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4 April 2011

Monday Guest - Ezra Barany talks about his novel, The Torah Codes

I am pleased and honoured to have a very special guest here today, as part of his 'Virtual Blog tour' - I am delighted to welcome the author of THE TORAH CODES, Ezra Barany.

Welcome to my Blog Ezra, it's a delight to have you here.

Over to you, now!

First off, I want to thank Lyn for having me today. Lyn asked me to talk about the scientific inspiration for my suspense novel, The Torah Codes. The thing is, as much as the science inspired the story, there’s very little actual science in the book. That is, if you don’t count the chemistry, the statistics, the physics, the quantum entanglement, and so on. Ignoring those, it’s just your typical secret society watching an unsuspecting computer programmer fulfill a dangerous prophecy. 

So a little bit about me. Before I became a published author, I was a high school physics teacher. I gotta tell you. It was so much fun! Throughout my years of teaching, I explored the edge of physics concepts in the classroom and on my own. Was time-compressed energy? Is gravity not one thing, but actually a combination of two phenomena, both of which cause things to attract, just in different ways? 

My protagonist is very much like me in that science is his life. According to Nathan Yirmorshy, if science can’t explain it, it’s probably not true. One thing to watch out for is when technology and science catch up with the impossible.

For example, I was just a wee lad in the front seat of my parent’s car, and my mother was driving. I noticed a trend. Every time we came to a corner, the turn blinkers would blink on the dashboard. When the right one blinked, my mother made a right turn. When the left one blinked, my mother made a left turn. Clearly there was only one thing happening. The car was showing her how to go! I was astounded by such technology! How was it possible? But now we know that there’s no way a machine in the car can give us directions.


Of course not! We have Global Positioning Systems (GPS) now and GPS devices navigate and tell us when to turn! I’ve learned to be very careful about disregarding the seemingly impossible. Tarot, ghosts, UFOs… It’s easier to say there’s nothing to such phenomena than to admit that thousands upon thousands of credible people have had experiences with them. In my suspense novel The Torah Codes, protagonist Nathan Yirmorshy comes up with a possible explanation for why tarot works based on light theory. Of course, he couldn’t have come up with a reasonable explanation without the discovery of the interaction between light and atoms.

The same is true with the Torah codes. The codes have been studied for centuries. But without the computer, the significance of the codes could never have been verified. Once computers were a household item, proper scientific evaluation of the codes could be done. The positive results were published in the journal of Statistical Science.

I invite you to investigate and confirm for yourself all the priori hypotheses and control experiments and replications of the experiments that prove that there are indeed codes intentionally placed in the Torah. For now, enjoy the excerpt from my book The Torah Codes.

A reclusive computer programmer, Nathan Yirmorshy, pounds out ones and zeros in the quiet of his home while his landlord secretly watches from behind a two-way mirror. When an intercepted note connects the landlord to a secret society, and a detective ends up dead, Nathan must abandon his home and everything familiar to him, open his heart to a tarot reader he has never met, and trust her with his life--just as the ancient scriptures have foretold.

An appendix of essays by rabbis, doctors, and physicists discuss the themes of the book, specifically, the Bible codes and the Shekinah, the female aspect of God.


Once at my house, Sophia entered through the garage and mudroom to the living room and sat on the couch. I still had the tarot card she had placed in my shirt pocket from the reading she gave me. Still wasn’t sure I wanted to look at it. Picking the Devil card twice would be close to impossible, and in my state of mind, if the card in my pocket was the same card I picked before, well…

“Fantastic place you have here!” She kicked off her shoes, jack-knifed her legs off the floor, and nuzzled into the corner of the couch. “Do you think I could get a beer? Or are you desperate to show me your bedroom?”

“One beer coming up,” I said. I went to the kitchen, snagged two beers out, and popped the caps off into the sink. They pinged all over the sink like pachinko balls. This time, it made me think of the Brownian motion microscopic particles have when colliding with the molecules of their surroundings. I returned to the living room and offered her the beer.

“Heineken!” She said. “Nice choice.” She took a drink and looked at the bottle.

I looked at the painting of the collie. Thought about the camera placed behind it.

“Why are you still standing? Have a seat.” She patted the place next to her. I sat on the couch wondering if I should still reveal my fears about the hidden cameras and have her validate them. Was I really being watched or was this just another manic delusion of mine?

“So, Bill. Can I ask you a question?”

“You just did.”

She giggled. “Here’s another. Tell me, Bill. What’s your real name?” She looked at me as she took another swig from the beer.

I studied her. Was she bluffing? Was she really psychic? She burped and smiled, dramatized her innocence by over-fluttering her eyelids.

She wasn’t bluffing.

“How did you know?” I asked.

She smiled wider. This was a game. “Alright, I’ll tell you. You know, people do interesting things when they remember things. They look up to the left. When you told me your name, you looked up to the right. Looking up to the right means you’re making something up, not trying to remember.” She put the bottle down on the coffee table in front of her. “But then, anyone who has to look up to remember their name must have recently fallen off a horse and hit their head on a rock.”

I nodded. Clever girl. “A woman after my heart,” I said.

“Better believe it.”

I drank from my beer. Thought about the bedroom mirror. All the cameras behind it. “It’s Nathan,” I said.

“Nathan. Now that’s a nice name. Sit closer.”

I stood up. “This isn’t really why I asked you here. Could I show you something in the bedroom?”

“Well, you gotta admire a man who says what he wants.” She put her beer down and followed me.

Inside the bedroom, she sat on the bed and bounced up and down. “Pretty good spring action!”

“Over here,” I said pointing to the mirror. I cupped my hands and looked behind the glass. Yep. Still there.

Sophia came and cupped her hands against the glass. Her hands peeked out of her long sleeves like kittens in a mailbox.

“Uh…” Sophia said. “I don’t think…”

“What do you see?”

She just looked at me like I had betrayed her in some way. “I think you should take me home, now,” she said with an uneven tone. She started walking away.

I grabbed hold of her arm. “What did you see?!”

“I see a guy who makes a living posting his escapades on-line. Now let go of my arm, or so help me…”

“You see them? The cameras?”

“Of course! Why? Was I not supposed to?” Her voice got louder. But I could tell she was trying not to yell.

I let go of her arm, cupped my hands at the mirror and looked at the cameras again. “They’re not mine,” I said. “They’re my landlord’s.”


“I found them today. Just before meeting you,” I said. “He’s been watching me ever since I moved here, I guess. Taking photos, videotaping me…”

“Jeez!” She looked at the cameras again, then back at me. “Sorry that I thought…”

There was no need for her to apologize. I brushed it off with a wave of my hand.

“What are you going to do about it?” She asked.

“I’ll call the police. See what they say,” I decided. “What about you? You probably want to get home.”

“I just got here!”

“I know, but you don’t need to get involved in all this.”

She smiled. “I know what you’re trying to do.”


“You’re trying to get rid of me.”

“No! Believe me. I think you’re gorgeous. But now is not the right time. And the truth is, I’m not a one-night-stand kind of guy.”

“I know.” She studied him. “I also know you’re the hanged man. Suspended in a major life change.” She took out a business card from her back pocket. “I’m willing to help. Call me if you need anything, okay.”

“Fine.” I put the card in my pocket without looking at it. “That reminds me.” I pulled out the tarot card from my shirt pocket. “Here’s your…” I saw the devil’s grin. As though he were laughing at me. Statistically, no way that card could have been pulled twice.

Sophia noticed my reaction and said, “I know what I’m talking about. So call me, okay?”

I handed her the tarot card, removed her business card, and looked at her number. Same area code as mine.

“Okay,” I said.

Thank you so much, Ezra! That's not only a powerful and intriguing excerpt, but I loved hearing more about you and the research and experiences that led to you writing this book.  Dan Brown - eat your heart out! :)

Contact Ezra Barany:

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