KosherTorah.com - a simpler, more natural way.
The Two Commandments “Heard” From God
by Ariel Bar Tzadok
Copyright © 2015 by Ariel Bar Tzadok. All rights reserved.
“I am YHWH your God who took you out of the land of Egypt, from the house of slavery. You shall have no other gods upon my face” (Ex. 20:2-3)
The great medieval rationalist Rabbi, Moshe Maimonides, offers a commentary on the giving of the Ten Commandments, which is very profound, and at the very least, challenges his reputation of being a rationalist. Maimonides offers an interpretation that touches on the mystical. Indeed, his view, by modern standards could be interpreted as para-psychological.
According to Maimonides, the Children of Israel only heard the first two commandments spoken directly to them from God. The other eight were brought to them by Moses. Granted, not all Jewish Biblical commentators agree with him on this point, but anyone who knows anything about Jewish Biblical commentaries knows that there is seldom, if ever, any agreement, on any point.
Maimonides elaborated in his Guide to the Perplexed (2:33), that at Mt. Sinai the Children of Israel heard an actual “sound,” and that this “sound” was what we would call the “voice” of God. Yet, this “voice” of God, was just that, a “voice,” a “voice” that was not divided into words of articulate, intelligently understood speech. This audible sound communicated to the Children of Israel the first two of the Ten Commandments. These were communicated simultaneously, as a singular audible sound, without being divided into words of actual speech.
How then did the Children of Israel come to understand what this sound was supposed to mean? The “voice” of God is said to have penetrated their souls, imprinting its meaning directly into their minds. The intensity of this experience was so profound that a legend states that their souls actually flew out of their bodies, and had to be restored. By modern standards, imprint of information directly into the mind, bypassing the structure of standard intellectual input through our normal sensory apparatuses, is called telepathy.
An audible sound was physically heard. It had no meaning or interpretation at the audible level. It was heard as just noise. Yet, somehow within the minds of those who heard this noise, a clear mental image was received that gave this noise a full, and powerful meaning. This experience is even suggested by the strange wording of the Biblical text, where it states that the people actually “saw” the words being spoken (Ex. 20:15). They saw them in the forms of mental imagery being imprinted directly into their minds.
Essentially, according to this understanding of the Mt. Sinai event, the commandments were spoken telepathically by God, and communicated via extra sensory perception (ESP) in a direct mind to mind merge. Yet, telepathy does not require the existence of an audible sound that is heard. What then was the purpose of the sound? Obviously, the physical sound was also used for communication, but what was communicated through it? It communicated something other than mental imagery, and psychological imprinting. It communicated something physical.
Is it possible that the sound heard on Sinai served a purpose similar to that proposed in the theory of Linguistic Wave Genetics? Linguistic Wave Genetics is today considered a pseudo-scientific belief that certain sound waves have a direct influence upon human DNA. Yet, as pseudo-scientific as this may be, it does not in any way dismiss the possibility that specific frequencies of sound do influence, change and alter human DNA. We know that sound is a powerful tool, and that indeed, it can be used in medical, healing modules. Maybe in the Hands of the higher intelligence of YHWH, physical sound was used to imprint God's Word directly into our human DNA?
Think about it, the “word of God” was implanted directly into our minds telepathically, and simultaneously the “voice of God” was equally imprinted physically within our DNA? What a profound and shocking change this would bring to humanity. Maybe this is a case of what science today calls, quantum speciation, “the rapid speciation that can occur in small populations isolated from the large, ancestral population.”
At Sinai, the mental messages were implanted. These mental messages were engraved into the deepest recesses of the human unconscious, and has become a source of inspiration for countless people over numerous centuries. Is it possible that God's message was also engraved into human DNA, with the intent that these changed nucleotides pass on into the general human population. Is this how Israel was meant to become a “light to the nations”?
What exactly was the “word of God” implanted within human consciousness, and possibly into the human gene pool at this time? We said above that it was the first two of the Ten Commandments. “I am YHWH your God who took you out of the land of Egypt, from the house of slavery. You shall have no other gods upon my face” (Ex. 20:2-3). What exactly is this saying, what exactly is the real underlying universal, psychological message in these words? Let us review them.
1a. I am YHWH your God. YHWH is not a name or even a title, the name is actually a concept. YHWH means, “active being.” By saying that God is active being, it means that there is a conscious sentience underlying and uniting the entire universe. This statement proclaims the universal singularity. This is a scientific statement, not a statement about religion. Maybe this explains why all spiritually-minded human beings inherently know deep within themselves that there really does exist something bigger and higher than ourselves that unites us all. Maybe this is why we crave and seek out spiritual reality, and at the same time seek to balance it within scientific understanding.
1b. Who took you out of the land of Egypt, from the house of slavery. We human beings are supposed to be free and independent individuals. Freedom is such a foundational craving for almost everyone. Maybe the concept of human dignity, and our sense of human rights come from this imprint. Maybe this is what defines for us what it means to be humane.
2. You shall have no other gods upon my face. We human beings hate to be ignorant. We seem to be driven by an insatiable curiosity to explore the natural world, and universe around us, to discover the truths underlying our reality. Maybe deep within we have been imprinted to crave the stripping off of all the false faces that cover true reality. Maybe this explains the human spirit that seeks and strives to explore, discover, and accomplish. Maybe this is the spirit that motivates scientific advancement.
It is interesting that however biologically similar all human beings are, we are all so psychologically different. Maybe as genetic research proceeds, and the human genome continues to give up its secrets, we might find that there exists genetic foundations for personality orientations. Maybe this is how God “programmed” the human race.
The revelation at Sinai is today shrouded in skepticism. Did God really make contact with humanity? How can this be? Why would this be? Rather than turn to historical records and to archeology for clues, maybe instead we should be turning towards biology and psychology? If God left his imprint on humanity, then maybe that imprint will be found inside us, within our very DNA, and not out in the ruins left in the desert.
If the “word” of God is inside us psychologically and genetically, then it is what defines for us what it means to be human, and what it means to act humanely. This is after all, the message of freedom, and human rights. And freedom, and human rights, is what the Torah is all about.
Maybe this is why God “spoke” to us at Mt. Sinai, to psychologically and genetically stimulate the human race, to help us evolve into that which he originally created us to be, humane human beings, reflections of the Divine image that explore and discover the secrets of the inner and outer universe.
The Written Works of Ariel Bar Tzadok
Copyright (C) 1997 - 2015 by Ariel Bar Tzadok. All rights reserved.