The Copper Scroll

This article was originally entitled: "The Yud; י the Caf; כ the Lamed ל; and the Esoteric Nature of their Inclusion in the Copper Scroll. It was never published and this post is the first version available to the general public.

The Yud, the Caf and the Lamed...

The yud is the 10th letter of the Hebrew Aleph-Bet; the caf is the 11th letter; and the lamed is the 12th letter. The gematria of these letters progresses in similar fashion with the yud having a numeric value of 10; the caf 20; and the lamed 30. 

The Sages of Israel teach that the lamed is actually a combination of the two letters that immediately precede it (i.e. the yud and the caf). Not only does the bottom of the yud combine with the top of the caf to physically form the lamed, but when you add the gematria of the yud and the caf together (10 and 20) you get the gematria of the lamed (30). In the esoteric teachings of these Sages, this is significant. In terms of the Copper Scroll, it may be much more than that! 

The Lamed that is More than a Lamed...

The shape, size and position of one particular lamed in the scroll is rather unique. The upper portion of the lamed is of course a yud, but in the case of the scroll, this yud becomes an extended tower that soars well above the rest of the letter. As you will see in a moment, it even reaches the middle of the line above. Equally unusual is the fact that the base portion of the lamed (in the shape of a caf) is only about half the normal size and in addition, it is embedded into the upper half of the line of text in which it is found. This is rather unusual if not unprecedented. The form and position of the lamed on this line is clearly deliberate. The question is why.

There are a number of reasons for altering the size, shape or position of letters in a document. The Sages of Israel used such letters to conceal secrets⎯secrets that were to remain a mystery until such time as their revelation could be used to sanctify the Name. 

The Book of Esther is a good example. There are three letters that are about half the size of all the other letters and in close proximity, and there is another letter that is more than double the size of the other letters. These letters appear in the list of the names of Haman’s ten sons. In Hebrew, there are no numbers per se. Instead, letters themselves are used in place of numbers. Some have suggested that these particular letters represent a date corresponding to a similar event that occurred on Purim, shortly after WWII, when, like Haman’s ten sons, ten of Hitler’s henchmen were hanged for their atrocities against the Jewish people. The event took place thousands of years after the events in the Book of Esther, but the motive for the atrocity and the intended outcome were identical. Is this more than coincidence?

According to the Book of Esther, king Ahashverosh ordered that Haman and his ten sons be hung on the gallows, and they were hung immediately. The 'King' later offers to give Esther anything she wants, but her request is: “that these ten men be hung on the gallows” …a curious request in light of the fact that Haman’s ten sons had already been hung! 

Some have suggested that her request was not to king Ahashverosh, but to the King of the Universe, as Ahashverosh’s name does not appear in this line of text, and that it pertained to a future event. Considering what transpired after the Nuremburg trials, this may well be the case. 

On the way to the gallows, one of the ten Nazis who had worked to exterminate the Jews (as Haman had done before him) yelled “Purim fest 1946!” The story of this Nazi and his reference to Purim fest is well known and documented on sites like Wikipedia. Interestingly, all of this happened in the very year that was encoded into the gematria of the four unusual letters in the book of Esther. One of those letters (the large one) concealed the millennia in which this was to occur, and the other three letters (the small ones) concealed the specific year of that millennium. All
10 of Hitlers henchmen were hung that very year. If that doesn't give you goosebumps, nothing will.

The three small letters are the tav, the shin and the zayin. Together their gematria equals 707. The large letter is a vav, which equals 6. On the Hebrew calendar, the year these Nazis were hung was 5707, which was the 707th year of the 6th Millennium. 

In the case of the Copper Scroll, the caf that forms the base of the lamed is also half the normal size (like the small letters in the book of Esther) and the “flame” or “tower” of the lamed soaring above the letter is twice the normal size, extending from the upper half of the line below to the middle of the line above. This lamed may therefore have great significance.

The כaf that is More than a Caf...
In addition to the caf that is contained within this particular lamed, the writers repeatedly use a double caf (caf-caf) of normal size, to precede certain icons, pictures, or marks, that some authorities believe are either inventory marks, or other identifying marks or locators.

The Hebrew phrase cah-chah (also spelled caf-caf) can mean “like this,” as if to say: “…it will look like this2 or be marked “like this.” The scroll explains that the "Cave of the Column” with “two openings” is beside a wadi (a dry river bed) by the name of “Wadi Kippa,” that is on the ancient road from Jericho to Succacah. The name of this wadi in combination with the caf used in the scroll is significant because the letter caf is also the root of the word kippa which is worn by Torah observant Jewish men to cover the head. Although, the letter literally means “palm,” as when the palm of the hand is placed on the head during a blessing. All of these concepts are interconnected and the significance will become increasingly clear as we proceed.

A double caf also relates to the sefirah of keter where the caf can be expressed as twin spiritual aspects (partzufim) each of which contain ten sefirot (sefer yetzirah: 5 opposite 5). This is why, when praying for someone who is ill, or to give someone a blessing, we place two palms on that person while praying, where the two hands (physical twins) are in the form of 5 opposite 5. This channels the three columns (that correspond to the 10 in the tree of life) into two columns (i.e. the 10 on 2 in the form of the fingers on the hands/palms of the individual engaged in tefillah).

This 'action' has the power to turn 'potential' into reality (as in to bless or heal). It also corresponds to God giving to man (via the sephirot) an answer to prayer by virtue of these actions (associated with a man's two hands) and so the Divine is brought down into the physical world. The underlying basis for this is hidden in the geometry of the shnei luchot with three dimensions and '72' aspects (triplets) as pictured throughout this blog. The act of using one's hands while 'blessing' is thus associated with, acknowledges, or is otherwise related to a recognition of 'the source' in the letters of God's Name (where the letters define the luchot in terms of two dimensions as 2 x 108, like the two hands, or three-dimensionally in terms of 3 x 72, like the three columns of the tree). 

At the same time, the triplets are 'twins' that are ultimately brought down twice in the form of the two luchot (twin partzufim of 10 bearing this same mathematic and geometric signature) and where each half of their combined cubic form is characterized by five internal mathematic constructs, opposite their five counterparts (explained more fully in the post on these 5 constructs) and where each takes physical form in five commandments on one tablet opposite five commandments on the other; or in human physiology as the five fingers on one hand, opposite the five fingers on the other (among other things) that are placed on the head of the person being blessed or in need of healing. Each is a reflection of a larger reality that is entirely dependent on (and specifically created and defined by) the letters of God's Name. The additional significance of two cafs' thus becomes apparent. This is the underlying reason why the letter caf was the letter inscribed (with the anointing oil) on the forehead of the kohenim (priests) neviim (prophets) or melahkim (kings) and it may also be the reason why we see twin cafs (or two palms) in the scroll (we'll expand on this in the paragraphs ahead).

If the scroll is a record of where Jeremiah hid Israel’s “inheritance,” then the caf or cafs used in the scroll have a great deal more significance than would first appear, especially in light of the way they connect with the unique lamed that we mentioned above (as you will see in a moment). The picture below depicts a line in the scroll in which two special cafs are found. The text adjacent to this line speaks of a cave with two openings with a pillar or column, by a wadi (dry river bed). This text is read right to left, and so the first characters in the line are the Hebrew letters (caf-caf). These are followed by symbols or pictographs that look like what is described in the adjacent text, which is a picture of two cave openings, separated by a column, and then another two lines to the left of that, which depict a river bed. Moreover, on the road between Jericho and Succacah (also mentioned in the scroll) there is a twin cave with a column in between and a wadi to the south (to the left of the caves). The scroll refers to this wadi by the name 'wadi kippa' (the caf being the root of the word kippa). 

The fact that this particular icon happens to be in the same column and in the midst of text picturing two actual caves with a column by a wadi, lends further credence to the pictographic theory. However, the actual geographic location (to which the scroll may be referring) has a cave exactly like this, and it also has something else.

A Lamed that Soars into the Air...
In the same column of the scroll, is where we find the unusual lamed mentioned in the beginning of this post, with a little caf, half the normal size, positioned into the upper half of the line. The picture above did not show this lamed because it was our intention to focus your attention on the two cafs' and the pictograph. The picture below however, is more complete. It shows the two lines that follow. Note that the finger of the lamed on the line immediately below the symbols, extends all the way to the middle of the line above, and specifically to the symbol depicting "the column" between two caves. It is as if "the finger" of the lamed is pointing to a spot on the column. The significance of these unusual characteristics will be explained in a moment.

As we have already mentioned, the shape or 'substance' of a lamed consists of a caf and a yud. The caf is like the palm of a hand and the yud towering into the air above is like the finger of the same hand. With regard to the esoteric nature of this yud that soars above the lamed, it is said that "...three hundred laws (10 x 30, yud x lamed) relate to the secret of this “flying tower.” Although, the word 'laws' might best be viewed in the context of those that observe and administer those laws, like the thirty (six) tzadikim for whom the world 'stands,' times the 10 commandments they observe. The letter lamed by the way (gematria 30) is the source or origin for the mathematic function known as lambda. When used in computer programming or calculus, the term 'lambda' refers to an anonymous function like the lambda extraction. This is like the thirty (six) tzadikkim who were anonymous. Who were they, and why are they significant?

I was once told that when Jeremiah and his companions hid the mishkan (tabernacle) and the ark of the covenant, that “…three hundred priests ~ and levites without number ~ closed up the way” (30 x 10). The secret of the flying tower involves the yud that corresponds to all “...the sparks returning to Israel” at the time of the redemption, which is exactly what these men were trying to ensure. The scroll reveals what was hidden, and where it was hidden. The lamed (in that scroll) with its flying tower and unique secret, does much the same!

When a Yud is Not a Yud...
The letter yud corresponds to ten because of its gematria. We count from one to ten not because we have ten fingers. We have ten fingers that are specifically 5 opposite 5 because of the five opposing constructs that are mathematically 5 opposite 5 in the geometry of the luchot. Those constructs provide even more specifics, because 1 of them is different from the other 4 (the construct defining the tetrahedron is its own polar opposite, whereas the others have different polar opposites). The same is true of the human hand because 1 (the thumb) is different from the other 4 (the fingers). The nature of one's hands is the direct result of this specification in the blueprint, not the other way around. The base 10 number system should be understood as a function of the mathematic constructs in the luchot that consist of ten elements, be they perceived as 10 commandments (5 opposite 5) or 10 geometric aspects (5 opposite 5) all of which are a function of the 216 letters in the One Unique Explicit Name that define the properties of the cosmic blueprint. 

If the caf is the palm of the hand and the yud or finger of that hand points to a path or place where the soul connects with the divine, or the future (all of which are alluded to by, and an intrinsic part of the lamed) then what is the lamed in the scroll really pointing to?

We'll get to that in a moment, but before we do, it's also important to understand that the yud in this particular lamed is more than just a yud. Even though it is said that the lamed consists of the two letters that precede it (a yud and a caf) in this extended form, it actually depicts a vav in place of the yud! It is this extension that causes the yud (or crown) to tower above the rest of the letter and soar into the air as it does. 
The lamed in the scroll goes beyond this since it intersects and merges with the line above. Note (again) that the caf  forming the base of the lamed is entirely out of place on the line below, as though the small caf alludes to something else! Look at the picture, and contemplate this a moment before proceeding

You Will Find a Caf Here… “Like This”...
The stone column that separates the two cave openings located on "the road from Jericho to Succacah,” happens to have a natural but nearly perfect caf embedded into it (photo below) as suggested by the icon above that depicts the finger of the lamed pointing to the column between the caves. Remember the two cafs (caf-caf) meaning "like this," that precede the pictograph with the column? The caf in the column is the same type of caf (referred to as Ezra Script) that is found in the scroll. The lamed points to the exact spot on the column where this type of caf is actually found. The message would seem to symbolically indicate that… “you will find a caf here on the column,” where 'these things' have been hidden.

A color photograph of those caves, and the column along with the caf is shown below from a different angle. Again, you can see this “caf” in the column, and again, you can see that it is of the same form as the cafs in the pictograph. The reference in the scroll along with the 'map' (picture) of the cave, column and wadi, brings to mind the theme of treasure maps that use natural formations to 'point the way.' These formations just happen to look like what they describe, and so they become convenient 'markers.' They are invariably natural, rather than man-made formations. It is unlikely that the caf-like formation in the column was intentionally carved into the mountain. Nevertheless, its resemblance is striking.

The Caf Marks the Spot...
Note (again) that thecaf-caf” in the scroll is of the square variety (Ezra Script) and that it has a distinct “flame” (tip) that extends above the letter, like the caf in the scroll. The caf in the stone on the column is of the same form.

"Like this... on the column"...

Considering that: 1) the letter caf figures so prominently in the pictograph; 2) that it takes this shape and form; 3) that it seems to be used by the writers of the scroll as a marker or locator; and 4) considering that the lamed in the scroll “points” to what appears to be a caf of the same form embedded in the actual column between the two caves in question, it should be considered more than just a coincidence, and while an “X” normally marks "the spot” on a treasure map, in this case, it appears that quite possibly, it is a letter caf (“כ”) that marks the spot referenced by the author(s) of the Copper Scroll! 

Treasure maps often contain one or more geographic and/or geologic references to some landmark that resembles something else. Whether it be Robert Louis Stevenson’s Treasure Island, or Alexander Dumas’ Count of Monte Cristo… all such maps refer to a place where “X marks the spot,” or some path passes by some geologic landmark like "l'lephant“ (the elephant) in the re-telling of the Dumas novel, or some other equally cryptic reference, that remains cryptic until such time as the “treasure hunter” discovers a perfectly natural rock formation that corresponds to the cryptic description the author used to hide the location. Once that landmark is found, the cryptic reference is no longer a mystery. The same may be true of the Copper Scroll. We are not saying the Copper Scroll is a treasure map, although in a very real sense it is.

The Yud that is More than a Yud...
We have already discussed the unusual shape and size of the lamed. It should be noted that the lamed, written with a yud “soaring in the air” (like a vav) is also found elsewhere including more ancient documents having to do with esoteric matters. This particular style of writing a lamed is ancient. It is found in artwork that corresponds to certain traditions and in other objects that are, for example, used for the ritual fulfillment of mitzvoth, that are themselves steeped in mystical tradition. 

The extended yud (vav) is also referred to as a “pillar” which happens to be the word used in the scroll to describe the column between the two openings. The text in this line of the scroll could just as easily be translated “the cave of the pillar” in which case the pillar of the lamed would be pointing to the pillar between the two openings of the cave of the pillar. We are reminded of the passage in the Torah where the 216 letters appear as a contiguous sequence, and where we are told 'the Angel of HaShem moved from the front to the back,' so that it came 'between the Israelites and the Egyptians,' and then adds that the water rose up to the left and to the right like two walls. The text is referring to the pillar of fire although it is also, quite literally, 'the [geometric] pillar' in the midst of three opposing sets of continuums in a three-dimensional matrix with 216 elements (and that specific geometry is hidden in the text of that parashah) as explained in our posts on Parashah BeShalach and also "the Four Species and the Name." Thus, reference in the scroll to a pillar or cave of the pillar using a special letter that represents a pillar, has numerous esoteric implications.

The letter vav also has a very interesting grammatical function. When placed at the beginning of a future verb, it changes the future into the past, and vice-versa. When placed at the beginning of a past verb, it changes the past to the future. It not only alludes to the nature of what may be hidden beneath this particular mountain, but it also alludes to the power of teshuvah, repentance, i.e. man’s ability to convert past mistakes into merits. The vav thus contains within it the power to change the ways of the past, so as to create the future. Because of this, the vav is said to be the pillar of creation, the essence of things created, to endure, return, or inevitably come back, as when something that was hidden is later recovered. The pillar of creation? The 'essence' of things being created? All of these things are related to the cube of creation. The letter vav, for example, has a gematria of 6, just like the measure for each dimension in the cube [of creation] that was 6 x 6 x 6. Perhaps this is why the vav is said to be the letter of truth. The Primordial Torah (combined cubic form of the luchot) is what ultimately defines truth, as it is quite literally "the measurement of all things created." The pillar or vav has been referred to as “the golden path,” and it even alludes to Mashiach! The Tree of Life is comprised of three pillars (which is like three vavs or three 'sixes') which is again like the measure of the luchot in each of its three dimensions that have six continuums, and a total volumetric measure of 216 cubic handbreadths (the number of letters in the Name). Everything is interconnected and our reality is a function of this larger reality.

Jeremiah and his companions would have been keenly aware of all of these allusions and their implications. The cave complex which is described in the scroll matches an actual cave complex at the location mentioned, and interestingly enough, that particular cave complex geologically consists of three prominent rock formations. In fact, the cave openings (along with the one that appears to be hidden below ground) coincide with three vertical fracture lines (like three vavs). There is also another cave nearby, much smaller than the rest, hidden above, and so one is different from the other three, like the marriage of the letters in the (abbreviations of the) Name, where one couple is different from the other three (as explained in the post on the marriage of the letters).

A Vav by Any Other Name...
If the items mentioned in the scroll are somewhere under the mountain pictured herein, then the north cave (north/hidden) would literally have been considered a golden path to Israel’s future by those who authored the scroll! The writers of the scroll would have been aware of all these parallels and the matters to which they allude. They would also be aware that the formation of the mountain wherein they hid these things, had a physical resemblance to these concepts.

While the vav, or pillar, tends to be incorporated in some texts merely for literary style, the scroll is anything but a literary work. It has cryptic symbols, arcane references and obtuse grammar in the text that make it difficult to read.

The fact that it was baked in clay and then hidden, would seem to indicate that the authors were not trying to impress anyone with their literary style. Its letters were embedded into the Copper for purpose of preserving the message. The letters are of the Ezra Script variety (the original form considered most 'holy' and those used by Moshe when the letters of Torah were given to Israel at Sinai) but written as plain block letters of normal size, as simple and short as possible, which emphasizes the significance of the elaborate form of the lamed, which was longer, carefully placed, and positioned to extend above, which obviously required more time and effort.

The Signature of Thirty Six...
All of the other letters in the scroll are simple, basic representations of Hebrew letters (albeit of Ezra Script) but the lamed with its unusual tower where the yud is stretched into the shape of a vav extending to a spot on the column/pillar in the line above, is different. It required more time to write, or embed, between the characters of the line in question, at a time when the scribes were running out of time (just prior to their exile in Babylon) and forced to act hurriedly to preserve the location of where these things were hidden.

This has some interesting implications. In every generation there are a small number of hidden tzaddikim whose devotion to God in learning Torah and performing mitzvot, literally keeps the world from flying apart at the seams. The sages refer to them simply as the “36” or lamed-vav. The gematria of the yud, when combined with the caf  (that are both in the lamed) and the vav in the 'flying tower,' is also thirty-six. These holy souls continually bring God’s presence into the world. It is said that they are second to the King, and that this is the secret of the letter 'bet' in the word “lamed-bet” which spells 'lev' (heart) in Hebrew (bet is the second letter in the aleph-bet, and the second letter of the word “lev”). 

The geometry at the heart of the star tetrahedron (that mathematic construct within the combined cubic form of the luchot that we mention so often) is an octahedron. The three-dimensional geometry of the octahedron has 4 (male) faces opposite 4 (female) faces. This geometry is the mirror image of the heart of the 216 letters in the Explicit Name, which is the 4 letters of the Tetragrammaton opposite the 4 letters in the Havayah of Adnoot. Moreover, within the star tetrahedron, the octahedral core, or 'lev/heart' of one tetrahedron overlays the octahedral core, or 'lev/heart' of the other, and so "the two hearts beat as one" within the geometry!

Considering all of the above, the inclusion of this form of lamed in the scroll in its unusual form may be considered a veiled reference to the identity of those who were charged with the duty of preserving the information contained therein. The text of the scroll was laboriously etched and ultimately embedded in copper and then baked in clay to preserve its physical integrity for several millennia so that the message of the scroll would not be lost, and this is exactly what one would expect from those who were given such responsibility! The signature that we seem to find on the scroll—alluding to this group of men whom the sages regarded as the guardians of the physical universe—those men who would guide the course of events and “attract all of the sparks…  to return to their source in Israel”… are those who would be involved in bringing about the redemption! Jeremiah and the others who were involved in creating the scroll, were adherents to these esoteric teachings. From a religious or Torah perspective, this is in fact why, what will be found, was hidden, so long ago!


Note 1 - For more information on the deeper meanings of various Hebrew letters, I recommend Rav Ginsberg's book entitled "The Hebrew Letters: Channels of Creative Consciousness" available from Gal Einai

Note 2 - Special thanks to my friend Vendyl, of blessed memory.


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