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Ohr Chadash is excited to present to you an invaluable tool that will allow you to probe new depths in understanding Torah and its rich layers of meaning and how the world is intrinsically connected, ultimately leading to new and revealing insight.
One of the most important of the thirteen rules by which we interpret the Torah (found in the beginning section of the morning prayers) is gezerah shavah, which loosely translated means that similar words in different contexts are meant to clarify one another. This device is used literally hundreds of times in the Talmud to shed light on issues ranging from Jewish law, to the alluded, allegorical and mystical meaning of the text. Quite simply it is the way we "connect the dots" of Torah and life itself.
Through using this easy to use program you can type in a word in Hebrew and virtually instantaneously see written out all the places in the Tanach, the 24 books of the Bible, where this word, name or phrase appears. By studying these appearances we begin to see connections we may have never seen before. Meanings on multiple levels begin to literally jump off the page.
Gematria, Jewish numerology, works according to the same principle. In Hebrew each letter has a numerical equivalent. According to Kabbalah, if two words or phrases share the same number, they are considered to possess some significant connection. Gematria reveals a deeper set of correspondences as seen in the literal text and points to an entire mathematical structure underlying the Torah. Similar to how physics and chemistry rest on a mathematical foundation, so too, deeper dimensions of Torah are revealed though gematria.
The Hebrew letters are explained to be the building blocks of creation. Similar to how a physicist or chemist would describe the world as consisting of atoms, particles, molecules and elements, the Jewish tradition describes this same function to the Hebrew letters. Although the language of science and Torah are different they are both describing the same reality.
Yet it is not Kabbalah alone which employs gematria. The Talmud and Rashi also use this technique of learning on occasion in order to point out a cogent idea, and it has been used as well by a wide range of commentators throughout the ages. In as much as Kabbalah seeks to make known the oneness of God and the interconnectedness of all reality, gematria assumes a major role in revealing this through the Torah text.
When the letters of a word are permutated they form other words that are intrinsically connected. An entire book, the Tikunei Zohar, explains the many permutations of the six letters of the first word of the Torah, bereishit, "in the beginning." In doing so it reveals a profound understanding of the creation and the Divine creative process. This technique of permuting letters plays an important role in Kabbalistic wisdom. Alternative alphabets are similarly based on exchanging letters in an orderly manner, revealing deeper and more hidden aspects of the Torah.
The possibilities are nearly infinite and thanks to computer technology the ability to see graphically and instantaneously these "dots" are truly a wonder. Making the connections ourselves opens up a whole new level of understanding.
We invite you to not only use this program for free, but please share it with as many people you know who may enjoy this amazing tool.