27 May 2007

Another Gut Vort?

Wow, I am proud of me! I actually did it!!; I stopped blogging on my own terms. It's good to know that I still have some will power and was able to stop when I did. This is a special anniversary post; yes it's been a year now, my inaugural post was last year on Memorial day. (Don't bother looking for it, that post is gone.)

There is also a dearth of skeptic bloggers now and B'makom she'ain.. Er.. I mean, someone needs to step up to the plate. I'll take it one day at a time.

Some of you might remember my last Vort.

What better way to celebrate an anniversary than with a "Gut Vort?"!! You probably heard this before so don't look for any great chiddushim.

An eye for an eye - Ayin Tachas Ayin. It is well known that Chazal say this means monetary compensation. And it always did. The Torah would never be so cruel as to intend to inflict what the west claims is "cruel and unusual punishment".

The Vilna Goan notes the unusual use of the word "Tachas" meaning under or beneath. The literal translation is "An eye beneath an eye". Why the strange language? The Torah must be telling us something.

Ayin (eye) is composed of the letters:


The Goan points out that the letter under "Ayin" is "Peh". One under "Yud" is "Kuf" and the letter under "Nun" is "Samech". And these letters re-organized spell out "Kessef" - Money!. So what the Torah is telling us is the punishment for an eye, is "Tachas Ayin". The punishment is Kessef! (It's a little awkward, but still impressive).

See! So it's not something the Rabbis invented to soften a harsh Din; that's what the Torah meant all along. It also seemingly proves how great Lashon Kodesh is, because there's no way that could be a co-incidence!

Or could it be? Do such things exist in other languages? Do such strange word games exist in non divine languages such as English?

I say yes, It certainly does!

Check out these great Anagrams:

Dormitory = Dirty Room

Schoolmaster = The classroom

Elvis = Lives

Listen = Silent

Clint Eastwood = Old West Action

Evangelist = Evil's Agent

Astronomers = Moon starers / No more stars

A telescope = To see place

The eyes = They see

Desperation = A Rope Ends It

The Morse Code = Here Come Dots

The Meaning of Life = The fine game of nil

Slot Machines = Cash Lost in'em

Conversation = Voices Rant On

Butterfly = Flutter-by

Mother-in-law = Woman Hitler

Funeral = Real Fun

A Domesticated Animal = Docile, as a Man Tamed it

The Railroad Train = Hi! I Rattle and Roar

The Hilton = Hint: Hotel

Snooze Alarms = Alas! No More Z's

Vacation Times = I'm Not as Active

The Detectives = Detect Thieves

A Gentleman = Elegant Man

Presbyterian = Best In Prayer

A Decimal Point = I'm a Dot in Place

Statue of Liberty = Built to Stay Free

Eleven plus two = Twelve plus one

Admirer = Married

I find these to be mind-boggling. Is this evidence that English did not simply evolve? That there is some higher deity that blessed English with these constructs? Or is this the result of random chance?

So, while I am impressed by the Vilna Goan for his creativity, I'm no longer impressed by any underlying intimations that there is something supernatural going on.

The next time you're impressed by some numerology or other co-incidence and you feel the need look for some divine interpretation, think twice.

For some great reading, check out "How we know what isn't so" by Thomas Gilovich

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