Plain-Sight Secrets

 “Anything will give up its secrets if you love it enough. Not only have I found that when I talk to the little flower or to the little peanut they will give up their secrets, but I have found that when I silently commune with people they give up their secrets also – if you love them enough.” George Washington Carver (1864 – 1943)

Modern literature and film is filled with portrayals of secret societies hiding clues in plain sight. Ancient documents, buildings, or works-of-art hide a secret code that is understandable only to the faithful of the group or those who find the “key” to understand the otherwise inscrutable public message.

The Ohr Hachayim claims there is a real secret code hidden in the plain text of the Bible. In the weekly Torah reading of Terumah, Moses is given the initial instructions for the construction of the Sanctuary and its components in the Sinai Desert. The instructions are often difficult to decipher and at times seems oddly repetitious.

The Sanctuary was constructed as a light, mobile structure, quickly and easily dismantled and reassembled. It was appropriate for the Jewish desert sojourn which often had them relocating on short notice.

The Ohr Hachayim (Exodus Ch. 26) claims however, that the instructions are not only for the Sanctuary, but that also woven within the text are another set of instructions. There is a second, hidden set of instructions, for the construction of the permanent Temple that King Solomon would eventually build in Jerusalem.

It is impossible to understand the second set of instructions just by reading the text. There was a separate “key” that was handed down from Israelite father to son, from teacher to student that enabled them to decipher the otherwise obtuse text. The Ohr Hachayim claims that King David transmitted the key to his son Solomon who then constructed the Temple based on the divine plans.

May those who have the “key” pass it on and may we merit seeing the Temple rebuilt speedily in our days.

Shabbat Shalom,



To the memory of Prof. Cyril Yechiel Domb, FRS. He unlocked multiple secrets within Torah as well as Science.