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Ask the Aish Rabbi a Question

Recent Questions:

Codes in Other Texts

Have other Hebrew texts the size of the Torah been searched for Codes? Have tests been done on the "New Testament" concerning codes?

The Aish Rabbi Replies:

It is self-evident that one can find ELSs of words in any text. One could easily find "encoded words" in Harry Potter, the Manhattan telephone directory, or even on the side of a box of cereal.

The question is not one of finding ELSs. The simple fact is that no one has found the statistically significant effect found in Genesis. The Hebrew version of War and Peace was searched, as well as the novel Hachnasat Kalla by Nobel Prize-winning Israeli author Shai Agnon. Neither produced any statistically meaningful Codes results.

The issue is what is the statistical validity of such codes. To be valid, a code must be "a priori," meaning that the parameters of the search are defined beforehand. This is the methodology employed for the Great Rabbis Experiment.

Without this "a priori" factor, we found codes of "messiahs," including “Yeshua” (Jesus), “Mohammed” and “Krishna”. Furthermore, names like David Koresh, (the self-proclaimed Messiah responsible for the death of over 100 cult followers in Texas) and Reverend Moon are found encoded in the Torah.

So the issue comes down to one of statistical significance. If you want to know what separates a true code from a fake code, you need to talk to the statisticians.

No religion besides Judaism claims to have a book that is a letter-for-letter divine message from God. Codes cannot be accurately searched in the New Testament, because there are thousands of variant versions of the text. Thus there would be no statistically significant way to search through all the variant texts.

Christians claim that God revealed to us that Jesus is the Messiah since “Yeshua” is found in hundreds of passages throughout the Bible. This is an extremely dangerous and irresponsible misuse of the authentic Codes phenomenon. One could use this form of "codes research" to reach many spiritually absurd conclusions.

In his 13 Principles of Faith, Maimonides includes the belief that "the Torah which we have today is that given to Moshe on Mount Sinai." One of the many methods of preserving the accuracy of any Torah scroll was by comparing it to "Sefer Ha'Azarah," a flawless copy of the Torah which was kept in the courtyard of the Holy Temple. (see Talmud – Moed Katan, and Maimonides – Tefillin 7:2)

How can we be sure that the text we have today is correct? God knew when computers would become available, and therefore gauged what the Torah would need to look like at that time. Obviously this is the text God intended for us to have.

For more on this, see:

Codes Predicting the Future

I’ve read and heard a lot about the Bible Codes and while they appear impressive, I’m wondering about the logic of future events being predicted thousands of years ago?

The Aish Rabbi Replies:

As you say, the Bible has existed in its present form for thousands of years. How could its author have known such details about people who would not be born for centuries? Logic would dictate that the author could not be human, could not be bound by the limits of time. It would then be natural to conclude that the Author is a Divine Being.

The Torah cannot predict the future, because the free will is always in our hands to create the future. Of course, once an event has already happened, however, God can reveal to us that. Being outside of time, God knew it all along.

This is a major philosophical dichotomy that Maimonides goes at great length to explain. For more on this topic, see:

In the end, only one conclusion can be made through these statistically verifiable codes: the information was deliberately placed there by the Author.

Morris Curello's Movie

I watched a TV movie called "The Rabbi," which was filmed in Israel. It portrays an Israeli man who converts to Christianity and attempts to convince his family that Jesus is the Jewish messiah.

Does this movie portray normative Judaism?

The Aish Rabbi Replies:

It seems that you and thousands of others are victim of the deception of Morris Cerullo, a San Diego evangelist who made it his life mission to convert Jews to Christianity. Cerullo hired an advertising agency to place ads in some 80 Jewish newspapers – omitting any information that would link the one-hour "family drama" to its Christian missionary source.

Cerullo has a long history of such activities. In 1994, he allegedly obtained Israeli voter registration lists and mailed Hebrew copies of his missionary book, "Two Men From Eden," to some 500,000 homes throughout Israel. Then in 1996, he sent a mass mailing of an evangelistic booklet called "The Peace" to one million Israeli households. Cerullo also claims to have mailed 3.2 million copies of his book “Two Men from Eden” to almost every Jewish home in the United States.

To view documentation of Cerullo's 40-year crusade to missionize Jews, go to