Re: Equal Interval Reading

Herman Rubin (hrubin@stat.purdue.edu)
Sun, 2 Feb 1997 09:04:36 -0500

zlochoia@ix.netcom.com (Isaac A Zlochower ) wrote:
>The internet address for Torah codes that was provided by Yaakov Menken
>(http://www.trailerpark.com/phase1/arielb/codes/) seems to be free of
>such sectarian sources. However, the excerpts from the article by
>Witztum, Rips, and Rosenberg in Statistical Science 9, 429-438, 1994
>that are posted there are inadequate to assess the signicance or
>validity of the claim by the above authors that Breishis (Genesis)
>contains hidden information on the names and dates of people listed in
>the "Great Men of Israel" encyclopedia. They apparently only report
>the finding of 32 names of "second rank" individuals, and did not
>report on results of searching for the 34 names of "first rank" (that
>is, people with a longer biography) individuals.

I have some information which will clarify this. As far as I know,
nobody outside the "codes" group knows the algorithm used. It is
claimed that the algorithm was derived by some heuristic procedure
using the information about the 34 first rank individuals. Since
if one looks hard enough for an algorithm providing such an association,
one is likely to find one, this cannot be used as evidence for something
so complicated.

However, IF none of the information about the second rank individuals
was used in producing the algorithm, it could be tested on them. This
was the test proposed by someone who knew nothing of what procedure
they had used.

[Details omitted for brevity.]

>The earlier work by Rav Weissmandel on equidistant letter codes that
>was later expanded and computerized by Rips is of interest, and the
>selection of small 2 dimensional arrays based on otherwise mysterious
>or seemingly extraneous sections of the text may yet prove to be
>instructive. At this point, however, it would be prudent to reserve
>judgement on this entire enterprise rather than jumping on the
>bandwagon.

With this I agree. I am a quite suspicious mathematical statistician.
My Hebrew would not be good enough to check their algorithm, but I
would very much like to see other suspicious people look at it
carefully, as well as their claims that the Samaritan version has no
similar properties.

Herman Rubin