TORAH CODE BASICS: Matrices, Axis Term, Row Split, Word Frequency, Matrix Size, Spelling, and Wrapped Matrices
A matrix shows a portion of the cylinder’s surface area around the axis term. A matrix holds a-priori terms found near an axis term and a-posteriori terms noticed after the matrix was produced. A-priori terms are terms believed related to the axis term. They are sought before being found. Probabilities can be calculated for them. A-posteriori terms are noticed after the matrix was produced. Probabilities are usually inappropriate.
The first term sought is the “axis term.” The axis term appears vertically. Hebrew is normally read right to left. The code is really based on a spiraling cylinder. The ELS or “skip” of the axis term = the number of letters on each line. In general, the minimum length of an axis term should be at least 6 letters. Most often it is difficult to find axis terms longer than 8 letters unless one uses a wrapped search making more than one pass through the Torah.
If a term like Ark of the Covenant has a skip or Equidistant Letter Sequence (ELS) of 306 letters, then the computer will place 306 letters on each line. When the second letter of the term arises, (without a row split) it will appear directly below or above the first letter. However, if a row split of 2 is used, the computer will only place half of the 306 (153) letters on each line and there will be an extra row between each of the letters of the axis term. If a row split of 3 is used, there will be two extra rows between each letter of the axis term. The larger the row split, the more terms you can match with an axis term, but it is also true that as row split increases, matrix significance generally decreases.
Just as in English, some words are very high frequency (like THE or AND), in Hebrew two or three letter words are extremely high in frequency unless they are composed of somewhat rare letters. The higher the frequency of a word in the open text or at an ELS, the lower the significance of its match with an axis term.
The bigger the matrix, the more likely it is that short or moderate length ELSs (up to 6 letters) will be found somewhere on the matrix. This is like looking in a phone book. If you rip a page out at random, and look for a single last name, it probably will not be there. But if you use the entire phone book, the chances to find it are greatly improved.
Even within the Torah, there are multiple spellings of the same word. Code adversary Dr. Brendan McKay points out that the Rabbi Abulafia synagogue in Tiberias, Israel has the rabbi's name spelled four different ways on the same building. The more spellings one can use to find a match, the less signiificant the match will be. Such multiple spellings must be factored in to any probability calculation describing the significance of a matrix.
The best Torah Codes programs allow for the computer to make more than one pass through the 304,805 letters of Torah to find a term at an ELS. In general, this practice is most legitimate in search for axis terms that are 8 or more letters long because many terms this long can only be found with more than one Torah pass. The wrapped matrix mimics Jews reading the Torah. They finish reading the last word in Deuteronomy each Simchat Torah holiday, and then immediately begin reading at the first word in Genesis again.