APPENDIX B

An English translation of

APPROBATIONS OF LEADING RABBIS AND SAGES

 

Our acquaintance with Mr. Doron Witztum goes many years back. He studies Torah, and is recent years has engaged in researching the hints found in Torah at equidistant intervals. The results of one of these studies, which he performed with his friend Eliyahu Rips, a math professor, was published in a prominent scientific statistical journal. Lately the above researchers were accused of doctoring and dishonestly portraying the results of their study with Rav Prof. Shlomo Zalman Havlin, their advisor regarding Torah bibliographies. Their opponents claim that the list of names and titles of Torah leaders which Prof. Havlin prepared for the purposes of the study were forged so as to insure highly successful results. According to their claim, the fraud is obvious since the rules according to which Prof. Havlin worked (and which were publicized by him) are unconvincing, particularly since in many of the cases, the composition of the lists contravened the rules themselves. We are not expert in the science of statistics, but the claims mentioned above are unrelated to this wisdom. The question is if an act of fraud was perpetrated or not, and regarding this, our view is definite. We hereby incontrovertibly affirm:

 

A. Rav Witztum and Prof. Rips are well known to us as decent and upright men of truth, to whom few in Israel can compare regarding their integrity and aversion to falsehood. It is abominable that such individuals are being accused of fraud and deception.

 

B. We investigated into Rav Havlin's character and discovered that he too is known as a reputable, decent and upright person whose trustworthiness is not under question, particularly in his area of competence and especially in so transparent a matter.

 

C. We checked the rules according to which Prof. Havlin formulated his list of names and titles of Torah leaders, and we found that it was commensurate with both professional standards and common sense.

 

D. The list is in keeping with the principles. We found that all the opponents' individual claims concerning deviations from the principles are false, and are a testimony to their glaring ignorance and unfamiliarity with the subject.

 

In the light of the above, we hereby affirm that the work of Rav Doron Witztum, Prof. Eliyahu Rips and Rav Prof. Shlomo Zalman Havlin does not contain an iota of fraud or deception, and the claims of their opponents are a reprehensible libel. Whoever assists them, will face judgment one day.

 

Hereby confirmed on Elul, 5758

Boruch Shmuel Hakohen Deutsch Shlomo Fisher

 

I wish to add my testimony to the signatories above, who are distinguished Torah leaders, and whose words may be relied upon. Although I am not acquainted with the issue, it is clear to me that all those who cast aspersion on the Torah's hints, which are deduced through letters of equidistant intervals, are doing a great injustice. Those observant Jews who join them are partners in their impure intentions, and will face judgment one day. May the Almighty give all of them a new change of heart.

Who signs for the honor of heaven,

 

Shmuel, son of the Gaon Rav Shlomo Zalman Auerbach

 

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2 Marcheshvan 5759

 

It is known that a way exists to discover hints and matters from the Torah by reading letters at equidistant intervals. This method is found in the commentary of Rabeinu Bechai on the Torah and the works of Rav Moshe Cordovero. More recently, the tzadik, Rav Weissmandel, revealed wondrous things with this method. To my surprise, I have heard that opponents to this method have arisen claiming that various deceptions were performed by those who are involved in this method today. It is astonishing to me that they were not intimidated to state their claims after the Gaon Rav Shlomo Zalman Auerbach gave his clear agreement to the method of equidistant intervals, and after Rav Auerbach's son, the Gaon Rav Shmuel, censured them. I am uncertain of these opponent's intentions. Are they troubled that at seminars to make people religious, that these astonishing matters are sometimes taught, and their effect on the listeners is profound? Is this what is bothering them? Whatever the reason of those who oppose this method, it is certainly not a dispute for the sake of heaven, and we must strengthen those who are engaged in this method, for it is a totally honest endeavor. May they be encouraged and see blessed results to their deeds, and may they continue to increase the honor of our holy Torah and its influence on all who seek the Almighty's closeness. May the Almighty help those who engage for the sake of heaven in this honest discipline of studying equidistant intervals,

 

Shlomo Wolbe

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When more can I add in writing to the view already mentioned by Torah leaders that there is a procedure and truth to the method of equidistant intervals. Moreover, the findings of this method are used only as a way to reinforce and increase wonderment at the divinity of the Torah's wisdom, and not as a proof that the Torah is from heaven. It is well known that our faith is built on a reliable tradition, which our ancestors saw with their own eyes and heard with their own ears, and publicizing this method has merely reinforced this impression.

 

Mattisyahu Chaim Salomon

 

Translated by:

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With the help of G-d, Erev Shabbos Kodesh, Parshas Chukas Balak, 5759

Two "Tzanteri D'dahava" (Aramaic; literally, "Golden vessels", i.e., people of impeccable character), may they live long, came before me and set before me the allusions in the Torah by way of ELS in the Torah. Although I am not adept in the discipline of statistics, what has clearly emerged from their words, was that there was no trickery or dishonesty on the part of these who search for the Word of Hashem and whose will is only to uplift Torah and to exalt her.

The sources in the words of our antecedent sages that there is in fact this way to find allusions in the Torah is known. Thank G-d, we in our days have been privileged to the means to find many more [such allusions] for his Namesake.

There surely are those that will falsify and misconstrue and about them the verse says, "the righteous shall go in [the ways of Hashem] and..." but this is no reason not to use the aforementioned allusions to open the blind eyes of many of our blinded Brethren of B'nei Yisroel. Maybe through these things they will return to drink from the Living Waters of our holy torah.

Let the strength and power of those who bring the hearts of K'lal Yisroel back to their father in heaven be strengthened and we should all merit the Light of Moshiach speedily in our days.

With blessings of success,

Shmuel Kamenetsky

Translated into English by Rabbi Sholom Kamenetsky