FRESNO, Calif. (KMPH) — Christians and Jews share the first five books of the Bible. Jews call that the Torah, the sacred scrolls revered in every synagogue in the world.
They believe they contain the words of God given directly to Moses roughly 33-hundred years ago.
But now a group of researchers says hidden within those words may be messages for us about this year -- 2012.
Rabbi Rick Winer of Temple Beth Israel in Fresno sings an ancient song.
"We have carried this tradition for thousands of years and even before we carried the scrolls we carried the melody," Rabbi Winer said.
The words of the Torah set to music. But a group of Jewish researchers say these ancient scrolls may also carry something else. Hidden, encoded details about our time and this very year.
"There is a code in the Torah. The first five books of the Old Testament. The code is real and mathematically provable. The advent of the computer has made it possible." This is from a trailer for "Torah Code 2012" -- a new documentary in progress.
Nearly 30 years ago Dr. Eliyahu Rips and a team of Jewish mathematicians became the first to use computers to search for equidistant letter codes in the Torah, and they say they found them.
"We cannot pretend that we have a real full grasp of it but using the means at our disposal we can see it is real," said Dr. Rips, a mathematician and code researcher.
They published a paper on their findings. Several books and much debate followed, but so has a steady stream of stunning "code tables." Rips and other researchers say they continue to find...with startling details about current events. But it was a documentary filmmaker's question that turned their search to this year.
"And I said so what does the Torah code say about 2012? About a week later I get a call from Jerusalem and it's Glazerson and he said, 'Oh this is brilliant. We found all kinds of tables on 2012.' A few minutes later I get a call from Professor Haralick from New York and he said, 'Richard you don't know what you've started. They've actually set up a meeting with the high Rabbi in Jerusalem to see if they can do your project with you,' and I said, 'they did?' And I said, 'why?' Because of what they've discovered about 2012 really stunned them," said Richard Shaw, with Pinlight Productions.
Not with the stuff of the Mayan calendar or Hollywood movies but with a scenario virtually ripped from today's headlines.
"Vashanaya is the year which one ve ta shin ein vet 5772, which is 2012," said Rabbi Matityahu Glazerson, a Torah code researcher.
"We have a bunch of tables on war, on World War," said Shaw.
"This is Case Olam the end of the world," said Rabbi Glazerson.
But also in the 2012 codes, says Shaw, the hope of a biblical promise fulfilled.
"There's a number of 2012 tables that talk about redemption, and they're usually connected a lot with the return of the Messiah," said Shaw.
"Here is Gerulatiel. It will be a time of redemption," said Rabbi Glazerson.
And a date.
"Passover which is Pesach which is a date for redemption for the Jewish people," said Rabbi Glazerson.
Passover...April 6 through 14, 2012. But both the researchers and Shaw say this is not a prediction.
"The Torah is not a crystal ball and none of us believe we should use it in that respect," said Shaw.
They say it is simply what they have found, encoded messages in the Torah for 2012. Messages that many choose not to believe in at all.
"Most within the mainstream Jewish community look at that and say well it's a neat trick but it's not necessarily going to guide the way we live our lives. Wether it has every event spelled out into it, if someone wants to believe that, that's fine. Me not so much," said Rabbi Winer.
But those who do believe say it won't be long before we will all see what if any meaning the 2012 Torah codes have for us.
"We feel like we're kind of entering into that period. It seems like all of those things are lining up. All the ancient prophecies and things are happening in the world today," said Shaw.
For more information on the "Torah Code 2012" documentary, contact Terri Tilton Management at (323) 252-0001 or go to the Pinlight Productions website at pinlight.com.