Meaning of the Hebrew Letter Forms & Designs

gohebrew's picture

According to ancient kabballistic literature, both the very origin and shapes of the Hebrew language and alphabet are unique and have special significance.

Origin
======
Without trying to sound chauvinistic, or holier-than-thou, Hebrew has its origin not like all other human languages, which are men-made, Hebrew is made in Heaven. Hence, it has divine aspects, higher than human intellect.

We see, simply then, that there may be things about Hebrew which are difficult to understand, but with much effort we can have a better insight into those things.

Design
======
Hebrew letter forms are attributed with many special truths or explanations, which reflect both their particular shape, their very meaning (of that letters particular name), their 'gematria' or numerical equivalent, and grammatical significance.

FOR EXAMPLE, one observation of the fact that Hebrew's origin is celestial is its direction from right-to-left. Actually, Hebrew is from left-to-right in its celestial source. This is known from the Medrash, a collection of books featuring various explanations of Biblical topics, phrases, episodes, and events. G-d showed a person a little of life above. The person noticed that writing of Hebrew below is a reflection of how it's done above. So, the opposite or reflection of left-to-right is a reflection of right-to-left.

There are two other strong indicators that the origin of Hebrew is not simply a man-made creation, but spiritual.

First, sacred Hebrew text, like the text of the Bible in Hebrew contains an unusually high percentage of "meaning-patterns" because of the Divinely inspired nature of the very text. The arrangement of its letters not only contain a surface meaning when we read the text at face value.

This special arrangement contain hidden meanings too. Books have written based on serious research discovering that this text has meanings layered beneath the face value of the words. If a certain number value is applied in a pattern between the words, like every 50 letters, then a name or word perhaps is spelled out in these increments of 50 letters. Then, we look at the subject of the text, where the name or word appears very most frequently, and we find that the topic reflects the name or word.

Similar studies were performed in other large texts in other language, such as Shakespeare, the telephone book, or Encyclopedia Britanica. However, no such patter could appear appear in a way which was a statistical impossibility. This indicates that not only is the text of the Hebrew Bible pre-arranged to include special messages, but the very letters can be used in this super-human manner.

Second, there is a computer-language-like quality to Hebrew, where the language is structured according to very fine and tight rules of logic, higher than human reasoning.
For example. Hebrew words are derived from two letter root sources, which are either doubled into a pattern of four letters, or into three letters (with a third letter added to the two letters preceding it). The meaning of the word is related to this two letter root source, with the meaning modified by the second letter, and further modified by the third letter. Verbs are simply these root sources arranged in one of seven manners. The same with adjectives and nouns. The whole system defies our thinking in that it is too perfect and logical. We understand it, we appreciate it, but we see that we would be foolish to attribute it to human intelligence.

typerror's picture

I just got back. Thought about slogging through this with you for hours and it is not worth it.

Go to MyFonts. They are there. Pouty, Katytude, Frenzy, Pooper Black, Sweepy etc., if you are so doubtful.
Beside the point. You overlooked my points, accused me of things that are not true and once again came across as better than thou by misconstruing to your advantage and quoting kooks!

I sat quietly in the dining room for years listening to my father and both his Reform and Orthodox friends banter. Not once did I ever hear 1/1000th of the arrogance I read in your words.

You talk over instead of to or with so don't bother because I won't.

Michael

gohebrew's picture

Michael,

> Shallow observation and an animous toward the Jew is ludicrous. You can ask William about our conversations about my upbringing.

You seem to allude to something - but I am unclear what it is.

What does upbriging have to with perception?

There is a saying about how a person can not see beyond the bulk of the trees in the forest.

I was trying to say that there is a valuable lesson in the shapes of the Hebrew letters, or in what G-d was trying to show everyone by singling out the Jewish people, as I compared the two earlier.

Instead, some people focus on whether pointing how the Hebrew letters are sacred, or Jews are the 'chosen people', is being devisive or promoting jealously and hatred.

I consider this shallow and superficial. No offense.

I see from your choice of words, the expressions of your ideas, that you are deeper and more intelligent than that.

Instead of focusing upon how this view of the significance of the Hebrew letters, you are focusing how this implies a detraction of Latin letters. You are missing the point.

gohebrew's picture

William

> William [can explain] about our conversations about [Michael's] upbringing

What can you tell me?

gohebrew's picture

William

> William [can explain] about our conversations about [Michael's] upbringing

What can you tell me?

typerror's picture

I explained more than enough in the last post.

Leave it Israel. I said I was done!

Michael

John Hudson's picture

With all due respect to my Jewish brothers -- Abraham, 'our father in faith' -- a great many peoples have ascribed divine origins to their writing systems. I take this as evidence of the extraordinary, culture-changing nature of writing, which has seemed miraculous to so many. Recently, I had a good chuckle over a book that proposed to reveal the mystic significance of the English alphabet.

Note that not all the cultures who ascribed divine origin to writing did so unambivalently. The ancient Egyptians believed writing was an invention of the ibis-headed god Thoth, who is always depicted as a scribe. When he presented his invention as a gift to King Thutmose, the ruler responded that writing would encourage people to be forgetful because they would write stuff down instead of exercising their memories. Socrates relates this story in Plato's Phaedrus, in which he goes on to liken the carefully prepared speeches of the Sophists to written texts and contrasts these with dialogue.

[PS. Greek mythology associates the pomegranate with the fruit that Persephone ate in the underworld, which obliged her there to spend a third of each year, hence winter.]

gohebrew's picture

Hi John,

Funny meeting you here... :)

> a great many peoples have ascribed divine origins to their writing systems

It is not logical to conclude that since this claim is untruthful elsewhere, it must also be untruthful here.

Let me illustrate my point with the following episode, as a logical proof to my argument, and even more.

The Roman elite enjoyed engaging the wise Jewish sages, relates the Talmud, in dialogues to prove their points of view.

Later, the early Catholic priests, write the early redactors of Jewish law, known as the Rishonim, that Christianity must be the true religion, and Judaism should be rejected, because most human beings accept the teachings of Jesus, and relatively very few accept the teachings of Torah.

They argued that even the Torah concludes that the majority rules. Hence, the teachings of Jesus are true, and the teachings of Torah are false.

Similarly, you argue (or 'chuckle') that Hebrew can not have divine orgins, because many other scripts claimed divinity and were proven non-holy. Hence, Hebrew too can not be holy. After all, majority rules.

The Rishonim answered this simply. See the sun, moon, and sky. They are in the heavens. If you, and most of the people in the world claim that the sun, moon, and sky, are not in the heavens; they are on the earth below, then the Torah concludes the majority doesn't rule. Because I see the truth.

So, too, a little over 3,200 years ago, we Jews saw G-d give us the teachings of Torah. We heard thunderous His voice. It was an experience that we relive every year.

====

Once, Maimonides was asked how he could know for certain that G-d created the world. The person asked, and left the return, only to return in a short time.

In the meanwhile, Maimonides took a nearby quill, ink well, and piece of parchment, and drew a beatiful scene. He then tipped the ink well on its side, and placed the quill beside it. The person returned.

The person asked: "Who made the beautiful picture? Was it you?"

Maimonides answered, "Oh, the ink-well must have fell over, and created it by accident."

"Nonsense," said the peson, "things don't happen by chance."

"Ah, hah," exclaimed Maimonides. "So, too, it is with this beautiful world that we live in. It wasn't created by chance."

I believe," answered Maimonides, "that G-d created the world, and its creation did not happen by chance."

===

The same thing here, John. It is G-d, creator of heaven and earth, who gives us the teachings of Torah each year, it is He that taught us Hebrew. Not some ox, golden cow, or descendants of apes... :)

gohebrew's picture

Michael,

You have to realize that your post preceded my posts, so I was unaware of your desire to be done etc.

You sounded kinda (!) nasty and upset at me.

Was it something that I said. People think that I'm a nice guy.

It must be my breath? :)

gohebrew's picture

typeerror,

> You overlooked my points...

Which points?

> accused me of things that are not true...

Like what?

> came across as better than thou

Who, me?

> by misconstruing to your advantage and quoting kooks

Who are the "kooks"?

AzizMostafa's picture

.. then the Torah concludes the majority doesn’t rule.

Anti-Democracy?!

gohebrew's picture

Aziz,

Actually, the Torahs teachings are not anti-democratic. Rather, democracy does not exist in the teachings of Torah.

The political system espoused by the Torah is theocratic, like in Islam. Democracy is a relatively recent invention.

The act of voting, and electing leadership by votings was practiced a long time before democracy was popularized by the Western nations.

I think that is the main reason that democracy has failed to be accepted in the Eastern nations. It's really a poor PR campaign. If the Eastern mind didn't associate democracy with Western values and corruption, but rather as the will of Allah, then democracy would be embraced like a long lost brother, and kissed on both cheeks.

Christians only turn the other cheek, but Muslims kiss both of them. :)

AzizMostafa's picture

> but rather as the will of Allah, then democracy would be embraced like a long lost brother, ... and Muslims kiss both of them. :)

Gohebrew, Islam does not allow Democracy as Allah prohibits it in many places (verses) in the Glorious Quran.
_____________________1____________________
* Say," He is able to send upon you a punishment from above you or from under your feet, or confound you as (hostile) factions, and make you taste one another violence." Look, how We paraphrase the signs variously so that they may understand!
Chapter_06/Verse_65
And that's what the Iraqis are tasting under US occupation.
_____________________2____________________
* Indeed this community of yours is one community, and I am your Lord, so be wary of Me. But they fragmented their religion among themselves, each party exulting in what it had *
Chapter_23/Verses_51+52
_____________________3____________________
* Indeed Pharaoh tyrannized over the land, reducing its people to factions, abasing one group of them, slaughtering their sons and sparing their women. Indeed He was one of the agents of corruption*
Chapter_28/Verse_4
Applicable to Bush's wrongdoings in Iraq and elsewhere.
_____________________4____________________
* Indeed those who split up their religion and became sects, you will not have anything to do with them. Their matter rests only with Allah; then He will inform them concerning what they used to do*
Chapter_30/Verse_31+32
Applicable to all Islamic Parties everywhere with exception!
_____________________5____________________
.. and do not be among the polytheists. Of those who split up their religion and became sects: each faction exulting in what it possessed.
Chapter_30/Verses_52+53
____________________________________________________
Or Gohebrew has better interpretation to the Glorious Quran?!

William Berkson's picture

This argument is guaranteed to go nowhere, because if different folks take different, contradictory texts--Jewish, Christian, and Islamic--as the authoritative answer, then each ends with their own belief, end of story.

Aziz, there is no direct reference to democracy in the portions you quote, and I know other Muslims think that democracy is compatible with the Quran. And there are many Muslim countries explicitly devoted to ideals of democracy. And Googling, here is one such discussion of the issue: www.4islamicschools.org/images/Democracy%20in%20Islam%20Final-Yasmeen%20...

As I indicated earlier, even within Jewish tradition, I think that claim that the letter shapes of the current Hebrew script is sacred is problematic. The statement in the Mishna (Pirkei Avot, chapter 5) is that God made the stylus, the script, and the tablets (of the Ten Commandments). It does not say what script, and I believe the sages of the Talmud somewhere discuss that the script on the tablets would not have been the current square, pen written script. The sages were well aware that it was not the original Hebrew script, and the tablets may well have been inscribed with an Egyptian script, which Moses and other Israelites who were literate would have understood at that time.

The point of the Talmud 'word play' discussions is to make a moral or theological point, and not that the form of the script is sacred. The message that the text is giving is what is supposed to be sacred, not the form of the script itself.

The midrashim on the letter shapes that Israel cites are I believe relatively late. One of the links given by Israel quotes the founder of Chabad Chassidism, which Israel is a follower of. And he is late 18th century. The Zohar, the basic Jewish mystical work, is 13th century. These are recent inventions, as Jewish history goes, being 2000 or more years after Moses.

Also, in the view of almost all scholars, the Zohar is pseudepigrapha, meaning it is falsely attributed to someone else, in this case a sage who lived a thousand years before it was written. For a rationalist like myself, this seriously undermines its credibility.

I want to learn from the mystical tradition, but I take it with a huge amount of salt, because as an historian of ideas, I know that it is a mish-mash of eclectic sources. A primary source of the ideas about God in the Zohar is Plotinus, the Neo-Platonic Greek philosopher. He, not the Torah, is the source of ideas about 'emanations' of God creating the world. Isaac Luria, in what is the most original idea in Jewish mysticism that I know about, reversed this and said that God created the world by withdrawing from part of it.

This is all interesting, but much of Kabbala to me is capricious and even heretical by older standards in Judaism. And there are many others who are of the same opinion.

gohebrew's picture

Aziz,

Ignoring wise old William's advice, I engage in minor debate with you. Please do not take any offense, as I am speaking both civily and highly respectfully. As you know, the Quran directs Muslims to heed Torah-practicing Jews and give them unprecedented respect and tolerance, lest Allah's wrath be invoked upon them.

Not a single passage that you quoted from the Quran support your rejection of certain aspects of democracy. Exclamation mark.

You are going on a tangent, citing Islam's disapproval of headenistic societies and their peoples.

I am refering not to a hedonistic society, nor to a immoral people, for Orthodox Judaism too disapproves of them, and rejects them. But Orthodox Judaism also rejects "living by the sword" and promotes tolerance. This is cultural tolerance in the sense that we believe our faith is superior and will conquer not by physical force or the threat of murderous harm, but by the "word of G-d" and living in accord with G-d's directives, to set a good and living example for others to keep. As they say, "yad hachassidim al haelyona".

Rather, I am refering to the just and righteous aspects of democracy, which is based in the teachings of Torah. Such as the respect and value for human life, the superiority of women over men (the Western mind only tries to offer women equality), the importance and empowerment of voting etc.

These are values (except for the notion that women are superior to men) which are embraced by Islam.

In conclusion, the Quran which you quote does not contradict my supposition that Allah wants us to be somewhat democratic.

AzizMostafa's picture

> Aziz, there is no direct reference to democracy in the portions you quote,

Very interesting, non-Muslim + no-Arab teaches me my Mother tongue + my Religion??!!

.. and I know other Muslims think that democracy is compatible with the Quran.

Well, those are the Muslims trained by CIA. Just to name few:
1. Siniora: PM of Lebanon
2. Mohammed Abbas: PLO RRRRRevolutionary Leader.
3. Noori Maliki: PM of Iraq + Head of Islamic Da3wa Party

William! please, I do not like to start another debate:
http://www.typophile.com/node/30209#comment-175230

gohebrew's picture

William,

> ... The statement in the Mishna (Pirkei Avot, chapter 5) is that God made the stylus, the script, and the tablets (of the Ten Commandments)...

You are such an astute scholar, but sadly you lack knowledge of basic Hebrew.

The phrase in Pirkei Avot refers not to any style of Hebrew letter forms. A more recent square letter or an older script in the Torah scroll. Rather, these words refer to the engraved writing in the Second Tablets by Moses, and the miraculous carved out letter forms by G-d Himself in the First later broken Tablets.

Your interpretation is based simply upon the words in English, not in the original Hebrew, nor is it enlightened by the words of the sages of Israel which were transcribed a long, long time ago.

Please do not take offense by the following comparision.

The Christians have long explained that the concept of immaculate conception, that Mary was a virgin, is actually based on a word from the Bible.

They argue that the Hebrew word for a young girl actually means a "virgin". But the Hebrew word for a virgin is not this word, but a different word.

This centuries old error is based upon a mistranslation, and is a foundational concept in Catholicism. What a mistake?

[I won't say what the Talmud says about Mary. :) ]

So, William, we see that it is going down a very trecherous path to base one's thoughts and beliefs upon faulty translations.

gohebrew's picture

Aziz,

> Very interesting, non-Muslim + no-Arab teaches me my Language + Religion??!!

Our Torah teaches us that one can find wisdom everywhere. So, don't reject it.

The Talmud relates a similar instruction, which the seventh Lubavitcher Rebbe suggests has a profound and universal lesson.

"ho is wise? One who is able to learn something from everybody."

The Rebbe explains, "Since G-d made everybody, then everybody must have a certain quality lacking in the other people.

"Hence, every person has something unique to teach the other person. In fact, one is less complete until he or she receives that special quality or teaching.

"Therefore, who is really wise? It is the person who realizes that he or she has everything to gain by receiving from another."

gohebrew's picture

William,

> The sages were well aware that it was not the original Hebrew script, and the tablets may well have been inscribed with an Egyptian script, which Moses and other Israelites who were literate would have understood at that time.

Come on. Who says this? Did you make it up?

First, the original Tablets which Moses shattered were carved out miraculously in stone. Do you want is written about the final mehm, which is shaped like a square and has a center part hanging in the air.

You'll say, quoting Michael, that there wasn't an aleph in the first letter of the First Commantment, it was a picture of an ox!

Boy, these Reform Jews get more and more Christian and secular in their thinking as time goes on. :)

gohebrew's picture

Aziz,

> Well, those are the Muslims trained by CIA.
Just to name few:
1. Siniora: PM of Lebanon
2. Mohammed Abbas: PLO RRRRRevolutionary Leader.
3. Noori Maliki: PM of Iraq + Head of Islamic Da3wa Party

These are political leaders.

I'm am speaking about democratic concepts in Islam. You are speaking about politics.

Democrats, Republicans. Liberals, Conservatives. Obama, McCain. Chocolate, Vanilla. Protestain, Catholic.

Arafat, Bin Laden. Saddam Hussein, Hussein Obama.

You know, true type designers and enthusiasts don't get caught up in politics.

I guarantee that after Nassaralah dies from his own missile landing on his head and the heads of his family, an aleph will remain an aleph, the American flag will still wave in the air, and the sun will set in the west.

Politics is just politics, and some things will last forever.

gohebrew's picture

William,

> The message that the text is giving is what is supposed to be sacred, not the form of the script itself.

This is like what Jesus said when he was caught eating something not kosher: "It's not important what goes in your mouth, rather it's more important what goes out of your mouth."

Boy, and people made a religion around this guy!?

Your statement is not consistent with the teachings of forming Hebrew script in composing a Sefer Torah scroll, Tefillin, or a Mezuzah.

Unbelieveable statements are made in the form of halachahs, rules governing how to correctly scribe a Sefer Torah scroll, Tefillin, or a Mezuzah.

Maimonides even goes to great length in his Mishnah Torah code of Jewish Laws to explain that not only the formation of Hebrew characters must be precisely executed, but the very line spacing, and letter and word spacing must adhere to certain limitations, which today we would say is excellent and effective typography and typesetting.

Hence, both things are important: the message and the way the message is presented.

Similarly, Jesus the Jew should realize that both what you consume, and what you speak, is governed by the teachings of Torah.

Likewise, many Reform Jews mistakenly think that "they can have their cake", but they can't "eat it too". They like moral lessons of their religion, realizing that it is truly great, but err and consume a life of treif falsehood - they don't "eat it too".

typerror's picture

My name did not belong in that post. Once again you are contriving things. Stand tall in your congregation as a forthright man and not a provocateur.

I told you to drop it!

Michael

gohebrew's picture

the-error,

> My name did not belong in that post

Which post? The one about the depiction of an aleph as a ox? That wasn't derogatory.

> a provocateur

I think that you suffer from paranoia. See a doctor.

> I told you to drop it!

Don't engage me in conversation then, if you want to just fade from the scene.

Do you know Tim Reid Conway? He lives near you.

Don't you know, Michael, that frum Jews have to get the last word in?

William Berkson's picture

>You are such an astute scholar, but sadly you lack knowledge of basic Hebrew.

>The phrase in Pirkei Avot refers not to any style of Hebrew letter forms.

Sadly, you can't take the trouble to read what I wrote. And your rudeness is breathtaking. I just take comfort that here you belittle everyone who disagrees with you; it's not just me.

My point was exactly that Avot doesn't refer to any specific letter forms, Hebrew or otherwise. What you are accusing me of being ignorant of is exactly the point I was trying to make.

On the translation. The phrase in Avot is "haketav, vehamikhtav (or vehamachtav--the original has no nikud), vehaluchot". The classic translation of Hertz has it, "the writing on the tables, the instrument of writing, and the tables of stone." My translation is "the script, the stylus, the tablets." According to Alcalay, "script" is one translation of "ketav". For example, "ketav rashi" is "rashi script". If my translation is a mistake I would like to correct it, but I first have to hear why it is wrong. It has been checked by one who knows Mishnaic Hebrew very well. Perhaps David would have a view.

As to the Rabbis being aware that the square script was not likely to be engraved on the Tablets of the Ten Commandments, I see a reference to a discussion where they considered that they may have been written in ancient Hebrew script. This is in the Jerusalem Talmud: Meg. 1:11, 71c. And as I said the rabbis also do refer to current square Hebrew script as 'assyrian' or 'chaldean', i.e. aramaic.

As you will see by looking at the wikipedia article on the Hebrew alphabet the shape of the original Hebrew script--Paleo Hebrew--is very different. For example the aleph does not have the shape you refer to above, and so the midrash you give would not apply.

So the point is that the your midrashim do not apply to what was written on the Tablets of the Ten Commandments. Clear?

As to the possibility that even other dialects than Hebrew may have been written on the Ten Commandment, I don't remember where I read that, but I did. I would track it down, but my point is made anyway, and I hope I can resist the temptation to post in the future, because your rudeness makes it no fun.

david h's picture

I'm on the way to BIG5 to buy a compass.... I'm lost here.

> According to Alcalay, “script” is one translation of “ketav”.

Yes, you're right Bill. script is ketav (and according to Oxford dictionary -- english-hebrew; the meridian dictionary)

AzizMostafa's picture

Those are political leaders.
I’m am speaking about democratic concepts in Islam.
You are speaking about politics.

GoHebrew,
Just for you information: Politics + Religion are inseparable in Islam.
That's emphasized throughout the Glorious Quran.
Interestingly, the end of 3 successive verses in Chaper5 of the Glorious Quran read:
__________________________
Those who do not judge by what Allah has sent down, it is they who are the faithless.44
Those who do not judge by what Allah has sent down, it is they who are the wrongdoers.45
Those who do not judge by what Allah has sent down, it is they who are the transgressors.47
__________________________
Which of the political leaders you mentioned did or does judge by what Allah has sent down?!

gohebrew's picture

Aziz,

> Just for you information: Politics + Religion are inseparable in Islam.

In second consideration, I think they are inseparable everywhere.

It's not the tolerance level which is different, I believe strategic restraint is the ultimate "weapon", and much more effective in the long run than a short term violent victory.

The distiction which troubles me about validating the role of politics for serving a role in religion is the stature of true leadership.

The individuals which you cite are mainly power lords in the worst definition of politics, and true leaders. In that poor sense politics is really just an antithesis of the ideals of religion or truth.

True leaders, on the other hand, are very rare, and really are much higher than politics.

So, in the end, I must agree in part with you.

William Berkson's picture

Aziz, of course I am just reading the English of what you quoted, which does not mention democracy. And if you google Islam and Democracy, you will find articles by Muslims arguing that they are compatible. I am not saying I know whether they are are aren't; I'm just saying that there is a diversity of opinion among Muslims.

Your list of Muslim leaders you don't like ignores those Muslim countries outside the Arab world who support democracy, at least in principle, such as Turkey, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Malaysia and Indonesia.Are they all run by the CIA?

typerror's picture

"the-error"

So now Israel you have reduced this to name calling... "O pious one"?

Michael

gohebrew's picture

Mee-kah-kahl,

You appear to be very upset at me. If I change my picture to a middle-aged hippy with earings in my cheek, would you still call me 'pious'.

It sounds like such a Catholic title. Yes, I am really 'Pope Israel the Pious IV'.

In Chassidism, we think of ourselves as a putz (a yiddish term for a fart). Humility goes a long way...to the point that Moses is worried about losing his job as the world's most humble.

I know that this might be an un=American attitude, where each person thinks that he or she is number one. But this is an election year, and if you vote Republican, the Religious Right will forgive you for thinking that you are number two.

Btw, like the term and acronym, Maccabee ("Who is like You among the other gods, G-d"), Michael means "who is like G-d?. Michael is the name of the kind angel.

Your script designs show an aspect of benevolence.

gohebrew's picture

Aziz,

Just because I admit that your equation of politic and religions is accurate in part, does not imply similar amittance regarding my belief equating some of the principles of democracy to the goals of Islam.

Many self-proclaimed Quran experts justify non-Islamic practices which degrade the greatness of Allah (Heaven forfend) with false interpretations of verses of the Quran.

In the end, they will suffer from Alah's wrath.

Here is logic you can not dispute.

If we can establish a correlation between certain aspects of democracy to the truthful teachings of Torah, and the Quran affirms that everything from the prophecy of Moses is true (ie. the truthful teachings of Torah), then it follows logically that these certain aspects of democracy are in deed also affirmed by the Quran.

gohebrew's picture

William,

> Sadly, you can’t take the trouble to read what I wrote.

Apparently, both of us are quilty of flip-flopping, changing horses in mid-stream, or whatever you wanna call it.

Your explanation of the mishna changed from your original citing to your current explanation, based upon the Alcalay dictionary.

My explanation of the type of celestrial lettering also changed with my gaining more knowledge.

Actually, I never suggested that the shapes of letters in Heaven were similar to our block lettering, nor did I suggest the Ten Commantments had such lettering.

Even my graphic examples changed from the square letter, the style used in most Jewish books, to the Torah scroll style of lettering a long time ago.

Rather, the design of the square letters is actually very old, and not modern as you suggest.

AzizMostafa's picture

William, Democracy means 2 or more sects = parties = factions
Mentioned in the above-mentioned verses or not?

In US, Democracy means 2 : Republican <> Democratic
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20080909/ap_on_el_pr/obama

In Iraq, Democracy means hundreds:
Islamic Democratic party
Democratic Islamic Party
Islamic Da3wa party of PM Noori Maliki
Islamic Da3wa movement
...
...
...
multiplied by Kurd, Arab, Suni, Shiite +++

Whereas in the Glorious Quran, Muslims are commanded:
_________________________________________________________________________
Hold fast, all together, to Allah's cord, and do not be divided into sects.
And remember Allah's blessing upon you when you were enemies,
then He brought your hearts together, so you became brothers with His blessing.
And you were on the brink of a pit of Fire, whereat He saved you from it.
Thus does Allah clarify His signs for you so that you may be guided.3:103

There has to be a nation among you summoning to the good,
bidding what is right, and forbidding what is wrong.
It is they who are the felicitous.3:104

Do not be like those who became divided into sects and differed after manifest signs had come to them.
For such there will be a great punishment. 3:105

Indeed the requital of those who wage war against Allah and His Apostle, and try to cause corruption on the earth, is that they shall be slain or crucified, or have their hands and feet cut off from opposite sides or be banished from the land. That is a disgrace for them in this world, and in the Hereafter there is a great punishment for them. 5:33
________________________________________________________

> Are they all run by the CIA?

Yes, directly or indirectly. More:
http://typophile.com/node/29708#comment-171569

gohebrew's picture

In my view, a certain style letter G-d uses above (although it is left-to-right), and perhaps the same lettering He used in the first set of Ten Commandments.

The source material does not get into the particular style, as that is not the topic of the conversation. But I am certain, it can be derived from a few other sources.

I am unsure what it is at this time.

The Talmud does discuss the style of lettering in a Sefer Torah scroll, and that it could only be either of two kinds: the ornate Hebrew design that we use, or an ornate old Greek design, no longer used or perhaps not even known.

gohebrew's picture

Aziz,

> In US, Democracy means 2 : Republican <> Democratic
> In Iraq, Democracy means hundreds:
> "Hold fast, all together, to Allah’s cord,
and do not be divided into sects." - Quran

Your definition of democracy is purely political, or "being divided into sects".

My defnition is conceptual and not political.

"Being divided unto sects" is not pure democracy. Rather, pure democracy promotes the value of the individual human being.

Not each one is equal and has no special value, and that the true value is the group... like in Socialism, Communism, or even Nationalism.

What Nasrallah, or Bin Laden, try to achieve is to convince the Muslim Arab people into thinking that the glory belongs to the Arab people of Islam by destroying all who behave different that dictated in Islam by Quran.

This is false.

Islam, as depicted by Quran, seeks to glorify only Allah. We are here for a purpose, to give All glory.

This definition shows us that Nasrallah or Bin Laden are wrong, and totally off target.

Since democrcy emphasizes the importance of the individual to fulfill his or her purpose, then this is in tune with the true goals of Islam, as explicitly taught in Quran, to glorify only Allah.

What you dislike and reject in the politics and culture of those who embrace democracy is not the democracy but the politics and culture.

AzizMostafa's picture

GoHebrew, CIA-created Bin Laden is the enemy of Nasrallah.
Bin Laden is a terrorist created+backed and exaggerated by war-mongers.
Nasrallah is peace for peace-loving Muslims+non-Muslims
but hell for Muslims+non-Muslims who support(ed) Bin Laden.
Nasrallah is translating the Quran into actions.

gohebrew's picture

William,

> My translation is “the script, the stylus, the tablets.” According to Alcalay, “script” is one translation of “ketav”. For example, “ketav rashi” is “rashi script”. If my translation is a mistake I would like to correct it, but I first have to hear why it is wrong.

Don't take this wrong, like in other times in the past.

Jewish people understand the teachings of the Torah, be it Tanach, Talmud, Jewish mysticism, or the words of Chazal (our sages obm) differently than the goyim.

They look only at the meaning of the words.

We consider the meaning of the words, search for explanations, and understand it in accord with the same way our rabbis understood it.

Sometimes, you do this too, as you see that this is the true path that leads to true understanding.

This mishnah are not just a collection of words, which you could simply look up in a dictionary or two, or ask a few friends to affirm whether you understood the words accurately.

Every mishnah teaches us both a series of facts and an important lesson. The words are merely the body, but the true meaning is both the body and the soul, the explanations of our sages, the understanding of our rabbis, and the lesson to apply in our life.

Your dictionaries only suggest the translation of the terms, but do not shares the sage's explanations, nor the rabbi's understanding, nor the practical lesson.

gohebrew's picture

William,

> I just take comfort that here you belittle everyone who disagrees with you; it’s not just me.

I actually think very highly of you, both intellectually and as a mencsh (which I define in terms of behavior and attitude).

I see that you seek to carefully research each topic before you accept it, and appreciate the wisdom and morality contained in Jewish teachings.

These are important qualities to emulate.

It is the Hebrew month of Elul, the last month of the year and time for teshuva.

When we forgive others who hurt us, even if they do not deserve this, and wish them everything good, G-d too forgives us, even if we do not deserve this, and blesses us with everything good.

So, do forgive me if I have hurt you, for this is not my desire at all.

gohebrew's picture

Aziz,

> Nasrallah is peace for peace-loving Muslims+non-Muslims
... Nasrallah is translating the Quran into actions.

You believe that?!? Boy, Nasrallah has done a good job fooling you. I thought that you were smart, educated, cultured etc. etc., and you espouse his acts of mass destruction?

A quarter million people were displaced, the dead were widespread, and south Lebanon was nearly leveled, all because of his utter foolishness - and you call this "translating the Quran into actions"?!?

Nasrallah has done a good job making a fool out of you, and turning you away from the ways of Allah, as described in the Quran.

After the magots eat his brains in his limb-less body in the grave, will you also say this foolishness?

gohebrew's picture

The Meaning of Aleph
====================

The seventh Lubavitcher Rebbe explains that the alef has three different meanings.

One is aluf, which means a master or a chief.

The second is ulfana, a school of learning or teacher.

The third meaning is reached by reading the letters of the word backwards-pela (pronounced peleh)-wondrous.

===

Aluf's definition is "master."

This lets the world know that there is a Creator; that G-d is the Master of the universe, and that there is an Eye that sees, and an Ear that hears. The universe did not simply emerge by itself; there is an omnipotent Force that actually forged the firmaments ex nihilo, from nothing to something. Thus G-d is the Aluf, the Master of the universe.

Ulfana means "school" or "teacher."

Not only do we introduce G-d as the Creator of the universe, but also as the Teacher of all mankind. G-d's role as teacher is revealed with His introduction of Torah to the Jewish people. The Torah, with its 613 mitzvos or laws, teaches us what we should do, and what we shouldn't do. Through the Divine wisdom of His book, G-d establishes Himself in the world on the level of the ultimate Teacher.

Finally, we have the third meaning of alef: peleh, "wondrous."

Peleh represents the esoteric or mystical level of Torah-Kabbalah and the teachings of Chassidic thought. Known as the "teachings of Mashiach," these secrets of Torah comprise its greatest level.

from "Letters of Light" by Rabbi Aaron L. Raskin
http://www.sichosinenglish.org/books/letters-of-light/02.htm

The traditional design of the Aleph, from the "Torah Scroll" font - a design dating back over 3,000 years.

AzizMostafa's picture

> Boy, Nasrallah has done a good job fooling you.

Gohebrew, Nasrallah is an Arab and speaks Arabic.
And I speak Arabic and do understand what he speaks.

Gohebrew, Nasrallah is a Muslim and believes in Quran.
And I am a Muslim and believe in Quran,
and I do understand what he does+says.

Gohebrew is non-Arab and does not speak Arabic.
Gohebrew is a Jew and does not believe in Quran.
Can Gohebrew do a good job fooling me?

gohebrew's picture

Aziz,

I am not trying to fool you.

I am a religious Jew, which your own Quran warns you to treat respectfully, or else. I think it says to "leave them alone". A sharp command for a religion that doesn't tolerate infidels.

I wish the president of Reform Judaism issued such a warning to his members.

Just because Nasrallah believes in Quran, like you, is a muslim, like you, speaks Arabic, like you, is no proof that he is not "pulling the wool over your eyes", or making you into a fool.

Nasrallah = anyone who causes so much human destruction is Allah's enemy, for he was no value for Allah's creation.

You will see that he will die a terrible death. Amen, kayn yehee ratzon - Hopefully soon.

AzizMostafa's picture

> You will see that he will die a terrible death.

A terrible death in defense of one's homeland + religion is sweet.
Moreover, Nasrallah is the grandson of Prophet Mohammed's grandson
ImamHosyan who was terribly slaughtered with 72 of his companions in
Karbala/Iraq (picture) and their women and children were taken
in chains to Syria.

By the way, GoHebrew,
1. Will you sacrifice yourself for your religion?
2. Where does Man go after death?
3. Does it make difference to die easy or hard?
_____________________________________________
Flowers for All Freedom Fighters

gohebrew's picture

Aziz,

> A terrible death

As is said: "You are a tough cookie."

> 1. Will you sacrifice yourself for your religion?

Rabbi Joseph Isaac Shneersohn obm wrote about difference between the great Rabbi Akiva and our common forefather Abraham

Rabbi Akiva sacrificed himself to the Roman occupiers. He even yearned for this, to finally show G-d that he was ready to set aside his own body to be G-d's servant.

In contrast, Abraham did not yearn for this at all. Rather, Abraham and his wife Sarah, resttled near Beersheva in order to host, feed, and teach travelors about the existance of G-d, and His being the Master of the Universe, in charge of the workings of the world. He was ready to set aside his own soul to be G-d's servant.

Rabbi Shneersohn concludes that Abraham's path to be G-d's servant was greater than Rabbi Akiva.

> 2. Where does Man go after death?

Many people never die at all. Rather, they live in different worlds, as this material world that we know is only a stage in this cycle. This is detailed at length in Jewish mystical literature at length.

Other people are "cut off" due to actions in this material world (although it would seem that this possibility exists also in other worlds). This is called: "koret hanefesh".

Similarly, due to other wrongful things and attitudes, some people's bodies are not resurrected at the "end of days", and experience death forever.

The human body (after the resurrection) in the next world is physical and nourishes the soul, unlike today that the life of the body depends upon its being nourished from the soul. However, the human body of the next world is very unlike our bodies today which age and decay.

> 3. Does it make difference to die easy or hard?

Death for some is a movement from one world to another. Death for others is final,

To die easy for some is a blessing, without pain and with even a smile on the face. Great people knew this event was imminent, and prepared, having no remorse.

Although many great people died painfully, or hard, this sort of sad ending is viewed ordinarily as a curse.

There are exceptions, such as dying "al peeh keedush Hashem", giving up for one's live to show people that the person prefers death to disobeying G-d, such as the Jews of the Inqusition, or to show people that they prefer to remain Jewish, like the Jews of the Holocaust, or to protect the lives of other Jews, such as soldiers of Israel.

In this exceptional case, the victim's souls are automatically forgiven any sins, and enter "gan eden", the world of the soul's reward, directly, with no interuption of punishments.

Nasrallah however will be the kind that dies with a curse. The merit of his anscestors he lost, and now shall only deserve maximum punishment.

As they say in Mexico, "Adios."

AzizMostafa's picture

So soldiers of Israel go to “gan eden” if killed in defense of Israel.
And soldiers of Lebanon go to hell if killed in defense of Lebanon.

Correct me if I am wrong.

William Berkson's picture

Aziz, please do not take Israel S.'s words as representing Judaism as a whole. He is a member of a small sect and doesn't speak for the rest of us.

Rabbi Akiva (1st to 2nd century) said of God's judgment that "all is according to the majority of [a person's] deeds."

And the Jewish sages also said "the righteous of all nations will have a place in the world to come."

It doesn't say that soldiers of this nation or that are righteous or not righteous. I say let us not presume to say what God will do, and just try to do right in our own lives.

AzizMostafa's picture

> The righteous of all nations will have a place in the world to come.

True but I leave you to counter GoHebrew
Thanks William with Flowers

gohebrew's picture

Aziz and William,

I was really surprized by your untrue words to Aziz. Infighting is a universal dicease that plagues all people regardless of religion, culture, language or political affiliation.

I am sure that Nasrallah too witnesses infighting among his troops frequently.

I would enjoy responding to William's lashon hora hateful words, but I think that it would be more productive for everyone to adhere to the Talmud's advice "to answer a fool with silence".

Rather, I think that all would gain from an overview describing the composition of the Jewish people instead.

However, it is close to the Sabbath, which for Jews begins at sundown on Friday, and concludes on Saturday after one spots three small stars together in the sky (about 72 minutes after sundown). So, I will refrain from posting until tomorrow evening.

William Berkson's picture

Israel, my words were neither untrue nor hateful, and you should not make such accusations. The Chabad movement is authentically Jewish, and I respect it, but your members constitute a very small part of the Jewish people.

Chabad is one among many threads in the Jewish fabric, and the others are not going to take your word for what is correct in Judaism. Nor do I expect you to agree with me. Let us have respectful disagreement and discussion.

Shabbat Shalom

gohebrew's picture

William,

> Let us have respectful disagreement and discussion.

OK

Shabbat menucha

John Hudson's picture

It is not logical to conclude that since this claim is untruthful elsewhere, it must also be untruthful here.

I didn't make such a conclusion. I wanted only to point out that this claim is far from unique to Judaism, just as the cultural significance of the pomegranate is not one thing but many things. Of course it is possible that one culture's traditions re. the divine origin of writing may be true. The other possibility is that all such beliefs are false. [Obviously the third option, that contradictory beliefs about the same thing can all be true, is not a possibility.]

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