TORAH – The Seventy Faces of Scripture
In Praise of Torah – הלל התורה
- Torah, Talmud, Tenach, Pirkei Avot and Kabalah –
At the heart of this exhibition is a love of visual imagery that express the essence of spirituality; and a driving force that compels me to share the wonderful insights I have gained through an in-depth study of Torah. One is overwhelmed by the depth of wisdom in Scripture and the profound Truths of the Torah*. These ‘golden apples’ [Mishlei 25:11] cannot be explained by logic, but by sod** & remez,*** but in an incredible way they weave a matrix of soul, insight, power and joy into our lives and existence.
*First five books of the Bible **secrets in a deeper level of the Hebrew and Gematria *** What is hinted at
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Dotan, Ink drawing
|דתן – Dotan – Drawing|
The place name ‘Dothan’ significantly appears only here [Gen 37] and in 2Kings 6. Every word in the Torah has purpose and meaning. The Remez or Sod level of understanding of this word can either be found in the verbal root, the gematria or the pictorial meaning of the letters.
It is said that Dotan / Dothan [see Gen37:20] means ‘two wells’ in Hebrew but neither ‘two’/ שתיים nor ‘well’/ באר has a common soresh /root verb with this word. On the other hand, the pictograph of the letters of Dotan, ‘dalet + tav + nun sofit’ reveals the following:
ד – a doorway or portal looking to ת, a covenant sign, given as down payment / a doorway leading, to the covenant sign, ן of the Messiah.
Joseph was sent to Shechem: “He [Avraham] said to him [Joseph], ‘Go now, see whether things are going well with your brothers and with the sheep, and bring word back to me.” While walking in the field, he met The Man, האיש, who told him “They’ve left here; because I heard them say, “Let’s go to Dotan.” [Note the ה in front of the Hebrew word for ‘man’. This makes it a very specific man.]
Joseph’s brothers subsequently lowered him down into a dry well from which he was miraculously saved from death, by being sold to a caravan of Yishma’elim, on their way to Egypt.
Every word and phrase in the story of Joseph has such deeper and significant meaning and are prophecies and shadow images of the Messiah.
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|SHECHEM AND JOSEPH – Drawing|
The word שכם (Shechem) means shoulder. The High Priest had on each shoulder a white onyx ‘remembrance stone’, set in gold with the names of the tribes of Israel engraved upon them [Ex 28:9-10,12]. Joseph’s ‘fine woollen tunic’ was a metaphor for the High Priests multicoloured coat. Joseph [Zaphnath-Pa’neah*] and his brothers were shepherds.
The Breastplate – chosehn mishpat – had four rows of three small square stones representing the 12 tribes of Israel. The name of each tribe – 12 sons of Jacob/Israel -was engraved on the stone representing the tribe.
Shechem was an important ancient town; Jacob bought a field there; Jacob sent Joseph to Shechem to look for his brothers, but he instead found them in Dotan/Dothan [see my work of this title no 2002]. Joseph’s journey thereto ended in him being thrown into a pit. It became one of the cities of refuge after Israel entered the Promised Land; At Shechem Joshua renewed the covenant with Israel and Joseph was eventually buried in Shechem – where his grave is still today, an area under Palestinian control, and which they renamed Nablus.
Joseph interceded – as does the High Priest for Israel – for his family in that they found a safe haven in Goshen –away from Egyptians, because Jacob’s sons were shepherds – which the Egyptians abhorred because they represented one of their gods. [note sheep on shoulders] ‘Israel’ prospered and lived a good life in Goshen – today known as Avaris.
While in jail [Genesis/Bereishit 40], Joseph interpreted the dreams of two of Pharaoh’s servants: the chief baker and butler of Pharo. In Joseph’s interpretation of the dream, one of them is promised life in three days, while the other is promised death in three days. These are examples that tell us that certain details of Joseph’s life (and this incident in particular) is a foreshadowing of the Messiah. Whenever 3, 300 or 3000 appears in the Bible, one needs to look for a remez [hint] or sod [secret] concerning the coming Messiah hidden in the Hebrew text.
According to Isaiah 53, the Messiah will bear our iniquities. [see Targum Jonathan chp LII.13; Sanhedrin 98b; Ruth Rabbah 5:6; Rashi, his early notes on the Talmud; Maimonides, Letter to Yemer, Midrash Ex.35.4; Nachmanides, Yalkut II:571, 620 The musaf service, Philips Machzor; Yoseph Albo, Moed Katan 28a, etc].
Just as Yeshua was punished with two criminals, so Joseph was incarcerated with two criminals. The baker was hanged on a tree. Even the work of the two criminals in prison with Joseph, reveal a similarity: the one being a baker the other a cupbearer. These are pictures of the bread and the wine, which Yeshsua used to illustrate redemption.
“Yosef, too – after being thrown into the pit with the intention that he will die there – is “brought back to life” as it were, when Midianite traders pull him out of the pit and sell him as a slave. After the story of Moshe and his “rebirth,” we find this motif reappearing in the Prophets, in the episode of the resuscitation of the Shulamite woman’s son by Elisha (II Melakhim 4) and in the salvation of Yoash from the hands of Atalia by Yehosheva, his sister (II Melakhim 11:1-3). In each of these stories, the “rebirth” signifies the beginning of the child’s existence on a different level: his existence is imbued with a new destiny.” [Rav Elchanan Samet of Yeshivat Har Etzion, Israel]
צפנתפנח ==pictorial meaning of these Hebrew letters, R -L: Heir bowing in submission under G-d’s hand; declaring the son, the covenant, declaring innermost soul/secret; the son and chuppah / marriage / coming Messiah