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Secrets and Games over the Pass-Over Seder Table

Dr. Yitzhaq Hayut-Man 21.04.2016 02:43
Secrets and Games over the Pass-Over Seder Table - net games - Jerusalem Temple - Computer Games - Exodus - Temple - Temple utensils - Grail - world redemption - Bible study


The article starts with the Passover Seder-Table and some of its associated rituals. It then examines several remarkable kinds of tables that served group-ritual functions in history (or imagined history). From these inspirations are extrapolated concepts and qualities that would enhance modern cybernetic Assembly Round Table (ART) for very attractive games and for practicing effective teamwork.



PassoverTable reflections1                                    init: 27.3.12                                              revision: 21.04.16

 Reflections over the Pass-Over Seder Table 
© Dr. Yitzhaq Hayut-man, cyber-architect

This article starts with the Passover Seder-Table and some of its associated rituals. It then examines several remarkable kinds of tables that served group-ritual functions in history (or imagined history). From these inspirations are extrapolated concepts and qualities that would enhance modern cybernetic Assembly Round Table (ART) for very attractive games and for practicing effective teamwork.

Contents:

1.      Aims of the Passover Seder ritual – common memory

2.      The notion of "Seder" generalized

3.      Passover as the domestication of the Temple – from the Showbread Table to the Family Table

4.      Table ritual dynamics - Priestly or Prophetic? The Shulḥan Ạrukh

5.      Family Therapy Seder Table

6.      The 4 (or 5) "Languages/tongues of Redemption" as the progression.

7.      The four types of sons: Wise, Wicked, Innocent, Unquestioning.

8.      The "Passing Over" concept of theologian John Dunne.

9.      Table of the Last Supper and the Table of the Grail.

10.    Some Kabbalah secrets of the Temple Table and of team-inspiration.

11.       "shulḥan-sholḥan" – the table as launching-pad

12.    The Round Table Motifs for the future Jerusalem Games

 

1.            Aims of the Passover Seder ritual – common memory 

The Passover Seder is likely the most ancient ritual that is still repeated every year to this very day and is likely the most important of the Jewish Holidays.

Yet it is not just a Jewish holiday. Acknowledged or not, the Christian Easter is a variant of the Passover and is called in many languages by some variant of the Hebrew word Pesaḥ. Historical investigation certifies that Jesus' Last Supper was akin to a version of the Passover current in late Second Temple Period.[1] The Passover Seder ritual has been designed and tried in practice to render national, family and educational benefits.

We may present here some educational principles associated with the Passover Seder and the types of interactions that take, or could take, place around the Seder Table.

The first objective of the Passover is to form a common memory that binds the Israelite nation - the memory of an Exodus from Egyptian slavery and deliverance by the Lord of Israel. There is a commandment for the father to tell his sons about the Pesaḥ, "And thou shalt tell (vehigadta - והגדת) thy son in that day, saying: It is because of that which the LORD did for me when I came forth out of Egypt" (Ex. 13:8).[2] This commandment makes the Passover Seder mostly a family event, where the whole family should sit together at the Seder Table to perform the Passover Ritual.

The Passover ritual is prescribed and contained in the "Haggadah", which literally means "recitation". As a noun, "Haggadah" is the text of the Passover Seder Ritual and "Seder" literally means "Order".

2.     The notion of "Seder" generalized

Let’s glean some universal meanings from this specific and ancient ritual:

As noted, literally, "Seder" means "order". So we could use “the Order of Passover” metaphor to mean ‘Emerging Order via acts of "Passing Over"’ (see item 8 below). Humans generally crave for order and regard "disorder” as a malady (certainly so in medicine, whether physiological or psychological). So while the Exodus can be seen as a revolution, it can also be seen as the means for restoring order that was lost, or that was promised by prophecy.

In Christianity, monasticism was organized by "Orders". There also developed several Chivalric Orders, and there was also "The Order of the Poor Knights of the Temple of Solomon", more commonly called the “Knight Templar” Order. The USA one-dollar bill carries several slogans beside "In God we trust". It features the Great Seal of the USA, which carries the slogan of Novus Ordo Seclorum, namely "A New Order of the Ages," 

3.     Passover as the domestication of the Temple

The Passover is one of the three festivals when Israelites were commanded to make a pilgrimage to the Jerusalem Temple. After the (Second) Temple was destroyed, the family character of the Passover became dominant and the Haggadah was being composed as the guide and contents of the family ritual.

One of the Temple utensils was the Table of the twelve loaves of the Showbread. This helped sanctify the notions of feeding and of the economy of the universe. True, the Temple Table was not a table for sitting around. But as the family orientation became dominant, the table changed. It became the ritual place, a dining, and recitation and discussion table (with some overtones of the Altar).

4. Priestly or Prophetic Table ritual?

We have shown that the "Tent of Meeting" of the Exodus was used in two different manners by the two brothers. For Mosheh this was the place to converse with the Lord and receive (or conceive) additional new instructions. For Aharon, this was "The Temple of Silence" (Knohl, 2007) were elaborate rituals were repeatedly performed in fixed form – such as replacing 12 loaves of bread in the Temple Shulḥan (Table) each week. The two functions of "Priest and Prophet" are quite different.

The demise of the temple effectively put an end to the functioning priesthood, which was eclipsed by the sages who produced Rabbinical Judaism. They claimed that "a sage is preferable to a prophet", so they developed the free flow of the Torah and created the sophisticated conversational methodology.[3] Their mode of learning and place of operation was called "Yeshivah", which literally means "Sitting" (by a table). While conducting there "disputations for the Sake of Heaven", they developed a creative critical tradition. Everything is open to question and debate, till some could have "150 tastes" (effectively "tests" or apparent refutations) to uphold a debate. As the modern Talmudic sage R. Steinsalz (1984) claims, one cannot study the Talmud without becoming a skeptic – and that skepticism is a real religious value (something that distinguished Judaism from most other religions). The Talmud leaves most disputes without decision but as a set of positions to understand, where often "These, and (the contrary) These, are the Words of the Living God".

But then, the priestly tendency seems to have eventually won right inside Rabbinical Judaism, partly through the publication of R. Moshe Karo's book "The Shulḥan Ạrukh", namely "The Ordered Table" (or "set" or "edited"), which replaced the conversational canon of the Talmud with a list of rules of conduct (such as, which shoe to put on first in the morning?)

For our discussion of tables it is significant that the Temple ritual used the table as a symbol of the world economy and of the Twelve Tribes of Israel, whereas the subsequent practice of Talmud Torah would use the debating table as their major facility. This started as oral practice, but eventually the Mishnah and the Talmud had to be written down and the study became mostly interactions of couples of learners sitting at a table where the text is laid upon, and they use it as a script for taking the roles of bygone sages, trying thus to understand their thinking and the course of their conversation.

 

5         Family Therapy Seder

The Passover Seder was and is a family affair. Many Jews spend a great amount of work and money to make as good a Seder as they can. Whether God listens or not to the recitations, or whether Elijah the Prophet comes or not to drink the glass of wine poured out for him (seems that in most cases he does not, to the chagrin of the children), for the family this is/was a major opportunity for family cohesion. Yet not all families are happy families, and many issues are "kept under the table" during the Seder common session.


6. The "Four terms of Redemption" as redemptive progression.

The essence of the Passover is in the verse: “herefore say unto the children of Israel:  I am the LORD, and I (1) will bring you out (vehoẓeti) from under the burdens of the Egyptians, and I (2) will deliver (vehiẓalti) you from their bondage, and I will (3) redeem (vega'alti) you with an outstretched arm, and with great judgments; and I will (4) take you to Me for a people (velaqaḥti etkhem li le'Ạm (, and I will be to you a God; and ye shall know that I am the LORD your God, who brought you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians" (Exodus 6:6-7). This indicates that there are some four aspects to the redemption: (1) Getting out of the materially dire situation, (2) being saved from threat, (3) redemption (returning to best form, and (4) becoming holy. So this relates to the four levels of the soul (Body, Nefesh, Spirit and Neshamah (eternal divine soul in the person).

Issuing from this, the Passover Seder has a strong four-fold character, such as the Four Cups of wine[4] and "The Four Sons".

Passover and Tabernacles:[5] A somewhat similar 4-fold scheme appears in the Jewish ritual exactly half a year after the Passover rite, in the Feast of Tabernacles. At that feast, people are asked to obtain four types of plants and pray while holding them. The common explanation to the meaning of the ritual distinguishes these four plants by two distinctions – taste and smell – that is fruitful/not fruitful and good smelling/no smell. Thus the citrus fruit has both taste and smell, the date has fruit but no odor, the myrtle has agreeable odor and no fruit, and the willow has neither fruit nor smell.

The explanation sees the four types of plants as symbolizing the four types of persons that make an actual society. These four human types are the product of two distinctions, Torah knowledge and Amity (good deeds),[6] or Understanding and Agreement to act together and cooperate.

7. the four types of Sons: Wise, Wicked, Innocent, Unquestioning.

The word "Table" has several meaning, including tables of data, often numerical (e.g. Logarithm Table). As noted, the Passover has to do primarily with fathers and sons. So in the Passover Haggadah, there is a section about "The Torah speaks about four sons: Wise, Wicked, Innocent and one who does not know how to question". The wise and the wicked know of the Torah, but the wise contributes to knowledge and the wicked is a destructive critic. The innocent is unprejudiced and easy to sway, whereas the unquestioning is on automatic, living mechanically, and the participant is called to open for him, namely to coach him for dialog.

What is translated above as "the Torah speaks about four sons", is rendered in the original Hebrew as "The Torah speaks KeNeged four sons". Neged actually means against or opposite, and in this context it means "facing" – The Torah (through the father) is facing the sons. We shall discuss this more below in connection with Rabbi Shim'on.

These two distinctions are largely akin to those of the "four types of Sons". Two independent distinctions produce four types of persons who might, or might not, be engaged in learning and in social transactions.

So the four sons may be understood as four qualities that are the product of two independent distinctions (geometrically perpendicular) that make the minimal "Table". Lets call one distinction a/b and the other 1/2:

 

1 - Giving (Hesed)

2 - Stopping (din)

A - Knowing

A1 - Wise

A2 - Wicked

B - Ignorant

B1 - Innocent

B2 - Unquestioning

 

8.       "Passing Over" and the Passover Seder Table.

There is another notion of "Passing-Over" that was developed by theologian John Dunne of Notre Dame University, and which can contribute to our investigation. John Dunne's book "The Way of All the Earth - experiments in truth and religion" presents a method of "passing over" to another view to enhance one's insight into one's own tradition. A truth seeker starts from one system of (religious) beliefs, then goes and studies a different one, and then returns from it to one’s original religion/system of beliefs and sees how much they might have changed through the knowledge of that other perspective.

Dunne writes in his preface: “Is a religion coming to birth in our time? It could be. What seems to be occurring is a phenomenon we might call “passing over,” passing over from one culture to another, from one way of life to another, from one religion to another. Passing over is a shifting of standpoint, a going over to the standpoint of another culture, another way of life, another religion.” According to Dunne, passing over leads to a return: “it is followed by an equal and opposite process we might call “coming back,” coming back with new insight to one’s own culture, one’s own way of life, one’s own religion.

Dunne’s book examines, for example, Gandhi’s "passing over" between religions, carrying insights from one truth to another truth. Dunne himself has explored the passages from Christianity to Eastern and even Pagan religions – and back to Christianity. He did not try (or dare?) to explore such passages between Christianity and Judaism.[7]

9. The Tables of the Last Supper and of the Holy Grail.

Likely the world's best known table is the Last Supper Table, where Jesus conducted the ceremony over his 12 disciples and told them of his impending departure. Following it is the Table of the Grail in the Christianized versions of the Grail story. The Passover Cup over the Seder Table has its parallel in the Holy Grail over the Round Table of the Twelve Knights.

These models can give inspirations for designing effective Round Tables for group processes. But one should be wary of making these appliances into objects of holiness in the sense that they must be copied faithfully. We should first make a mental exercise of how would the rituals associated with the tables of the Last Supper and of the Grail themselves be re-designed for maximal contemporary benefit and in such, what should be the design of the tables for these, or kindred, rituals.

Let us examine the Last Supper and its implements. The Last Supper table was first and foremost a Passover Table. But instead of catering for a Jewish family, it catered to a ceremonial group of 12 male (all Jewish) disciples, who were to form a new body of world service, of messengers for "The Kingdom of Heaven". The ceremony required the participation of a dozen, because the Twelve was the mark of the Order of Heaven and they were to restore the perfected Israel of the Twelve Tribes.[8]

These twelve were not all similar, some were zealots, some placid, as the tribes or the constellations are of different characteristics. The treasurer, Judas, was certainly distinct (Hayut-Man, 2007). And these twelve were, one may admit, neither particularly amicable nor brilliant – they quarreled over their place at the table, all wanting to sit at the right hand of their King and apparently expecting to receive a fiefdom from the king; and they were not smart enough to understand what was going on between Jesus and Judas, right under their noses. Their common trait was their faith in Jesus as their redeemer king (though it is most unlikely that they believed he was God Incarnate). They were pious and quite uncritical ("not knowing how to question", credulous) - which was why they were selected.

For their ritual, Jesus used were bread and wine – just as in the regular Seder ritual. But whereas the Seder leaves a door open to welcome Elijah, the all-knowing, here they were charged with the message of the master’s departure – to drink the wine as if it were his blood and partake of the ritual bread as if it were his flesh – so that they would become one with him, that they were to be establish the "Corpus Christi". That is also why he commanded them to love one another, so to be living example of the coming Kingdom of Heaven. 

Then there was the table itself. It was not a Round Table (meaning full equality among the participants), but (as many painters, including Leonardo depicted) was a hierarchical rectangular table. It was plain to see one's relative importance by his distance from Jesus. Yet Jesus eminent departure created an implied calling for the disciples to come together at a special table to keep commemorate Jesus – just as the Passover Seder was to educate the young to commemorate God's salvation of Israel. And for doing so, they should meet on equal terms, without Jesus himself taking physical space at the table. A round Table was implied, an idea seeking its incarnation.

A thousand years later, the Grail saga was changing the world view of Western Christendom. The crusades to the Holy Land in the East were first a success, but ended as abysmal failures. At their height, the Knightly Monk Order of the Knight Templar[9] held the Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem and conducted there their secret rituals at its magnificent Inner Circle. They built many round churches all over Western Europe. But they were defeated in the Holy Land and later were declared heretic by the Pope and suppressed and persecuted by the King of France.

At the same time, the Grail Legends were being developed and Christianized. The patron of the Knight Templar, Saint Bernard of Clairvaux, was the primary builder of the reformed Cistercian Order. This Order became the editor of the Christianized Grail Sagas. The perhaps most important Grail Saga – wolfram von eschenbach's Parzival – built on the story of Chrétien de Troyes who attributed the original story of the Grail from a knight called Qiot who heard it from a Templar Knight who heard it in the East. The perhaps best known version of the Holy Grail Stories is connected with the legendary King Arthur and his Twelve Knights of the Round Table.

Interestingly, the earlier stories did not say what the Holy Grail was. In Wolfram's version, it is something that is put on the Table and contains or produced delicacies.

The Round Table takes on new significance in the Grail romances of the late 12th and early 13th century, where it becomes a symbol of the famed order of chivalry which flourishes under King Arthur.[10] In Robert de Boron's Merlin, written around the 1190s, the wizard Merlin creates the Round Table in imitation of the table of the Last Supper and of Joseph of Arimathea's Holy Grail table.[11] This table has twelve seats with one empty place to mark the betrayal of Judas.[12] This seat must remain empty until the coming of the knight who will discover the lost Grail. 

10. Kabbalah Secrets of the Great Idra

At the same time that the Grail Romances were written, the Kabbalah was developing among the Jews of Provence, Catalonia and Castile. The Kabbalah canon, the Zohar, created a new myth that transformed the worldview of Judaism. The Zohar is, according to some modern researchers (Libes, Helner and others), apparently the work of a group of 13th century Jewish mystics, who re-created the discussions of the students of the 2nd century sage Rabbi Shim'on bar Yoḥay, a major Mishnah sage who became a legendary figure already in the Talmud. The most amazing part of the Zohar - the Idra Raba - tells of the visions of the multiple Godheads that Rabbi Shim'on imparted to his students in a ceremonial manner.

“Idra” means the round trashing floor (Goren). Rabbi Shim'on led his son and other eight students holding hands in a line into a field with trees. There the eight set in a circle around the white-bearded father and the black-bearded son facing each other. Rabbi Shim'on then performed the Passover principle of "You shall tell your son", in view of the other eight and their participation, and told them of the most hidden and perhaps shocking secrets – that Judaism (somewhat like Christianity[13]) is not strictly monotheistic and has a plural Godhead. There are the "Ancient of Days" Godhead (Hinted at Daniel 7:9), which he called also the compassionate "Long Face" or "Long suffering" (Arikh Anpin) Godhead, and the short-tempered "Short Face" (Ze'er Anpin) Godhead - and their intricate connections and relations.

The Passover story drew the comment that "a maid by the passing of the Red Sea had visions that even the Prophet Ezekiel did not see".[14] But the secrets and visions of the Godhead(s) that Rabbi Shim'on imparted are still much more fantastic – each of those godheads has eyes, brow, nose, mouth and especially groups of hairs on the head and beard (white and black, as noted), which by their numbers and connections are more like neurons than the external hairs.

What is likely the most amazing is how the students quickly learn to observe these epiphanies, and each in turn can gives a detailed answer to the question he gets from Rabbi Shim'on.

In the introduction to the Book of the Zohar we learn that Rabbi Shim'on has his celestial academy (Yeshivah, literally "sitting" to learn), which even the Messiah comes to. The Idra Raba can be regarded as the manner of operating this Yeshivah by "Rabbi Shim'on" – literally The Teacher (Rabbi) who Listens (shome'ạ) and gives Response (ma'ạne). There is no round table in the Idra, but their sitting in the round has some of the qualities of the Round Table – equality between the participants, taking turns and practicing question-and-answer.

In the beginning of the Idra session, Rabbi Shim'on complains that he is the lonely pillar that connects heaven and earth. At the end of it, more pillars have been erected by the souls of the students who have reached ecstasy by this enchanted teaching.

 

11. "shulhan-sholhan" – the table as launching-pad

Any good dictionary will give scores of expressions connected with tables (e.g. Operating Table for surgery). For us, things like "Editing/Mixing Tables" for media have special interest. In the Hebrew language, words are made of "roots" (mostly made of three letters). It so happens that the root of "Table" (Shulḥan) is the letters Shin, Lamed and Ḥet, which is also the root for concepts of Sending and Launching. This brings to the games possibilities of sending messenger drones (aka "angels") to check where participants are leaning or seeking completion.

12 – The (Round) Table Motifs for the New Jerusalem Games

Our development of the Jerusalem Games incorporates some of the qualities and of the issues of the special tables surveyed above:

1.    One is the common memory recalled. The mounting "Clash of Civilization" is largely of what can be called "The Children of Abraham"[15] - and that is the context that makes Jerusalem so important. The Jerusalem Games™ aim to (virtually) bring the rival "Children of Abraham" to Jerusalem, both for contending and for taking sits by a round table (or round carpet) for reconciliation. The contending and common memory gives a basis to build upon.

2.    The Order(s) of the Jerusalem Games™: The Jerusalem Games™ show the Jerusalem Old City as a graduated (7-level) roadmap for healing pilgrimages, from chaos in the fights and ball games within the labyrinthine alleys of Jerusalem through seven historical periods to the spiritual order of the Heavenly Jerusalem enacted within the Dome of the sanctuary of the Dome of the Rock.

3.    We propose the Jerusalem Games™ as the most practical and most proper substitute to the common ideas of "restoring the Third Temple". We read the various specifications of Solomon's Temple, the Second Temple or Ezekiel's Temple Visions as patterns that allow a range of different and novel applications. We showed thus the historical case where the Temple "Table" was replaced by the family's Seder Table. In the proposed Round Tables gaming, we expand much on the tables' use for group enlightenment and restore the important 12-fold pattern suggested by the Temple Shulhan.

4.    The typical Jewish visions of the World to Come are of Heavenly Yeshivot (academies) where "the sages sit with crowns on their head enjoying the light of the Presence of God (Shekhinah). The Jerusalem Games' aim to is to sit by one of the eight "Assembly Round Tables" (ART) for twelve or as in an Idra of 32 surrounding the Holy Rock at the center of the Dome of the Rock.

5.    Whereas in the family Seder, the participants are supposed to be ever so nice to each other, those Jerusalem Games participants, who play the roles of members of the (much extended ) "Abrahamic Family" - which is supposed to bring blessings to all "families of the earth" (Gen. 12:3; 28:14) – would often start with marked enmity to some other players. It would be the challenge of the Jerusalem Games to bring out the negative staff and to systemically heal and rectify it.

6.     The Jerusalem Games™ make clear graphic distinction of the levels of the soul and their ordered healing. The aim of the Game – the Redemption – including the Resurrection of the Dead, works on all these levels of the person and the nations.

7.    The principle of facing a person or issue (2nd person), rather than just telling about the person or issue (in 3rd person) is requisite for the Jerusalem Games development and is expressed by choice of the Assembly Round Tables and their operation and in the graphic icons for dialogs.

8.    The Jerusalem Games take place in a 5-dimensional virtual space.[16] This implies that those "Children of Abraham" or "Game Avatars" pass through various periods of their cultures and thereby even change identities. So the Passing-Over principle of Dunne is attended to and much expanded.

9.    The 'Last Supper' and the Table of the Grail are "natural" inspirations for the Jerusalem Games. There are many speculation where was the Castle/Shrine of the Grail (e.g. in Southern France or in a remote region of Iran). But the most likely is that it was no other than the Dome of the Rock, which was the regained and lost ritual place of the Knights Templar.[17] So the Jerusalem Games™ would offer roles for Grail Knights who reach for the Dome of the Rock in search of the Grail (or its equivalent).

10.     The Zohar narratives do not deal with (the physical) Jerusalem, because its hero, Rabbi Shim'on, lived after Jerusalem had been destroyed and re-built as a pagan Palestinian city where Jews were not allowed to dwell in. So its' most ceremonial and knightly gathering takes place in a field and not at, say, the Temple Mount. However "Idra" means "Round threshing floor" (Goren), and the site for King Solomon's Temple was at the Goren that King David bought from its Jebusite owner  (II Sam. 24:18-24;  II Chron. 3:1). So with the temporal liberty of the Jerusalem Games, the expanded view of operating Idra-like scenes would be right inside the (virtual) Dome of the Rock. There would be eight Assembly Round Tables at the Octagonal Arcade inside the Dome of the Rock (an amplification of the eight sages sitting in the round) and the inner chamber of the Dome, which includes the Holy Rock, shall serve the inner circle of the users of the multidimensional portal to the (holographic) Heavenly Jerusalem.

11.     The Holy Rock as the launching Table: the array of eight Assembly Round Tables (ARTs) in the Octagonal Arcade of the Dome of the Rock and the positioning of 32 sages in the inner circle around the Holy Rock allows various accomplishments. It may provide a "Multi-D Portal" to the seven heavens (such as the Prophet Muhammad did). Even more than such a spectacle – The (virtual) Dome of the Rock may serves as a hangar, a production and recovery hall, for the assembly of 4D vehicles (Merkaba) – be they for sending messenger or moving as “Avatar” drones to check where participants are leaning or seeking completion. They can allow "Mind/Mine-sweeping" of identifying cancerous stances and neutralizing them – or using them as locus of the game interests. And yes, a person may ride a Merkaba that would transfers to her place in the Heavenly Jerusalem.

 

References:

Dunne, John, "The Way of All the Earth - experiments in truth and religion". NY, Mac Millan, 1972; U. of Notre Dame Press, 1986

Hayut-Man, Yitzhaq, "The Truth about Judas – the Judas Code Revealed". Waterside Publications, 2007.

Kagan, Michael, "The Holistic Haggadah", Urim Publications, Jerusalem, 2004. The title of the Hebrew version (translated back) is: "From chaos to order – what will change in this night? A Holistic Interpretation to the Passover Haggadah", Urim Publications, 2005

Knohl, Israel, “The Sanctuary of Silence: The Priestly Torah and the Holiness School”.  Eisenbrauns, 2007

Steinsalz, Adin, "The Essential Talmud", Basic Books 1984, 2006.



[1] Much as the Church tried to sever any connection between Passover and Easter, this cannot last. See "How Christianity Replaced Passover with Weekly Communion and Easter" (a Nazarene document).

[2] Note that the commandment about the Passover was given well before any commandments about the Tabernacle or Temple, and it was a commandment to the heads of family.

[3]  the first Greeks who came upon them, thought they have reached the nation of philosophers that Plato dreamt about

[4]  There is also a fifth cup, held for the perhaps possible visit of Elijah the Prophet, announcing the total redemption and the coming of the Messiah. This relates to the highest, "transpersonal" soul level.

[5] Passover and Pentecost: The Passover lasts seven days, then the week of Passover is multiplied by seven to reach the eve of the 50th Day (7 X 7 + 1 = 50) - the Feast of Pentecost/Easter (Shavu'ot - the feast of weeks), which means 50. It is said that Moses knew "The 49 Gates of Understanding", but the 50th Gate eluded him. The Pentecost (Shavu'ot) is already something new that Moses could not know as it manifests through the Land of Israel, which Moses did not reach. The point here is that the counting for Pentecost is itself a kind of data table of 7 rows and seven lines.

[6] The Passover Haggadah refers to the Torah, in which there are more commandments that deal with social issues – "Between a person and his mate" (‘bein adam laḥavero’) than with religious cult ('ben adam lamaqom’ – between man and God).

[7]  I guess he'd have found this task more difficult - maybe it would need Jesus (Yeshu’a) himself to accomplish it.

[8] It is likely that these disciples expected to become each the leader (Nasi) of one of the restored tribes.

[9] This link brings the Wikipedia summary. The important section for us in it is the last one on "Legends and Relics".

[11] The first mention of the Round Table is Robert Wace's Romance 'de Brut' (1155), which says that Arthur seated his knights at a round table so that all should be equal. 

[12]  There are several books that display Judas not as the traitor but as Jesus' closest accomplice. See Hayut-Man, 2007.

[13]  For Christian views of the Godhead see http://www.nccg.org/godhead.html

[14] Mekhilta d'Rabbi Yishmael for beShalah chapter 3; Mekhilta d'Rabbi Shim'on bar Yoḥay15:2; Yalkut Shim'oni for beShalaḥ 244

[15] For the Jerusalem Games™, we define 49 such "Sons of Abraham" via Ishmael, Isaac, Esau and the Children of Abraham's 3rd wife Qeturah (Gen. 25:1-5), which can connect the game also to the major oriental religions.  

[16]  According to the Sefer Yetzirah, our world has a compound structure of (material) world of 3D, a dimension of time and memory (Shanah), and an ethical dimension of telling good and evil (Nefesh).

[17]  As noted, the first Grail Romance says that the story was told by an old Templar knight who heard it in the 'orient'.


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