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The Second Coming

What if Jesus Is Buried in the Galilee?

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Sacred statue and remake

Photography by Mark Hooper

This article first appeared in Spirituality & Health's 10th Anniversary Issue during the fall of 2008.  A few years ago, on a press tour of Israel, I was taken to the mountain town of Safed (pronounced as one syllable, “Tsfat”) in the region known as the Galilee. In the fifteenth century, Safed was a world center of Jewish thought and the birthplace of mystical Judaism known as Kabbalah. Today, Safed remains a religious center, and we had gone there to witness something called the “Bible Code” in action. According to Jewish tradition, the Torah is the word of God that has been copied perfectly, letter by letter through the millennia. Some also believe that the Torah holds coded messages about the past and future that can be revealed by pulling letters at intervals. Decoding messages from the scrolls used to take weeks or months or even years. In Safed, however, the rabbis had copies the scrolls into a computer, and now the work could be completed with a few strokes on a keyboard. The rabbi demonstrating the Bible Code glowed with pride, but his instant result seemed pretty silly to me. …

This From the Archives article was first published 10 years ago in Spirituality & Health's 10th Anniversary Issue. Subscribe Now for roughly $2 a month and get instant access to 20 years of print archives and other subscriber perks. Learn more: https://store.spiritualityheal...


Stephen Kiesling is a former Olympic rower, cocreator of the Nike Cross Training System, and editor at large of Spirituality & Health. A 35th anniversary edition of The Shell Game: Reflections on Rowing and the Pursuit of Excellence has just been published.


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