Wedding Dress and Tux (c/o

Wedding Dress and Tux (c/o

2016-08-03 @ 00:00 CDT

I haven’t been able to get to this blog for quite a while, not least because somehow I got locked out of it. But as my wedding to Yisraela Batya is 18d 16h and not much more at this writing (the time and date is Sunday, August 21, 2016, @ 5:00 PM), I think I need to write an update on what’s going on. (The above graphic is based on a design found here.)

Johanan Rakkav's Wedding Ring (c/o Tungsten World)

Johanan Rakkav’s Wedding Ring (c/o Tungsten World)

First, the timing of the wedding, to the day, hour, minute, and second if memory serves, may be tracked using a special timer I created here on Time and Second, we have made great strides in preparing for the wedding and the days immediately following, although there is still much to do. Third, we have made excellent progress in putting our financial houses in order – something which really delights me, as I often think I wouldn’t know a workable budget if it bit me on the ankle.

Yisraela Batya's Wedding Ring (c/o Palm Beach Jewelry)

Yisraela Batya’s Wedding Ring (c/o Palm Beach Jewelry)

As the days go on and my love for Yisraela blossoms more and more fully, so does my sense of responsibility. This is the second most important decision I will ever make, following only the commitment I made at Christian baptism.

In like manner Yisraela has a decision of like importance to make – once again, second only to the commitment she made to God and the Church of God at baptism. We both take our preparations and our mutual commitment very seriously.

As is usually the case, the bride is the busier of the two of us at the moment. That will change a few days after the wedding, when I have to coordinate the move and storage of my belongings during the last week or so of August.

Earthlight Orchestra: "Hey, Christopher Alain (Catalyst Mix)"

Earthlight Orchestra: “Hey, Christopher Alain (Catalyst Mix)”

For the occasion, I did my utmost to bring my favorite original song to perfection. A combination of Finale (with Garritan instruments), Scala, Audacity, and further professional mixing did the trick. The results may be heard (and purchased) here on CD Baby. The song, so long simply a work of imagination, is now dedicated in real life to my fiancee, Yisraela. ❤ – (יוחנן רכב)

Categories: Church of God, Culture, Daily Life, Music | Tags: , , , | 1 Comment


Love, Anime Style - Poster (c/o DIY.DESPAIR.COM)

Love, Anime Style – Poster (c/o DIY.DESPAIR.COM)

2016-05-25 @ 22:00 CDT

(I post-date this blog because I’ve been too busy to write this news. The date above is the date of the event, if not the exact hour.)

I never thought I’d see this day. I am actually engaged to be married at 56 years old (almost 57) – with Yisraela Batya, who is relatively older (in-joke). This will be my first marriage – as YB would put it, her only real marriage. The date has been set for August 21. The wedding will be small and private.

We have already picked out the rings, and by a feat of HTML legedermain, I was able to copy the images off the appropriate Web sites. It seems easiest just to repeat our stories as recited on Facebook, word for word.

Yisraela's Ring (Style)

Yisraela’s Ring (Style)

Last night was date night. Technically, every night is some form of date night. When we started out setting aside a night just for a date, we weren’t seeing each other every night already. But we are a strange couple.
I had been sending John links to jewelry stores on line for it seems like months. It probably hasn’t been however. I was as subtle as a fly buzzing around your head at night. And he saved every link. What a guy he was and is.
One night recently he opened some links while I was there and asked me subtly of course, what kind of ring would you like? I am someone who loves vintage everything. And there it was. He loved it, I loved it. He saved it to his files as being the one he’d purchase.
Then he sent me the next day the ring he wanted. I agree it is John. We both love the rings we picked out for ourselves and each other. So now we just have to order them. And I can’t wait!
I arrived for date night, he had me listen to a song he has been working on and perfecting for years, before I ever moved here. I think if there is anything perfect in this world, this song along with the writer qualifies. It gave me chills.
Then after talking for a bit, he began talking about us. And he said I had planned on doing this under the moonlit sky like you had mentioned. By now I was becoming more curious. And he said I know the setting isn’t what I had thought of, but the time was right.
“Will you marry me?”
I teared up as I thought about how many ups and downs we’d had in just trying to help each other through our many struggles. And how far we had come and how much God has made our love grow. I’ve never had anyone so gentle, kind, compassionate, committed, and determined on not giving up on us,like John.
When the man asks you if you will marry him, and you know it is God’s plan, and you feel for him as he does you, the only answer is “yes.” He took my hand, and kissed it. He told me how much he loves me and said, “We don’t have the rings yet, but we will order them.” But it just seemed like the right time and place to ask you first.
No one has worked so hard to help me, keep me, and remain loyal and true than this very special man. Our rings amazingly have similarities and I have never seen one like the one we picked for me. And the one John wants is just like him. So unique, so special. So about 8pm Wed evening he proposed to me. When we order the rings we can always photograph them and put them up for our friends and family to see. I have had so many pieces of jewelry in my life from diamonds to Sapphires to Jade and some others. This one is so beautifully unique. I’ve never seen another one like it.
Just like I’ve never known a man as unique and wonderful as John. My love and respect continues to grow. And we’d not be as far as we are if not for our love. I guess the polite thing to do here is to let my beloved say his peace too.
I am one of the most blessed woman in the world. I love you John….forever and eternally. ❤

Johanan's Ring (Style)

Johanan’s Ring (Style)

My turn for storytelling: The song I was working on so hard for so long, and especially these last several days, is entitled “Hey, Christopher Alain”. I use two programs (apps, they’re all called these days), Finale and Scala, to create and then to re-tune musical sound files on my computer. I’ve been learning some special tricks on Finale which have vastly improved the results.

The more I gave the “final push to perfection” on the song yesterday, the more the effort seemed to express my love and emotions for Yisraela Batya. (If sung by a man to a woman, the title is “Lady Selene” – just for the record.) If only it were so prepared for another time, I thought, more appropriate for asking YB formally to marry me – when we both had our rings, for example. Well, when YB heard the song and responded so positively to it, I realized then was the time to ask her – but (true to form) not without expressing a little regret for the exact time and place. But I wanted the time and place to be spontaneous and a surprise anyway.

I was looking forward to a good night’s sleep last night. I made the half-mistake of listening to the song one more time, and discovered why some voices just weren’t “speaking” in the middle of the song (they needed to be raised an octave). That exposed some other harmonic errors which I needed to correct too. (As they say in computer programming, “there’s always one more bug.”) But this late morning, the score finally is what it is intended to be. I wish you all could hear it.


Hey, Christopher Album (Earthlight Orchestra)

Hey, Christopher Alain (Earthlight Orchestra)

I have yet to publish the “perfected” version of “Hey, Christopher Alain” (“Alain” is just pronounced as “Alan”, although the original Scottish and French pronunciations differ), but I just remembered that one can order earlier versions of the song via my CDBaby page (Earthlight Orchestra). This version (not the same as the original single, advertised above) was published in honor of, and about the time of, New Horizons’ flyby of Pluto.

I will have to find some way of publishing the latest version. The application of Finale’s Garritan instruments – to say nothing of other small but vital refinements – makes that version sound light-years ahead of this one, which is only MIDI-to-WAV.


As for the rings: My ring is tungsten (so it says – why not tungsten carbide, as is often used today?) with laser engraving (it probably will be narrower, as I requested 6mm rather than 8mm – tungsten is heavy). YB’s is described as “emerald-cut-genuine-aquamarine-platinum-over-sterling-silver” in the source code of the Web page which features it. The styles seem to complement each other and certainly illustrate our personalities well! ❤

(יוחנן רכב)

Categories: Daily Life,, Internet, Music | Tags: , , , | 3 Comments


The Tetragrammaton (Psalms 96:10, Hebrew Masoretic Text)

The Tetragrammaton (Psalms 96:10, Hebrew Masoretic Text)

2016-02-07 @ 15:30 CST

In our common English Bible versions, in the “Old Testament” (and in translations of the Jewish Tanakh), we see very frequently “the LORD” (normally as “small caps”) as opposed to “the Lord”. “The Lord” most frequently represents the Hebrew Adonay (אדני), and sometimes Adon (אדן) or ha-Adon (האדן). But when we see “the LORD”, and also “GOD” as representing Elohim (אלהים), almost always the original Hebrew word actually is the famous “Tetragrammaton”: Yehawweh (יהוה). The Hebrew Masoretic reading tradition instructs the reader to substitute Adonay or Elohim for Yehawweh, and to avoid trying to pronounce the latter – and our common English versions reflect this instruction faithfully.

Yet the same reading tradition makes it possible to know, and to reconstruct correctly, the original pronunciation of the Tetragrammaton. Its pronunciation was never lost – only kept hidden. Of course the original meaning was never lost either, as it is clearly translated in both Testaments (“the Eternal” is an effective one-phrase rendering).

I am jumping ahead of myself here in giving the pronunciation Yehawweh, because while the famous academic consensus, Yahweh, is valid biblical Hebrew, it is not correct biblical Hebrew – for reasons I shall explain. What I mean is while the ancient Hebrews could have used Yahweh, because it follows the rules of their language, the evidence is they actually did not use Yahweh – but used Yehawweh instead.

My first clue in unraveling the mystery came thanks to the work of the late Suzanne Haik-Vantoura (hereafter SHV), The Music of the Bible Revealed. The Hebrew Masoretic Text contains not only consonants, but vowel-points and melodic accents, which together preserve its “reading tradition”. “Letting the Bible interpret the Bible”, SHV not only deciphered the original melodic meaning of the accents, but inferred that the melodies they preserved were as old as the words and were created by the same authors. This means we must pay close attention to how (יהוה) is accented, for the accents – particularly in Psalms 96:10 – imply a specific number of syllables and what kinds of vowels should be used as well. Originally, (יהוה) had three syllables, not two, and also had a vowel pattern related to those of Adonay and Elohim which substitute for it (short-long-long). This rules out the academic inference Yahweh, and it also rules out any and all other inferences which refuse to take the Masoretic “reading tradition” as ancient and authoritative.

My second clue came thanks to an out-of-print book, 201 Hebrew Verbs (Barron’s Educational Services, Inc.), by the now-deceased Prof. Abraham S. Halkin. In his table of conjugations for the root *hayah, we find the following:

*Hayah in Modern Hebrew (c/o Abraham S. Halkin)

*Hayah in Modern Hebrew (c/o Abraham S. Halkin)

In two stems of the verb root, the masculine 3rd person singular gives us exactly the vowel pattern we need to be consistent with the accents. Which one should we choose: yehawweh (Pi`el stem) or yehuwweh (Pu`al stem)?

*Hayah - Pi`el and Pu`al forms (c/o Abraham S. Halkin)

*Hayah – Pi`el and Pu`al forms (c/o Abraham S. Halkin)

Pu`al is reflexive, and would make (יהוה) a created being. But (יהוה) is the uncreated Creator – so the intensive Pi`el is what we should accept. But I wondered if Prof. Halkin read rather too much into both verb stems. Surely it is the context, not the verb stem itself, which makes (יהוה) out to be the Eternal Creator God. Besides, it is freely acknowledged that the real root of (יהוה) is the older form *hawah. The conjugation of the Pi`el stem, were *hayah the actual root, would be notably different. It would have the letter yod, not the letter waw or vav, in the middle of any resulting verb form.

I learned this last fact much later from a book published by the same company, 501 Hebrew Roots by Shmuel Bolosky. The Pi`el stem of *hayah appears in Mishnaic Hebrew, and its masculine 3rd person singular would be yehayyeh, as given below. Prof. Bolosky notes its meaning as “bring into existence, produce”, which sheds light on why Prof. Halkin took yehawweh to mean “form, constitute”. But again, given the biblical context, surely God’s eternity is stated directly by the word, and only by context His capacity as Creator. Or is there something more than the verbal context that may be considered?

Yehayyeh - Mishnaic Hebrew (c/o Shmuel Bolosky)

Yehayyeh – Mishnaic Hebrew (c/o Shmuel Bolosky)

First, let us take (יהוה) as it appears in Psalm 96:10 – where the accentuation required is completely beyond dispute – and re-point it so that the word may be pronounced according to its original Pi`el stem:

Yehawweh - Pi`el Stem With Accents (Based on Psalms 96:10)

*Yehawweh – Pi`el Stem With Accents (Based on Psalms 96:10)

Some years ago, after I got this far in my research, I gave a presentation in London on SHV’s work. Before I spoke, Jill Purce, a specialist in the art form called “overtone chant”, demonstrated various applications of the art, including the series of vowels which alone give the entire ascending harmonic series in its results. Jill linked this series of vowels to Yahweh, which of course is the academic consensus. I explained to her, and to the rest of my audience, that Yahweh doesn’t have all the vowels required for what she did – but that Yehawweh does. In effect, Yehawweh is a transcription into Hebrew of a specific way of producing the harmonic series.

Another Jewish author and mathematician, Stan Tenan, showed me years ago a thesis: what scientists call the “Big Bang” may be described mathematically as an impulse generating the entire harmonic series (and, I presume long after the fact, the interactions of these waves). After hearing Jill’s presentation, I remembered what Stan told and showed me.

On the basis of all of the above, I submit that Yehawweh is the most “onomatopoeic” word known to man. Its sound represents the creation of all things by an Eternal Creator God, and thus who and what God fundamentally is.

But let us turn the question inside out. This multiple “coincidence” between sound, meaning, and location in Hebrew grammar, so far as I can see, could only happen if the root system of Hebrew – indeed, I suspect, of the whole Semitic language family – originally was constructed with the sound transcribed by Yehawweh as its ultimate basis. This means that Yehawweh – which, incidentally, would have been spelled Yehawwey (יהוי) in old Hebrew – is older, far older, than Hebrew itself. According to the Bible – by implication at least – it likely was the first or second word Adam heard from another. “Who are You?” was perhaps his first question to that Other. “(I am) Yehawweh” is the obvious answer. That name would have indicated to Adam its meaning by its very sound, whether or not Adam then had the capacity to understand its full implications.

The name Yehawweh, then, is itself positive evidence of His existence, eternal power, and Godhead. It points to who and what He is: the Eternal Creator God. His signature is written in mathematical and acoustical law, as it were. Yet so much more important to Him is the meaning of His name than the phonetics of His name that He hid the latter in plain sight from us in the Hebrew Masoretic Text – even while making sure the meaning of His name was never lost from view. – (יוחנן רכב)

Categories: Bible, Hebrew, Language, Music | Tags: , , , | 2 Comments

%d bloggers like this: