Dr. Prof. Eli Lasch z"l

Prof. Dr. Eli Lasch on the Genetic Code and Hebrew Characters

One more belief system of our time is the notion that the construction plan for animals and plants are contained in the genetic code. This code is complex and the number of possible variations enormous. Could it be that a code like that has developed at random? A simple look at the numbers shows that this is totally impossible. If for example a monkey would sit before a type-writer and bang one key every second, it would need 17 millions years in order to write a word containing twelve letters. For the random development of a single molecule of protein 10.130 years would be needed since creation. The probability for the random development of a single sentence with 100 letters is so low that the chances against it exceed the amount of atoms in our universe. The time that is supposed to have passed since the Big Bang is simply not enough for the development of the highly differentiated organisms existing today.

The astronomer and physicist Fred Hoyle[1] once said in a lecture that the probability of a random creation of high-developed life-forms was similar to the chance that a tornado sweeping through a junk-yard assembles a Boeing-747.

If the genetic code can’t develop at random, its creation must have been guided. This unequivocally implies a guided evolution and takes us directly back to the Torah. The next question to be asked is whether the genetic code really gives a satisfying answer to the riddle of the origin of species and of man.

To quote the geneticist Prof. Walter Nägeli[2]: “We have no idea, how an ovum becomes an organism. Why out of the ovum of a mouse comes a mouse and a human ovum develops into a human being – the genes of both are nearly identical. The genes of primates and men are 99,9% identical, but we are still different, aren’t we?” The Max-Planck Institute has built in recent years a special institute in Leipzig/Germany in order to discover the differences between the genetic sequence of man and of chimpanzees. Both sequences have been mapped, but while one of the two cousins has conquered the globe, has built atom bombs, has composed symphonies and created literature, the other one has become an endangered species which barely survives in the jungles of tropical Africa. The analysis of the genome showed, however, that man is formed exactly like every other animal with emphasis on sex and microbes.[3] This research has discovered that only one gene of the human genome is slightly different from that of the chimpanzee. This gene seems to be responsible for articulation and speech. But even there, the difference is minimal and appeared only 200.000 years ago. Though there exist differences on other levels, too, they seem to be minimal. The genes are certainly the factor which forms the proteins, but the question of what all that means and how it works is still moot. Recent discoveries have furthermore shown that the genes are switched on and off, and that that this is regulated by a second set of genes. These are called MiRNA and are found in that part of the DNA which in the past has been considered as garbage or junk. Of special interest are DNA sequences, which have been found by Catherine Pollard to exist in mice, rat, chickens and chimpanzees. 49 sequences of those are similar in all these beings but are significantly different in human beings. She called them Hot Spots and believes them to play a major role in the special evolutionary pathway taken by humanity[4]. In a previous chapter we brought up the idea of a timeline. This seems to play a role also in the evolution of mankind. One of the hot spots, called HAR1 is not only specific for human beings, but is only activated from the seventh to the 19th week of pregnancy. This discovery is considered by physicist Freeman Dyson to be a crucial point in the history of science.

So far, so good. As we have seen in a previous chapter, all this couldn’t have happened randomly. And therefore we are back to the idea of a guided evolution. This takes us back straightaway to the next questions. By whom was it guided and how?

If we go one step backwards, we land again at the above mentioned idea of a program, a timeline. The Torah clearly wants to teach us that the appearance of the different species at different times as well as the special evolution of mankind didn’t happen randomly, but according to a fixed schedule, a “timeline”, a program in time as well as in space, a phenomenon we see each year, when the flowers bloom. And haven’t we humans developed with our computers similar timelines? Isn’t it possible that the transition from one species to the other was accompanied by catastrophes? This fact doesn’t contradict the idea of a timeline, but strengthens it. It could well be that a catastrophe was necessary, in order to initiate this change. Let’s take this metaphor one step further by using the example of a bacterial culture. That part of the culture in which we are interested is transferred from one Petri dish to another and the rest is disposed. For the disposed part, the act is nothing but a catastrophe.

And I repeat: A program needs a programmer, it can’t program itself.

This is exactly the meaning of the term YHVH, the biblical denomination of God. “It will be, because it was decided on, fixed and programmed by Me, Elohim.”

Where can we find this program? The answer is obvious: in the Torah, the site, where God, the programmer, has placed it. This is one of the reasons for the commandment that not one single letter may be added or deleted from the scriptures. A single alteration would cause the program to crash and our world would return to chaos.[5]

This is, of course, only a theory which according to critics is based on suppositions and old myths. Is this really so or did we succeed already to undermine somewhat the “modern” view?

Since antiquity, kabbalists claim that every Hebrew character is an ideogram, a spiritual emanation of God.[6] As already mentioned, the Talmud claims that these emanations played a major role in the creation of our world.[7] This view differs basically from the view of modern scientists. According to them, the alphabet the Hebrew Torah is written in, had developed from the proto-sinaic script which at its turn evolved from the Egyptian hieroglyphics. The last version of the Torah was written down in the Assyrian square script. Here the question arises, why up till now only one single fragment of the Bible was found that was written in the old Hebrew script – the previously mentioned blessing of the priests. Could it be that we are dealing here with an artificial script, only developed for the writing down the Torah and later on adopted by other people?

Another interesting point: The Hebrew alphabet has 22 letters. This number corresponds, “strange to say”, exactly with the number of the amino acids, the basic building stones of the proteins which make up the human body. Only a coincidental correspondence? Why then do we have 22 pairs of somatic chromosomes? Were the chromosomes created before the introduction of sexuality? What an incredible series of random correlations!

An old tradition: And the letters became spoken words and these changed into concepts. This way our world was created: And God spoke …[8] This tradition became later on the basis of all magical spells. The most popular one is “abracadabra” – the combination of two Hebrew words: “abra” comes from the root bara – created, the second word in the book of Genesis. kadabra is an Aramaic phrase meaning “the way I will speak”. Putting the two together we get the following sentence: “That which I say will exist, I create it through my spoken word.” The Baal-Shem Tov[9] went even one step further and claimed: It is true that the Holy Torah was originally nothing but an incoherent clutter of letters. According to him all the letters of the Torah, from the first word of Genesis down to the end of Deuteronomi, weren’t combined yet into coherent words and sentences like those we know today; i.e. “In the beginning God created …” or “Go and leave thy country”. These words didn’t exist yet, because the processes of creation they speak about hadn’t yet taken place. All the letters of the Torah were mixed and only when a certain process in the world took place, the letters combined and formed the words which recorded this process. After the creation of the world and the events concerning Adam and Eve took place, the letters formed the words which told the story of these events. The same happened with all the other processes. The moment something happened the letters formed the appropriate words and sentences. If something else would have occurred, the letters would have combined in a different way, for the Holy Torah is the infinite wisdom of God – and this you have to understand.[10]

The cynic will ask at this place: “But the Torah has been written long time ago. What is happening now?” The answer can be found in the Torah code where the computer enables us to discover everything: that which has happened in the past, that which is happening right now and possibly what will happen in the future. Certain is only that which has already happened.

The attempt to abuse the Torah for soothsaying is doomed to failure; what didn’t happen yet cannot be found in the Torah. A daring hypothesis: the Torah as the archives of all that occurred in human life, similar to the Akashic record of Hinduism.

According to this theory, man has taken on the task of continuing the creation. For, only man or rather the human soul is able to express itself in the form of elaborate speech.[11] This fits the previously quoted words of my teacher: “The human being has the duty to create the world every day anew.” The following sentence fits also to this way of thinking: “By saving one man one saves a whole world and everything it contains.” Does anything exist without a human being perceiving it? To quote the kabbalah: “If a tree falls without anyone present, is there a noise?”

However, it’s not so much the letters which are important, but their special combination giving rise to words and sentences. Here too we have an interesting analogy with the composition of human body. It’s not the amino acids as such which are important, but the way they combine with each other in order to form proteins – a process governed by our genes. Und who instructs and regulates the genes? An information field? God? To quote Max Planck again: “Matter exists only by virtue of a force which holds the minute solar system of the atom together. We must assume behind this force the existence of a conscious and intelligent mind.”[12]

Let us now go back to light. In a previous chapter, I have shown that life is possibly the carrier of the information necessary for the blueprint of creation. As we have also seen, there exists an analogy between the human body and the universe. According to this theory, the blueprint of the human body is also made out of light. An Israeli scientist[13] who works with the Torah code has recently discovered in the account of creation the Hebrew word for light or is closely connected with the number 22. This phenomenon appears four times and again “coincidentally” the human genom is made out of four nucleic acids, 22 building stones which change into concepts and become matter – the creation of man and all living beings.

[1] Hoyle, F., englischer Physiker, 1915-2001

[2] Nägeli, W., in „Zeitpunkt“ 55, Solothurn, 2001 (German)

[3] Der Spiegel, 36, 05.09.05, p. 142 (German)

[4] Der Spiegel,4,19.1.09. p.108-109 (German)

[5] The same happens in the human body. The change of one single gene gives rise to malformations and disease.

[6] Sefer Yetzirah and Sefer Ha’Bahir. (Hebrew)

[7] Breshit Rabah, a commentary on Genesis, 5th century

[8] Genesis 1

[9] the founder of Hassidism

[10] Sholem, G., Zur Kabbalah und ihrer Symbolik, Suhrkamp Taschenbuch, Zürich 1973, p. 103-104 (German)

[11] Onkelos (60 C.E.) and Rashi on Genesis 2, 7

[12] Planck, M. in: Davidson, J., op. cit., p. 128

[13] Rips, E., personal communication

Dr. Prof. Eli Lasch

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