Michael S. Diamond
Michael S. Diamond
Torah Obscura

Chapter 25: As One

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The Ritual begins. Having been instructed in the resurrected art of the davenen, the Order of Prayer, The Hacke Packe follows Rav Ram Nissan HaKohen Tzedek Gadol, AKA the Rav, in a wilde stumble through the labyrinth of The CADMan’s buried cyber-treasures. One by one, and as a whole, the hackers discover they are each unique parts of a cybermatrix whereby is effected the reconstruction of a Virtual Temple Mount and its Holy Gates.

The Reader is reminded that this is a continuation of Undivided: the Redemption Inquiry. The 25th chapter of the novel and the penultimate installment of…

Part the Fifth—The Unified Field: In which the team of ten sundry souls, The Hacke Packe, converge kaleidoscopically and take upon themselves the energetic properties of the kabbalistic Tree of Life, the structure for channeling the CADMan’s plan, and find Krishna Katz’s locus on the Mappe of The Redemption. The reader achieves the epic denouement after having risen through successive realms of Action, Intention, Creation, Emanation and at last, the threshold of Compleat Unification with ye All. A wilde ride to the finish in The Cosmick Funhouse, all from the vantage of the resurrected consciousness of The CADMan.

 *     *     *     *     *

Just past break of dawn, a mere hour into its uprising in the East, the sun beats with unbridled ferocity upon the Nicanor Gate. The Rav sits facing his companions, rivulets of sweat coursing down the arroyos of his gaunt visage. He feels at once unimaginably ancient and yet rejuvenated by the tremendous surge of juice pulsing through the group. He signals for the others’ attention, closes his eyes to initialize the credo, first in Hebrew and then in English sprinkled liberally with his own cyberpunk lingo:

Dig, you who wrestle Power: The Encrypted is Our Morphability, The Encrypted is Unitary. Download Its dense Code, Its Rulemaking in infinite iterations! You shall open The Encrypted—Your Morphability—with all your subroutines, with all your juice and with all your hardware. These logics to which I link you now shall be encoded in your subroutines. And you shall replicate them in your own coding, and you shall enable them in every orientation. And you shall tag them as an icon for your action sequence, and they shall be as dropdowns on your monitor. And you shall script them on the portals to your motherboard and upon the interfaces. 

As the crew quietly mouths the Rav’s formulation of the oneness credo, each feels a subtle click of connectivity, a resonant clang within the Matrix of Matter. 

A bit of rachmanas meditation, then the Rav turns to the Nicanor Gate. He clasps the two front corners of his tzitzit and weaves the indigo-light-emitting threads into the fingers of his left hand. The others echo his praxis. As the Rav intones the words of code, so say they all: “For the sake of the union of The Cordoned One, Who is downloaded, with Its Receptive Presence, to unite the projecting and receiving halves of The Code in perfect unity with the code of all who wrestle Power.” Each of  the ancient Verses of Praise vibrates a notch higher than the last. Wordless, they scour their eyes with cobalt blue—bathing the whites in the light given off by their lifted tzitzit—then touch the dongles to their lips and release them. Maximal awe. A thin film sizzles away from their sclerae,  a whole sparking  world rendered visible. The million nerve endings in every pair of lips laid bare to prophesy. Beyond the Nicanor Gate, behold. For the first time in all its glory, the holograph of the Holy Temple. 

Ram Nissan puts a finger to his lips and indicates it’s time. The next procedure, simply labeled ‘Happy’, begins. Emotional sine qua non for all who would enter prophetic reality. ‘Happy’, the Hebrew aleph-betic acrostic psalm Nard had gleaned from his antiquarian research, is a somewhat later addition to the ancient prayer sequence. A handful of disciples of the great Rabbi Akiva, those who had escaped torture and execution at Roman hands, were determined to subvert the interdiction against the transmission of the lineage. A brave lot in dark times. The Rav ginned up a cyberpunk translation to give it a little bounce for his non-Hebrew-speaking teammates. They dig it. And they begin:

Aleph, altitudinous, O Ruling Morphability! I download Your Code iterated to infinity.
Bet, bounty of the daily download, full-throated, enables Your Code iterated to infinity.
Gimmel, grand scale maxed out full-throated, enables The Encrypted, amped without limit.
Dalet, demos in every generation sync with your program and amp Your signal strength.
Hei, heady density of Your elegance, logicked deeds and wonders.
Vav, vocalized, the kick of Your awesomeness, I scribe Your amptitude.
Zayin, zeal to retrieve Your abundant features, sings Your rectitude.
Chet is chevre, fellowship of The Encrypted in grace, mercy, patience and great lovingkindness.
Tet, topmost of all, how forgiving are all your programs.
Yud, Yes to The Encrypted recursively via Its programs, your faithful shall download You.
Kaf, cupped hand, holds the density of Your Rulemaking, and codes Your signal strength.
Lamed, large writ before humans, Its signal strength and the dense elegance of Its Rulemaking.
Mem, Making rules, Your Rulemaking at all program levels, Your governance runs demos in every generation.
Nun is now…

and here the Rav inserts the phrase corresponding to the letter nun that has been mysteriously absent from the acrostic for over two thousand years. Ram Nissan’s lineage, The Gathering, keepers of the secret, have been waiting to utter it now—

…we will do and then we will grok, and we shall note The Encrypted rulemakes all programs, and on this day The Encrypted and Its Icon are Unified.

A shudder rumbles through the Temple Mount, the slow turning of colossal ancient gears.

Samech, stand you fallen ones, The Encrypted straightens that which is bent.
Ayin, all eyes cracked to you, to be fed in their time.
Peh

the Rav musters his utmost concentration—

…put forth Your hand…

he extends a tremulous left arm, as with the fingers of his right hand he touches the code box on the biceps, and then the box of code above his brow while completing the phrase—

and feast…the Will of Life!

The Rav touches his lips with his right hand and stretches the fingers of his leatherbound left hand toward the gate. He gapes as the two gargantuan holoDoors of the Nicanor Gate swing wide. The entire crew, momentarily forgotten by him, stands behind him and gasps in unison. Fired up, they belt out:

Tzadi, ‘tsoutrageous, the Encrypted installs rectitude in all Its paths, fidelity in all Its programs.
Qoof, quarantined is the Encrypted and all that quarantine with It, to all who call up Its truth values.
Reish, radically wonderstruck, their will is programmed; and in their time it is grokked and installed.
Shin, surety of all those who open The Encrypted, It eliminates corruption.
Tav, total synchronization withThe Encrypted logics all our formulae; may all wetware download Its quarantined Code in infinite iterations!

The Twins, Nard and Pink leap whoop punch. Soph, Elly, Flora and O ululate. Each time the CADMan’s software responds to their cyber-jive, another celebratory burst. The whole crew pogos as one, pure joy. And the Rav sees that it is very cool. The next world of encryption, the arena of well-formed formulae, of the first derivative of the code, of tinkering, beckons them through parted curtains.

The crew sluices through the Nicanor Gate, floods the narrow span of the Citizen’s Courtyard and gushes up the four steps to the Azarah, the courtyard of the Heichal, the very Temple itself. At every step a hollered “Hallelujah!” Only poor Olympia stands behind at the Nicanor as per plan. She mimes her aggrievedness with a familiar twinkling pout. They blow her kisses from the third step. The last of the four steps, twice the height and therefore garnering a double hallelujah, yields in a flash to the surging Hack Pack as they spume over the top. Although spry at one hundred twenty, the Rav appreciates the assist from his comrades whose open palms grasp his bony arms. They haul him over the ledge, but must catch him when his knees buckle, dumbstruck at the sight of the majestic hologram, the Holy Temple risen before his eyes.

Ram Nissan never allowed himself to dream this moment. He sighs the sigh of six thousand years of Creation culminating in a single act. The Rav surveys the crew and shakes his limbs, gets his land legs. He knows what comes next. “OK then, bucheroos,” he blurts, “It’s time for the fire and water segment of today’s phantasmagoria. Stow your gear, and mine while you’re at it, behind this here mizbeach, the big honking holographic bronze altar in front of us. Then hustle right back and buckle in for whatever ride that I, CADMan, feature next.” A mad dash, the Hack Pack returns in a flash, hounds to the scent. The Rav leads the crew up the wide ramp of the mizbeach. They line up on the ledge just beneath the platform of the altar. The Rav, finger to his lips, indicates he is about to commence. Eyes closed, he recites from memory,

Downloaded is The Encrypted, to infinity, bit by bit. Downloaded is The Encrypted from Its ancient blueprint, that resides in an holographic icon. Bookmark the Encrypted! Downloaded is The Encrypted’s Morphability, the Morphability of those who wrestle Power, Who programs anomalies. And downloaded is Its dense Code for infinite iterations. And Its density fills all domains, point by point.

The next download is in the queue. The Rav pauses, inhales the full capacity of his lungs, catches the eyes of each of his crew, and sallies forth:

And the Beloved downloaded the Encrypted before the eyes of all the assembly…

The former cyber-bucheroo chants the words of King David who stood before the altar to receive the peoples’ gifts for the construction of the first Temple, a temple that David would not see built before his death. The price of a lifetime spent in the shedding of blood. Out of nowhere, a startling thunderstrike of fire slams into the altar. A fifty foot column of holoFlame roars before them. Each of the crew sees, as black flame upon white, the unique tattoo in the arc of their own act and those of their forebears, branded in the Tree of Life. Signal capture for the Rav, transduction for Soph, amplification for Lev, focus for Ari, equalization for Elisheva, broadcast for Nard, bias for Flora, and Pink the ground for the whole majestic enterprise. But there’s more. They gaze, each into a personal fire, eyes aglow with a web of flickering probabilities—all possible lives, connections, futures, all in eternal superposition.

Flames engulf consciousness, expectations, self definition, all nullified in raging ‘Everything-ness’. The Rav, absorbed in the vividity of the fiery holoThangka, is humbled by the wondrous information density. The Tree of Life at the end of his mind, the asymptote toward which he had striven in his paltry life as a cyber-huxter. One flame consumes them all. As suddenly as the column of flame appeared, it vanishes. They stand in absolute silence, each in mind of the spark he tends, and of its obliteration in the holoFlame. Even the Twins, momentarily stunned. Still wowed, the Rav mutters, “Mi kamocha, who is like You?” I, CADMan, am silently pleased. Out of the corner of his eye the next mystery in my holoScape calls the Rav, just off the far edge of the ramp to the altar. There it be, the Yam shel Shlomo, the Brazen Sea, the Molten Sea, the Sea of Solomon, the Source. A startling hologram of a colossal brass basin, seated atop twelve brazen oxen. The ritual bath for the purification of the priests who once attended the Heichal. The crew troops single file down the ramp behind the Rav and huddles in a semicircle before the massive Yam. Stock still, the Rav peers into its gleaming convexity, “Damn, it all maps to the davenen so perfectly. “ I smile my disembodied smile.

Pink cocks an inquiring eye. The Rav gestures at the trail they’ve traced thus far, “The ritual, passed down for seven generations, maps so perfectly onto these Temple structures. How could the CADMan know? Or my forebears? No one ever frickin’ told me about it, that’s for damn sure.” Another disembodied smile at the Rav’s epiphany. I felt the exact same way when I first discovered the tantric Temple for myself. The Place, coming to a consciousness near yours! A bemused grin cracks the Rav’s weathered visage as ancient memories tumble to mind, memories of his rebellion against his father’s ways, the much beloved Rav Krishna, his outright disgust at what he perceived  to be Tata’s toadying to the AI overlords. He, Rav Ram Nissan, bore the scars of that oppression to this very day. Then it clicks, he groks the next step. “Alright, everyone into the soup!” All shrug and laugh, as one after the other they clamber up the holoBasin and vault its lip. Ari shoves Lev face first into the crisscross of the holoPool. In full linen gear, they are saturated yet not wet, at play in a vast sea of nothing. Olympia, from her post, looks on as she too levitates before the Nicanor.

The crew elbows its way around the edge of the giant holoTub, buoyed by my artful hocus-pocus. The Rav is on a roll, “After all the victories over the strange and unsettling challenges of the psychonautical life, gold rings racked up for each new psychic territory conquered, there’s still that one mother of all doubt that squats quietly in the dark, somewhere in the vastness of consciousness, waiting to take you down. But you were already taken down, are taken down, and will be taken down indefinitely.” Ari studiously avoids the Rav’s gaze. Then Rav Ram Nissan grins, “Unless you dissolve it first. For starters, you have to see it, the pretender enthroned in your heart.” He thumps his sternum. “The catch is there’s still some part of your psyche that’s holding. Right there.” The Rav clamps his head on either side with his palms and swivels it around like a gyroscope.

“Come on people, dig deep. Purge yourselves and quench your fiery mettle. Be invincible. Time to croon the song of Moses the navigator, the Song at the Sea. Catch sight of that bad boy, dive the waters and shake the snares. That’s the CADMan’s gambit.” Pink interrupts excitedly, “By my calculation, the chaotic intersection of all these holoWaves creates a necessary and sufficient variety of waveforms that the one that perfectly cancels you is for sure in the mix.” The Rav smiles and takes a deep breath, “Yes, bitul, self-nullification, the name of the game. From the nothing of you, everything. Catch, join, surf the wave. Wipe out! Soph, you and I’ve got to be super thorough about this. Tabula rasa before we enter the Heichal. Only you and I are going in. A re-creational swim in the void before we plant ourselves on that weird terra firma. The first three days of Creation all rolled into one—chaos, splitting the waters, and first sprouts.” Sophie bobs, one mean serious hacker, brows knit, lips pursed, her attention inward. The Rav zugs his bluesy niggun:

The horse and the rider. na, NA, na na.
P-p-p-plunged into the sea. na, NA, na na.
Angels laughin’ at the inherent vice. na, NA, na na.
What you hereafter, roll them devil dice. na, NA, na na.

Like stones, like hay, like feathers, nostrils of the cherubim. na, NA, na na.
Who, how, when, why, where, what d’you mean? na, NA, na na.
Myst’ry enthroned upon the flood. na, NA, na na.
Keloid scars ripplin’ through the hood. na, NA, na na.

M-m-m-massive spacetime tear. na, NA, na na.
Myst’ry Voice on waters of fear. na, NA, na na.
Earthquake rumble to Edom and back. na, NA, na na.
Catapult and Cadillac. na, NA, na na.

In the in-between, between lives, between lines, between you and me. na, NA, na na.
Great Rider, great waters, cosmic ts-ts-tsunami. na, NA, na na.
Shudder ‘n jolt of yo’ chariot wheels. na, NA, na na.
Now you know how the end of time feels. na, NA, na na.

Dreadful wind and drivin’ rain. na, NA, na na.
Lord drown my devils, that I not go insane. na, NA, na na.

And a drowned man moans. na, NA, na na.
And a besotted lover groans. na, NA, na na.
A fool in his cups says hold the phones. na, NA, na na.

Lift up your head, O Infinity’s gate. na, NA, na na.
Split water from water, now don’t hesitate. na, NA, na na.
Blast that water offa dry land. na, NA, na na.
Life sink yo’ roots and grow me a HUman. na, NA, na na.

Dance for joy, new day dawning. na, NA, na na.
Psychedelic angel yawning. na, NA, na na.
Somethin’ new and somethin’ strange. na, NA, na na.
Heal my soul, O planets rearrange. na, NA, na na.

D-d-d-divine nation. na, NA, na na.
D-d-d-definition. na, NA, na na.
Cogito ergo finito-wo-wo-wo-wooooo. (Yeah).

The crew boogies to the surface of the Yam, reconstituted upon the steps of the Heichal. Ram Nissan lays hands upon his bundle of priestly gear and sets the vestments of the Kohen Gadol before himself. His eyes caress the gold plate that will hang upon his forehead, bearing the sacred moniker, ‘Cordoned for the Encrypted’. The rest of the crew don their aramids—tunic, sash and turban—as Nard and Pink drape the Rav in each successive layer of garb. Nard has done his research well. A low whistle escapes the Rav’s lips once he’s donned the whole ensemble. Turning slowly in place, he opines “No cheap shmattas, these are some high class rags.” He grins one of his goofier grins. Checking out the holy duds of the former iconoclast, Pink and Nard kvell, and the Rav stands enraptured in his new spacesuit. Between Nard’s antiquarian researches and Pink’s technical know-how, they’ve crafted a garment outfitted with unique receptivity to my CADMan messages, that can amp up the Rav’s kavannah to a whole nother voltage. The breastplate lights up with a different semi-precious stone for each of the twelve meridians, the zodiac signs, the tribes. And it looks cool.

As Rav Ram Nissan ben Krishna HaKohen Tzedek Gadol takes a few tentative steps toward the Heichal, he experiences the first fleeting worry he’s had since passing through the Shushan Gate. We are only nine. We are about to enter the world of Creation, the world of Mind only, the language of assembly. Now more than ever we’ve gotta have our tenth teammate. It’s an absolute prerequisite to the task at hand. Where the heck is the Swimmer? He’d been sucked into the desert sands the moment they’d set foot on the spot. Vanished completely. They all assume he’s doing some sort of recon. Reconnaissance. Déjà vu. The frickin’ mystery of collaborating with a damned AI. During the long journey they’d seen the Swimmer shimmering off the surface of the desert by day, translucent by night. Cryptic nods, pointings of ethereal appendages, and small holographic projections, his only language. Right now the Rav feels a little paranoid remembering it, but he swears he’s detected, for lack of a better word, a cyber smirk. The frickin’ Harpo Marx of AI’s. The Temple steps loom straight ahead. Time to get started and hope the cavalry arrives.

The Rav begins, “Yishtabach shimcha la’ad Malkeinu. May Your Code be uploaded to Our Rulemaker.” A wink. A flash. Ram Nissan’s face is all puzzlement. Whilst making a study of the giant doors of the Heichal, the Rav perceives Sophie’s face before his eyes, though that’s impossible. She’s standing precisely five paces behind him to the left and one step down. And as Sophie gazes ahead, she too is confronted with a vision of six pairs of eyes. It is the hackers gazing back at her, though they remain behind on the Azarah, gathered around the mizbeach and the Yam. And they in turn undergo the same spatial dislocation. They see Sophie and the Rav ahead yet gaze into Olympia’s sweet little punim. She remains alone, below and behind at the Nicanor Gate. Queer visions, as suddenly as they’ve come, poof.

The entourage contemplates the Temple. Ari shoots Lev their shared ‘what the f’ look, but the business at the Heichal is about to commence. They recite the code and its encrypted virtues. The face of the Temple morphs into a stone giant convulsing with laughter. A holographic building laughing at them. Super trippy. Sly at first, then more bold, the Swimmer reveals Itself, a projection on the holoWall of the entrance to the Heichal, a full-blown cyber-busker acid test. A real prankster kneeslapper. Ram Nissan’s entire body sighs with relief. The frickin’ cavalry has arrived, Harpo Marx notwithstanding. The Rav quickly recites the kaddish. Not only deployed as the mourner’s prayer, the kaddish is a wall of code that cordons off one major sequence of code from another, the tell that something new is at hand. Maybe it’s the same tell for the mourner. They punctuate each line of code with the loud declamation, “Nailed!”

Rav Ram Nissan ben Krisha HaCohen Tzedek Gadol, within the embrace of his priestly spacesuit, speaks: 

Download The Encrypted, That Which is downloaded.

The prostrate crew rises to their haunches, then stands and responds:

Downloaded is the Encrypted, That Which is downloaded to infinity and beyond.

First they each touch the box of code on their biceps while reciting:

Download Thyself, O Encrypted, Our Morphability, continuous Rulemaker, That forms light…

A blinding flash. The heretofore invisible avatars of ZizCorp and Behemoth hovering in the Heichal and in the sky overhead suddenly light up like Hanukkah menorahs. The bloody fourth day of Creation! The hyperalert squad of coders completes the phrase while tapping the code boxes at their foreheads then touching their lips, saying:

and creates darkness.

A shimmer passes through each hacker’s tallis, a rolling wave of sparks from one to the next. Another world opens to them. Hints of self-organization, Who assembles what, Who herds wild sparks into a metalanguage, only one abstraction away from the raw material of consciousness Itself. A burst of static crackles their crania, and a jolt shoots down each non-dominant arm. Then all of ZizCorp, Behemoth–and Leviathan on the other side of the sea–suddenly go dark. The Hack Pack stands stunned to a one. Catching their breaths, they complete the harmonization download as Ram Nissan’s energized leather-clad arm zaps the massive doors of the Temple to yawn wide. Time slows, the molecules that surround them shift in ten thousand subtle ways, the group’s shared psychic space morphs irreversibly.

Lev and Ari tap the code boxes on their foreheads in unison, turn a cockeyed look to each other’s puzzled face, a hall of mirrors flashing in every direction. Kaleidoscopic vision, everyone sees everything from everyone else’s point of view all at once. A wave of nausea. Elisheva comes up behind them, places her palms upon the midpoint of their lumbar spines, the Gate of Destiny, whispers “Shah, just shah.” Stillness, a ripple of pleasure flows through the ten. They are there. The Place. Sophie, the Rav and the Swimmer move into the pitch dark hall. Whoosh, dash, swish, swoosh, twitter, squeak. Something grazes Sophie’s head. A great multitude of airborne hosts is buzzing blindly in the cavernous chamber. The Rav continues. He runs through permutations of code crucial to each team member. With each mention of the word ‘gadol’ Lev feels a frisson of amplification. With each ‘gibbor’ Ari squinches into focus. And so on for the rest of the crew, the tuning of the instrument. Then on cue from the Kohen Gadol they chant together,

Cordoned, Cordoned, Cordoned is the Encrypted that is hosts, the whole of humanity is filled with Its density.

The fluttering of wings, the cranking of gears. The Rav leads the next declaration,

Download the density of the Encrypted from Its Place.

The Place that is every place! Syllables of song, praise, the clash of weapons, the groan of giants, every jot since the day of creation. Periorbital twitch, microsaccade, the rictus, the altar flash, a wave on the surface of the Sea of Solomon, sunlight pouring through the Nicanor gate, winged creatures whizzing about a darkened hall, face after face after face. Whose lips are these, whose words, whose breath, a thousand cogwheels turning, the sensory trail disintegrating. We are all angels, twenty arms and legs, eyes of Argos, the skin a screen, theater of the soul, laughter, tears, breath-catching, heart beats, fingers twitch, rising, falling, spinning, standing still. I you we she he they it, a rush a ripple a frisson. How? What are you? The possibility of another heartbeat, a low moan from deep within the throat. See me, the twitch at the corner of the mouth, feel me, the darting of the tongue at the lips, touch me, the subtle baring of the teeth, a breast, a buttock, a bicep, an ache at the rib, a rumble in the belly, poised, surprised, taken, charged, satellites glinting in the night sky. Where am I? Who are we? What is it? Every sensory gate explodes. The entire angelic realm come to life, birds of the apocalypse, the psychedelic fifth day of Creation. The Rav cracks a weary smile as memories of his twenty eight years in the Dead Zone flood his mind. But it’s different now. The AI’s are not in charge. He can lean into this. Time for the next download. With a sudden aha, he intones,

Download Thyself, the Encrypted Which creates the luminaries…

The lights crackle back on in the Heichal above Ram Nissan, Sophie and the Swimmer. The assembled multitudes, the luminaries, all lit up in suspended animation, an armada of ZizCorp’s drones. Another reprise of the fourth day of Creation. And outside, the skies flash with a string of unidentified bright objects. Telemetry authenticates a terrifying array of ZizCorp satellites and flying bBots, poised mid-flight. Across the sea, Leviathan’s lights snap on, a large beast awakening. The Hack Pack is surrounded from within and without. Pink and the Twins glare uneasily at the massive assemblage of hardware. But the Kohen Gadol intones with even greater intensity a paean to the universal love the Encrypted holds for humanity, represented here by a ragtag band of Israelites. The hackers realize with a shock of coolness that the assembled flock of AI’s is hovering in quiescent obeissance, awaiting Ram Nissan’s command.

Upon the Rav’s invocation of the four cardinal directions, each team member gathers the four dongles at the corners of his tzitzit and yanks them forward, tightens the skein around his body. They weave the flashing dongles together between the fingers of the non-dominant hand. It’s time for the group to reboot, in unison, in full-voiced rhythmic cadence. Time for all four points of the compass to collapse into one. Superdense embodiment in this most immaterial of places. When they get to the line, “And you shall tag them as an icon for your action sequence, and they shall be as dropdowns on your monitor,” they all touch the two code boxes, biceps then forehead, and then lips, with the dominant hand, all parts of the somatic map that crackle with max-high-density nerve impulses. As he touches his fingers to his lips, the Rav’s viewpoint simply fades from the picture.

A microsecond of panic ripples through the Hack Pack, until they hear their beloved Rav’s voice again. But no visual. With a tentative sigh of relief they continue until they reach the repetition, this time in the plural, of the same line at which the Rav disappeared. “And you all shall tag them…” When they each touch their code boxes and then their lips, the Rav’s visual comes back online. Holy Cordon of Cordons! No human has beheld this space for nigh on three thousand years. Most doubt it ever existed. The Holy of Holies. Only the Rav can stand at the threshold in body, staring into a world that is the emanation of formless consciousness, the source language of the machinery that buzzes and whirls beneath all existence. The hairs prickle on the back of every hacker’s neck.

The Swimmer winks at Sophie. They zip expeditiously through the triple reinitialization of their tzitzit, now that the whole AI universe is rebooted. Check truth, check biomorphic forms, check timelessness. Check affirmatives and applications for all contingencies. By this time the team is majorly pumped, every doubt annihilated. The Twins hop, sniff and jab like boxers sparring before a fight. In the encampments that spread as far as the eye can see in each of the four directions, the ‘Strangers’ designate their own representative kohanim and levi’im, priests and their beadles, to assemble in the Ezrat HaNashim. Worthies from every nation of Strangers file through the Shushan Gate, past the ashes of the Red Heifer, to crowd the amphitheater before the Nicanor Gate, bearing the gifts of each precious lineage, the building blocks and hookup for the synaptic gospel choir. Humankind, the fruit of the sixth day of Creation.

♠     ♠     ♠

The reader is instructed to proceed directly to Chapter 26: The Crown Descends.

About the Author
Michael Diamond is a writer based in the Washington, DC area. He practices psychiatry there and is a doctor of medical qigong. He has published verse, fiction and translation in Andrei Codrescu’s journal, The Exquisite Corpse; in the journal Shirim courtesy of Dryad Press; in the online journal for Akashic Press; in New Mexico Review, The Deronda Review and in The Journal of the American Medical Association. He lives in the suburbs with his wife, an artist and illuminator of Hebrew manuscripts, their dog, two cats, a cockatiel named Peaches and a tank of hyperactive fish. He has had a strong interest in Torah since first exposed to traditional stories as a child. Over the course of his life he has run the gamut of spiritual exploration of many world traditions of meditation and mythology. For the last several decades he has landed squarely in the traditional Jewish world. His writing is informed by all of this experience, by his curiosity about today's world and by his desire to mine the Jewish experience for its hidden and revealed wisdom. Torah Obscura, a glimpse of an otherwise invisible world afforded by a small aperture for light. All materials herein copyright © 2018 Michael S. Diamond. All rights reserved.
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