From the Jewish Press:
The Race For The Lost Ark
By Dvora Waysman
Thousands of people saw the movie "Raiders of the Lost Ark", and most of them knew that Indiana Jones was based on a real person, famous archaeologist Dr. Vendyl Jones. Less well-known is another charismatic contender, who believes he will be the first to uncover the hiding place of this fabulous prize. He was recently in Jerusalem, and his name is Lt. Barry S. Roffman of the U.S. Coast Guard.
Roffman is basing his search on the Bible Code ... a code encrypted in the Bible some 3,000 years ago, now unlocked by computer. The mathematician who discovered the code was Dr. Eliyahu Rips, one of the world`s leading experts in group theory, the field that underlies quantum physics. Jones is basing his research on the Talmud. Once a Christian pastor, he left his post to become a leader of the Noahide movement, Gentiles who observe the seven laws of Noah. His search is aided by an ancient document found in Qumran together with the Dead Sea Scrolls, known as the "Copper Scroll." He is convinced that he has pinpointed the ark`s location. (Vendyljones.org.il/copperscroll). For Roffman`s research, you can hear a 30 minute radio broadcast by accessing www.biblecodenews.com
In the case of Vendyl Jones, he plans to uncover the lost Ark of the Covenant by Tisha b`Av. It was the resting place of the Ten Commandments, given to the Jews at Mt. Sinai and supposedly hidden just before the First Temple was destroyed. Although the Talmud says the Ark is hidden under the Temple Mount, Jones believes the tunnel continues 18 miles to the south and is now in the Judean Desert. Jones is not Jewish, although his daughter Sarah has converted and lives in Samaria (Shomron). However, he is learned in Torah and Talmud and has contact with a mysterious kabbalist who has now given him his blessing to reveal the Ark by Tisha B`Av (August 14th),
the anniversary of the destruction of both the First and Second Temples.
But Jones is not alone in his search. Barry Roffman, an Orthodox Jew and a Lieutenant in the U.S. Coast Guard and author of Ark Code, (www.amazon.com
) believes that the Torah codes he has discovered can unlock the secret of the Ark`s location, and his findings are very different from those of Vendyl Jones. According to Roffman, there are maps encoded in the Torah. Key site names are encoded in such a way that the angles between Jerusalem, Arabic sites and a suspect Egyptian Ark site correspond to actual course headings on real world maps. The site, which he describes as 31 degrees 9 minutes North, 33 degrees 4 minutes East, is where a cloud of fire blocked the Egyptian army from the Israelites before we crossed the Sea of Reeds (Yam Suf) at Lake Bardawil in Northern Sinai, Egypt. He cites Jeremiah as the last prophet to control the Ark before finishing his life in that area of Egypt. Roffman`s research is unique, quite different from methods used by other Bible code researchers. It is rooted in his expertise as a Coast Guard military planner. He has explanations as to why Jeremiah took the Ark to the site of the splitting of the sea, and believes that the Ark`s purpose is to prevent a nuclear war between Israel and its enemies.
Barry Roffman was born in 1947 in Philadelphia and now lives in California with his second wife, Katherine Kim Roffman and their young son David. He has a distinguished Navy background, and was also a high school teacher of earth science, biology, chemistry and physical science. In 1989, his book, A Matter of Spiritual Custody, dealt with an interfaith child custody battle in which the Catholic Church, possibly for the first and only time, annulled his older son`s baptism on a ruling by Edward A. McCarthy, Archbishop of Miami, on the grounds that it was carried out without the father`s knowledge or consent when the boy was seven and considered himself to be Jewish
. Today, that son, Robert Altair Roffman, is an Orthodox Rabbi in the U.S. Air Force.
? You can't "annul" a Baptism! LOL
So now, the world is waiting with bated breath. Will it be Jones or Roffman who finds the Ark of the Covenant? Will it be found in Israel or in Egypt? Will it be discovered by means of ground-penetrating radar?
What will be the religious, political and scientific implications and ramifications if it is found? And what else can we learn of the future from the words encrypted in the Bible codes or the secrets of the Talmud? We may not have long to wait. The Nobel Laureate physicist, Richard Feynman, put it this way:
"To solve any problem that has never been solved before, you have to leave the door to the unknown, ajar."
Dvora Waysman is a writer living in Jerusalem. She is the author of nine books, including Woman of Jerusalem; Esther and newly-released in paperback in English and Hebrew by Chaim Mazo Publishers The Pomegranate Pendant. She can be reached at email@example.com or website: www.dvorawaysman.com