Thursday, September 5, 2013

Repainting the Last Supper from the Borghese Gallery in Rome, For the Jewish Jesus Exhibit, NY, NY

Study from Jacopo Bassono's The Last Supper (1542) Galleria Borghese, Rome / 1st Century Judean Context re-Painting  2013 for Jewish Jesus Exhibit in New York. Available Prints on Canvas 

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Tikkun Zyor / תיקון ציור Painting Repair - Jewish Jesus Exhibit, NY

Painting Repair ... Tikkun Zyor / תיקון ציור

Christ and the Doctors, or Yeshua with the Teachers in Judea, 8 AD
Repainting : A quick study from Albrecht Durer's "Christ among the Doctors"dating to 1506, now in the Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza, Madrid, Spain. Based on Luke 2: 46-50 ..... "After three days they found him in the temple courts, sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions. 47 Everyone who heard him was amazed at his understanding and his answers. 48 When his parents saw him, they were astonished. His mother said to him, “Son, why have you treated us like this? Your father and I have been anxiously searching for you.”
49 “Why were you searching for me?” he asked. “Didn’t you know I had to be in my Father’s house?” 50 But they did not understand what he was saying to them."  
 For the Jewish Jesus Exhibit in New York

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Artist Call : re-Painting a Jewish Jesus, Re-imagining Iconic Christian Renaissance and Medieval paintings in their 1st Century Judean and Galilean Context

Artist Call: Re-Painting a Jewish Jesus. (New York Gallery Exhibit, 2014-15) The idea is to take a Renaissance or Medieval painting of Jesus ie: Birth, Baptism, Last Supper, etc and repaint it in the Artists' own style but re-setting in its proper Judean/Galilean/Netzarim context. As examples.... I painted the following this morning from 1655 The Baptism of Christ by Bartolome Esteban Murillo  ie: painting Jesus as a Torah observant Jewish Rabbi. The idea for this exhibit comes from Bernard Starr, Author and Journalist in NY City, he is working on the venue and other details. 

Left: "The Baptism of Christ " Bartolome Esteban Murillo, 1655

Right: Yeshua after Ritual Immersion in the Jordan, R Borghese, 2013

Jewish Jesus Art Exhibit
Left: Oldest surviving panel icon of "Christ Pantocrator", encaustic on panel, c. 6th century.

Right: Yeshua haNeTzr, the Nazarene
wearing tallit and holding a Torah scroll, RBorghese 2013

Friday, March 29, 2013

The Resurrection of Jesus: A Jewish Perspective

Pinchas Lapide wrote,

"When this scared, frightened band of the apostles which was just about to throw away everything in order to flee in despair to Galilee; when these peasants, shepherds, and fisherman, who betrayed and denied their master and then failed him miserably, suddenly could be changed overnight into a confident mission society, convinced of salvation and able to work with much more success after Easter than before Easter, then no vision or hallucination is sufficient to explain such a revolutionary transformation.

For a sect or school or an order, perhaps a single vision would have been sufficient – but not for a world religion which was able to conquer the Occident thanks to the Easter faith." (p 125) - Pinchas Lapide, 

Available here :  The Resurrection of Jesus, A Jewish Perspective

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

"Observe the wonders as they occur around you. Don’t claim them. Feel the artistry moving through, and be silent" - The Essential Rumi

"Observe the wonders as they occur around you. Don’t claim them. Feel the artistry moving through, and be silent." - Rumi

"All day I think about it, then at night I say it. Where did I come from, and what am I supposed to be doing? I have no idea. My soul is from elsewhere, I’m sure of that, and I intend to end up there."- Rumi

"Let the waters settle & you will see stars & moon mirrored in your being" - Rumi

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

There is One living Spirit ..... Origin of Species 150th Anniversary Edition

There is One living spirit, prevalent over this world, (subject to certain contingencies of organic matter chiefly heat), which assumes a multitude of forms according to subordinate laws. — Charles Darwin

"As man advances in civilization, and small tribes are united into larger communities, the simplest reason would tell each individual that he ought to extend his social instincts and sympathies to all the members of the same nation, though personally unknown to him. This point being once reached, there is only an artificial barrier to prevent his sympathies extending to the men of all nations and races." - Charles Darwin

"This virtue, one of the noblest with which man is endowed, seems to arise incidentally from our sympathies becoming more tender and more widely diffused, until they are extended to all sentient beings. As soon as this virtue is honored and practiced by some few men, it spreads through instruction and example to the young, and eventually becomes incorporated in public opinion." - Charles Darwin

There is grandeur in this view of life, with its several powers, having been originally breathed into a few forms or into One; and that, whilst this planet has gone cycling on according to the fixed law of gravity, from so simple a beginning endless forms most beautiful and most wonderful have been, and are being, evolved. - Charles Darwin

The classic that exploded into public controversy, revolutionized the course of science, and continues to transform our views of the world.

''It is clear that here is one of the most important contributions ever made to philosophic science; and it is at least behooving on scientists, in the light of the accumulation of evidence which the author has summoned in support of his theory, to reconsider the grounds on which their present doctrine of the origin of species is based.'' --New York Times

''Amazingly, 150 years after the publication of The Origin of Species, Darwin's seminal work on the theory of evolution remains the authoritative tract on the subject.'' --Library Journal

About the Author CHARLES DARWIN (1809-1882) was the first evolutionary biologist, best known for his controversial and groundbreaking The Origin of Species. He introduced the concept of natural selection, marking a new epoch in the scientific world. Origin of Species 150th Anniversary Edition

Friday, February 8, 2013

Wisdom and Understanding in the Sefer Yetzirah / Right and Left Side of your brain.

According to the Sefer Yetzirah(The Book of Formation) the Right side of your brain is called Chakhmah-Wisdom and the Left side of your brain is called Binah- Understanding.

Understanding (Binah) involves verbal thought, while Wisdom (Chahkmah) is pure nonverbal thought. Understanding consists of the normal reverie, where the person thinks out things so as to understand and organize the thoughts. Wisdom, on the other hand, is pure thought. (P 39 Sefer Yetzirah)

The undifferentiated Light of the Infinite which existed before the Constriction (Creation) is on the level of Wisdom (Chakhmah) which is pure undelineated Mind. (p.14 Sefer Yetzirah)

It is only on levels below Wisdom that people are separated into different individuals. Only on lower levels does the division between good and evil exist.

The Talmud likewise states, "Who is wise ? He who perceives the future." This is because Wisdom is the pure mind force that transcends time. On the Level of Wisdom, past, present and future have not yet been separated. Hence, on this level, one can see the future just like the past and present.

The antithesis of Wisdom is Understanding. The Hebrew word for Understanding is Binah, which comes from the root Beyn meaning "between"

Understanding (Left side of brain) is the level immediately below Wisdom. (Right side) It is on the level of Understanding that ideas exist separately, where they can be scrutinized and comprehended. While Wisdom is pure undifferentiated Mind, Understanding is the level where division exists, and where things are delineated and defined as separated objects.

On the level of Wisdom-Chakhmah (Right Side of Brain), all men are included in a single world Soul. Understanding-Binah (Left side of brain) is the level of Neshamah, where the Soul of each individual assumes a distinct identity, and each one is seen as a separate entity. (p 12 Sefer Yetzirah)

Wisdom and Understanding are seen as being male and female respectively. In the Kabbalah, Wisdom is seen as the Father (Abba), while Understanding is the Mother (Imma). (p. 13 Sefer Yetzirah)

Maybe now when we read the final line in the Gospel of Thomas (Sayings of Jesus) we can understand what is being said.... Simon Peter said to him, "Let Mary leave us, for women are not worthy of life." Jesus said, "I myself shall lead her in order to make her male (Wisdom), so that she too may become a living spirit resembling the male (Wisdom-Right). For every woman (Understanding-Left) who will make herself male (Wisdom-Right) will enter the kingdom of heaven." - Gospel of Thomas 114

" Jesus said to them, "When you make the two One, and when you make the Inside like the Outside and the outside like the inside, and the above like the below, and when you make the male (Wisdom) and the female (Understanding) One and the same, so that the male not be male nor the female female; and when you fashion eyes in the place of an eye, and a hand in place of a hand, and a foot in place of a foot, and a likeness in place of a likeness; then will you enter the kingdom." - Gospel of Thomas 22

Sunday, February 3, 2013

The Trinity in Jewish Tradition. The Sefer Y'TziRaH, The Book of Formation.

"The Three are One, and that One stands above." - Chapter IV, Section 3

"In thirty-two wonderful Paths of Wisdom did Yah, YHVH, the God of Israel, the Elohim of the living, the King of ages, the merciful and gracious God, the exalted One, the Dweller in eternity, most high and holy - engrave his name by the three Sepharim - Numbers, Letters, and Sounds." - Chapter I, Section 1

From The Sefer, Yetzirah

What's the Secret of Pi ? 3.14 ... Genesis 3:14 and John 3:14

Do you like Pi ( 3.14 ) ..... Read Genesis 3:14 .... then read Galations 3:13 and then read John 3:14

Genesis 3:14. And the Lord God said to the serpent (nachash), "Because you have done this, cursed be you more than all the cattle and more than all the beasts of the field; you shall walk on your belly, and you shall eat dust all the days of your life.

יד. וַיֹּאמֶר יְהֹוָה אֱלֹהִים | אֶל הַנָּחָשׁ כִּי עָשִׂיתָ זֹּאת אָרוּר אַתָּה מִכָּל הַבְּהֵמָה וּמִכֹּל חַיַּת הַשָּׂדֶה עַל גְּחֹנְךָ תֵלֵךְ וְעָפָר תֹּאכַל כָּל יְמֵי חַיֶּיךָ:

Aramaic Bible - Galations 3:13 But The Messiah has redeemed us from the curse of The Written Law, and he became a curse in our place, for it is written: “Cursed is everyone who is hanged on a tree”.

Aramaic Bible - John 3:14 And just as Moses lifted up the serpent (nachash) in the wilderness, thus The Son of Man is going to be lifted up,

Numbers (Bamidbar) 21:6-9 The Lord sent against the people the venomous snakes, and they bit the people, and many people of Israel died. The people came to Moses and said, "We have sinned, for we have spoken against the Lord and against you. Pray to the Lord that He remove the snakes from us." So Moses prayed on behalf of the people. The Lord said to Moses, "Make yourself a serpent and put it on a pole, and let whoever is bitten look at it and live. Moses made a copper snake and put it on a pole, and whenever a snake bit a man, he would gaze upon the copper snake and live.

ח. וַיֹּאמֶר יְהֹוָה אֶל משֶׁה עֲשֵׂה לְךָ שָׂרָף וְשִׂים אֹתוֹ עַל נֵס וְהָיָה כָּל הַנָּשׁוּךְ וְרָאָה אֹתוֹ וָחָי:

Did Jesus teach Kabbalah, Jewish Mysticism to his 12 disciples ?

(Woodcut reproduced in François Secret: Les Kabbalistes Chrétiens de la Renaissance. The wooduct bears two inscriptions:

1. In principio erat verbum [In the beginning was the Word]
2. Qui expansis in cruce manibus, traxisti omnia ad te saecula. [Lord, you who have stretched out your hands on the cross, and have drawn the whole world to you]. The reference is to John 12:32 “And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all [men] unto me.” For other information on Christian Kabbalah see Joseph Leon Blau: The Christian Interpretation of the Cabala in the Renaissance; Chaim Wirszubski: Pico della Mirandola’s Encounter with Jewish mysticism.

Kabbalah emphasizes the importance of collecting the divine sparks in the world. It also has the idea of Tikkun, the restoration of the world. For Jung and the alchemists, the world the ego are necessary and beneficial. Both God and humankind must pass through the world and redeem it in order to realize their full essence. Drob refers to Segal: far from being the superfluous, harmful and lamentable conditions envisioned by the Gnostics, are actually necessary, beneficial and laudable.

Lurianic Kabbalah emphasizes the same idea in how it views God. According to Scholem, Luria adopted the earlier Kabbalistic term Ein-sof to designate the primal, all-encompassing "Infinite God". This God, according to the Kabbalists, was both the totality of being and the abyss of complete “nothingness.” This totality is also the union of opposites. Even the idea that God encompasses both good and evil is not specifically Gnostic, but can be found in Kabbalah’s idea of the left and right side of God. Quispel says that the idea that the godhead encompasses both good and evil is not Gnostic at all.

In short, by providing a "this-worldly" interpretation of Gnosticism, and a spiritual-psychological interpretation of alchemy, Jung arrived at a view which was in many ways Kabbalistic in spirit. Indeed, Jung, in his interpretation of alchemy, succeeded remarkably in extracting the Kabbalistic gold which lay buried in the alchemists’ texts and methods (to use an alchemical metaphor). His work can then be profitably understood as falling in the tradition of those thinkers such as Pico della Mirandola, Johannnes Reuchlin (1983), and Knorr von Rosenroth who created a distinctively Christian Kabbalah (Scholem, 1974, [pp. 196-201])

Carl Jung refers to how Lurianic Kabbalah seeks to restore the world:
"The Jew has the advantage of having long since anticipated the development of consciousness in his own spiritual history. By this I mean the Lurianic stage of the Kabbalah, the breaking of the vessels and man's help in restoring them. Here the thought emerges for the first time that man must help God to repair the damage wrought by creation. For the first time man's cosmic responsibility is acknowledged."

Jung had a vision that he described as the most tremendous and "individuating" experience of his life. He found himself in the “garden of pomegranates.” This is an allusion to a Kabbalistic work of that name by Moses Cordovero. In the vision, Jung identified himself with the union of Tifereth and Malchuth as it is described in the Kabbalah. Jung describes these visions as occurring in a state of wakeful ecstasy, "as though I were floating in space, as though I were safe in the womb of the universe." He further describes his experience as one of indescribable "eternal bliss." He reports:

"Everything around me seemed enchanted. At this hour of the night the nurse brought me some food she had warmed... For a time it seemed to me that she was an old Jewish woman, much older than she actually was, and that she was preparing ritual kosher dishes for me. When I looked at her, she seemed to have a blue halo around her head. I myself was, so it seemed, in the Pardes Rimmonim, the garden of pomegranates, and the wedding of Tifereth with Malchuth was taking place. Or else I was Rabbi Simon ben Jochai, whose wedding in the afterlife was being celebrated. It was the mystic marriage as it appears in the Cabbalistic tradition. I cannot tell you how wonderful it was. I could only think continually, "Now this is the garden of pomegranates! Now this is the marriage of Malchuth with Tifereth!" I do not know exactly what part I played in it. At bottom it was I myself: I was the marriage. And my beatitude was that of a blissful wedding." (Memories, Dreams, Reflections, 294)- From : Theosophy and Gnosticism: Jung and Franz von Baader by Dr. J. Glenn Friesen

Jesus and the 10 Sephiroth of Kabbalah. The symbols of the Crucifixion and the Passion of Christ.

At the top of this image of the 10 Sephiroth is Keter-Crown, below that are Chokhmah-Wisdom (Father) and Binah-Understanding (Mother) In the center is Tiferet-Beauty (The Son)... at the bottom of the Sephiroth is Malkuth-Kingship and represents the Feminine Divine Dwelling on earth - The Shekhinah. So we have the following Trinities: Father, Mother, Son, and Our Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

The Crucifixion with the Virgin Mary and St John , 1100 Painting by Artist : Alberto Sotio

Crucifixion with Mary at foot of cross. Christ crucified, painted by Giotto, circa 1310.

Sketch of the Crucifixion with God the Father (Aba) as both Keter (Crown) and Chokhma (Wisdom) above the Son. Marythe Mother(Imma), a symbol of Malkuth and Shekhinah at the base of the Cross.

Sketch that shows the 10 Sephiroth with Keter-Crown at top, Chokhmah-Wisdom (Father) and Binah-Understanding (Mother). Jesus is shown as Tiferet, Beauty, The Son, and the Prince of Peace.

Monday, January 28, 2013

The Timeline of Creation. 13.75 Billion years ago to today.

Timeline of Creation .....

Our Universe was created 13.75 Billion years ago.... how many Universes existed before then ?

A Biblical Timeline.... some Events in History ..... going back a few years. Look at all the stuff that happened before Adam and Eve !!

According to the National Geographic Genographic Project our present Human DNA originates 500,000 years ago. Curious to know if Adam and Eve (5773 years ago) have different DNA ? J + K, E1b1b1-a1b + X etc etc ? Anyone know ?

Friday, January 25, 2013

The Immanence (Within all) and Transcendence (Above all) of God. - The Bahir

There are two praises of the angels: The first is "Holy. Holy, Holy, the Lord of Hosts, the whole earth is filled with His Glory (Isa 6:3). This speaks of God's Immanence (presence in all things) where His Glory, which is the aspect of Malkut-Kingship, fills all creation. The Second Praise is "Blessed be God's Glory from His place (Eze 3:12) This indicates His Transcendence, where even his Glory, (which is Malkhut-Kingship, the lowest level of the 10 Sephiroth) must be blessed from afar. These two levels show that God both fills all Worlds and encompasses all worlds.

The word "bless" indicates the aspect in which God fills all the world. This however, comes from God's "place", that is, from the aspect where He is in the place of the Universe, encompassing all creation. Thus, when it is said, "Blessed be God's glory from His place", it means that the aspect in which he "surrounds all worlds" must be brought down so that He should "fill all worlds". - The Bahir p. 152

The Universe, the Kingdom of God, is Within You (Luke 17:21) ..... indeed we are all "star stuff".

Tallit, the 4,000 year old Prayer Shawl

$36 Tallit from Israel
Tallit is an Aramaic word from the root tll טלל meaning cover. Tallit literally means cloak or sheet but in Talmudic times already referred to the Jewish prayer shawl. The tallit is similar to the Roman pallium worn today by senior Roman Catholic priests, the Roman toga and the Arab keffiyeh.

On the fast day of Tisha B'Av, different customs prevail. Some Ashkenazim do not wear a tallit during the morning (Shacharit) service and those who do omit the blessing regarding donning a fringed garment (Tzitzit); at the afternoon service (Mincha), those who wear a tallit gadol make the blessing on fringes then. Some Sephardim (according to Kabbalah and the local custom (Minhag) for Jerusalem) wear the tallit at Shacharit as usual.

The Kabbalists considered the tallit as a special garment for the service of God, intended, in connection with the tefillin, to inspire awe and reverence for God at prayer.The tallit is worn by worshipers at the morning prayer on weekdays, Shabbat, and holy days; by the hazzan (cantor) at every prayer while before the ark; and by the reader of Torah, as well as by all other functionaries during the Torah service.

The use of the tallit begins in the Biblical period around 1800 BCE. (almost 4,000 years ago) The ancient Jewish tallit design was different than that known today. Originally it was a large white rectangular garment with tzitzyot in each corner and was used as a garment, bed sheet, and burial shroud.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Beam like the Sun ! Yeah Man ... Fantastic !!

You cannot define yourself in reference to other external coordinates. You must define yourself internally with your relationship with a Higher Entity. Think of yourself as a Manifestation of some Higher thing, some Higher Frequency. This (Here Now) is the visible realization, and you know that because you can't see atoms, can you, and you certainly can't see the forces that hold the atoms together. There, in the Micro Quantum World lie the answers to Everything. We can't understand it with our logical, rational minds but we feel it intuitively. Get yourself in alignment with that stuff and you Beam like the Sun ! (Jeepers Creepers) Yeah Man ! Yeah Man !

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Was the "Ad Herennium" the First Gospel , according to Cicero.... Written in 90 BC ?

Was the image of the Crucified Christ created in 90 BC ? 86 years before Jesus the Nazarene, Yeshua bar Yosef, was born in Bethlehem ? Was the icon of a bloodied and disfigured Messiah, a scourged, and Suffering Servant wearing a crown of thorns created by Cicero in Rome as a mnemonic device ? A pictograph by which the story of the Passion would be remembered ? The following is an excerpt taken from the Rhetorica ad Herennium (Loeb Classical Library No. 403)(English and Latin Edition) written in 90 BC as a guide on how Orators are to create Memory Pictures or Pictographs (Mnemonics) and used to memorize long stories. The Ad Herennium was the Orators Bible, the key to the Oral Tradition ......

" Why is it that some images are so strong and sharp and so suitable for awakening memory, whilst others are so weak and feeble that they hardly stimulate memory at all ? We must enquire into this so as to know which images to avoid and which to seek.

"Now nature herself teaches us what we should do. When we see in every day life things that are pretty, ordinary, and banal, we generally fail to remember them, because the mind is not being stirred by anything novel or MARVELOUS. But if we see or hear something exceptionally base, dishonorable, unusual, great, UNBELIEVABLE, or ridiculous, that we are likely to remember for a long time.... We ought then, to set up images of a kind that can adhere longest in memory. And we shall do so if we establish similitudes as striking as possible; if we set up images that are not many or vague but active; if we assign to them exceptional beauty or singular ugliness; if we ornament some of them, as with CROWNS or PURPLE cloaks, so as the similitude may be more distinct to us; or if we somehow DISFIGURE them, as by introducing one stained with BLOOD or soiled with mud or SMEARED with RED paint, so that it's form is more striking, or by assigning certain comic effects to our images, for that too, will ensure our remembering them more readily. The things we easily remember when they are real we likewise remember them without difficulty when they are figments." (Ad Herennium - 90 BC)

Mark 15:17
They put a PURPLE robe on him, then twisted together a CROWN of thorns and set it on him.

Isaiah 52:14
Just as there were many who were appalled at him — his appearance was so DISFIGURED beyond that of any man and his form marred beyond human likeness —

John 19:34
Instead, one of the soldiers pierced Jesus' side with a spear, bringing a sudden flow of BLOOD and water.

Rhetorica ad Herennium [English: 'Rhetoric: For Herennius'], formerly attributed to Cicero but of unknown authorship, is the oldest surviving Latin book on rhetoric, dating from the 90s BC, and is still used today as a textbook on the structure and uses of rhetoric and persuasion.

It was the most popular book on rhetoric during the Middle Ages and the Renaissance. It was commonly used, along with Cicero's De Inventione, to teach rhetoric, and over one hundred are extant. It was also copied extensively into European vernacular languages, and served as the standard schoolbook text on rhetoric during the Renaissance. The work focuses on the practical applications and examples of rhetoric. It is also the first book to teach rhetoric in a very highly structured and disciplined form.

Its discussion of elocutio (style) is the oldest surviving systematic treatment of Latin style, and many of the examples are of contemporary Roman events. This new style, which flowered in the century following this work's writing, promoted revolutionary advances in Roman literature and oratory. However, according to some analysts, teaching oratory in Latin was controversial because oratory was seen as a political tool which had to be kept in the hands of the Greek-speaking upper class. The Rhetorica ad Herennium can be seen as part of a liberal populist movement, along with those like Plotius Gallus who began teaching in Latin. The work contains the first known description of the method of loci, a mnemonic technique. Ad Herennium also provides the first complete treatment of memoria (memorization of speeches). - Ad Herennium 90 BC

.... "We ought then, to set up images that can adhere longest in memory. .. as striking as possible... if we ornament them with CROWNS or PURPLE cloaks,if we somehow DISFIGURE them, as by introducing one stained with BLOOD or soiled with mud or SMEARED with RED paint, so that it's form is more striking, or by assigning certain comic effects to our images, for that too, will ensure our remembering them more readily." (Ad Herennium - 90 BC)

Latin: "Docet igitur nos ipsa natura quid oporteat fieri. Nam si quas res in vita videmus parvas, usitatas, cotidianas, meminisse non solemus, propterea quod nulla nova nee admirabili re commovetur animus ; at si quid videmus aut audimus egregie turpe, inhonestum, inusitatum, magnum, incredibile, ridiculum, id diu meminisse consuevimus. Itaque quas res ante ora videmus aut audimus obliviscimur plerumque ; quae acciderunt in pueritia meminimus optime saepe ; nee hoc alia de causa potest accidere nisi quod usitatae res facile e memoria elabuntur, insignes et novae diutius manent in animo. Solis exortus, cursus, occasus nemo admiratur propterea quia cotidie fiunt ; at eclipses solis mirantur quia raro accidunt, et solis eclipses magis mirantur quam lunae propterea quod hae crebriores sunt. Docet ergo se natura vulgari et usitata re non exsuscitari, novitate et insigni quodam negotio commoveri. Imitetur ars igitur naturam, et quod ea desiderat id inveniat, quod ostendit sequatur. Nihil est enim quod aut natura extremum invenerit aut doctrina primum ; sed rerum principia ab ingenio profecta sunt, exitus disciplina conparantur.

Imagines igitur nos in eo genere constituere oportebit quod genus in memoria diutissime potest haerere.
Id accidet si quam maxime notatas similitudines constituemus ; si non multas nee vagas, sed aliquid agentes imagines ponemus ; si egregiam pulcritu- dinem aut unicam turpitudinem eis adtribuemus ; si aliquas exornabimus, ut si coronis aut veste purpurea, quo nobis notatior sit similitudo ; aut si qua re deformabimus, ut si cruentam aut caeno oblitam aut rubrica delibutam inducamus, quo magis insignita sit forma, aut ridiculas res aliquas imaginibus adtribuamus, nam ea res quoque faciet ut facilius meminisse valeamus. Nam quas res veras facile meminimus, easdem fictas et diligenter notatas meminisse non difficile est. Sed illud facere oporte- bit, ut identidem primos quosque locos imaginum renovandarum causa celeriter animo pervagemus

So, what is the meaning of Crown, Cloak, Purple etc ?

The "crown" represents the Sefirah of Keter-Crown, while the "cloak" is alluded to in the verse, "He wraps Himself in light as a garment" (Psalms 104:2), This "cloak" or garment is the light of Chakhmah-Wisdom and Binah-Understanding when they descend to protect the lower Sefirot from Evil. (The Bahir)

This forms the Top Three of the Sefirot :

Binah-Understanding (Left)
Chakmah-Wisdom (Right)
The Purple is what connects Crown (Atika Kadisha - The Ancient Holy One) through Binah(Imma-Mother)and Chakhmah (Aba-Father) to Tiferet-Beauty The Prince of Peace, The Son.

Sippur means the Retelling of the Story. The "Sefirot" (סְפִירוֹת), singular "Sefirah" (סְפִירָה), literally means "counting"/"enumeration", but early Kabbalists presented a number of other etymological possibilities from the same Hebrew root including: sefer (text), sippur (recounting a story), sappir (sapphire, brilliance, luminary), separ (boundary), and safra (scribe). The term sefirah thus has complex connotations within Kabbalah.

The Sephirot are considered revelations of the Creator's Will ("ratzon"),[2] and they should not be understood as ten different "gods" but as ten different ways the one God reveals his Will through the Emanations. While in Cordoveran Kabbalah, Keter (The Divine Will) is listed as the first Sephirah, it is an intermediary above consciousness between God and the other, conscious Sephirot. The Sephirot are emanated from the Divine Will, because Kabbalah sees different levels within Keter, reflecting God's inner Will and outer Will. The innermost, hidden levels of Keter, also in some contexts called "The head/beginning that is not known",[3] are united above the Sephirot with the Ein Sof (Divine essence).

Keter-"Crown": Divine Will to create/Infinite Light of the Creator/the Hebrew name of God "Ehyeh Asher Ehyeh-I Am that I Am"

Chochmah-"Wisdom": First unbounded flash of an idea before it takes on limitations/male light/Divine Reality/first revelation/creation from nothingness

Binah-"Understanding": the infinite flash of Chochmah brought into the vessel of understanding to give it grasp of breadth and depth/feminine vessel that gives birth to the emotions/reason/understanding brings teshuva return to God

As to the actual significance of the numbers 10 and 22 in context of Judaism goes into Kabbalistic interpretation of Genesis. God is said to have created the world through Ten Utterances, marked by the number of times Genesis states, “And God said.”
Gen 1:3 - "And Elohim said, 'Let there be Light.' and there was Light." (Kether)
Gen 1:6 - "And Elohim said, 'Let there be a firmament in the midst of the Waters, and let it divide the Waters from the Waters." (Chockmah)
Gen 1:9 - "And Elohim said, 'Let the Waters under the heaven be gathered together unto one place, and let the dry land appear.' And it was so." (Binah)
Gen 1:11 - "And Elohim said, 'Let the Earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed, and the fruit tree yielding fruit after his kind, whose seed is in itself, upon the earth.' And it was so." (Chesed)
Gen 1:14-15 - "And Elohim said, 'Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years: And let them be for lights in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth.' And it was so." (Gevurah)
Gen 1:20 - "And Elohim said, 'Let the waters bring forth abundantly the moving creature that hath life, and fowl that may fly above the earth in the open firmament of heaven.'" (Tiphareth)
Gen 1:22 - "And Elohim Blessed them, saying, 'Be fruitful, and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let fowl multiply in the earth.'" (Netzach)
Gen 1:26 - "And Elohim said, 'Let us make Man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air,and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.'" (Hod)
Gen 1:28 - "And Elohim blessed them and Elohim said to them, 'Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.'" (Yesod)
Gen 1:29-30 - "And Elohim said, 'Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat. And to every beast of the earth, and to every fowl of the air, and to every thing that creepeth upon the earth, wherein there is life, I have given every green herb for meat.' And it was so." (Malkuth)

As for the 22 letter-paths, there must first be an explanation of the three different types of letters in Hebrew. See “Bahir Tree” of “Kircher Tree” image for reference.

There are three “Mothers” (Aleph, Mem, and Shin) that represent the horizontal lines.
Their difference from the other letters is a matter for another article.
There are seven “Doubles” (Bet, Gimel, Dalet, Kaf, Peh, Resh, and Tav) that represent the vertical lines.
Each double is attributed to a soft and hard sound, positive and negative meaning, direction, planet, gate of the soul, color, angels, and vowel. Gimel, Dalet, Resh, and Tav’s second pronunciations are lost or disputed, with different dialects using different sounds. Tav has no second pronunciation in Sephardi, but Ashkenazi use a 's' sound when the dagesh is absent.

The twelve “Elementals” (Heh, Vav, Zayin, Chet, Tet, Yud, Lamed, Nun, Samech, Ayin, Tzaddi, and Qof) have one pronunciation, and represent the diagonal lines. Other sources say that they correspond to the twelve zodiacal constellations.
Each letter grouping has significance in Genesis 1:
The Mothers represent the three times Genesis states “God made."
The Doubles represent the seven times Genesis states “God saw."
The elementals (or singles) represent the rest of the times “God” (Elohim in every instance of Genesis Chapter 1) is mentioned.

The meanings of the drawn letters As you see in the chart before you, the meanings of the letters are not always clear or definite. The researchers determined them based on the connection of the letters to the text and their context.
– א aleph - To represent the word אַלּוּף(aluf), a head of a bull.
– בbet - From the wordבַּיִת (bayit), a square shape which represents home.
– גgimel - To represent a throw stick, boomerang.
– דdalet - To represent the word דַּג (dag), a fish.
– הheh - To represent הֵיי (hey), a man calling out “hey”.
– וvav - From the word וָו (vav), a peg knocked into walls to be used as a hook.
– זzayin - The meaning of this shape is unclear.
– חchet - This seems to derive from חוּט (choot), a piece of string.
- טtet - This might be to represent a roll of string, however the connection between the sound “t” and a role of string is unclear.
– יyud – From the word יָד (yad), an arm.
– כkaf – To represent the word כַּף יָד (kaf yad), the palm of a hand.
– לlamed – From the word מַלְמָד(malmad). This is a goad used by a herdsman to guide the cattle. Malmad comes from the word “to teach“ (lelamed in Hebrew), but is obsolete these days.
– מ mem - From the word מַיִם (mayim), water.
- נnoon - To represent the wordנָחָשׁ (nachash),a snake.
– סsamech - The meaning of this shape is unclear.
- עa’yin - To represent the word עַיִן (a’yin), an eye.
– פpey - To represent the word פִּנָּה (pina),a corner in a room.
– צtzadi – To represent the word צֶמַח (tzemach),a plant.
– קkuf - The meaning of this shape is unclear.
– רresh – To representרֹאשׁ (rosh), a human head.
– שshin - This might be a bow (keshet) or breasts (shadayim).
– תtav – To represent the word תָּו (tav),a sign, a note.

Phoenician Writing

The Phoenicians, inhabitants of the coastal cities situated in Lebanon: Tyre, Sidon and others, contributed their part in forming the writing in the area. They reduced the number of letters to 22, as we know it today, they fixed the direction of writing from right to left and decided on the final design of the letters at that time.

The Phoenicians were seamen who were descendants of the Canaanites who lived in the region of the land of Israel. They had learned the art of writing from the inhabitants of the area, improved it a little and publicized it. Doing this was not too difficult as being seamen they travelled far and wide.

The Development Of Written Hebrew Unfortunately, very few findings of ancient texts from the time of the forefathers have been uncovered in the land of Israel. High humidity and poor quality ink ruined the chances for researchers to find remains of ancient scriptures. Yet, with the little we do know, lets try to trace the development of Hebrew writing from the days of King Solomon until today.

The first discovery, which proves the change from Proto-Canaanite writing to Hebrew writing, is a collection of arrowheads, which was found near Bethlehem. On them it said: chetz abedlebat חץ עבדלבאת)) which means that the owner of the arrows believed that he was a slave of the goddess Bat (עבד ל {אלה} באת). The interesting thing about the writing on the arrows was, that part of the letters were in Proto-Canaanite style and others contained the form of Hebrew writing. This style of writing started to take hold in the whole area.

The Bahir Illumination, Aleph, Yud and Shin

One of the oldest, most important and most carefully preserved of all the ancient texts. The Bahir Attributed to Rabbi ben haKana, master of the first century esoteric school.

"Rabbi Amorai said: What is the meaning of the verse (Exodus 15:3, "God is a man (Ish) .... "? Mar Rahumai said to him: Great Master, do not ask about something that is so simple. Listen to me and I will advise you.

He said to him : What is this like ? A King had a number of beautiful dwellings, and he gave each one a name. One was better than the other. He said, "I will give my Son this dwelling whose name is Alef. This one whose name is Yud, is also good, as is the one whose name is Shin. What did he do then ? He gathered all three together, and out of them he made a single name and a single house.

He said: How long will you continue to conceal your meaning ?

The other replied: My Son, "Alef" is the head. Yud is second to it. Shin includes the world. (p 10-11)

"In the beginning "is One. Two is (Isa 57:16), "The Spirit that enwraps itself is from Me , and I have made souls." Three is (Psalm 65:10), "the divisions of God are filled with water."

What are these "divisions "? You taught us, our Master, that God took the waters of creation and separated them, placing half in the skies and half in the ocean. This is the meaning of "the divisions of God are filled with water." Through them, man studies the Torah". (p 18-19)

Exodus 15:3 יְהֹוָה אִישׁ מִלְחָמָה יְהֹוָה שְׁמוֹ:

Exodus 3:15 וַיֹּאמֶר עוֹד אֱלֹהִים אֶל משֶׁה כֹּה תֹאמַר אֶל בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל יְהֹוָה אֱלֹהֵי אֲבֹתֵיכֶם אֱלֹהֵי אַבְרָהָם אֱלֹהֵי יִצְחָק וֵאלֹהֵי יַעֲקֹב שְׁלָחַנִי אֲלֵיכֶם זֶה שְּׁמִי לְעֹלָם וְזֶה זִכְרִי לְדֹר דֹּר:

Thursday, January 17, 2013

The Gospel of Thomas in Aramaic / Syriac, 37 AD

Is this a copy of the earliest book of the Nazarenes ? The Gospel of Thomas... The Twin, written in Aramaic, ancient Hebrew script?

אלה הם אמירות הסודיות שחי ישו דבר ושהתאומים יהודה תומאס רשם

Translated: These are the secret sayings which the living Jesus spoke and which Didymus Jude Thomas wrote down.

Is this from a copy maintained by the Vatican ? On Wednesday, 27 September 2006 Pope BENEDICT XVI said the following regarding "Thomas the twin..... the proverbial scene of the doubting Thomas that occurred eight days after Easter is very well known. At first he did not believe that Jesus had appeared in his absence and said: "Unless I see in his hands the print of the nails, and place my finger in the mark of the nails, and place my hand in his side, I will not believe" (Jn 20: 25).

As we know, Jesus reappeared among his disciples eight days later and this time Thomas was present. Jesus summons him: "Put your finger here, and see my hands; and put out your hand, and place it in my side; do not be faithless, but believing" (Jn 20: 27).

Thomas reacts with the most splendid profession of faith in the whole of the New Testament: "My Lord and my God!" (Jn 20: 28). St Augustine comments on this: Thomas "saw and touched the man, and acknowledged the God whom he neither saw nor touched; but by the means of what he saw and touched, he now put far away from him every doubt, and believed the other" (In ev. Jo. 121, 5)..... A final point concerning Thomas is preserved for us in the Fourth Gospel, which presents him as a witness of the Risen One in the subsequent event of the miraculous catch in the Sea of Tiberias (cf. Jn 21: 2ff.) On that occasion, Thomas is even mentioned immediately after Simon Peter: an evident sign of the considerable importance that he enjoyed in the context of the early Christian communities.

Indeed, the Acts of Thomas and the Gospel of Thomas, both apocryphal works but in any case important for the study of Christian origins, were written in his name.

Lastly, let us remember that an ancient tradition claims that Thomas first evangelized Syria and Persia (mentioned by Origen, according to Eusebius of Caesarea, Ecclesiastical History 3, 1) then went on to Western India (cf. Acts of Thomas 1-2 and 17ff.), from where also he finally reached Southern India. - BENEDICT XVI, GENERAL AUDIENCE, Saint Peter's Square Wednesday, 27 September 2006

Oxyrhynchus papyrus fragments:

After the Coptic version of the complete text was discovered in 1945 at Nag Hammadi, scholars soon realized that three different Greek text fragments previously found at Oxyrhynchus, also in Egypt, were part of the Gospel of Thomas. These three papyrus fragments of Thomas date to between 130 and 250. Prior to the Nag Hammadi library discovery, the sayings of Jesus found in Oxyrhynchus were known simply as Logia Iesu. The corresponding Koine Greek fragments of the Gospel of Thomas, found in Oxyrhynchus are:

P. Oxy. 1 : fragments of logia 26 through 33, with the last two sentences of logion 77 in the Coptic version included at the end of logion 30 herein.
P. Oxy. 654 : fragments of the beginning through logion 7, logion 24 and logion 36 on the flip side of a papyrus containing surveying data.
P. Oxy. 655 : fragments of logia 36 through 39. 8 fragments designated a through h, whereof f and h have since been lost.

The wording of the Coptic sometimes differs markedly from the earlier Greek Oxyrhynchus texts, the extreme case being that the last portion of logion 30 in the Greek is found at the end of logion 77 in the Coptic. This fact, along with the quite different wording Hippolytus uses when apparently quoting it (see below), suggests that the Gospel of Thomas "may have circulated in more than one form and passed through several stages of redaction."

Although it is still generally assumed that the "Gospel of Thomas" was first composed in Greek, there is growing evidence that the Coptic Nag Hammadi text is a translation from Syriac (Aramaic). On comparing the Greek fragments from Oxyrhynchus with the fuller Coptic version, Nicholas Perrin argues that the differences can be attributed to the reliance of both on a common Syriac (Aramaic) source.

Richard Valantasis writes: "Assigning a date to the Gospel of Thomas is very complex because it is difficult to know precisely to what a date is being assigned. Scholars have proposed a date as early as AD 40 or as late as AD 140, depending upon whether the Gospel of Thomas is identified with the original core of sayings, or with the author's published text, or with the Greek or Coptic texts, or with parallels in other literature."

Valantasis and other scholars argue that it is difficult to date Thomas because, as a collection of logia without a narrative framework, individual sayings could have been added to it gradually over time.(However, Valantasis does date Thomas to 100–110 AD, with some of the material certainly coming from the first stratum which is dated to 30–60 AD. Dating the Gospel of Thomas

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Was the Torah written in Hebrew ? or Proto-Sinaitic ?

In learning about the oldest fragments of the Hebrew Bible, known as Torah, the First 5 books, I have gone back further and further in time until I finally got to 15 Billion years old, actually before Time ..... How is this possible ? Well, according to some Traditions the Torah was the blueprint for Creation. God used the letters of the Hebrew Aleph-bet and the Word of Torah to create the Universe. OK. Since I don't know of any other records that were created around 15 Billion years ago I need to start from today and work my way back.

So I begin my search with the earliest example of the Hebrew Aleph-Bet. For example what do we have from Archaeology ? According to most linguists Hebrew descends from a type of Aramaic, and Aramaic descends or is an offshoot of Phoenician, which could be the same as the Canaanite language, or some combination of what is called Proto-Sinaitic language.... A simplified or modified Egyptian.

There are examples of a very crude proto-Hebrew script found in the Turqouise Mines of Egypt that have been dated to roughly 2,000 BC. That would mean a type of Hebrew writing that existed almost 1,000 years before Moses, and probably around the same time that Abraham lived. So, who were the people that wrote these early pre-Hebrew words ? According to Several Linguists they were Canaanites. Trades People working in Egypt 1,000 years before the Exodus.

As the alphabetic script wandered with Canaanite caravans, it retained its pictorial forms for hundreds of years. People learned the letters from one another orally. For this kind of use, the pictorial nature of the signs was very important. It was easy to learn the alphabet simply by memorizing the pictures. The first sound of the picture was the letter. To remember the alphabet, all one had to do was memorize the pictures. The rest followed from that: The ―name‖ of the letter leads one to a picture, which helps to recreate the form of the letter: In the margin at right you can see the ox-shaped head of the letter aleph, the box-shaped house (bêt) for ―B,‖ the hand-like kaf for ―K,‖ wavy lines representing mayim (―water‖) or ―M,‖ the snake-like naḥash for ―N,‖ the eye for „ayin and the head (rosh) for ―R.

Read more here : The Origins of the Aleph-Bet -- BAR (Biblical Archaeology Review) 36:02, Mar/Apr 2010 How the Alphabet Was Born from Hieroglyphs By Orly Goldwasser