The Fascination with Bible Codes | Rabbi Dovid Abenson

Several years ago, I compiled a Bible-codes class for my students. I wanted to show them how great the Torah is and that all events of history are hidden there and with the codes, one can see unbelievable events. When I showed the session to my rebbe Rabbi Mattisyahu Chaim Salomon shlita for his approval he said,”Your approach is the correct way”.

Below was the class

The discovery that there are computer-validated codes in the Torah is a fairly recent one. But an endlessly fascinating one. Of course, you cannot aim to convey the subject in its entirety in the course of your cheder lessons, but what you can do is inject what one might call a ‘flavor’ of this unique subject from time to time during your teaching.

For example, one day you might pose this question to your pupils:

“Does anyone know the names of the ten plagues?”

Give them a few minutes to try and work it out and then ask them if anyone knows what took place during the ninth plague of darkness.

Revise the verses relating to that particular plague. Then ask them what they think the meaning of the posuk “וימש חשך” might be. (Exodus 11:21)

Literally, it means “and the darkness was felt”. But how can one be said to feel darkness, since it is not tangible?

Ask for their suggestions. You may or may not get the right answer. If you don’t – suggest to them that it could possibly be said to apply to a dark period in Jewish history.

Next, write the word ‘וימש’ on the blackboard/whiteboard. ( One should try, if possible, always to have a blackboard available.)

Next, explain to the students that the entire history of Jewish people is encoded in the bible. We have been able to verify this now, with the aid of our modern computers. So, it turns out that very often past events recorded in the Torah are not just history but prophecies for the future too. This is a quite ‘mind-blowing’ concept – so give them time to ponder on it a little bit.

Now ask:

” In which periods of our history would you say that we have felt darkness?”

They will probably answer this by saying “The Holocaust”. Now, look again at the word וימש on the blackboard, and starting from the letter ‘ו’ work backward from each of the letters of וימש, making each letter correspond to its immediately-preceding letter. So, what you end up with is this:

ה = ו
ט =י
ר =ש

Ask the students to try and pronounce the new word and sooner or later someone will come up with the word Hitler. They will probably be extremely shocked at the appearance of Hitler’s name. You can explain to them that the Torah was hinting at the future of the Jewish people.

You will probably get one “wise guy” who says that this is just a coincidence and that you can juggle around with any wording until you end up with codes.

The only answer to this is to provide more illustrations. You might go on to explain the coded prophecy about the Gulf War, which is to be found in the words of Az Yashir in Parshas Be ‘Shalach (make sure that you have first explained what Az Yashir is). (Exodus 15:1)

Let’s look at this particular posuk:

אמר אויב ארדף אשיג אחלק שלל תמלאמו נפשי אריק חרבי תורישמו ידי

The enemy says: ” I will pursue and overtake them. I will divide the spoil to my heart’s content. I will stretch out my sword and possess them. “(Exodus 15:1)

Translate the posuk and tell them what it means.

Next pose the following question:

“Isn’t this exactly what Saddam Hussein wanted to do to the Jewish people?”

Once they all agree to this postulate, say:

“Let’s look further into the posuk.”

One letter ‘א’ can represent 1000 in numerical value when expressed in a Hebrew date . In each of the first five words. The first letter is א, i.e., 1,000 x 5 = 5,000. The first letter of the subsequent four words is
תשנייא =נתשא
=571 with the letter ה comes out to 5751 which is 1991 in the secular date.

אריק = יראק (Iraq)

חרבי = ח = חוסין (hussein)
= ר = רצח (murderer)
= ב = בוש (bush)
= י = ינצח (it will win)

To bring all together so far:

In the year תשנייא/1991 Hussein from Iraq will want to destroy the Jewish people but Bush (the then president of the USA) will be victorious.

The children may then ask to be told a code about contemporary events.

The following ‘code’ may fit the bill!

After Yaakov stayed behind to pick up the remaining keilim (vessels) from the other side of the river, a man engaged him in a wrestling match that lasted the whole night. Rashi comments that this was a spiritual fight with the ‘prince’ (‘sar’) of Edom (= Rome). Explain what the ‘sar shel Eisov’ is that each nation has its own Malach to look after it. The ‘Sar’ was only partially successful in overcoming him since he made Yaakov Ovinu temporarily lame.

I heard from a certain Rov that using the theory of the code one could find a hint in this present situation. The verse which describes the fight starts from ע at the end of the Parsha Vayishlach (32:26) and working backward counting every twelfth letter – one will see that the name: “ערפאת” is formed. Just as the ‘Malach’ was only partially successful in overcoming Yaakov Ovinu, so at the end of time, Gog Umagog will only achieve partial success in ‘wounding’ Israel. This means taking back part of the land, and we see that Arafat will be the one to fulfill this prophecy.

Even the assassination of Prime Minister Rabin is hinted at in the Torah. In the Parsha of the week when he was assassinated. (Lech Lecha 15:17)

In the episode of Bris Bein Habesorim, Hashem promised Avrohom that his children would inherit Eretz Canaan. After Avrohom split the animals, as he was commanded to do, he fell into a trance. The posuk continues as follows: ” The sunset ….” — a smoking furnace and a flaming torch passed between the halves of the animals. I quote part of the posuk:

” אשר עבר בין הגזרים ”

But when we join the letters below, we see something quite amazing!

” אש רע ברבין ה׳ גזר (ים ”

This means that Hashem decreed a רע (= something evil against Rabin (see Tosafos Sanhedrin 3b) where רע means death.)

There are many other powerful illustrations of Bible codes, but the main idea is to give the children a taste of this fascinating subject. That the Bible is encoded has now been scientifically validated beyond doubt, a powerful argument in itself for its authority as G-d’s word to mankind. Try and impress this potent concept on the children’s minds. (They tried to do this sort of thing with secular books – even with the Gospels, but it just did not work!)

[This one argument has the power to change the way the children look at their Jewish studies generally. Torah should be transformed in their eyes from a mere subject to become something of cosmic importance – THE subject!]

To my readers who would like to study the subject in-depth, I highly recommend getting in contact with Rabbi Matisyahu Glazerson in Israel who has written many seforim on this important subject and has made thousands of YouTube videos.


For more information please contact
Rabbi Dovid Abenson
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Tel. 15147393629
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  1. We know that everything is hinted at in the Torah but this really is pure drivel. לא זו הדרך. Please stick to the מסורה of how to teach תינוקות של בית רבן without innovating. לא מדובשיך ולא מעוקציך

  2. I’m actually shocked this is being taught to children as it’s been disproven over and over. Remember, if you use something to prove Torah and it’s disproven, you’ve also disproven the Torah.
    Did you know if you take one of the 300 words in the Torah you may think references the Holocaust and shift the letters, and count backwards by 30’s, and change an aleph to mean 100 and enter the name (& every alternate spelling in Hebrew) of every Nazi, every Concentration Camp, every German division having to do with the Holocaust, every European country Jews were killed in, every Allied leader, every weapon used, and every Hebrew and English date during WWII it’ll become crystal clear how history is found in the Torah?

  3. Oy, the Bible Codes issue is rife with arguments both pro and con, sometimes becoming horribly acrimonious. Nobel laureate and chareidi Jew, Prof. Robert Aumann, applied his mathematical genius to examining the Code phenomenon: the following is a bottom-line summary of his conclusion:

    After a long and interesting analysis of the experiment and the dynamics of the controversy, stating for example that “almost everybody included [in the controversy] made up their mind early in the game” Aumann concluded:

    “A priori, the thesis of the Codes research seems wildly improbable… Research conducted under my own supervision failed to confirm the existence of the codes – though it also did not establish their non-existence. So I must return to my a priori estimate, that the Codes phenomenon is improbable.”

    If the EMES concerning the Codes is, at a minimum, a sofeik, I think it would be best not to promote it in the classroom, especially without consulting Daas Torah (wherein which one may also, unfortunately, find Machlokes).

  4. I don’t think this is a good idea. It may impress children now and that’s great. But if when they get older they decide to look at it again and find all the scholarly articles refuting the codes in a very methodical manner it may cause issues with Emunah that could have catastrophic results.

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