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From eTORUS Newsletter, March 2001

Can you explain the simple meaning of the following line?  It is taken verbatim from the screen of a cable TV program.  Exact translation is not required, just the basic meaning is requested.


Hint: "Word divisions" may or may not be expressed properly and "punctuation" has been omitted on purpose.

Please also explain your point of view and assumptions in making a translation.  For example, perhaps you notice "FM  AM" and think that this refers to the two common modes of radio broadcasting: FM and AM.  If this is a presumption you decide to make use of, please say so.  (I am using this as an example because it is a common inference among those I have already asked, but I am not saying here whether or not this is a correct or a spurious assumption.)

I have not received many "solutions" to this question, which is okay because my point was in posing it.

The author's INTENDED meaning of the letter sequence has nothing to do with a "DJ" (disk jockey) on an "FM" and "AM" radio station named "J Jason."

The originally unspaced letters "DJFMAMJJASON" appeared on the MSNBC business report on a chart showing the past year's performance of a particular stock.  Since the report was in November 2000, the monthly chart of the stock's performance started with December 2000.

Quite naturally, the horizontal (time) axis on the bottom edge of the chart listed Dec., Jan., Feb., Mar., ...... Oct., Nov.  Thus the INTENDED meaning of "DJFMAMJJASON" is not a word, words, or a phrase or sentence.  It is a list of the initial letters of the names of the months of the year starting with "D" = December of the current year.

My point is that this is EXACTLY what has happened with the Hebrew text of Genesis.  The undivided, unpunctuated, sequence of letter-operator "initials"  has been interpreted as words in a narrative language sentence.  The true situation is that each of the Hebrew letters should have been interpreted as entire "word" in a formal operator system. Hebrew words are actually a "acronyms" for sequences of formal (non-phonetic, non-narrative) operations.

The same problem appears in the most basic kabbalistic text, the Sefer Yetzirah ("Book of Formation").  There is a (rather famous) word - "B'limah" - that translators do not agree on and cannot translate unambiguously.  As it turns out, this is not really a word at all.  It is a list of the letters at the beginning of the Hebrew text of Genesis that must be paired (based on the symmetry of the alphabet) in order to find the geometry in Genesis that the Sefer Yetzirah goes on to describe and make use of.

The first verse of the Hebrew text of Genesis (28-letters) makes use of only 12-letters of the alphabet.  This means that there are literally hundreds (over 900) distinct narrative "translations" that can be found by separating the undivided string of letters to form what appear to be different sequences of Hebrew "words."  The most famous of these "translations" reads: "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth."   The problem is, this is only one of the hundreds of possibilities and the only thing it has to recommend it over most of the others is that it conforms to our traditions, presumptions and expectations for what we think the text should say.

As an acronym-like sequence of letter-operations, the Hebrew text of Genesis actually sets out to outline "creation" in a modern sense.  Pairing the letters folds the text-string into recognizable geometric forms that have immediate meaning.  The first thing the text string does is to specify the geometry of the letters used to write the text itself.  This is extremely logical.  After all, in a technical text, the first thing you do is define your symbols.

In my opinion, "translating" Genesis into narrative language has pitted the various cultures and traditions that make use of it against one another.

Narrative "translation" of Torah to the exclusion of the deeper meaning at the letter level has been consistently condemned by the rabbinic tradition as dangerous and misleading ever since the Septuagint Greek translation was ordered by Ptolemy Philadelphus, circa 285 BCE.

The tragedy of misrepresentation and the misunderstanding it inspires among the people who revere the Hebrew Bible continues to this day.

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