Born in Germany in 1929, Dr. Lasch fled with his family to Palestine in 1936. Following his medical training in Switzerland, Israel and the USA, where he specialized in pediatrics and public health, he spent three years in West Africa developing systems of child care where none had previously existed. After his return home he founded and directed a pediatric hospital for the Palestinian population of the Gaza Strip, while functioning simultaneously as Director General of the local health services.
Dr. Lasch has taught in many medical schools and has published over eighty papers in medical journals. He is a fellow of the Royal Society for Tropical Medicine, as well as of many other professional organizations and was once nominated for the prestigious Lasker Award (called the American Nobel Prize).
In 1984, Dr. Lasch realized that he had fulfilled most of his goals and started looking for new challenges. After a series of spiritual revelations, he left behind a thriving medical and academic career and went to stay with the Findhorn Community in Scotland. Here, during long periods of meditation and reflection, he was given insights into the hidden meaning of the Bible. This resulted in his first book about the Bible which is meanwhile out of print.
Back in Israel, Dr. Lasch started on a spiritual pathway which combined teaching of kabbalah, reincarnation therapy and spiritual healing. At the same time, he continued to develop his contact with the medical profession of Gaza. This included many visits of Arab physicians to his home. After the outbreak of the Intifada in 1987, Dr. Lasch found himself caught between the two fronts and decided to return to his country of birth. He settled in Berlin and developed a highly successful center for spiritual healing. His numerous appearances on TV and in the print media helped to advance the state of spiritual healing in Germany. During that time, he published two further books both dealing with different aspects of spiritual healing.
After reaching the age of 70, Dr. Lasch retired a second time. He recently published a book about his experiences in Gaza and re-wrote a new exegesis of the Bible.
Did we misunderstand God / the Torah / the Scriptures?
by Prof. Dr. Eli E. Lasch
The Torah is a multi-dimensional and multi-layered book. To quote our sages: â€žThe Torah has 70 faces. To write a synopsis of the Torah or even of a book dealing with the Torah is therefore almost impossible. But I have tried. And here it comes.
This book presents a brand new approach to the Torah, a completely new exegesis. The author. an Israeli scientist, has come to the rather revolutionary conclusion that during the last 2000 years, a period called by the Jews Golah in which the Jewish people were dispersed throughout the whole world, the Torah has again and again been misinterpreted by Jews and Christians alike and its underlying message misunderstood. In this book, the author combines the old with the new, the discoveries of modern natural science with the commentaries of the exegesis of the past including the kabbalah. The book opens a world of science to religious believers and melds modern science with religion. It shows that, if properly read, the Torah contains knowledge we would not expect people to have at their disposal at the time the Torah was supposed to be written. The supposed age of the Torah is thus another problem the author is dealing with.
Before starting to go into details, there is however one misunderstanding which has to be cleared up: The nature of Judaism itself. Contrary to the most widely held set of beliefs, Judaism is not what we use to call a religion. It is rather the way of life of a people – or maybe of a family – which has been entrusted with a special task. It doesn’t deal with belief systems nor has it any dogmas except for one there is but one God and He is alive and that is self-evident. The Jews are a people that has taken on itself the assignment of proclaiming the â€žOneness of God, and have thus become its living witnesses.
This is what the Torah is all about. Already the name â€žTorah shows us that we aren`t dealing with what is conventionally considered a religious book, a book about God, neither is it a treatise of history. It is a textbook of survival, but survival in a special way, a way we would call nowadays learning by doing to teach mankind what it was supposed to be from the beginning: a being in the image of God. Starting from the past, it is setting guideposts into a possible future. It is a book of knowledge, where the verb â€žto believe in its accepted sense hardly occurs. The notion â€žknowledge, however, appears 990 (!) times.
This view stands thus in total contradiction to most belief systems and to the attitude of the majority of modern biblical scholars.
No book has been interpreted so many times as the Torah, in a way suitable for man in his striving for power; no book has been translated so many times. But man doesn’t understand that translation means interpretation, the creation of a new version that leaves behind the original. This way, every translation of the Torah becomes a message from man to man, a message in which God is forgotten and His Name misused by the translator/interpreter. Misused in order to foster his own aims which are not always consistent with those of God.
Modern man even went so far as to try to abolish God altogether.
My book tries to counteract these tendencies.
Most people consider the Bible as a code of laws which pertain mainly to the everyday life of an ancient people. But, if we look around us, we realize that the greatest part of our daily customs and practice has its origin exactly in these laws. This, on the other hand, is not the case for the underlying principles of the Bible. There the opposite reigns and from a spiritual point of view, mankind is at its lowest point.
The leitmotif of this book is therefore the following: God exists as He always did. We humans have been misunderstanding both Him and His Words.
The book can be divided into five sections or themes:
1. The Torah and modern science
2. The Creation of the world and of man, the paradise
3. The Patriarchs
4. Moses and the Exodus from Egypt
5. The Revelation at Mount Sinai, its exegesis and implementation
6. Love thy neighbor as thyself!
As we can see, the book starts with science and finishes with love. As shown in the epilogue, this is also the way leading to true freedom.
The first section compares the Bible with modern science. It shows, how widespread and comprehensive is the knowledge the Torah is based upon. It also shows that there exists basically no contradiction between the two. This is well-illustrated by the existence of a substantial similarity between the views of the Torah and modern astrophysics concerning the origin of he universe and the time which has passed since the moment of creation. But there is one big difference: According to the Torah, the world didn’t come into being by coincidence, but follows a blueprint a â€žtime line laid down by God.
The second section deals with the creation of the world and of man. It starts with “Elohim”, the first Hebrew term for God. The view of God in this book is, however, completely different from the traditional one, its approach being very similar to those of Maimonides and Meister Eckhart. From there we go to the first account of creation, again introducing an exegesis which is totally different from the accepted one. This section contains also a discussion with the Darwinian approach to evolution.
The second denomination of God JHVH appears much later. It is connected directly with the appearance of man. Its definition is very similar to that of quantum physics, only a few thousand years older. I would like to mention furthermore that quantum physics can easily explain the two different reports of creation and show that we are not dealing with a myth, as currently believed.
The third section deals with the history of the Patriarchs, from Avraham to Joseph. It shows that they were basically nothing but human beings. What made them special is the fact that they were the ones who laid down the foundation of monotheism. It should be emphasized however that all of them except Jizchak have never been what we call “obedient”, but had long disputes with God. Naturally,this could result from time to time in a misunderstandings; the best example for such an occurrence can be found in the chapter about the binding of yitzchak – concerning both Avraham and Yitzhak.
The fourth section deals with the man Moses/Moshe, with the plagues and with the exodus. It includes a completely new interpretation of Moshe’s encounter with God at the burning bush. In this section the author also compares Pharaoh’s attempt to exterminate the Israelites with the holocaust and the plagues with the destruction of Germany at the end of World War II.
This section culminates in one of the most important sentences of the book: From petrified eternity to eternal life.
The fifth section deals with the revelation at Mount Sinai. It shows that the accepted translation “commandments” results from a misconception of God giving a negative impression to the greatest achievement of human history. The real translation is “Words” and represents the first Declaration of Human Rights. This totally new understanding makes the Words relevant for our time. Possibly, they even describe a better future, an utopia.
The revelation is followed by the so-called “Sin of the Golden Calf “. Here too, the author proposes a completely new exegesis.
The sixth section starts with the implementation of the Ten Words in everyday life. Up to now, we have been dealing with principles. Now, the moment has come to implement them. This is done through the many commandments and prohibitions, 613 all together.
It is very interesting to perceive that many of these commandments as well as prohibitions are based upon a knowledge that is considered to be unknown in the world of antiquity. But each commandment except those that were directly associated with a religious ritual, has got a rational explication. To reach this understanding, we needed, however, the level of our contemporary knowledge. That is the reason, why in our time blind obedience because that’s the way God wants it – is not relevant any more. Nowadays, we understand the reasons for these commandments. As said before, what is needed now is the understanding of the basic principles underlying all of them.
The sixth section is called “Love thy neighbor as thyself!” Here the author presents a revolutionary and radically new interpretation of this sentence that has been misquoted and misunderstood so many times.
The book ends with an epilogue the way to freedom, its central sentence being: No-one can give humanity freedom. This is a contradiction in terms.
The last chapter is followed by an epitaph and two annexes. In addition, the book includes a glossary and a bibliography.
At the moment, the book exists only in German.