For thousands of years, ancient people believed that to name something was to imbue it with a metaphysical strength derived from the divine nature of words. According to some mystics and theologians, words were God’s chosen medium for creation.
In Seven Secrets: Discover the Torah Code, James N. Schloner explores the supernatural importance of names in the first five books of the Hebrew Bible. Drawing on Midrash teachings and Kabbalistic exegesis, the author offers a thought-provoking look at sacred scripture in order to deliver a deeper understanding of God.
How exactly does one unravel such furtive information? Through the ancient process of gematria, a system that assigns a numerical value to a word or phrase. By adding certain sequences together, you discover another name associated with that text. For example, one of the names of God in the Torah has four letters in Hebrew that add up to 26. A word sequence spoken by Isaac to his father, Abraham, in Genesis also yields the number 26. Hence, the summation of certain actions and words is imbued with the name of God. Coincidence? Not according to Schloner, who argues that the coding suggests the Torah is the living, breathing voice of God.
Books like 1997’s The Bible Code excavated similar ground and have been dismissed by some as a literary form of Three Card Monte. But Schloner, whose work seems influenced by Transcendental Meditation, quantum physics and consciousness studies, in addition to Kabbalah, notes that scientist Isaac Newton was obsessed with a similar journey into the esoteric nature of the Torah and the ideas should not be easily dismissed.
Scholoner is overall a fine writer, but the material can be heady and dense, and there’s much repetition that could have been trimmed. Even so, the author’s desire to remystify life and his yearning and methodical exploration of the hidden meaning within the text makes for interesting reading for those open to such ideas.
Also available in hardcover.