About Eti Shani

Eti Shani was born in Israel and has been teaching Hebrew for more than 10 years with a special interest and experience in ancient Hebrew scriptures and culture. She's also the author of a series of books for novice and intermediate Hebrew learners.

The Metaphysics Of The Binding of Isaac

Which kind of a father would sacrifice his son? Which thought will send a father for such a mission, and how spiritually can always hide behind to most obscure deeds?

But before answering these questions, first a few remarks about the Bible: Some people relate to the Bible like a mythological text, others see it as a collection of beautiful literature, while yet others look at the bible as a codex of ancient moral laws.

There is, however, a totally different way, which is not in conflict with the other ways, but simply goes above, below or beyond which invites us to relate to the Bible as a dream. For a dream describes a higher form of reality but also speaks to us by using symbols that appear in our lives. In other words, it’s here but also comes from there. In a way, the Bible is a dynamic text which reflects the state of mind we are in.

So if the Bible is a dream, and we are the active dreamers, what do we see behind the words, the names, the figures, the mountains, the oceans, the animals, and if it is not just a collection of beautiful stories, what is the Bible really about?

The Zohar offers us an interesting scope in which we can see the Biblical story. The Zohar offers us to look at the biblical story like if it was a magnetic field in which different powers and qualities reveal their abilities.

For example, the Zohar offers us to see the binding story slightly different. Throughout the Zohar’s lens Abraham is not just a father of Isaac, but also a reflection of the infinite grace, in which the world was created, While Isaac, is not just the son of his father Abraham, but also a reflection of the laws of nature, (In Hebrew we see a direct correlation between the letters of his name, ישחק  – in English there is a low)

And according to the Zohar, through the binding of Isaac, we can see an inner spiritual picture in which the laws of nature submit themselves to the infinite grace. In other words, the laws of nature binding together serve one universe

We wish you all Shana Tova, a happy good sweet year, and if you have questions, remarks thoughts and wonders please feel free to write and comment.

The Lion And The Fox As Types Of Human Behavior

Lion – Ar-ye, Fox – Shu-al

The ancient sages made already a clear distinction between a lion and a fox. While the lion is considered to be king of the animals, a Nobel animal that has a main and most of the time rests, but in cases, it needs to hunt, the fox is busy all time scheming and plotting.

According to the sages, a person who has a peace and knows his place lives like a king because in his heart he lives with the king of kings, the higher, with the Providence, while a person who does not his place schemes all the time and hangs out in ruins just to make the next little shameful profit.


What Do The Ocean And The Whale Reflect In Our Lives

Whale – Liv-ya-tan

The oceans and the seas of the world are a reflection of the hidden aspects of our lives, while the life on land reflects the revealed aspects of our lives.

Jonah – Yona, was requested by Providence to go to the ancient city of Nineveh and ask its residents to repent.

Jonah escapes from the mission and runs to Jaffa port, where he takes a ship that heads the most west destination a person could think of. Jonah immediately pays the whole fee for the journey and goes to sleep at the cabinet.

The ocean becomes stormy, and the captain comes to look for Jonah, to ask him, for what reason the ocean is stormy because according to the sailor’s belief the==== ocean behavior is just a reflection of a human one.

Jonah confesses and asked to be thrown into the waters. The ocean becomes tranquil and a big fish is swallowing Jonah. The Bible uses the term A Big Fish – Dag Gadol דג גדול To tell us what kind of an ocean creature swallowed Jonah.

The Big Fish is a terminology the Bible uses to describe, a bigger dimension of existence. The big fish, the whale is the biggest mammal, and it lives under the water, and that is to imply that the greatest things in our lives are hidden, this is why the big fish swallows Jonah, to tell him, life is not what you think it is, it is much bigger. So Providence takes Jonah for a little tour to show him, how different it is to be conceived in a much bigger dimension of oneself.

It is that in the belly of fish after three days, Jonah is finally praying for the help of the higher, noticing he is in a great darkness recognizing his disability to rescue himself from such a situation. The higher listens to his prayers, and as a result of the listening, the fish pukes Jonah into the land, into his awareness.

So what did we learn today? The ocean is a symbol of our subconscious, and the big fish in it, the greatest living mammal, is a symbol of the subconscious that nourishes and are awakened lives.


What Is The Meaning Of One Day In Creation Of The World?

Evening – Erev
Morning – Bo-ker

When the Bible writes, “and there was an evening, and there was a morning, one day. It means the absence, in a form of the evening, always comes before the being. The evening is an example of a minus, a pre situation, and the following morning reflects the plus. Only a unification of an evening and the morning after it, are considered to be one day.

An evening alone is not considered to be a day, nor a morning alone is considered to be one day, Only both opposites together can be considered as one day.

Also, please note that the days which are mentioned in the Bible, Genesis chapter 1, are not equal to “our days”, which have 24 hours, but one biblical day is one unit of completion.


Adam, An Aspect Of Relations Between Heaven And Earth

As we mentioned before, the bible is not just a historical book, though it describes events that happened in the past, also the bible is not a geographical book, though we can find in it very accurate descriptions. likewise, the Bible is not a poetry book, though we shall find in it great poems, so what is the bible?

The bible is like a continuous dream, which describes the relations between heavens and earth, the relations between the spiritual and the physical.

Moreover, the people that are mentioned in the bible, their names, their qualities, their chronicles, and furthermore, the names of the mountains and rivers, cities and deserts that are mentioned in the Bible usually reflect certain qualities in the Humans soul.

How come? And the answer is since the human was created last, on the sixth day, at the last phase of creation, he includes and contains all the elements and qualities that were created before him.

The first Human was named Adam, since he came from the land, Adama in Hebrew. But not only because of that. The name Adam also comes from the verb Edame, which means in Hebrew, to resemble, like its written in the book of Issah 14:14:

“אֶעֱלֶה עַל בָּמֳתֵי עָב אֶדַּמֶּה לְעֶלְיוֹן” and in translation to English, I shall ascend above the tops of the clouds;  and I shall resemble the higher. So the name Adam reflects also the quality of resembling. Adam means, the one who is resembled the higher, the spirit. So already in the first name –  Adam, we can evidence a graduated developing system. Adam, who comes from the land Adama, wants to grow and to be inspired and resemble the higher, the creator.


What Does A Carrot Symbolize?

Carrot – Gezer

Every year at the beginning of fall, Hebrew people all over the world are celebrating the birth of humanity, and the beginning of new Hebrew Year. Because according to the Hebrew believe Adam and Eve were born in this time of the year, and with them, the perception of time was born too.

And since to every celebration, there is a meal attached, We eat fruit and vegetables that symbolize inner aspects of new beginnings. For example, we eat carrot גזר Gezer the Hebrew the letters of the word Gezer are: Gimmel, Zein Reish. In Hebrew the verb ג.ז.ר means to cut, so we eat the carrot and we bless “That we shall make good decisions” because, in order to make a decision, we need to cut (in Hebrew lig-zor) between options.

Even the English letters of the carrot tell us a story the letter c.r.t – are equivalent to the Hebrew letter כ.ר.ת which means to chop.

So good luck with the new decisions and Shana Tova – Good Year 🙂