By: Rabbi Daniel Mechanic1 (In consultation with Doron Witztum2 and Harold Gans3) DANIEL MECHANIC is a senior international Codes lecturer and researcher for the Aish Hatorah/Discovery Seminar. He would like to thank Dr. Jeffrey Satinover – a world-renowned author on Codes- for his helpful comments. This article has been split into 4 parts – read Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3 as well.
Statistically Verifiable Torah Codes
Doron Witztum, a Biblical scholar living in Jerusalem, is a world-renowned Codes researcher. When he made some astonishing discoveries, he acted in a responsible manner. He was only interested in determining whether or not his discoveries were valid. He did not mislead the public by running around claiming that he had found Codes proving a particular religious belief. Realizing that the fundamental issue one must address when finding codes is whether or not they are a coincidence, he first showed all of his research to world-class statisticians. After a few years of further research, under the scrutiny of these statisticians, he finally brought his results to the world – renowned Institute of Mathematical Statistics located in Hayward, California. The Institute publishes four different types of mathematical journals. One of them is Statistical Science. Professional scientific and mathematical journals consult with a cadre of world class experts for the purpose of insuring that an article containing a mathematical or scientific flaw is not published in their journal.
Since the implications of Witztum’s experiments were so controversial, validation and subsequent publication of the experiment’s results would only be accomplished if all of the following requirements were met:
In order to be considered valid, the probability of the codes being found at random must be based solely on the letters comprising the encoded words, and the distribution of the letters in the text, and must be totally independent of the meaning of the words or the narrative of the text in which they are found, since “meaning” is subjective.
The words to be searched for must be derivable by a -priori35 specified and repeatable methods.
The probability of the codes being found must be calculated by a-priori, objective, and mathematically precise methods, and must be less than 0.001 (odds of their being accidental must be less than 1 in 1000).
Computation of such probability must be subjected to repeated verification, well-designed control experiments, and, most importantly, to peer-review by objective, qualified mathematicians who fail to find any error in the computations.
Doron Witztum’s “Famous Rabbis” experiment met all of these requirements (The “Yeshua codes” meet none of these requirements). World-class statisticians subjected his successful results to a six-year evaluation and attempted refutation. They were given the programs Witztum used to find these “Torah Codes” and to perform the required control experiments. Witztum’s “Famous Rabbi’s” experiment was finally published in Statistical Science in August 1994. Since its publication over two and a half years ago, world-class statisticians36 and Bible scholars have reproduced and verified these results. Doron Witztum and Harold Gans have succeeded in discovering additional statistically verifiable Codes. They are in the process of submitting them for publication in mathematical journals.
Authentic Codes Methodology – “Famous Rabbis” Experiment
What is the difference between the methodology used in the “Famous Rabbis” experiment and what Christian missionaries are using? The methodology employed by Witztum for the “Famous Rabbis” experiment (and his more recent discoveries) relies on a fundamentally different process altogether. It is the specifics of this methodology that makes it even possible (unlike all the “Yeshua” findings) to verify that the “Famous Rabbis” Codes he found were deliberately encoded in the Torah. Although a complete and thorough explanation of the authentic Codes methodology is beyond the scope of this paper, let us briefly state how this unique system works. (More details of the methodology are published in Statistical Science, August 1994 issue).
The Torah Codes were based on selecting the names of many famous rabbis and their respective dates of birth and death. The relationship between the words being searched for was, therefore, objective. To further insure total objectivity, all of the words that were searched for were extracted from an encyclopedia in a way that was specified completely beforehand. Equally spaced encodings of these words were then searched for in a pre-determined and objective way (e.g., the minimum jump). The proximity of each encoding of related words was then measured using an a-priori specified mathematical formula. When you have a very large document, and the related words could appear encoded anywhere in the document, the fact that you find them encoded in close proximity, as we have observed, cannot be reasonably attributed to chance. This can be scientifically demonstrated. The odds of finding these related words accidentally encoded in the Torah, as close as they were, were accurately computed. It is the computation of these odds that enables one to distinguish between random appearances of “codes,” that are nothing more than coincidences, and Codes purposely placed into the document (when the odds against random appearance are at least 1000 to 1). In fact, the odds that were obtained for the “Famous Rabbis” experiment were far greater than this (62,500:1) and were enough to convince world class mathematicians and statisticians to agree to publish the results. The mathematical technique that was used, and the control experiments that were performed, also eliminated any possibility that the effect was caused, in some unexpected way, by the grammatical or syntactical structure of the text itself.
Torah Codes Presentations
Doron Witztum’s “Famous Rabbis” experiment is presented around the world as part of public seminars produced by Aish HaTorah/Discovery, an international organization devoted to Jewish education. Included in the segment on “Torah Codes” are presentations of a variety of examples of encoded word patterns (including a few found by Rabbi Michoel Weissmandl in 1952) that are not statistically verifiable and effectively illustrate the inherent problems involved in identifying authentic Codes. These examples (Sadat, Diabetes, Gulf War, etc.) employ the same methodology as Witztum’s “Famous Rabbis” experiment, but they cannot be verified as valid codes since they did not meet the scientific criteria necessary to conclusively demonstrate their authenticity. This limitation is made clear and they are presented only as a lead-up to, and an explanation of, the methodology used for the “Famous Rabbis” experiment.
The only way to demonstrate that a word pattern is a genuine Code is through an objective mathematical and statistical evaluation. The “Yeshua codes” do not meet any of the fundamental requirements necessary for mathematical validation, and are therefore statistically and mathematically meaningless. The methodology is invalid since it produces illogical and contradictory results. Therefore, all of the “Yeshua codes” are meaningless coincidences and are of no evidential value at all. Proselytizing Jews with these false evidential claims is fraudulent and deceptive, and should cease immediately.
Finally, a picture is worth a thousand words: an open Torah scroll, whose Hebrew letters are clearly visible, appears on the cover of the second edition of Pastor Rambsel’s book “Yeshua.” THE TORAH IS… UPSIDE DOWN
1 Daniel Mechanic is a senior international Codes lecturer and researcher for the Aish Hatorah/Discovery Seminar. He would like to thank Dr. Jeffrey Satinover – a world-renowned author on Codes- for his helpful comments.
2 Doron Witztum is the pre-eminent Codes researcher and author in the world. He has dedicated his professional efforts to the development of advanced techniques for detecting and testing equidistant-interval encryptions in texts. His findings on this subject have been published in Statistical Science – a peer-refereed mathematical journal.
3 Harold Gans was a senior cryptologic mathematician for the United States’ National Security Agency until his retirement after 28 years of service. The agency maintains the world’s most advanced methods, experts and facilities for the detection and decryption of encoded material. He is the author of over 180 technical papers on these subjects and is a world-class expert in evaluating Codes. Presently, he is a mathematical consultant and international lecturer on Codes
4 “Cryptology” is a highly complex subspecialty of advanced mathematics and statistics involving both the making and breaking of codes.
5 The name “Yeshua” has be come widely accepted of late in ongoing Christian missionary efforts directed at Jews as the original Hebrew name of Jesus of Nazareth. It is considered to be a less provocative alternative to “Jesus,” with which potential Jewish proselytes often feel extremely uncomfortable.
6 The search was performed only on the first 78,064 letters, corresponding to the number of letters in Genesis. Searching the first 304,805 letters – the amount of letters in the entire Torah – will yield “Yeshua” over 10,000 times.
7 A complete explanation of the control tests performed on the legitimate Torah Codes can be found in Statistical Science, August 1994.
8 The name “Yishai” is encoded at intervals of 12 starting with the same “Yud” as “Yeshua.” What’s “remarkable” is that the code of “Yishai” is created using the “Shin” of the word “Mashiach“.
9 The encoded “Lenin” starts with the “Lamed” of “V’Livnot. ”
10 This encoded “Lenin” can be found in verse 10 starting with the “Lamed” of “Ochel.”
11 This encoded phrase begins with the 23, 259th letter of Genesis located in chapter 19, at the significant skip distance of -3,220, a multiple of 7.
12 This encoded phrase begins with the 2,058th letter of Genesis located in chapter 2, at the significant skip distance of 613 (the amount of commandments in the Torah).
13 This encoded phrase begins with the 8,029th letter of Leviticus at a skip distance of -419.
14 This encoded phrase begins with the 6,315th letter of Leviticus at a skip distance of 844.
15 The encoded word “Koresh” begins with the 34,303rd letter of Genesis located in Chapter 25.
16 The encoded word “Buddha” begins with the 53,479th letter of Genesis located in Chapter 36.
17 The encoded word “Shakran” begins with the 40,528th letter of Genesis located in Chapter 29.
18 The encoded word “Yeshua” begins with the 60,706th letter of Exodus.
19 The encoded word “Maysit” begins with the 24,350th letter of Exodus.
20 The encoded word “Yeshua ” begins with the 15,137th letter of Leviticus.
21 The encoded word “Maysit” begins with the 5,859th letter of Leviticus.
22 The encoded word “Mechashaif” begins with the 14,008th letter of Leviticus.
23 “Yeshua ” and “False Prophet” are both encoded at the following skip distances in Genesis: 1,061; 4,379; 6,750; 9,831; 11,170.
24 For example, beginning with the 31,343rd letter of Genesis located in Chapter 24 at a jump of +1,061 letters, is the encoded “Yeshua“. Beginning with the 34,771st letter of Genesis located in Chapter 26 at a jump of -1,061 letters, is the encoded “False Prophet “. “Incredibly“, these two codes overlap.
25 In Hebrew, each letter has a corresponding numeric value. The numeric value of Hebrew words or phrases is called “Gematria” – Jewish numerology.
26 The encoded word “Mohammed” begins with the 5,892nd letter of Genesis located in Chapter 5.
27 The encoded word “Krishna” begins with the 15,830th letter of Deuteronomy.
28 The encoded word “Buddha” begins with the 15,432nd letter of Genesis located in Chapter 13.
29 The encoded word “Koresh” begins with the 36,876th letter of Genesis located in Chapter 27.
30 For example, beginning with the 18,365th letter of Genesis located in Chapter 16 is “Yeshua” at a skip distance of 663 letters.
31 For example, beginning with the 19,334th letter of Genesis located in Chapter 17 is “Yeshua” at a skip distance of 958 letters.
32 For example, beginning with the 23,467th letter of Genesis located in Chapter 19 is “Yeshua” at a skip distance of 1,004 letters.
33 The amount of times these three phrases are encoded in the Torah are all Kabbalistically significant numbers.
34 November/December 1996 issue of The Dispatch From Jerusalem titled “Torah Codes: Coincidences or Cryptograms?”
35 A-priori means that you must predict ahead of time what you expect to find before you start looking.
36 Among them is Harold Gans, who replicated and verified the entire “Rabbis” experiment.