I specifically state to the contrary, the אותיות סופיות in my writings are calculated as:
ך = 500
ם = 600
ן = 700
ף = 800
ץ = 900

The Dead Sea scrolls come to teach us that ספר התורה is the Book of Life and as we meditate in it and learn it so will our lives be. It behooves us then to be very, very careful that we learn correctly.

Let us come to understand who and what חוה is. She is referred to in Torah as אם כל-חי and we are taught that that is why Adam gave her the name חוה (Bereisheet 3:21).

From the חלוף of the word הגי above we can see that אם כל-חי can be read as אם כל הגי.

Let’s look deeper into this matter:

חוה = 19 = הוגה = ההגו = גוי = עולם חדש = 1018** = התגים = 19

**According to the tradition of gematria bequeathed to us from time immemorial the letter א' is equal to both one, as it is the first letter of the Hebrew aleph-beit and also to 1000, thus its name. The fact that the letter א' is equal to 1000, as well as to one, is apparent from the fact that if we assign values to all of the letters from א' to ץ' we can see that ץ' is equal to 900. Thus, returning for another “go” around the aleph-beit the letter א' is equal to 1000 as well as one as it is the letter that comes after ץ. Continuing this understanding, the letter ב' is equal to 2, 2000 and 1001; the letter ג' is equal to 3, 3000, 1002 and 2001 and so on.

חוה is אם כל-חי, she is אם כל חגי. The gematria of her name is equal to הוגה and to ההגו and to גוי and to עולם חדש and to התגים as we have seen above. From this we learn that our experience of all that lives, including the Gentile nations (הגוים), is entirely dependent upon our own learning of what the Dead Sea Sect called ספר ההגי and ספר ההגו. From the חילוף above of the name חוה we understand that ספר ההגו is ספר חוה.

We must ask what הספר is. The gematria of the word ספר is 340 or ש"מ. Thus, the word הספר would become 345 or שמ"ה, an anagram of which is the name משה. We see now that משה is the Book. How can it be said that Moshe did not know the Law? Moshe is the Book of the Law!

From the consideration above we can see that the expression ספר ההגו, that is found in The Tzaddokite Fragments (The Damascus Document) CD X,6 which is equal to ספר חוה can also be read as: ספר התגים because 1018 = 19 according to the rules of גימטריא, as we have seen above. It can also be read as משה תגים. Yet the Talmud says:
אמר רב יהודה אמר רב: בשעה שעלה משה למרום, מצאו להקב"ה שיושב וקושר כתרים לאותיות, אמר לפניו: רבש"ע, מי מעכב על ידך? אמר לו: אדם אחד יש שעתיד להיות בסוף כמה דורות ועקיבא בן יוסף שמו, שעתיד לדרוש על כל קוץ וקוץ תילין תילין של הלכות. אמר לפניו: רבש"ע, הראהו לי, אמר לו: חזור לאחורך. הלך וישב בסוף שמונה שורות, ולא היה יודע מה הן אומרים, תשש כחו; כיון שהגיע לדבר אחד, אמרו לו תלמידיו: רבי, מנין לך? אמר להן: הלכה למשה מסיני, נתיישבה דעתו. חזר ובא לפני הקב"ה, אמר לפניו: רבונו של עולם, יש לך אדם כזה ואתה נותן תורה ע"י? אמר לו: שתוק, כך עלה במחשבה לפני.
[תלמוד בבלי מסכת מנחות דף כ"ט עמוד ב, מאגר היהדות הממוחשבת (פרוייקט השו"ת), גרסה 10, כל הזכויות שמורות לאוניברסיטת בר-אילן, תל-אביב, 2002]

Translation: The Talmud in Tractate Menachot (29b) quotes Reb. Yehuda, who said in the name of Rab: When Moshe ascended to heaven to receive the Torah he found Hashem engaged in affixing tagin (three small upward strokes in the form of a crown) to the letters. Moshe then asked, "Master of the Universe, Who is forcing Your hand [that You have to add crowns to the letters ]?" Hashem replied: "There will be a man, after many generations, whose name is Akiva ben Yosef and he will expound a multitude of laws upon each stroke of these coronets." Moshe asked to be permitted to see that man, and Hashem instructed him to turn around. Moshe sat down behind eight rows [of Rabbi Akiva's disciples in the Beth Hamidrash - some say it was 10 rows - and listened to their discussions]. Moshe found that he could not follow their arguments. He felt as if his strength had been sapped, but when they came to a certain topic, the students asked Rabbi Akiva (in reference to a law that was being discussed): "From where do we know this?" Rabbi Akiva responded, "Halacha L'Moshe M'Sinai" - this is an oral law handed down to Moshe at Sinai. At that moment Moshe was comforted (since his teaching was quoted, although he had not yet received the Torah - see Rashi). Thereupon Moshe said to Hashem: "You have such a man and yet You give the Torah [to Israel] by me?" Hashem replied: “Hush, this is My decree (literally, "So it has come to My mind")." [This translation according to:].
We can now understand, and sympathize with, the outrage and dismay that HaYachad expressed at the teachings of the Prushim [See: The Tzaddokite Fragments (The Damascus Document) 5:11-13]. Having the Holy Tongue reveal to us that משה and הספר are two aspects of one and the very same mega-existence, we begin to appreciate the extent to which those who claim that Moshe was a person who had to learn the depths of Torah from the Rabbis is based on utter ignorance of the truth of Torah, who and what Moshe is, and that it is hubris that only the abysmally ignorant are capable of. The painful truth that we have been sold a bill of goods by Rabbis who did not understand Torah, and banked on the fact that the masses knew even less than they, begins to sink in. We might like to deny this painful truth. Realizing that we have been betrayed by those we trusted to be our spiritual and moral mentors and guides is a terribly rude awakening. Admitting this truth to ourselves may take much time; but we will never extricate ourselves from the galut if we do not.
There are conflicting opinions in the Pharisaic/Rabbinical literature concerning the weight one should place on learning Torah using the gematriot. Some Rabbis did not consider the gematriot the “tachlis” of learning Torah, for instance this famous quote:
רבי אליעזר בן חסמא אומר קנין ופתחי נדה הן הן גופי הלכות [תקופות וגימטריאות פרפראות לחכמה]: (מסכתות קטנות מסכת אבות דרבי נתן נוסחא א פרק כז ד"ה רבי אליעזר)

other sources do attribute great importance to the learning of gematriot. For instance, this lesser known, quote:

כל היודע לחשוב תקופות ומזלות ואינו מחשב עליו הכתוב אומר את פועל ה' לא יביטו ומעשה ידיו לא ראו. וזו היא ששנינו (אבות ספ"ג) תקופות וגימטריאות פרפראות לחכמה ואם כן תהיה חכמת הגימטריא מצוה. ואם היה דעת בעל ההלכות כן היה מזכיר תקופות ומזלות: (השגות הרמב"ן לספר המצוות שורש א ד"ה והתשובה הרביעית)

Although in actuality there are more quotes in the Pharisaic/Rabbinic sources that tout the learning of gematriot, the opinion of Eliezer ben Chisma on the matter, as quoted above, is by far the best known and the prevailing opinion.

We see from the Pharisaic/Rabbinic sources which mention the gematriot that the learning of gematriot was known by them to be associated with the learning of dikduk, t’kufot and mazalot. A number of Rabbis are said to be experts in these matters (ben Zakkai, Akiva and ben Chisma for instance), or are soi-dissant cognocenti (the Ramba”n, ba’al Sefer HaChinukh, Rabbeinu Yona and Moshe de Leon are among these), but they did not see fit to teach these matters generally and left generation after generation of disciples unable to plumb the depths of Torah.
We have considered some of the gematriot of some of the inflections of the word הגי above. What is הגוי, after all, if not the pronunciation of Torah? And what is pronunciation of Torah if not the use of the punctuations as determined by the Divine Laws of Hebrew grammar that are also the laws that rule the heavenly bodies and thus describe time. As we saw in part 1 of this two-part essay the common gematria of the words זמן, מקראות and להבין is 747. We see from the Pharisaic/Rabbinic sources that gematriot were known to them to be associated with dikduk, t’kufot and mazalot. Whether they really knew these secrets or dabbled in them, having merely heard about these matters from true Masters is unknown. It would appear from their interpretation of Torah that they were not Masters of this knowledge on the level that those who wrote the ‘Dead Sea scrolls were’.
The central lesson we learn from the חילופים of the word הגי, and its inflections, is this: It is the understanding of the Text, ההגוי, that determines everything that we experience in life הגי חי = 18 and in time זמן = מקראות = להבין = 747.
Clearly now that we have returned to Eretz Yisrael we must divest ourselves of the Pharisaic teachings, the physical expression of which is the galut, as well as the improvisations that the Rabbis concocted, which perpetuate and compound the galut, and make an end to it impossible because they continue to generate redoubled and compounded convolutions in space/time, which are the physical expression of their dishonest emotions and convoluted thinking, which they take with them when they gaze into the Torah. We must return to the true Service, which is none other than the elevation and purification of that which we perceive using חילופים. Returning to a state of consciousness that is fully steeped in the Holy Language will be a process and will, of course, take time. Yet the work must begin and in so doing we will halt the continuing creation of distorted and convoluted time/space.
We learn from the scrolls that the Pharisees, as well as the Sadducees who had gone astray, had distorted the Temple practices and did not, or could not, cleanse the Temple of the unthinkable defilement of the Chashmona’im. We cannot ignore the fact that these compromises, changes and distortions in the Temple service eventually brought about the downfall of the Temple and Yerushalayim Shel Mata. They also generated the galut.
During the time that the Second Temple all of creation was bent and broken by the desecration of the Temple Service and the putting of the Avodah of HaCohen Rosh in the hands of those not only not from the line of Tzaddok, HaCohen HaGadol in the time of David HaMelekh, but wholly perverse and whose hands were soaked with blood. We are still living in the effects of that cosmic disaster and it will also generate the dissolution of the Jewish enterprise in Eretz Yisra’el if we do not return to the true way. We are already seeing a society so warped by corruption in the State of Israel that the state itself is becoming untenable, r”l. Our only hope for survival here in Israel is to return to the Judaism that is contained in the ‘Dead Sea scrolls’. It is not for naught that HaShem revealed them to us concurrent with the declaration of the state.
We encounter the very same concepts, considerations and lessons that we find in the halakhic discussions and mystical trends of Pharisaic/Rabbinic Judaism in the writings of היחד. Yet היחד present them to us with a depth, intimate understanding, poignancy, immediacy and attainability that we do not find in the writings of the Pharisaic/Rabbinic tradition. It is the teachings of היחד that can return us to the true Service. The Rabbis are nary equipped to do this, as they are the inheritors of the Pharisaic tradition that contained many interpretations inimical to the spirit of Torah. In the Diaspora the Rabbis introduced more distortions into interpretation that were yet further afield and brought us further away from the Source Of Truth. This was, no doubt, based on their mistaken perception of the need for adaptation of ההלכה to changing circumstances in the galut as well as realpolitik and power plays among the Rabbis. This unfortunate state of affairs has left us with the bloated and untenable religion we encounter in our own times that leaves our Soul so very, very thirsty. These distortions, in turn, are generating the bloated and untenable world we collectively create and are trapped in.

Because we are not in a state of consciousness in which we perform the חלופים of the גמטריות naturally, as a matter of course, when reading Hebrew (and that is, indeed, the most abysmal גלות) we do not understand many concepts in תורה properly. As a result, we are reduced to hallucinating evil and plurality wherein none exist in reality. Moreover, because we are not aware of the fact that it is we ourselves creating these phantasmagorias and certainly we are not aware how creation occurs, we live in dread fear of the creations of our renegade minds, with the accompanying imprecation and execration of these phantoms and phantasmagorias. We blame “the goi’im” for our “tzuris”, when in fact it is we ourselves creating them. Thus, we bring the transgression of the מצוה אל תעשה not to curse upon ourselves. Horrible hells are created by the mind undisciplined, untrained in the חלופים of the גמטריא. That is our punishment for having abrogated the Kingdom of Heaven. Understand this. Understanding this is the key to our salvation and emancipation. Only when we realize that we are creating our own historic collective tragedy and personal misery, without knowing how and not being able to control or stop it, can we take pity on ourselves, and others, and pray to HaShem with a broken heart to show us the way out. Only then do we realize how hopelessly lost, confused and helpless we are. We were not intended to be lost in a nightmare of our own making. Reality does not have to be this way. We were intended to create Gan Eden by learning and doing (i.e., being) the Torah properly.

I cannot demonstrate just how the correct reading of Torah is done in a public forum such as this. There are many Jewish scoffers, Jews who misuse the gematriot in their ignorance and enthusiasm to push this or that agenda and, of course, non-Jewish would-be infiltrators who want to learn about HaYachad and arrogate their wisdom, to enter Kodesh HaKadoshim and defile the kelim in it for their own purposes. It is enough that you have been told that this knowledge must be retrieved from the genizah of the Jewish collective memory. It is for you to ask HaShem the rest.

May the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart be for a

Doreen Ellen Bell-Dotan, Tzfat


Response From A Usually Very "Anti" Interlocutor:

Doreen makes some interesting points, not necessarily all wrong either.

An interesting work on the creation of woman, the original androgyny of man, the expulsion from the Garden of Eden, the dimunition of the Moon and womanhood's staure , the Exile of the Shekinah & the Jewish People, and the ultimate restoration to pre-Edenic times is to be found in "Kabbalistic Writings on the Nature of Masculine & Feminine" by Sarah Schneider 2001.

Sarah's site is

My Response

21:54 28 Apr 2004

Thank you for recommending the site above.

I went to the site you gave the URL to and found the face of a woman I’m sure is very nice and well-meaning smiling back at me.

However, I should like to point out the differences between what she’s (apparently) “on about” and what I am. I think it only right that I send her this critique as well. I’ll send a copy to Rabbi Ginsburgh as well, be’ezrat HaShem.

At the outset I should say that I read on the site that she studied under Yitzchak Ginsburgh. I bought one of his books, The Hebrew Letters, some years ago. Even then I was left unimpressed and found the book simplistic. Evidently, what Mrs. Schneider learned the art and craft of marketing books from her mentor, who knows but a smattering of Torah, something that Rabbi Ginsburgh does excel in. I have chastised Rabbi Ginsburgh before for his “ufaratzta” (and marketing) approach to teaching about האותיות. That was after I found a Xian on the net using what she found on his site and interpreting it in the perverted way that only Xians know how to do. He remained obdurate and unrepentant. Evidently his reputation and income are more important to him than that the Torah should be in Jewish hands. Forgive me, then, if I do not trust one of his disciples entirely.

In contradistinction to Mrs. Schneider and Rabbi Ginsburgh I do not use the Torah I learn as a spade to dig with. I have never received remuneration for my research and never asked for it. I do not receive money to learn and disseminate Torah. I have also been quite stern with those who tried to encourage me to make myself generally known. In actually, I expend money to share that which HaShem has granted me – lots of it – and as a result I am reduced financially to living in a slum. I don’t think that’s any great moral shakes. It is the least a Jew can do for the זכות of serving HaShem. If we were living in communal societies, such as the Isi’im did, a scholar of Torah would not have to be poor. S/he would live at the same economic level as everyone else, no better no worse, and respect would be accorded on the basis of how much Torah one had learned and internalized. However, in the Diaspora there is no choice but to be poor if one intends to remain true to Torah, because the minute that one earns an income for it s/he must compromise her or his morality. As I have written in a number of essays, diverging from Torah morality even a hairsbreadth results in a vast divergence as the resulting “time” and “space” stretch out before us and the קץ is pushed indefinitely away.

Thus, I am immediately wary of Mrs. Schneider, lovely and ingenuous though she may look.

I clicked on the link Eating As Tikkun that is on her home page. This is the URL to that page: I should like to request the reader to turn her or his attention to that site now in order to understand the rest of what I intend to write here, be’ezrat HaShem.

I was dismayed at seeing yet another misuse of the Kabbalah on the site, although I should not have been surprised. It is an avera, as it is a sneaky manipulation of people’s emotions, insecurities and confusion to hold out the promise of getting over eating disorders by learning the psuedo-Kabbalah that is so prevalent today. Chaba”d is the perhaps the worst offender of holding out the promise of solving all of one’s problems by learning their teachings, although many groups do this today. I have written about the deleterious effects of doing this. Here in Tzfat, the pseudo-Kabbalah capital of the world we see on an everyday basis that the city is cursed.

While it is most certainly true that foods are physical representations of deep spiritual truths, the Pharisaic/Rabbinic tradition has only scratched the surface of what the moral/spiritual substrate of the physical expression that is food is.

It is also certainly true that the addiction to food, as all addictions, is the Soul desperately trying to find the Truth that was lost. We understand innately that the sensations of all addictive substances, including food, are in essence Godliness and we try again and again, futilely, to get to that level. It is our hunger for the kernel of Torah that compels us to overeat. It is the desire for the spirit of Torah that compels some to drink excessively (thus alcohol is called spirits), it is the desire for blissful union with HaShem that makes some sex addicts, and so on with every addiction. All this is a result of the terrible galut that we are in.

Mrs. Schneider, as all Jews blindly loyal to the Pharisaic/Rabbinic tradition, has some inkling of the depth of what eating is, but not enough to understand. Actually, she has just enough knowledge to sell lessons to those who know even less than she does.

Let us examine what the Torah teaches us about eating:

ויצו ה' אלקים על-האדם לאמר מכל עץ-הגן אכל תאכל: ומעץ הדעת טוב ורע לא תאכל ממנו כי ביום אכלך ממנו מות תמות. בראשית ב:טז-יז

Please note that the word תאכל is written in the pasuk with a חלם חסר and not with a חולם. However, the very next letter after the word תאכל is a ו'. The word תאכל taken together with the ו' directly after it produces the word תאכלו. An anagram of the word תאכלו is כל אות. HaShem is given us a directive to ingest, as it were, every letter of the Torah. We are not talking about trees and fruits; we are talking about the basic building blocks of the Torah, which are also the basic building blocks of consciousness, and thus the creation as it appears to us. The physical trees and fruits that arise in the created world are expressions of how we learn Torah. It is because we do not know how we create the worlds that we do or even that we do, although we do, that we live in a world in which there are fruit-bearing trees and not fruit trees. We live in a world of cause and effect in which there is the artifact of time that our minds create. Thus there is a time delay. If we were not in the galut there would be no time continuum as we are now experiencing it. Creation would occur “simultaneously” concurrent and in accordance with our kavvanot in learning Torah. We would produce fruit trees, not fruit bearing trees. In fact, all creation would arise spontaneously and instantly without delay at all. That is what reality is like when we are not in galut. We can only create this completely satisfying food if we learn כל אות and טעם of Torah.

Note that every letter is the word תאכלו and, necessarily, in its anagram כל אות is an אות שמוש. The words מות and תמות as similarly comprised entirely of אותיות שמוש.
Depending upon the moral/spiritual level of the reader one will see death, another will see the secrets of how to read and permute the letters of the Torah. As Rabbi Kook wrote: “The Book is The Book, but it is the heart that does the interpretation.”

Another example of a story from Torah that is actually a lesson in how to read Torah is the (ostensible) story of the binding of Yitzchak. Without digressing, nor revealing more than those who might abuse the information should know, let it just be said that the word מאכלת is also comprised entirely of אותיות שמוש. Anyone who sees עקדת יצחק as a story about אברהם almost shechting יצחק instead of lessons in the secrets of אותיות השמוש and cannot see the fact that the word צדק is contained within the words עקדת יצחק has a serious spiritual/moral problem. Did you every notice that the letter ח' in the name יצחק is equal to ד+ד? That being the case we can clearly see that using the letter ק' in the radical עקד and the letter ק' in the name יצחק we have the root דקדק contained in the phrase עקדת יצחק. The story is actually lessons in דקדוק, which are not only the laws of Hebrew grammar, but also the very Laws of אמת וצדק that the universes should be conducted according to. Yet people see some horror story in עקדת יצחק, even as they see horror stories in their own lives, in the lives of others and in Jewish history. The Torah is called aspaklaria because it reflects who you are back at you. Understand this.

So, we see clearly that we don’t all have eating disorders, as Mrs. Schneider contends. We all have Holy Language reading disabilities, which is the result of having been given "tincture of diluted Torah" to drink by the Rabbis for so many generations.

Doreen Ellen Bell-Dotan, Tzfat

Monday, April 26, 2004


By the grace of God I have, after a great deal of prayer and exertion, been given the words to write this essay - a piece I wanted to write for so very long and didn't know just how. May God watch over me as I write and keep me, so that I do not fail.


Let me reiterate that: The galut is misinterpretation of the mitzvoth, not an effect of misinterpretation, but the very misinterpretation itself.

Neither is there hope of the galut ending until we relearn to both read and interpret the Torah, as I will, with the help of HaShem, explicate. In this essay, part 1 of 2, I will discuss how the galut is the misinterpretation of the mitzvoth. In part 2, I will, with the help of God, explain how the galut is ignorance of the gematriot and go a bit more into depth explaining that truth and demonstrating how. For the time being, let us consider the gematria of the word זמן, it is 747, which is the gematria of the word מקראות as well as the gematria of the word להבין. From this gematria we learn that our understanding of time, and all that appears to be occurring, event after event, in that imagined continuum is nothing more or less than a representation of our level of self-awareness in המקראות. That which arises in our consciousness and appears to us to be happening in the continuum of time is entirely dependent upon our understanding and observance of ההלכה. As we understand and observe צדק ואמת ההלכות so the events of our lives as if unfold before our consciousness in a procession, i.e., תהלוכה. We now see the deep connection between the words הולכות and תהלוכה.

It seems there were Talmudic Sages who understood this truth. We find the following passage in Tractate Sanhedrin.
שאלו תלמידיו את רבי יוסי בן קיסמא: אימתי בן דוד בא? ...אמר להם: לכשיפול השער הזה ויבנה, ויפול, ויבנה, ויפול, ואין מספיקין לבנותו עד שבן דוד בא.
(Babylonian Talmud, Tractate Sanhedrin 98a, Bar-Ilan University, Tel Aviv, GLOBAL JEWISH DATABASE (Responsa Project) Version 10].

Translation: The disciples of R. Jose b. Kisma asked him, 'When will the Messiah come?' — He answered … “When this gate falls down, is rebuilt, falls again, and is again rebuilt, and then falls a third time, before it can be rebuilt the son of David will come.” (Soncino Babylonian Talmud on Line

Ostensibly the “gate” being referred to is the gate of Caesarea Philippi, the home of R. Jose, a symbol of Roman power. Its fall would, similarly, be a symbol of the destruction of the Roman power by the Parthians (ibid. see note 45). However, we can understand the word שער on a deeper level, as referring to the gateway or portal that leads to the created world as we are now creating it and in which we are trapped in a procession of unforeseeable and painful, sometimes tragic, events.

Did you see the original movie called “The X-Men”? Do you remember the character “Magneto” who has the ability to control magnetic fields and can thus manipulate metals? There is a very cleverly done scene in the movie in which “Magneto” is walking on a bridge. The bridge is quite unlike what we think of as a bridge in that it is nothing more than two metal plates. As “Magneto” walks he moves one plate in front of him and steps on it as he steps off the plate that was behind him. He does this alternating his feet as he goes. Other than the two metal plates there is no bridge whatsoever. It is the magnetic influence “Magneto” exerts on the plates that keep them moving before him to step on as he goes. This is exactly how we are creating the realities that we live in. The only difference between “Magneto” and us is that we are not aware that we are doing this and are thus not in control of where the bridges that we are treading upon lead. That is the galut.

Just as “Magneto” was walking on a bridge that was not a bridge, but rather only that which was beneath his own two feet described by the magnetic force he was exerting on the metal plates, so there is no medium that is called “time”. Time is an artifact of our imagination. If time is an artifact of our imagination, then there is no history, no gilgulim and no space in objective reality “out there”. They exist, but only insofar as we perceive them. They exist as our illusions.

Even a slight misinterpretation of Torah will cause distortions in the mind so that the messages it is receiving from Soul are not being interpreted properly. Diversions from the correct way of doing the mitzvoth result in distortions in the created world as will be explained anon. The mind receives its dictation from the heart and not the other way around. The mind is nothing more than that which creates symbolic representations of our spiritual/moral state. If we have not been utterly honest in interpreting Torah we cause the heart to be twisted. In turn the mind will be forced to concoct convoluted reasoning to try to justify the dishonest emotions. In so doing it creates a very complicated world for us indeed; a world characterized by multi-dimensionality, time frames, fantastic distances, imperfect mathematical systems, personal problems that are redoubled and compounded by circumstances, indeterminable data, uncertainties that are not interesting but rather frightening and all of the other problems we are familiar with that vex and torment us and from which we do not know not only how to extricate ourselves, but even that we can, and should, extricate ourselves from them. The world we live in appears to be an imperturbable given. This is the cruelest illusion of all. There is no hope for us to escape from so tangled a web of perceptions so long as we do not read and interpret Torah correctly.

Thus, if our Rabbis have not interpreted the Law with absolute and uncompromising straightness, rectitude, integrity, and dedication to צדק ואמת they create distortions in the realities we live in and we, in turn, increase and compound those distortions when we perform המצות. Those who have taught us Torah have misguided us and they have no less than led us into a universe of deception and pain.

We are המצות. Understand this. The gematria of the word המצות, written as it should be with only one ו' is 541. This is also the gematria of the name ישראל. ישראל = המצות. We, ישראל, are not merely doing the המצות, we are the המצות. More correctly, we are the mitzvoth being and doing themselves (ourselves) and creating a world. We must be extremely careful, then, to remain true to ourselves. It is precisely for this reason that we cannot make the slightest compromises with what we know to be true in our deepest levels of Being and why we must not act improperly. When we allow any amount of untruth and compromise to enter into our understanding and performance of המצות we have doomed ourselves to being distorted and living in a distorted common reality. We are connected to one another and the reality that we inhabit is necessarily a common and composite one, the result of the kavvanot and behaviors of each and every one of us. This is true even though each of us experiences what he or she does in accordance with his or her own moral/spiritual achievement. Despite the fact that we are individuals, and individually responsible for our learning, understanding and doing ההלכות, we are also connected as a People, not only in this generation, but also in every generation. In reality there is no time, as we have said, thus the entire Jewish People exists at once, even if it doesn’t appear to the eye as such. If even one of us is amiss we will all suffer the effects and live in a distorted reality. קל וחומר (Argumentum a minori ad majus or a majori ad minus; corresponding to the scholastic proof a fortiori) if wanton misinterpretation of ההלכה is the norm, as is the case under Rabbinic Judaism, we suffer the compounded effects of each and every one of us who is not interpreting Torah correctly and become trapped in and endlessly complicated world of distortion upon distortion. This and more: since we are the mitzvoth any distortion of interpretation of the mitzvoth results in a distortion of our expression of being in whatever world we express ourselves.

Flagrant contraventions of Torah like prozbul or heter mekhirah were ‘justified’ by the Rabbis by saying that they were socio-economic considerations that supposedly protected the poor. There is an explanation of why Hillel instituted prozbul on: It behooves the reader to consider (or reconsider) everything that is written on that page. Now anyone with a heart and mind can see that what is written there is utter nonsense and that prozbul is nothing but protecting the interests of the rich. It is very likely true that the rich were not giving loans to the poor close to the Yovel. Why then did the Beit Din not exert pressure upon the wealthy to do as is written in Torah? Why was a ruling harming the poor that is in contravention of Torah devised instead?

The case of heter mekhirah is a similar case of protecting economic concerns ‘against HaShem’ Laws’ because “Moshe did not know the halakhah”, a contention the Rabbis were so outrageously brazen as to write in the Talmud for posterity and teach to their students assiduously generation after generation (generations in a galut created by lies such as these). How the heart hurts to read such things! Anyone with a mind and heart can see that in reality prozbul and heter mekhirah are mechanisms that maintain the economic status quo. Rather than devising a system of economics that would protect the society as well as Torah observance, subversions of the Law were devised. Could it be that HaShem’s Laws if kept would harm society? Did we need “chakhamim” to protect us from HaShem and his servant Moshe who “didn’t know the halakhah”, Ch”V? There is no estimating the twists and turns of self-deception the heart must make within itself and how it must harden itself in order to be able to tolerate such self-deceit and deception of innocent others. In turn, the dictates of the heart that are relayed to the mind, which transcibes those dictates into perceptions, become likewise twisted and distorted in proportion to the heart. This is the galut. The result of rulings such as these is that we have lost the ability to calculate שנות שמיטה with certainty, and thus we do not know when the יובלות are. We have thus been rendered incapable of setting slaves and debtors free by the distortion of the Law that is prozbul. The distortions that those rulings created locked us in “time”, from which we cannot extricate ourselves, because we compound and complicate the distortion every time we conduct ourselves according to these rulings, and thus the galut is perpetuated indefinitely.

Only if we live in correct accordance with the Torah can we live in a world that will be punctuated and described by the holy מועדים. As things stand we do not know the correct time of our מועדים, we are locked in galut, we are out of touch with the other generations of ישראל and we are incapable of getting ourselves out of this sorry estate. All of this is because the Torah as it is being taught and practiced is not the true interpretation. That is not to say that it is wholly untrue. That is not to say that there isn’t a need for continuing הלכה and חדושים. Of course פרשנות is absolutely necessary. No one from any school of Jewish thought has ever denied this. In fact, the desirable and correct creation and description of time is the continual unfolding of the hidden depths of Torah and the adaptation and application of the mitzvoth to the realities that are created as a result of proper kavvanot, learning, doing the mitzvoth aseh and not doing the mitzvoth al ta’ase. The only question is whether or not we are being honest in our פרשנות. The proof is always in the proverbial pudding. The reality is that our common, composite reality is uninhabitable for sensitive, moral, spiritual Human beings – Jew and Gentile alike.

One must be true to one's heart. God has planted many tenets that are anathema to the sensitive heart in each religion. Why? It is so that you will question - not question the truth of the precept, but question your own understanding of it most profoundly. If one comes to God with an honest and humble prayer and says: "I respect what I see written here, but my heart tells me otherwise. How shall I proceed? How shall I act? Have I understood what is taught? Surely I have not seen to the depth of Your wisdom. What do You desire of me?" that person will have fulfilled God's true Will in planting the tenet in the faith - that person will have entered a dialogue with God. This
is God's true desire - to teach you the depths of Torah directly, so they you may see for yourself. This is one of the bases of true Torah Sh’be’al peh – learning those aspects of Torah intended just for you to learn and reveal for the very first time as intended from Beraysheet from HaShem’s “mouth” to your consciousness directly. This is the process of Tush’ba that can never be written down, although the revelations so received can be preserved and shared with others, indeed they are intended to be. Such a one who prays this way will be blessed with vision and insight heretofore unknown to him/her or to the world-at-large. That person will see ways of understanding and interpreting Torah that *resolve* that which s/he thought were contradictions, precepts which limit the freedom of the Soul and harsh commandments. S/he will come to see the righteousness and compassion that exists in the seemingly harsh precepts with clear eyes, in a way that is compatible with all of God's creation. The ability to express these understandings to others will be granted to that person as well. The מסורת will not be contradicted or contravened in any way. Au contraire, it will be strengthened and made more comprehensible. The one who enters into a dialog with God will understand the mitzvot with ever-increasing depth as God personally takes the person “by the hand” and leads her or him through eternity.

HaShem has given us a “yetzher hara” to assist us in interpreting the mitzvoth that are harsh and difficult for our “yetzer tov” to understand. Those mitzvoth the chesed in which is revealed can be easily apprehended by our “yetzer tov”. We do not need to exert ourselves overmuch to understand those precepts. The goodness in them is apparent. We readily understand the kindness inherent in such mitzvoth as not taking the garment of the poor as collateral or of having just weights and measures. We may have to exert ourselves to consider the many applications of the mitzvoth in our everyday lives, but we have no trouble whatsoever in recognizing them as being good immediately. We have far more trouble in seeing the kindness and goodness in the ordeal of the woman accused of being a Sotah, or the mitzvah aseh to put the ben sorer u’moreh to death. We might be tempted either to carry out the mitzvoth as it appears to our untrained and undeveloped consciousness, as the ordeal of the suspected Sotah appears to have been in those cases in which the woman agreed to it, if we can trust the reports of and allusions to the ordeal in the Talmud, or not to carry them out at all, finding loopholes as it were, in the case of the ben sorer u’moreh, again assuming that the passages concerning this matter in the Talmud are in earnest. While we see that the simple meaning of these mitzvoth disturbed the Rabbis, neither carrying out the ordeal nor contriving impossible conditions that render the mitzvah de facto impossible to carry out comes from the depths of wisdom. Neither of those reactions comes from inducting both the yetzer tov and the yetzer ra into the service of understanding the mitzvoth and thus gaining a deeper level of insight such that the p’shat presents itself differently to our consciousness and thus we act on it differently. If we do not engage both the yetzer tov and the yetzer ra when learning Torah we do not have the “stereoscopic” insight needed to understand what Torah is saying to us. We read one-dimensionally and arrive at conclusions that are shallow, even spurious. We then carry out meaningless, even dangerous, actions and, in so doing, create an absurd, nightmarish world for ourselves.

It is the nature of the yetzer tov to be good and kind, but rather insipid, simple and not very creative, interesting or fun. The yetzer hara, on the other hand, while capable of cruelty and perversity, is crafty, cunning, colorful, riveting and creative. It is only when we use both of these abilities in tandem that we can understand Torah properly and, correspondingly, Torah is written and devised in such a way as to encourage us to develop both of these faculties for the sake of serving Hashem. This is the reason why Torah contains both mitzvoth aseh that are apparently good and those which, upon encountering for the first time, shock and offend our yetzer tov, if we are honest with ourselves, even while they engage the attention of the yetzer hara. If we are not honest with ourselves we suppress our yetzer tov when interpreting and carrying out those mitzvoth. If we engage only the yetzer tov we never arrive at the profoundest levels of understanding Torah. Neither of these reactions is correct. We are to summon both our yetzer tov and our yetzer hara to look deeply into those troubling matters and find the chesed hidden within them. The depths of the chesed inherent in the mitzvoth that appear offensive upon perfunctory consideration is far greater than those inherent in the mitzvoth the goodness of which need not be searched for. We are being invited to look very, very deeply into Torah when we encounter disturbing mitzvoth. We are not expected either to deny them or to carry them out according to a perfunctory understanding.

We have seen why HaShem has given us the ability to be wily. This ability is not to be destroyed, but rather harnessed in order to serve HaShem and one another. When our being crafty is used to deceive and otherwise hurt others we create dark chambers in space/time that did not exist before within which to hide our intentions and ourselves. Once caught in those dungeons of the mind and emotions we are locked in them and shackled to their impenetrable walls on all of the levels of our being that exist in the created world. The world that is created by performing the mitzvoth as misunderstood and distorted by Pharisaic/Rabbinic Judaism is a nightmare world of insecurity, upheaval, constant danger, feelings of persecution and proactive persecution, hatred, destruction, death and genocide. The terrible pity of it all is that those who practice Pharisaic/Rabbinic Judaism do not have the first inkling that it is they who are creating that world or that the world does not have to be that way. They heap calumnies upon the Gentles attributing to them every negative trait. They do not, nay will not, understand that it is they who are creating those ignominies and horrors for themselves; they who are attracting those experiences to themselves.

In contradistinction, when we use our ability to be wily and shrewd in order to protect one another and create that which is salubrious and lovely for one another, we create dimensions that did not exist before. We create a world that is complex, interesting and ever changing but not threatening unpredictable, sinister and dangerous. The worlds we create when we ask ourselves how we can apply the Written Torah to deduce, induce and decide הלכות that will serve us, all of us, while remaining true to the Law fascinate the mind, and delight our playful intelligence, even as they protect one another, and us, from harm and shame. One such example from the Pharisaic/Rabbinic tradition of the proper use of the shrewd aspect of our creative intelligence is the following הלכה:

עני שאינו רוצה ליקח צדקה, מערימים ונותנין לו לשם מתנה או לשם הלואה.
[Shulchan Arukh 253:9, Bar-Ilan University, Tel Aviv, GLOBAL JEWISH DATABASE (Responsa Progject) Version 10

Translation: “(In the case of) a poor person who does not want to receive charity we act cunningly and give it to him in the guise of a gift or a loan.”

The radical ערם in this case means: to be shrewd; to be crafty; to be sly; to be cunning. It was in the utilizing of our ability to be ערמומיים, even as we are guided by the dictates of our yetzer tov that we come to a הלכה that is a beautiful example of our good and bad inclinations supplementing and complementing one another to serve Humanity.

It has been amply, and chillingly, demonstrated that matter is compressed energy. There is, to date, no satisfying definition of ‘energy’. Energy is thought of in terms of what it does, and can do, i.e., work. This author should like to posit the following, interim, definition of energy: Energy is the creative Will made corporeal enough to transfer itself from one body to another in the physical worlds. Matter, then, would be extremely compressed creative Will. Matter is not in a form in which it can transfer itself from domain to domain or from body to body, but needs to be transferred. In the case of humans this is accomplished by a motile being that has a will of its own and does the work of transferring purposefully. The world as it appears in our consciousness is characterized by the presence of space, both stored (potential) and flowing (kinetic, mechanical) energy, and matter the form of which is determined and set to some extent over a period of “time” yet also continuously changing. (The question of whether one or any of these “precedes” the others temporally or in importance that might arise in the mind is based on our illusion of time and need not be entertained at all.) In our present state of consciousness matter exists in two states: the material with which we are confronted by nature (raw material) and the statements of our imposition of our will upon the world (finished products). In reality, however, it is our own creative Will, i.e., the aspect of HaShem that takes on the form of human consciousness, that is becoming the space and energy that we perceive as well as all of the matter. The mitzvoth are that which guide us to use the Godly creative Will and our actions to create the best possible reality.

It should not be understood that there exists a cause and effect relationship between Will and the world created by it. There is no time lapse. With the Will the world created by the Will arises spontaneously and “simultaneously” for lack of a better word. Finished products differ from raw materials in that while our Will is creating both by considerable effort required in order to pour our own Life Force into creation, the former is the result of the additional physical effort as well. The strain of existence that we feel is not our struggle with the material world, so much as our exertion to create the physical world. The exertion we put into Talmud Torah is the creation of the world, be it as it may in accordance with our learning.

From this understanding we can draw the simple conclusion that the quality of our lives, indeed how the universe reflects itself back to us, is wholly dependent upon what we will and what we do. It is, therefore, of paramount importance that our intentions be pure and that our actions be correct; for our intentions are that which create the raw material of the universe and our actions determine the finished products.

If we do not both intend and act properly we expend incalculable effort creating a physical reality that is neither hospitable nor benevolent. The collective world that we create becomes increasingly untenable and unmanageable when we do not use our will properly or perform the mitzvoth as they should be performed. Thus, we have to invest greater and greater amounts of effort into maintaining that which is unstable. We exhaust ourselves as we pour our own Souls into a world that affords us precious little joy, serenity or security.

The mitzvoth were designed to create a world of absolute maximum happiness and utility for us. If we perform the mitzvoth as they should be performed with the correct intention the energy that is created transfers the Love, Knowledge and Creative Will of HaShem that is within us unimpeded. The raw material that is created forms the basis of a world of optimum level of habitability. We create finished products that are stable, serve us wisely and well and are maintained with the minimum amount of exertion so that we may be free to learn and contemplate Holiness.

May we have the courage and honesty to admit the error of our way, return to HaShem, to the true Torah and to end this bitter exile.

Doreen Ellen Bell-Dotan, Tzfat, Israel




Doreen: I am happy to answer honestly posed questions that may, with HaShem's help, clarify some misunderstandings and elucidate points many are not aware of.

Interlocutor: If the Essenes had become the majority at the time of the destruction of the Second Temple, how do you envisage an alternative Jewish history?

Doreen: Jewish society would have been like their society: based on common property so that the only power that the leaders had was the power invested in them by the respect and love they won due to their wisdom and integrity; commerce would have been in strict accordance with the Torah; the entire world would be a more sanguine and gentle place in which to live because it would be created based on learning of the highest level of integrity. We would not be confined by the dictates of time and space that now confine us. There would be time, but it would be punctuated according to the rules of Hebrew grammar and HaMo’edim as taught in Torah Sh’bikhtav. Neither would there be chambers within which to hide secrets. God would be clearly perceived in all that is created and more Godliness would be continually being revealed.

Interlocutor: How long would Jewry have survived in the Exile without the Pharisaic fences and restrictions of the Talmudic Sages?

Doreen: There would have been no need for those fences because there wouldn't have been threats. It was the distortions of the teaching of the Prushim and those Tzaddokim who loved money and power more than Torah that created the Greco/Roman/Seleucid menaces. Once we have created a nightmare for ourselves as a result of swaying from Torah, punishment is heaped upon us in that we have to then defend ourselves from the nightmare. In the extreme stages, the stage we are in now, most of us do not even have any inkling that we are creating the events that present themselves to us. We think that we are the innocent victims of happenstance and that someone else is responsible for our woes.

Let’s see what HaYachad had to say about those fences, which were already busily being built long before the destruction of the Temple and the dispersion. So, you cannot argue that they were created as a means of protecting the Torah in the Diaspora.

“They even rendered impure their holy spirit and in blasphemous terms opened (their) mouth against the Laws of the covenant saying: “They are not correct” And they spoke abomination about them.” [Tzaddokite Fragments (Damascus Document) 5:13]. Evidently the Prushim were already claiming that “Moshe didn’t know halakhah”, Ch”V, during the time that the Temple stood.

“All these thing the builders of the wall and the daubers of plaster did not understand. For one who raises wind and preaches falsehood preached to them, because of which God became angry with His entire congregation.” (ibid., 8:12-13; cf. 19:24-26)

“Since he hated the builders of the wall, He became angry.” (ibid., 8:18; cf. 19:13)

Interlocutor: The Essenes may have been a group of apocalyptist idealists, but halacha l'ma'aseh is what counts, and the fact that they disappeared utterly from the scene of history means that they were not up to the task.

Doreen: They were not apocalyptic idealists. They were very grounded in reality. Their society ticked like a Swiss watch. They were also fully aware of the reality of the situation that the Rabbis and the Maccabim had created for themselves and were filled with compassion for them as they were also fully aware of the reality of the world within Torah. Again and again they reached out to the Pharisees, to the Macabbees, and to the Tzaddokim in Yerushalayim who were not keeping the true way and instructed them how to disentangle themselves from the times and events they were creating. Insofar as they were able to, since they were removed from the Temple Service which had become defiled they continued to make expiation for Am Yisra’el, as Cohenim are supposed to do. They did this by performing chilufim and elevations as I hope to explicate and demonstrate in a separate essay. Unfortunately, the Prushim had gone very far down the road in distorting the meaning of Torah Sh’bikhtav in order to win the favor of the masses and placate the rich and powerful, the Macabbim had become monstrously barbaric and the Tzaddokim were engaged in intrigues and money-makeing, so none of them could understand what the Yachad was telling them. The world that was a creation of their own twisted minds and hearts and sins had taken on a life of its own and they were ensconced in it.

There was no need for HaYachad to be up to the task of having to deal with a brutal world because the brutal world was not of their making. They didn't disappear from history because they couldn't hack it, they disappeared from history because they did not need to do a tikkun and didn't need to be punished for anything.

Interlocutor: G-d put the care and successful survival of Jewry in the able hands of the genius Pharisee Sages, the splendour of our nation eg R.Gamaliel,Elazar ben Azariah,Tarfon, Ishmael, Akiva,Yehuda Hanasi, Abaye, Rava, Mar Ukva, Reish Lakish, R.Chisda, R.Huna,R.Yochanan, Bar bar Channa, Rav Ashi etc etc

Doreen: HaShem had mercy and did not obliterate us entirely, but not one of the Pharisees or their students the Rabbis was ever able to lead us out of the exile.

Interlocutor: The name of not one Essene is known to us

The names of a few members of the Dead Sea Sect are known to us. They were subject to admonition on the part of the sect and the proceedings were recorded. They did not call people by names generally. They did not record the names of their members except in the case I just mentioned, they did not refer to the Prushim by name, they referred to a wicked priest when they obviously meant a Macabbee who came to their settlement on horseback on Yom HaKippurim in order to disrupt their t’fillah, but did not call him by name. They used shemot g’nai for the Romans as well.

There are a few ambiguous cites in the Talmud that may, I repeat may, be interpreted as one of the Rabbis revealing himself to be an Essene. I refer to the argument between Rav Asi and Rabbi Shila in which Rav Asi suddenly declares himself as Isi and gives his lineage. See:
Niddah 36b
Pesachim 113b
Yoma 52b

There is also a reference to one Isi bar Hini in Chulin 137b.

These passages are admittedly obscure and it is hard to determine whether these were Isi'im who learned with the Rabbis or not. It is entirely possible that at least some of them did learn together.

Interlocutor: (though some scholars say Jesus was one, to the Essenes' chagrin)

None of the Jewish scholars entertain the idea that Yeshu was an Essene. That is Xian wishful thinking and the contention of Orthodox Jews who wish to remain in a state of denial concerning the fact that they are practicing wannabe Judaism. They denigrate the truth of the way of HaYachad by falsely claiming that Yeshu was one of them. The wholly mistaken notion that Yeshu was an Essene never would have circulated had the scrolls that were sold to Jordan not been resold to Xian researchers originally and had the Israelis not been kept out of the research team for decades. The Xian researchers published their baseless conclusions with unbridled irresponsibility and wanton excitement. Many of those researchers were anti-Semitic and delighted in publishing supposedly scholarly opinions that they knew would hurt the Jews. John Strugnell, a Protestant who converted to Catholicism, was one such researcher. He was on the original team that was comprised entirely of Xians. In 1990 when the research team was finally in Jewish hands he made disparaging comments about Judaism and was summarily fired. It devolves upon us to clean up the mess that Strugnell and others like him made.




Anonymous Interlocutor: So basically you are saying that the Essenes were so righteous that they were taken off the scene of history, like Enoch "who walked with G-d, and he was no more because G-d had taken him" (Genesis 5).

Doreen: Well said!

Anonymous Interlocutor: Whether the Essenes were viewed by G-d as truly righteous who would have led us into an Edenic existence, or as dissidents and kofrim, like the many other wayward groups that multiplied in the last days of the Second Temple, we will have to await Judgement Day & the Resurrection of the Dead.

Doreen: This is one of the most central problems with Pharisaic/Judaism, you are awaiting an end that will never come because you keep generating more time by practicing distortions in the law. It is very interesting that the Tzaddokite Fragments were "archived" in the genizah in Kahir around the time that the writings of the Ramba"m were being published. He, or those who recognized the mind control potential in this writings, had the truth put away so that Yad HaChazakah could take over mainstream Judaism without any conflicting opinions. In so doing the Jews of the Diaspora were locked into it. Can't you let yourself see that the Ramba"m was leading you around by the nose when he made it a principle that you must await the Mashiach. He locked you into time and every major commentary on halakhah since: the Tur and the Shulkah Arukh use that mind and emotion control mechanism because it works so well on the gullible.

Anonymous Interlocutor: "This is not the best of all possible worlds. But it is the best of all possible ways to the best of all possible worlds!". What you shamefully call "distortions", the Babylonian & Jerusalem Talmud, are the discussions, applications and rulings of our Sages on the Oral Law that was given together with the Written Law by Hashem to Moses on Mount Sinai, and are as sacred to Orthodox Jews as the Pentateuch itself.

Doreen: Not in every case, but they would sure like you to believe that and seem to have done an impressive job of convincing you of that. I know it is emotionally hard to realize that your soi dissant "tzaddikim" duped you. What do you expect they are going to say?: "We're really sophisticated manipulators and what we say is intended to confound you."

Anonymous Interlocutor: The sagacity and insight of the Mishnah and Gemara and its study over 2000 years is what has preserved Jewry to this day.

Doreen: Actually, it has only perpetuated the galut. It has caused the many persecutions we have endured.

Anonymous Interlocutor: You say your observance is "indistinguishable" from that of your Orthodox Perushi neighbours in South Safed, meaning you physically follow the very rulings and minutiae you call "distortions": is this not hypocritical, or even cowardice, showing lack of faith in your Essenic convictions? Why do you observe the Shulchan Aruch if you believe it is in gross error?

Doreen: It is not a matter of dishonesty. First, I do not follow the all of the minutiae blindly. I choose that which is obviously intelligent in the Pharisaic/Rabbinic tradition. Secondly, I accept the dictum not to cut oneself off from the community. Third, we do not have the entire corpus of Essene Judaism in hand. From what we do have it is obviously superior and infinitely more authentic than Pharisaic/Rabbinic Judaism, but there is not enough extant to reconstruct the whole way of Torah life. If there was I would most probably live their way. For the time being I have no choice but to drink unclean water until clean water becomes available.

Anonymous Interlocutor: Maybe its time you showed courage in your convictions and made a demonstrable, public break for all to see, with these Pharisaic rulings and observances, and became eg like a Karaite, who like you disdains the Talmud and the Rabbis, and observes the strict letter of only the Written Law eg no fire, flame, electricity or hot food on the Sabbath, or literally gouging out an eye for an eye etc!

Doreen: It is you who needs to find courage. I am not a Karaite and it is not you who will determine how I will conduct myself. Clearly you are trying to goad me. You are a simple person, "Anonymous Interlocutor", and your intentions are all too obvious. It takes considerable courage for a person to stand up against the Pharisaic/Rabbinic world and say: "The Rabbis aren't wearing any clothes." Where is your courage, er, "Anonymous Interlocutor". Like every person in denial I have ever encountered, you project your own distortions and games onto others. You become abusive and make yourself ridiculous when you cannot answer intelligently. You also do things like call me "hefty" and make allusions to my husband wearing jeans and having long hair (I do not see the connection in any of these things to my writings) then accuse me of resorting to ad hominems when you cannot answer. Clearly, it is you, not I, who employs every fallacious argument in the book, most especially trying to hurt feelings. You do not employ humor, true, only because it is evident that you do not have a sense of humor (unless the malapropisms are intentional, in which case you really should consider doing Norm Crosby imitations in the Catskills). One of the surest signs that someone is not sure of himself or herself is that they can never laugh at himself or herself, and you clearly cannot. Not one of your answers has ever come close to the least of mine either in depth, in knowledge or in erudition. In order to be what you are you have to be the kind of person that you are - cowardly, angry, in denial, distorting the truth, disturbed, abusive, racist and self-satisfied thinking that you are privy to the absolute truth when clearly the Orthodox world is a spiritual shambles.

Keep talking, though. No one could do a better job of demonstrating the kind of people who cling desperately to the Pharisaic/Rabbinic, such as it is, than you do. How weak and pathetic you sound. How evident it is you are grasping desperately at straws. Keep talking.

Doreen Ellen Bell-Dotan, Tzfat


Letter To A Gentile Wannabe

Over the years a number of Xians have tried to surreptitiously "milk" me of information about the scrolls and HaYachad. A number have tried to gain entry into my Yahoo! group Essenes Jewish and Real. The most recent attempt to gain entry comes from someone who calls himself a "nilveh" (a status that has no basis in the scrolls). He is also a member of the Yahoo! group "Evyonim" yet another hopelessly confused bunch of Gentiles, probably Xians, mixing Evyon beliefs with Essene social structure. The Evyonim group caused me more consternation than many as it openly calls for attracting Jews and adjures its members not to reveal the identity of Jews who are members. Beware!

I also want to bring the matter of Gentile pseudo-Essene groups to the attention of the public because these people are doing terrible harm to the sacred work of tryng to reconstruct the Judaism of HaYachad. I want to state in no uncertain terms that I disavow any association or likeness to any of these groups. I call my groups Essenes Jewish and Real and I mean it.

Here is the text of the response that I sent to him:

Let me be frank and blunt.

I took a look at the Yahoo! group of the Evyonim yesterday. I found another group of rather confused Xians. I was dismayed that people attempting to restore the way of life of the Evyonim were fashioning their society after HaYachad. I find your explanation that you didn't know that the name appearing on your e-mail is Moderator of Evyonim rather unconvincing. At any rate, you have been associated with them, and that is enough for me to keep far away from you.

I saw the names of people there who tried to get into Essenes Jewish and Real before there, names of people I rejected for various reasons.

I am not a Xian. Neither will I be associated with it. I more than suspect that when you talk about a prophet returning you mean Yeshu or someone equally disturbed and misleading. Both of the Evyonim groups were proto-Xians.

You are entitled to your delusions. We both live in democratic countries, after all, wherein freedom to be deluded is the bedrock of society. But I do not share your delusions. You are no "nilveh" and no "Essene" and never will be.

As I've said to more Xians and all sorts of wannabes over the years than I can recall: Instead of trying to arrogate our religion, a exercise in utter futility, get a religious life of your own.

Doreen Ellen Bell-Dotan, Tzfat
Owner and Moderator of the Yahoo! Group
Essenes Jewish and Real;
ICQ Group Master Essenes (Isi'im)
Blogger of Essenes Jewish and Real


ביאת המשיח

כידוע, כת ים המלח היו בני צדוק דתיים ודבקים ב ה' יתברך מאד.

לצערי, הרבנים לא מלמדים שהיו בני צדוק שהיו כל כך דתיים ודבקים. הם
מעדיפים לשים דגש על אלה שפרקו עול התורה.

לא הרבה יודעים כי מאז ימי שלמה המלך הזכות להיות הכהן הגדול היתה רק
לבני צדוק. מעולם לא היתה זכות לחשמונאים להיות כהנים גדולים.

אני שמה לפניכם, אחי ואחותי היקרים, את הדברים אשר יש ללמוד ממגילות ים
המלך - בהן המסורת האמיתית של העם יהודי.

רק אם הבית השלישית ייבנה לפי ההוראות וההלכות של בני צדוק הוא יהיה טהור
ואיתן והעבודה בו תתקבל.

שה' ישתבח שמו ישים בלבכם להבין ולדעת כי אלה דברי האמת.

עלינו להודות לאבותינו בני צדוק, זכרון צדיקים יגן עלינו, ששמרו את
המסורת והעבירה אותה לידינו.

הידעתם כי ביום 29/11/48, אותו יום האום החליט לחלק את "פלסטינה" אליעזר ליפא סוקניק, אביו של יגאל ידין קנה את שתי המגילות הראשונות?

אחי ואחותי היקרים, כל המדינה כולה קימת כדי שנמצא ונלמד את המגילות הללו

ביאת המשיח

הכהן הגדול נכנס לקדש הקדשים = 2411 = 413 = ביאת

השמחה + עלץ כל בית ישראל = 358+2003 = 358+5 = 363 = המשיח = השמחה

הבית השלישי ייבנה


A Funny ;0)

Just yesterday a man interested in the Dead Sea Sect told me he is anxiously awaiting the coming of a Moreh Tzedek (Teacher of Righteousness).

I explained to him that there is a problem with that understanding of what is written in the Scrolls. "How", I asked, "would you know if a true Moreh Tzedek came if you were not on that level of righteousness? How would you know you weren't being bamboozled and led down the path that Xianity and Chaba"d Chassidus went down?"

I told him: "When it comes to God, it takes One to know One."

Doreen Ellen Bell-Dotan, Tzfat (very self-satisfied with that funny. I really like it ;0)

Friday, April 23, 2004


More Cliche Accusations

We have the Neo-Essenes. And now, shock horror: the Neo-Sabbateans!

And judging by their site, it looks like they mean business!

The Baal Shem Tov said that Shabbetai Zvi had a spark of the Moshiach in him. And the Alter Rebbe that the Shechinah wailed when the Frankists left the Jewish fold.

If something exists, it must have a spark of truth in it.

From a Lurianic Messianic viewpoint, those few sparks residing in Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Sabbateanism, Buddhism, Capitalism, Communism, Nazism and even Atheism, have to be disencumbered from them, elevated to Kedushah, leaving the emptied husk to wither & disappear.

Doreen Dotan Responded:

21:36 22 Apr 2004

You can put Chaba"d in a distinguished place on your list.

POINT OF INFORMATION FOR THE PUBLIC: HaRav Auerbach, Head of the Beit Din in T'veria, has forbidden Chaba"d sh'chitah because their kavvanot during the time of sh'chitah are heretical.

Today the safest kashrut is Landau and Bada"tz for meat and everything else. HaRav Machpuz is the greatest authority on chakla'ut in Eretz Yisra'el today according to the Rabbinc tradition. When it comes to buying produce he is the ultimate authority that we have to rely on.

Chaba"d are the last to know that they are inching out of the pale. The only reason that they have not been excommunicated is that they provide such good amusement. They are the laughingstock of the Orthodox world.

Personally I have mixed feelings about Chaba"d sh'chitah. On the one hand I know they do have all kinds of unkosher kavvanot when they shecht. On the other hand I am loathe to reject their kashrut as it is one more step in ousting them from the fold. I would not buy Chaba"d shchitah, but for the time being if it is served at friends' houses I will eat it. Yes, I do have Chaba"d friends, even though the way is errant and Chaba"d attracts as many loo-loo chozrim b'tshuvah as does Breslov, there are individuals in both Chaba"d and Breslov whom I like very much as individuals. Chaba"d in particular, but Breslov too, attracts two basic types of people - confused, needy individuals who grasp at any straw handed out to them to help them have some sense of stability and purpose and those who prey on them. This is not always the case, certainly, but the rare instance in which it is not true serves to prove that in in most cases this is true.

Unfortunately Chab"adnikim are completely convinced of the correctness of their way and are quite sure that the rest of the Jewish world are just not spiritual enough to understand what they're on about. Indeed, Chaba"d hype is built on culturing a sense of belonging to the elite of Jewry in their adherents, people who because of profound feelings of inferiority desperately need to cling to an illusion such as this. If they continue that line of thought they will fall over the edge at some point.

It's interesting that Chaba"d are so obsessed with other heretics and so quick to accuse others of heresy. Offen ganif brent das hittle.


The Translation of the Hebrew Bible into the Greek Septuagint - Some Aspects of Torah That Are Untranslatable and Were Wholly Misunderstood in the Xian Tradition

The Hebrew Bible was translated into Greek from a version of the
Hebrew Bible that is called the Vorlage. The Vorlage is a non-normative version of the Hebrew Bible which early on was put into
disuse for learning purposes. We use the Masoretic text. Some copies
of the Vorlage were found among the scrolls at the Dead Sea. However,
they were few and far between. The vast majority of Torah scrolls
found at Qumran are the Masoretic Text, which we use to this day.
This proves that then, as now, the Masoretic text was the one
generally accepted as the true Text of the Hebrew Bible. The reason
why copies of the Vorlage survived is because it contains the Names of God, and therefore the scrolls could not be destroyed. The vast
majority were versions of the Masoretic text. The Vorlage was used as the basis of the Greek 'translation' because it was not our desire to
even attempt to translate the true Text. Hebrew cannot be translated
into any other language because it contains within it secrets that
cannot be rendered into any other language. Therefore, the text
which served as the basis of the Greek translation of the Bible was a
corrupted text. Of course, all translations used after the
translation of the Vorlage into Greek are translations of the corrupt translation, bringing the reader further and further afield with each
successive translation.

Let's begin at the beginning. There is no beginning in the Hebrew
Torah. One of the basic rules of Torah interpretation is that there
is no fore and there is no aft. Not only is there no fore and no aft,
we Jews read the Hebrew Torah divided into 52 portions for each of
the weeks of the year. On the self-same week that we read "the end"
of the Torah, we also return to reading "the beginning". We read the
Torah as a continuous circle. One might assume that we read the end-
beginning of the Torah at either the end or the beginning of the
year. We don't. Therefore, there is no first sentence of the Torah
which reads: "In the beginning God created the heavens and the

The God of Israel does not create anything, or do anything else for
that matter. God is That which enables, allows, wills creation to
take place. It is the mind which creates, by the Will of God, but it
not God Who creates.

As to God being a he. To say this would constitute idol worship to
the Jews. God has no characteristics whatsoever. The Hebrew word hu
means the English "he", but it also means "it" in the singular
masculine. However, this same word can be punctuated to read as the
Hebrew word hee, which means "she" or "it" in the feminine singular.
This appears quite often in the Hebrew Bible. God is also addressed
in the feminine in a number of Hebrew prayers. God is often addressed
in the masculine and feminine singular within the same prayer. This
does not mean that the God of Israel is either masculine or feminine,
it refers to the fact that God takes on forms which act on in
creation (the masculine) and forms which are acted upon in creation
(the feminine).

As for God not speaking: Well, the Prophet Eliyahu (Elijah) speaks of
the small, still voice and his testimony is good enough for me. Not
only that, the Hebrew word for desert is midbar, the Hebrew word for
speaks is medaber in the masculine singular. The two words are
spelled with exactly the same consonants. Without vowels they are
written identically. That being the case, when we "wander in the
desert" we were actually walking through God's speaking with us.

This will bring me to my last point: The God of Israel is understood
to be both transcendent and immanent. As is written: There is nothing
which is not filled with God, yet nothing can contain It. God is the
ultimate paradox: It is what It is, is what It is not, is and is
not. It does not exist in and of Itself at all, but all of existence
are manifestations of It. God knows Itself and is ignorant of
Itself, knows everything, but is learning.

Although everyone is certainly entitled to their beliefs, there are
many misunderstandings in Christianity because it is an adaptation of
our faith, which no one but us has ever understood and is based on a
non-normative version of the impossible to translate Hebrew Torah. I
will try to be as gentle as I can when correcting blaring and glaring
errors. It is however, part of what I must do to bring these errors
to light, in light of what I know, and correct these errors
publicly. I hope you will understand when I must do so.

With blessings,
Doreen Ellen Bell-Dotan, Tzfat

Wednesday, April 21, 2004


The Kinds of Questions That I Do Not Answer

Someone wrote the following:

For the Sages to get the kindest and humblest man of that generation, Shmuel Hakatan, to actually compose by prophetic inspiration a 19th Blessing to tadd to the Men of the Great Assembly's near-sealed Shmoneh Esreh, the threat of the Minim, Saduccees, informers to the Romans, Boethuians, Essenes? (what is the exact source that the Essenes were included?), early (Jewish)Christians etc must have been mortally great.

As we can see in Eretz Yisrael today, this prayer is still relevant: in every generation there is a tiny number of Jewish wicked who literally threaten our existence & betray us (eg Vannunu?).

Mrs Dothan writes that her observance is "virtually indistinguishable" from her Orthodox neighbours. Is this one of those distinguishments: does she say 18 or 19 blessings in her Shmoneh Esreh and with what kavannah (intent)?


Another example is:

We have the Neo-Essenes. And now, shock horror: the Neo-Sabbateans!

And judging by their site, it looks like they mean business!

The Baal Shem Tov said that Shabbetai Zvi had a spark of the Moshiach in him. And the Alter Rebbe that the Shechinah wailed when the Frankists left the Jewish fold.

If something exists, it must have a spark of truth in it.

From a Lurianic Messianic viewpoint, those few sparks residing in Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Sabbateanism, Buddhism, Capitalism, Communism, Nazism and even Atheism, have to be disencumbered from them, elevated to Kedushah, leaving the emptied husk to wither & disappear.


My stock answer to those types of questions and comments is:

I need to reiterate something:

I do not respond to every point. The points I respond to are those that afford me opportunities to elucidate my position to those who are not at all familiar with Essene Judaism.

If a post affords the opportunity to answer a FAQ I will answer that too.

I do not respond to ad hominems and other spurious arguments, neither will I be drawn into sophistry and polemic for the sake of contentiousness.

Just as I cannot sing below a certain register, I neither think nor emote below a certain level.

It should not be construed from the fact that I do not respond to certain posts that I cannot answer. It is simply that I should feel disgusted and cheapened were I to relate to certain matters.

Doreen Ellen Bell-Dotan, Tzfat

Tuesday, April 20, 2004



EYES TO SEE by Rabbi Yom Tov Schwarz

See the synopsis and critiques on:

Book Review – EYES TO SEE, Recovering Ethical Torah Principles Lost in the Holocaust by Rabbi Yom Tov Schwarz,
Translated and Edited by Rabbi Avraham Leib Schwarz,
Published by Urim Publications, Jerusalem and New York,
Copyright 2004 by Yom Tov Schwarz

This book is a must-read for every Jew. One might come to the conclusion that it is because I wholeheartedly embrace every word that Rabbi Schwarz has said that I give so absolute a recommendation. No; it is because of the weaknesses, no less than the strengths, of this book that it is a must-read.

Rabbi Yom Tov Schwarz is as knowledgeable, clear-headed, kind and as articulate a Jew fully steeped in the Pharisaic/Rabbinic tradition that one can hope to find today. He also seems to be aware of, and in touch with, the environment in which he lives, i.e., Brooklyn, New York. He is a now man in his early eighties, may he live and prosper until age one hundred and twenty, at least. He was born in Auschwitz, in Poland, in 1921. Considered an illui (child prodigy), he attended the Yeshiva Chakhmei Lublin. Thus, Rabbi Yom Tov Schwarz knew well, as remembers clearly, the Jews of “the old school” in “the old country”. He posits himself a representative of a better age in Jewish morality and scholarship. Does his book convince us that this is so?

Rabbi Schwarz’s book EYES TO SEE holds out the hope of being returned to pristine Jewish morality – and, while certainly presenting a depiction of a Jewish world more noble in every way than the one which we know, the description is, all told, rather disappointing. Rather than describing a Jewish world that we should emulate, or return to, Rabbi Schwarz’s book in fact describes the Jewish world that was the progenitor of our own, that our world is a necessary outcome of.

Having read EYES TO SEE, it is all too apparent there were major problems with Pharisaic/Rabbinic Judaism from it’s very inception that worsened as time went on because no one dared to call them problems, or distortions in interpretation of Holy Writ, and correct our path. No one dared to call contradictions in the tradition contradictions. Thus, interpretation of the Torah became untenable in indefensible as it attempted to reconcile the irreconcilable.

The first problem is the fact that the sages of former generations who became famous are all assumed to be people of impeccable, nay unquestionable, virtue and monumental intellect whose grandeur we are behooved to regard with awe. We dare not call a faux pas on their part a faux pas, nor may we call a logical inconsistency a logical inconsistency nor sloppy analysis sloppy analysis, kal v’chomer we must not call them down for obvious moral indiscretions or even ascribe to them the least desire or ability to err or be hypocritical. Grave problems in Talmud Torah arise in subsequent due to this. Although it is clear from the time of the redactors of the Talmud on that there were personality clashes among the Rabbis based on nothing more than ego, their students in subsequent generations are not permitted to admit this to themselves. It is impermissible to admit to the glaring and blaring fact that a great deal of ego, pettiness and lust for power motivated the Rabbis throughout the generations and that this small-mindedness and narrow-mindedness impinged on their ability to interpret Torah. The behavior of Rabbi Yo’el Sirkes [1561-1640, the Ba’ch (Beit Chadash)] toward the chazzan in the town of Belz when the Ba”ch was the Chief Rabbi of that town recounted in chapter 33 of EYES TO SEE, pp 386-389, for instance, can be no more than someone “losing it” and heaping ona’at d’varim on another person in public, in a synagogue no less, during the time of kri’at HaTorah; yet Rabbi Yom Tov Schwarz chooses to interpret the Ba”ch’s behavior as fiercely defending the honor of Torah. Rabbi Schwarz, unquestioning and blindly loyal to the Pharisaic/Rabbanic tradition as he states again and again throughout EYES TO SEE, has no recourse but to justify the Ba’ch’s behavior because the latter was “our illustrious master the Ba”ch, who later went onto become Av Beit Din and Rosh Metivta in the then large city Krakow and even Rabban Shel Kol B’nei HaGolah. Of course, Rabbi Schwarz repeatedly mentions that it is absolutely forbidden to shame people in public and that the punishment for doing so is death by Divine intervention throughout EYES TO SEE. Evidently, when a man who later became Rabban Shel Kol B’nei HaGolah behaves in so despicable a manner nothing other than effusive praise can be lavished upon him in subsequent generations by Rabbis who are trained to be mealy-mouthed lemmings if they wish to share in the honor of the Rabbinut.

We learn in EYES TO SEE that from its inception the Pharisaic/Rabbinic tradition bemoaned the lowliness of their generation in every age. It becomes clear that making each generation feel that it is the lowest of all time worked was, and remains, a very effective mind-control technique.

Another problem that arises is the fact that since all of the reputed Rabbis’ every word must be assumed to be absolutely true their students find themselves in an conundrum when their interpretations contradict one another. We see Rabbi Yom Tov Schwarz grappling, rather unsuccessfully, with this problem throughout his book. Though he attempts to reconcile contradictions in the various sources he fails as often as he succeeds, heroic as the measures he takes may be and phrases such as: “ In any case…” and “at any rate” follow a number of discussions the conclusion of which is not rigorously derived, but which the Rav would like us to adopt as true. The book is also flawed by an overuse of the word ‘however’ for this same reason. appears at the end of any number of his discussions on any number of topics, the result of not applying rigorous logic and analysis.

However the most serious problem in the Pharisaic/Rabbinic tradition, to my mind, resides is the contradiction that we find in Tractate Ketubot 105b, a section of the Talmud that starts out as a discussion of the Biblical prohibition against Judges taking bribes and showing any sort of favoritism in deliberations, but which ends with the following statement: “Whoever brings a gift to a Torah scholar [is regarded] as if he were offering Bikkurim [in the Beit Hamikdash]”. Clearly these statements are irreconcilable. In chapter 7 of EYES TO SEE Rabbi Schwarz discusses the foregoing statement from Tractate Ketubot 105b, which is in direct contradiction to the position of the Ramba”m in his Commentary on the Mishna (Avot 4:5) where he exposits at length that it is improper for a Torah scholar to accept charitable gifts and monetary support from the public. Rabbi Scwartz presents the following excerpt from the Ramba”m’s work in Chapter 32 of EYES TO SEE: “When we examine the words of our Sages of blessed memory we do not find any instances in which they requested money from other people…for they viewed their acceptance [of financial assistance] as a chilul HaShem in the eyes of the public, since they will think that Torah (study is just another occupation that provides a livelihood, and it would thus be debased in their eyes.” The Ramba”m evidently sides with the opinion of Rabbi Tzadok stated in Avot 4:5: “…do not make it [the Torah] a crown for self-aggrandizement, nor an axe with which to cut”, as well as the opinion of Hillel (ibid): “He who exploits the crown [of Torah for his own ends] shall perish (see also ibid., 1:13)” wholeheartedly. However, in true Pharisaic/Rabbinic form he chooses to go into denial when confronted with a clear contradiction, to wit: the contradiction in Ketubot 105b. In a footnote Rabbi Schwarz writes that the Ramba”m’s view is disputed in part by other halakhic masters. Chapter 40 of EYES TO SEE is entitled Financing Torah Study With Public Funds is Only Permissible for Distinguished Scholars Completing Their Halachic Training. After examining a number of opinions on the matter of Torah scholars receiving support from the public, including fully justifying the behavior of Rav Ami who arrogated a sack of gold dinars that a donor had sent to his study hall and which the donor designated for the academy’s students (see Tractate Chulin 134b), stating that R. Ami “was entitled to take the money on his own”, Rabbi Schwarz rests with a “compromise” opinion. Rabbi Schwarz writes: “In summation we cannot budge from the clear ruling of the Shulchan Arukh (Yoreh Day’ah 246:21) that the permission to accept public support in order to be free to study Torah, only applies to an extraordinary Torah scholar who is qualified to sit in judgment and issue halachic decisions, or those elite students who are on track to become the halachic decisors of the next generation.”

The above discussion is truly amazing. Does Rabbi Schwarz take it upon himself to decide that Dayanim and halakhic decisors, as well as prospective Dayanim and halkhic decisors, are so wise and upstanding that they are impervious to the deleterious effects of bribes (cum “gifts”)? Does D’varim 16:19 not say?: “You shall not pervert judgment, you shall not take notice of [someone's] presence, and you shall not take a bribe, for the bribe will blind the eyes of the wise and make righteous words crooked.” Torah teaches us that no one is so wise, righteous and straight that they are incorruptible by money! Does Rabbi Schwarz disagree? We can see how a bit of impurity that was allowed to enter the discussion on the absolute prohibition against favoritism and bribes on the part of judges led to very fuzzy analysis indeed. Clearly, those who wish to avert the prohibition can pick and choose among the commentaries, taking the quotes that suit him to heart, while assuaging his conscience by telling himself that he is honoring all of the opinions, each of which must be given equal respect according to the rules of the game of Pharisaic/Rabbinic interpretation. What a sophisticated web of entanglements the Pharisees and the Rabbis after them wove and weave for the heart and mind. While Rabbi Schwarz imagines himself to be meticulously moral in not sanctioning all students of Torah, regardless of their abilities, to receive donations from the public, as this puts a strain on the public and encourages idleness and all that comes with idleness on the part of many Torah students, he evinces no comprehension of how damaging it is for Dayanim and Halakhic decisors to be living on public donations. Can he not see that this amounts to little less than bribery, an infraction that he denounces throughout his book? Does he not see that Rabbi Ami was nothing more than a garden variety thief, even as he condemns theft throughout his book? Does he not understand that no Judge or halakhic decisor can rule impartially if he is receiving donations from people? When Dayanim and halakhic decisors take gifts from people (does using the word “doron” make the act less ugly than using the word “shochad”?) it is well nigh certain that they will be receiving the bulk of their support from the wealthy and the powerful. How will they be able to rule impartially if their income is dependent upon the wealthy, the very people who are very likely to need the services of the court? Does he not understand that it is by working that we gain experience in life, learn how to work as part of a team and learn to value money and the learn to respect the efforts required to earn it? To my mind, various work experience including work in various services and industry, as well as farming and menial labor, should be required, de rigueur, of those “who are on track to become the halachic decisors of the next generation” as part of their training so that they will be able to understand the subjective situations and feelings of the litigants who come before them. If a young person is not able to both work and learn Torah that person is unfit to become a Dayan or a halakhic decisor.

We can only wonder just how effective all of these methods of mind and emotion manipulation and control were during the many generations that Jews lived in ghettos and were at the complete mercy of the Rabbis with no other sources of learning how to think and reason. Our reaction must be one of compassion for those Jews whose minds and hearts are still locked away in the ghetto. We must lovingly, but firmly and resolutely, do our utmost to encourage them and strengthen whatever incipient stirrings of trying to find the truth of Torah stirs in their hearts. These foregoing are the abiding lesson that I came away from reading EYES TO SEE with.

Doreen Ellen Bell-Dotan, Tzfat

Monday, April 19, 2004


A Typical Accusation Levelled Against Me ( I've Got A Million of 'Em)

It sounds like you would endorse the attack of the Nazarene on the Pharisees! (The cause of so much hatred, antisemitism and bloodshed against Jews by Christians):

"Therefore you are witnesses against yourselves that you are sons of those who murdered the prophets. Fill up, then, the measure of your fathers' guilt. Serpents, brood of vipers! How can you escape the condemnation of hell? Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you shut up the kingdom of heaven against men; for you neither go in yourselves, nor do you allow those who are entering to go in. Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you cleanse the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of extortion and self-indulgence. Blind Pharisee, first cleanse the inside of the cup and dish, that the outside of them may be clean also. Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs which indeed appear beautiful outwardly, but inside are full of dead men's bones and all uncleanness. Even so you also outwardly appear righteous to men, but inside you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness." (Matthew 23).

Such vindictiveness from "The Prince of Peace", and just because they wouldn't accept him as the Messiah!

I answered:


Three cliches come to mind upon reading your post.

1) Even a blind chicken finds a bit of grain sometimes.

2) Even a broken clock is right twice a day.

and last but not least

3) If the shoe fits, wear it.

It simply cannot be verboten to level genuine and all-too-necessary criticism against the Pharisaic/Rabbinic tradition because Yeshu said some of the same things. The "New Testament" is a melange of truth, half-truth, exaggerations, lies and damned lies. If there was not a grain of truth in it it couldn't have been such a potent mind-bender.

The passage you quote above is true to a greater extent than should be, bav"h.

And would you like some cheese with that whine? Stop putting all the blame on what has transpired in our history on Yeshu. We have done plenty to cause the deaths of one another and to harm one another without the Xian's "help".

Doreen Ellen Bell-Dotan, Tzfat