SEPHER YEZIRAH

A BOOK ON CREATION

SEPHER YEZIRAH.

----_._---OB,

A BOOK ON CREATION;

THE JEWISH

METAPHYSIOS
OP

REMOTE ANTIQUITY.
W'rth English Translation, Preface, Explanatory Notes and Glossary,
BY

Rev. Dr. ISIDOR KALISCH •
• 1Ithor of tho "Gaf4. lor 1latl0Dal IJaqabt•• JDtothe BIblIcal 8cdptw..," "T_ 40. Mo~4 •• ,,, TruaaIa'tor of "l'I'aduua the Wloe" fromthe 0-, eto.,eto.,eto.

NEW YORK: L. B. FRANK &; CO., Pum.mHEBS No. 32! Bowery.

AND PBINTEBS,

1877.

EDtezed MIClllI'lUngto Act of Ocmgreu,

in the Je&r 18'JT. bJ

1.. B. I'B.A.:N It • in the oalce of &be Ll1ll'IdaD of CoJIIJ(ALL BIGHTS

CO.,
at WubJDaton,

D. C.

BESKBVED]

4

PREFACE.
This metaphysical essay, called "Sepher Yezirah," (book on creation, or cosmogony,) which I have en~ deavored to render into English, with explanatory notes, is considered by all modern literati as the firsi philosophical book that ever was written in the Hebrew language. But the time of its composition and the name of its author have not yet been ascertained, despite of the most elaborate researches of renowned archaeologists. Some maintain that this essay is mentioned in the Talmud treatise Sanhedrin, p. 66 b. and ibid. 6'1b. which passage is according to the commentary of Rashi, to treatise Erubin, p. 63 a., a reliable historical notice. Hence this book was known already in the second or at the beginning of the third century of the Christian Era. The historian, Dr. Graetz, tries to show very ingeniously in his work; entitled "Gnosticism," p. 104 and 110, that it was written in the early centuries of the Christian Church, especially when the ideas and views of the Gnostics were in vogue. This opinion, however, he afterwards revoked. (See Dr. Graetz's "History of the Jews," Vol. V, p. 315 in a note.) Dr. Zunz, the Nestor of the Jewish Rabbis in Europe, maintains that we have to look for the genesis of the book "Yezirah" in the Geonic period, (700 -1000), and that it was consequently composed in apost-taJ.mudical time. But if so, it is very strange

PREFACE.

5

that Saadjah Goon, who lived in the tenth, and Judah Halevi, who lived in the twelfth century, represented the book "Yezirah" as a 'Very ancient work. Therefore it seems to me, that Dr. Graetz had no sufficient calISe to repudiate his assertion concerning the age of this book; because all the difficulties which he himself and others raised against his supposition, fall to the ground, when we consider that the most ancient works, holy as well as profane, had one and the same fate, namely, that from age to age more or less interpolations were made by copyists and commentators. Compare also Prof. Tenneman's "Grundriss der Geschichte der Philosophie," improved by Prof. Wendt, p. 207. Tradition, which ascribes the authorship of tIlls book to the patriarch Abraham, is fabulous, as can be proved by many reasons; but the idea tha.t Rabbi Akiba, who lived about the beginning of the second century, composed the book "Yezirah," is very likely possible. Be this-as it may, it is worth while to know the extravagant hypotheses which ancient Jewish philosophers and theologians framed as soon as they began to contemplate and to reason, endeavoring to combine oriental and Greek theories. Although there is an exuberance of weeds, we will find, nevertheless, many germs of truisms, which are of the greatest importance. A Christian theologian, Johann Friedrich von Meyer D. D., remarked very truly in his German preface to the book "Yezirah," published in Leipzig, 1830: ''This book is for two reasons highly important: in the first place, that the real Cabala, or mystical

6

PBD'ACE.

doctrine of the Jews, which must be carefally distingaished from its excrescences, is in close connection and perfect accord with the Old and New Testaments; and in the second place, that the knowledge of it is of great imporlance to the philosophical inquirers, and can not be put aside. Like a cloud permeated by beams of light which makes one infer that there is more light behind it, so do the contents of this book, enveloped in obscurity, abound in cornscations of thought, reveal to the mind that there is a still more e1folgent light lurking somewhere, and thus inviting us to a further contemplafion and investigation, and at the same time demonstrating the danger of a superficial investigation, which is so prevalent in modem times, rejecting that which can not be understood at first sight." I shall now try to give a sketch of the system as it is displayed in the book "Yezirah," which forms a link in the chain of the ancient theoretical speculations of philosophers, who were striving to ascertain the truth mainly by reasoning a-priori, and who imagined that it is thus possible to permeate all the secrets of nature. It teaches that a first cause, eternal, all-wise, almighty and holy, is the origin and the centre of the whole universe, from whom gradually all beings emanated. Thought, speech and action are an inseparable unity in the divine being; God .made or created, is metaphorically expressed by the word: writing. The Hebrew language and.its characters correspond mostly with the things they designate, and thus holy thoughts, Hebrew language

PREFACE.

7

and its reduction to writing, form a unity which produce a creative effect. * The self-existing first cause called the creation into existence by quantity and quality; the former represented by ten numbers, (Sephiroth,) the latter by twenty-two letters, which form together thirty-two ways of the divlne wisdom. Three of the twenty-two letters, namely, Aleph, Mem, Sheen, are the mothers, or the first elements, from which came forth the primitive matter of the world: air, water and fire, that have their parallel in man, (male and female): breast, body and head, and in the year: moisture, cold and heat. The other seven double and twelvet simple letters are then represented as stamina, from which other spheres or media of existence emanated. Manis a microcosm, as the neck separates rationality from vitality, so does diaphragm the vitality from the vegetativeness.
-Thus for instance, they imagined that the name of Jehovah. the alphabet; l'El:tC (mzpz) j mem signifies the letter jod, zaddi, the letter he, and pe, the letter wav. These .unmeaning sounds, they said, have magio power. Some maintained that the Hebrew language consists of twenty-two consonants, becanse being the complex of all beings, its number is equal to the most perfect figure, namely, of the periphery, as it is well known that the diameter is always to the periphery as seven to twenty-two,

,mn' is by reversing

tIt was frequently observed by Jewish and Christian theologians, that the Marcosianio Gnostic system, as well as that of the Clemt'ntinians of the second century, contain many analogies and parallels with the book "Yezirah." Marcus divides the Greek al. phabet into three parts, namely: nine mute consonants tXqJ(J{)va, eight half vowels 7IJ.lttp(J{)va,and seven vowels tp(J{)vlllwra, in order to give a clear idea of the peculiar constitution of his ".A.eons." (IreIUIollUll Haer, I, 16.)

8

PREFACE.

God stands in close connection with the U Diverse, and just so is Tali connected with the world, that is, an invisible, celestial or universal axis carnes the whole fabric. In the year by the sphere, in man by the heart, and thus is the ruling spirit of God everywhere. Notwithstanding the decay of the individual, the genus is produced by the antithesis of man and wife. Hebrew commentaries on the book "Yezirah" were composed by: first, Saadjah Gaon, of Fajum in Egypt, (892-942); second, Rabbi Abraham ben Dior Halevi; third, Rabbi Moses ben Nachman; fourth, Elieser of Germisa; fifth, Moses Botarel; sixth, Babbi Eliah Wilna: The book "Yezirah," together with all these commentaries, was published in 1860, in the city of Lemberg. But although the commentator Saadjah was a sober minded scholar in a superstitious age, a good Hebrew. grammarian, a renowned theologian and a good translator of the Hebrew Pentateuch, Isaiah and Job into the Arabian language, his ideas and views were, nevertheless, very often much benighted. See his comments on Yez. Chap. I, ete., etc.; his notes on "Yezirah" Chap. III, 2, prove undoubtedly that he had no knowledge whatever of natural science, and therefore his annotations on the book "Yezirah" are of little or no use at all. .A.llthe other commentaries mentioned above, together with all quotations of other expounders of the same book, contain noth.i.n,gbut a medley of arbitrary, mystical explanations and sophistical distortions of scriptural verses, astrological notions, orient-

PREFACE.

9

alsuperstitions, a metaphysical jargon, a poor know~ ledge of physics and not a correct elucidation of the ancient book; they drew mostly from their own imagination, and credited the author of "Yezirah" with saying very strange things which he never thought of. I must not omit to mention two other Hebrew commentaries, one by Judah Halevi, and the other by Ebn Ezra, who lived in the :first part of the twelfth century. They succeeded in explaining the book "Yezirah in a sound scientific manner, but failed in making themselves generally understood, on account of the superstitious age in which they lived, and the tenacity with which the people in that period adhered to the marvelous and supernatural; they found, therefore, but few followers, and the hook "Yezirah" remained to the public an enigma and an ancient curiosity, giving rise to a system of metaphysical delirium, called Cabala. Translations of the book "Yezirah" and comments thereon by learned Christian authors are: first, a translation of the book "Yezirah" with explanatory notes in the Latin langnage, by Wilhelm Postellus, Paris, France, 1552; second, another Latin version is contained in J o. Pistorii artis cabalistical scriptorum, Tom I, p. 869, sqq., differing from that of Postellus. Some are of the opinion that John Reuchlin, while others maintain that Paul Riccius was the author of it. (See Wolfii Biblioth. Hebr. Tom., I, Chap. 1.) Third, Rittangel published the book "Yezirah," 1642, at Amsterdam, entitled: "Liber Yezirah qui Abrahamo patriarchae adscribitur, una cum commentario

10

PREFACE.

Rabbi Abraham. F. D. (filii Dior) super 32 Semitis Sapientiae, a quibus liber Yezirah incipit. Translatus et notis illustratus, a Joanne Stephano Rittangelio, ling. Orient. in Elect. Acad. Regiomontana Prof. extraord. Amstelodami ap. J o. and J odoc. Janssonios," 1642, in quarto; fourth, Johann Friedrich von Mayer, D. D., published the book "Yezirah" in Hebrew with a translation and explanatory notes in the German language, Leipzig, 1830. All these translations are out of print and are rarely found even in well regulated libraries. I was so fortunate as to obtain a copy of Dr. Mayer's edition of the book "Yezirah." He states in the preface to it, that he had a copy of Postellus' translation in manuscript as well as some others, and compared them. The explanatory notes given by this author are, nevertheless, insufficient and sometimes very incorrect. The present translation is, as far as I could ascertain, the first that was ever published in the English language. Again, I have to add that I have not only endeavored to correct a great many mistakes and erroneous ideas of my predecessors, but I have also endeavored to give more complete annotations. I therefore hope that the candid reader will consider the great difficulties I had to overcome in this still unbeaten way of the ancient Jewish spiritual region, and will receive with indulgence this new contribution to archaeological knowledge. DB. ISIDOR KALISCH.

I-~
14 15

SEPHER YEZIRAH.
CHAPTER 1.
SECTION

1.

Yah,l the Lord of hosts, the living God, King of the Universe, Omnipotent, All-Kind and Merciful, Supreme and Extolled, who is Eternal, Sublime and Most-Holy, ordained (formed) and created the Universe in thirty-two2 mysterious paths3 of wisdom by three' Sepharim, namely: 1) S'for .,¥t?; 2) Sippur"~EQ; nd 3) Sapher .,~~which are in Him one and a the same. They consist of a.decade out of nothingl and of twenty-two fundamental letters. He divided the twenty-two consonants into three dj.visions: 1) three n,~~mothers, fundamental letters or first elements; 2) seven double; and 3) twelve simple consonants. 2. The decadeo out of nothing is analogous to that of the ten fingers (and toes) of the human body, five parallel to five, and in the centre of which is the covenant with the only One, by the word of the tongue and the rite of Abraham.
SECTION

PRr:'i1~~':" ni~~~? ni::l~l}~:~~~ C C~tq,rp~
~~~ ,~ C~i17 l?7?1C~~O~i:i'~. C ni~1¥ i1ji1~ M; ;O~ ~i'm Cii? ,~ pi~ ~W~lCl 11.JO] o,n"} i~~O'iDO:;:)* C~i~Oii~'~::l iO,i17 ~i::l~ n~ o~n~~ O~i~17'iiO~':;:)nii~DO i~17 : iDO' o~n~~ ni'~D~17::ltd, ~,td : ,io~ ni~ni~ ni~~ : nito1~~ l""I"'W~
.: T:' •T : T:' T ••• TT •: .: ••• : T' : .:... ••• • •••• : •• ; : ••• ; • T ; •

+i'tt'~'P"~ ;,~U,,:
.Ill:

.::1 ;,~m'l:

ni17:;:)Y~ i~OO~ iiO~':;:) ii~DOib17 ib17 n 17YON:;:) nJ1~O ,~n~n~i::l~ ilion '.'lJ~ idon :ii17tfijn~Qt~liili~ijn~Qt
T:'" .,'... -:.: T .: • : ••••••
-: ••• : .: •••••• : • -T' .: •• T •••••• : •• T

3. Ten are the numbers out of nothing, and not the number nine, ten and not eleven. Comprehend this great wisdom, understand this7 knowledge, inquire into it and ponder on it, render it evident and leadS the Creator back to His throne again.
SECTION
1) Bee Notes oommendng on Page 50

.':1 ;,~m'l: ~" ib17 17ilin ib17 i10~':;:) nii~Do ib17 ~" Cv~ iin~ i1~~:;9 c~ql i1~~~f i~~ i1"}ffi~ n/j~ i~i~ ::l~iiiJ i'li:;:),~ i11'P.~}':'iJ0QP. iiPQJ :iJiJt.r'~
: •••••• -.. :.,'... T': .: ••••••

16

SEPHEB

YEZIRAH.

.:1 j .j

,

Y'

j ~0

17

SECTION

4.

Mj'tl''=i

The decade out of nothing has the following ten infinitudes: 1) The beginning9 infinite. 6) The depth infinite. 2) " end "7) "East " 3) " good "8)" West u 4) " evillo "9)" North " 5) " height •• 10) u South u and the only Lord God, the faithful King, rules over all from His holy habitation for ever and ever.
SECTION

iiti?? riii'~? i~~ P7?i~1 Pt?i~ :liiO n'!Q~ Pt?i~1 '~N'J Pt?i~ n 'l'0 Pt?i~in!.l~ P7?i~ ri/j0 Pt?i~lOii Pt?ililil l?t? ,~ "T}~ li'~ Oiil P7?i~11iD¥ p~i~:l1lL~ :,~ '!.lL:'~iiV1R 1i~rp~ ?:p '~iO 1~~9 O
• M l"n 'tD'=i

0v7 l"~~ i~~ l\'l~

5.

The appearance of the ten spheres out of nothing is like a flash of lightning, being without an end, His word is in them, when they go and return; they run by His order like a whirlwind and humble themselves before His throne.
SECTION

P~ij ii~lQf lQ';~¥ ii?'~f rii"i':;l9i~~ :liiV! iY"p 1Q?ii?l Yi?li}~ r~lQ'?~~i N :o',nnrtJoOi1 '.JD"1Di'i' i1D10~iO~~~1 iNO~ 1
• -: -;. •• ; ••• : • ; :. T • T ••

.,

Mj'tD'=i

6.

The decade of existence out of nothing has its end linked to its beginning and its beginning linked to its end, just as the flame is wedded to the live coal; because the Lord is one and there is not a second one, and before one what wilt thou count?ll
SECTION

lQ?r:'It;111t;'?I}t;'~ 1~iO Y1~ti1t1'?fnii~~9i~~. l'~l 1'1}: li'~~ n?QJ~*i111rtJP n~ij(~f l~iOf :iDiOi1nNi10'iiN '.JD"'.JrtJ, i
•• T T
"0" •• :.; •••

.T Mj'tl''=i

7.

;P?1 i~"J~~9'~ Oi'~ i1t1'~fnii'~9 i~~
:l1rtJiJlij? 9??1i~1~ 9'~ Y1O~1i0"VJ?~ i itl '~1 NiYlni~/jijJ :liiV! i~~:~1~7~iptt? O :n'i:l ni~.J i1T
.: -:. "0"

Concerning the number ten of the spheres of existence out of nothing keep thy tongue from speaking and thy mind from pondering on it, and if thy mouth urges thee to speak, and thy heart to think about it, return! as it reads: "And the living creatures ran and returned," (Ezekiel 1, 14.) and upon this12 was the covenant made.

18

SEPHER

YEZIRAH.

.i1 ., , !t'

., £l 0

19

SECTION

8,
, ','; -

.n
-

n:Jm~
T' : ' : '.' '.'

The following are the ten categories of existence out of nothing: 1) The spirit of the living God, praised and glorified be the name of Him who lives to all eternity. The articulate word of creative power, the spirit and the word are what we call the holy spirit.IS 2) Air emanated from the spirit by which He formed and established twenty-two consonants, sta.mina. Three of them, however, are fundamental letters, or mothers, seven double and twelve simple consonants; hence the spirit is the first one. 3) Primitive water emanated from the air. He formed and established by it Bohuu (water, stones) mud and loam, made them like a bed, put them up like a wall, and surrounded them as with a rampart, put coldness upon them and they became dust, as it reads: "He says to the snow (coldness) be thou earth," (Job 37, 6.) 4) Fire or ether emanated from the water. He established by it the throne of glory, the Seraphim and Ophanim, the holy livingcreatures and the angels, and of these three He formed His habitation, as it reads: "Who made His angels spirits, His ministers a flaming fire." (Psalm 104,4,) He selected three consonants from the simple ones which are in the hidden secret of three mothers or first elements: .V)"t)"N air, water and ether or fire, He sealed them with spirit and fastened them to His great name and sealed with it six dimensions.11l

C"~r::t c"ibN n1i nnN ilO"S::ln'i"ElO .,~~
1j1i1

Sip C"Q~'~iJ"0t;~ 'Orf ll'::l~11i~
T , •• -: ':".' T -T:

PRO 01itd rj1i c:('~ : ~l'pij 01i N1Ml ~'::lj]
n,~~ tJS~ -no: n,~n'NC"~~1C"i~~ j:'J::l ~YM1 no~ n1'" n'~1~ElMi~~ C"~~1n"1El::;) _.:: _: : .. : e.. .. : . : Y::l~ C"!o/~)lij~ ::l'!01PRO 1J1itdc:~ .~SWl : Ivtd l"Q:P mRO o"tQJ ~~~. 1ii::ll1ri~(n'~t:"NC:('rp~ Mt"l31~"QiJtC;Jt~M9,n l"Qf "l~"!:try l iI~1i~
J~~? "~ i~~~~ .,~~ H~ ::l~01

Mf€'~-1 J~~

Cv"?~: !!~1) P

PRQ C:~Q~~ ~~l~ : (y~"t$N'Qi~~"

,,~~~, ~l)pi1 n'~1J1;l"~~'Nl t C"~lo/-n~ij Ntp~ iI;';~ i~~~~ U'~9,g; l~~?~~' n!~ij M~ht?'ii.:'::l OM'S~~ ,"ni~O n,n1i ''';:'NSO 11~"7?H~ n,~~ ~S~ "0:t n'i01~~lj lQ n'~t:"N
T, ••• •• T:T: T T: -

: n'Pii? ~r;iCij~ CQ~':"'#i1 'o~~ C~?Rl

:l~~':' Kno'J (" :KJ',nK
:~~
T

,It::l
"'I'"

rn,

:l~r'l?KMJ (t cnn :~D'Oii'l e" (II
•• T '.. -

20

BEPHER YEZIRAH.

.M i ' !l'

i £) 0

21
T " T

5) He sealed18 the height and turned towards above, and sealed it with 'i1~ 6) He sealed the depth, turned towards below and sealed it with '-i1 7) He sealed the east and turned forward, and sealed it with 8) He sealed the west and turned backward, and sealed it with "'i1' 9) He sealed the south and turned to the right and sealed it with i'i'" 10) He sealed the north and turned to the left and sealed it with ..\, SECTION 9. These are the ten spheres of existence out of nothing. From the spirit of the living God emanated air, from the air, water, from the water, fire or ether, from the ether, the height and the depth, the East and West, the North anJ South.

,n'J '''MJ n"'J 'n'J n'''J "iI:;)

;0t}n1i1S~.td? O~ionn tdon i1.J~~ ;Or}nln~td? i1.J~~n~ onn r;)td n
, T , T " T T

• T ,

T,

T T

-

-

-

T

"

;0t}n1'''J~7 i1J~~ n'lO onn
, T • TT • T T -: ' T • T • T T T -:T

~Jr;) - '.'
T •

n-'

;Ot}Ml t.. ilJEj~ "1r::!~7 J'~O onn n,);otd 'Ot:'n1;,)"~'? i1')~~ 0;" onn ~r;)~
• T , T T T T ,.

;0t;'Qi;'~Off'~ i1~~~ ODr;i~~ l;~¥
.'D M~'m~
T, ': '.' ',' ••

O"i:i'~lj1i nlJ~ no"?~ n;,"~o iC'~ ~S~
nlJDlC'i O':~~r;)~ lJ~i~ 0"0 ""'0.. n~i o"lln .- .-

:0;il11~¥:;)i.P-~~ .w~ n

CHAPTER ll.
SECTION

+'.~iO
.~
, T.

P'~
n;ll~;~O"~r;)~ C'ift'~
•• • •••

1.

M~'t%Hl

There are twenty-two letters, stamina.. Three of them, however, are the first elements, fundamentals or mothers, seven double and twelve simple consonants. The three fundamental letters V:"l:l"~ have as their basis the balance. In one scale17 is the merit and in the other criminality, which are placed in equilibrium by the tongue. The three fundamental letters V:"l:l"~ signify, ajjl:l is mute like the water and :¥D hissing like the fire, there is l't among them, a. breath of air which reconciles them.
SECTION

~~~ rw~~rl1Sr;) ';0':

ttJUrtU~ n;~~ td,~ nito~r;)~ i11f?'~ "~rp~;S~~~ C n

C".~1~'!~tdPr:' 1,r;)71 n~;n ~

~~~:n~~1' n;;; ~~
, , T

i'1~ '~ nR~)tdlr;)nT?~;' '0 r;)/lqu~n;~~ r;),r;) :C'~,):;)-"i~On1i . -:. ~ .: - -

2,

The twenty-two letters which form the stamina.

1~'"1¥ mr~ ';0": n;llt}'~C",~~1 11¥~ C'!ff'~

.~

M~'lt'~

22

SEPHER

YEZIRAH.

,M ., , Y'

., E)0

23

after having been appointed and established by God, He combined, weighed and changed them, and formed by them all beings which are in existence, and all those which will be formed in all time to come. 3. He established twenty-two letters, stamina, by the voice, formed by the breath of air and fixed them on five places in the human mouth, namely: 1) gutturals, 3' n iI N 2) palatals, i' ~' :l 3) linguals, n ~, ~ ., 4) dentals, y i C 1i.i t 5) labials, :'J ~ ~ :J
SECTION SECTION

'f n~1 iiY~ij'f n~ Cvil i¥11l'~ij! 17i?~ :iiY' ,'nyn
T • T",•

• ':1

;':i'Q)~

l?¥O ~ii'f lRi?O'iO; nN}iN0:~~1 O'i.ff'~. Y'lJq~ nillI}iN n;oip9 ~~O? n~? 1~1RlJii~ O:~~?Y'1t?~11i~7fnil~?rp"J P::9plI~'Jiip ~ l
: O~Q~ifi~~1I~iJ
" ;'~'Q)'=l

4.

He fixed the twenty-two letters, stamina, on the Bphere like a wall with two hundred and thirty-one gates,18and turned the spheres forward and backward. For an illustration may serve the three letters, ~~3' There is nothing better than joy, and nothing worse than sorrow or plague.19 5. But how was it done? He combined,20weighed and changed: the N with all the other letters in succession, and all the others again with N; :l with all, and all again with :l; and so the whole series of letters.21 Hence it follows that there are two hundred and thirty-one22 formations, and that every creature and every word emanated from one name.23
SECTION SECTION

r~:p '~?Jf 1~~R. nillI)iNo:tJ~ O'i.~~. 'iO~
iinN' O'.:l~O'~;1';1nnn, O'iY~ N'~i::;:) i Moin n~l~ P~1~Y~ n7~R? M?irofr~i~17 1~'t;j1 :YJ1l0 n~o~
T : " T "- : - .": • T : : T
-"." " T -:

.;,

1"D'Q)

'=l

N O~

1~~11~~"N rT~ij117P~ '1t'~ O~ l~l~
•T : : T T : ": " T : :

n;N¥t?~ln7'?7; n;i~n1 :3 Cl! 1~~:: Cl! ::l 1~~ NYi'iiJ'1n ;;:" iiYllM ~;:,NYO.:l' O'iY~ N"~iJ
••

:,nN .OWO
T "." """

.,
T : : """ "" "..

;'~'Q)'=l
T T: " T -

6.

:3Yril i.:l~' i,J'N tl~ n~y, 1iino ~~O

He created a reality out of nothing, called the nonentity into existence and hewed, as it were, colossal pillars from intangible air. This has been shown by thfl example of combining the letter N with

i:3:' ,
- T

niN19'Qn~~ 0~t;1~ i.:l'~~i'1~~ 0"';'i'10'l10P;
:C~ N"J (.

24

SEPHER

YEZIR.A.H.

.n

i ' !.l' i tI 0

25

all the other letters, and all the other letters with Aleph (x). He240 predetermined, and by speaking created every creature and every word by one name. For an illustration may serve the twenty-two elementary substances by the primitive substance of Aleph25 (x).

~f n~ M~~1i~"7;?1 M~iY~ O~ 1?~11~~03; ~ i~l~ 19"P1 'Q~ D~ i1:l~iJ ~f t"i~1i1Y~ij : ~ ~1~~o"~~q0".~o/1O'''!tp¥'

.,~,~~ P'~
CHAPTER III.
SECTION

.~

i1~'tD~

1.

The three first elements, t'''l;l''X are typified by a. balance, in one scale the merit and in the other the criminality, which are placed in equilibrium by the tongue. These three mothers, t'''l;l''X are a great, wonderful and unknown mystery, and are sealed by six26 rings, or elementary circles, namely: air, water and fire emanated from them, which gave birth to progenitors, and these progenitors gave birth again to some offspring.
SECTION

11iO~ ilJII911~: ni~~ ilJ~tl/ ,io ilJllPII~ ni~~ ilJ~~ l!.'''!=?9 PQ liilJ '"1~Y'" i~J\O ilJiV:l 1nil' M01~t.'i S~1t.'Si,~ n D ~

ii:tiil

~~!1~1~~ n
T•• :-

D:t2't~
T: T

7!
T

:-T:

:

T:-

rii:~~t.'1 ni:J~ 1'~i.:lOilt.'1ilJ~,: 0'0' i"1~ Oilt.' T " T: .,' •• •••.,' ••

:n;,?;n
.:::1
i1~'tD~

17P~l~l¥ l~¥Q mRQ iVlI~"~
ilJp~? ilJI9"~

2.

God appointed and established the three mothers combined, weighed and changed them, and formed by them three mothers t''''r.)''X in the world, in the year and in man, male and female.
,t'''l;l''X SEOTION

ni~~ ilJ~~ ilJ~tl/107;~~ilJI9"~ n;~~iV~~ 0C-!? rT~r}1 i¥J

ri;~~ ilJ~~1 M1~?ilJN9"~: n;~~

: M?R11 i1J
.':\
• j

i1~'tD~
T T .: ',': • T

3.

The three mothers t''''r.)''X in the world are: air, water and fire. Heaven was created from fire or ether; the earth (comprising sea and land) from the elementary water; and the atmospheric air from the elementary air, or spirit, which establishes the balance among them.

o'~ilJ ilJ~, O'~1i'1~ OS;~:llJl~"~ n;~~ ilJ~id i '0:. "1J1i9 i"~.~l O~~Qn~11~ Y!.~l v~q 1N.'P~
: O'.r]~~ ~_'lj~Q n'T;;)~~t&
. T
i1::li'j' '~T

c'p,nnt.:l'

T"; '::J~T ~~~~

-~;~~tf' "~,?,;l~~''i~,o~ ntl~ : w"9"~

C'r-l' t&~ C'~~' 'jr-lT;;)' "j C'" ~

26

SEPHEB

YEZIBAH.

.i1i'Y'

i~O

27

SlJ:CTION 4. The three mothers -a1"~"N produce in the yearr: heat, coldness28 and moistness. Heat was created from fire, coldness from water, and moistness from air which equalizes them. SECTION 5. The three mothers ~"~"N produce in man, male and female, breast, body and head. The head was created from fire, the breast from water, and the body from air, which places them in eq1i.librium. SECTION 6. FIRSTDmsION. God let the letter. Aleph (N) predominate in primitive air, crowned29 it, combined one with the other,SOand formed by them the air in the world, moistness in the year, and the breast in man, male and female; in male by ~"~"N and in female

..,

l"'Dttl~
• '. T

CiMn~:~ iiPl OiMn1~~ ~"Q"~ ni~~ ~S~ 3l""p9 lJ~i~n~1i;' :~t.? l~~iip ~~q Nl?~ O N :C:8t~ ,l"'i l"'i:l ttl ~

lre.?~ ~i n~p~~1! ~1Ir:?"~ni~N tth~ ~ i ~p.~~ ti~H~O;tpt.?Nl?~ lre.~~ ~~ Nl?~ ~~i n;!1~ ~
• • • ••• • T

: C"~.J::l ,0: _ _ •• !J"i~OiI~iO • - :. " l"'i:lttl~

"t:)~ is

i~R1 r:J~ifIN niN ~r?t.?i)•N N1~ nt~1 n~n 07i!Jf i"1~ CVfi¥1 M.}~nt.i~!¥! : OI~"~9 n~R~~ ~u~"~9 ~~~f ~11 i~! n
,i l"'i:lttl~

by

:C"~"N

SECTION 7.

SECOND DmsION. He let the letter :Mem (~) predominate in primitive water, and crowned it, combined one with the other, and formed by them the earth, (including land and sea) coldness in the year, and the belly in male and female; in male by ,~,,~,,~1 in female by : N"-a1"~ SECTION 8.

"t'~ i~R1 O:~1'rj niN l"~9i) is
,n
l"'i:lttl~

.:l N1~

nt~~ iiPl O?i!J~ 0V~i¥1 n!.~n.!, 1~!¥1 y~.~ :N"~"Qf n1p.~~ "~"9"~9 1t ~~~firpt.~ i ~~ is i~R1 ~ttf '~ niN l"?91} •J N~~ n~~f OiM! ?i!J~ ;Q~Oij~i¥1 nJ? n.} i~:¥l O O :n1p.~~t ~p.~~~~il i1 ... .

THIRD DIVISION. He let the letter Sheen (-a1) predominate in primitive fire, crowned it, combined one with the other, and formed by them, heaven in the world, heat in the year, and the head of male and female.82

28

SEPHER

'iEZIRAH.

29

CHAPTER IV.
SECTION

1.

.~ t1~'ll:'ti

The8Sseven double letters,
.M • .t~ .~!l .~;: .,":'\ .'1"1

n.,t~'1~:Jwith a.duplicity

of pronunciation, aspirated and unaspirated, namely:

.:J:J serve as a model of softness and
SECTION

.,~~::;)ni.1i1JnO n'iD~ - '".1:;)t"iiS1D~11~tJ .. : . -: - : . -: -: : - -.1"\"J:3~ n .,"~ Due ~"~ ''', .1";1 .::;)niJitth ~ . : - 1"\ :
N

hardness, strength and weakness. 2.

: t1~Q1.,i::;)11~R1 i

~n

SevenS' double letters, peace and beauty.

.n.,t~ shall, as it were, '1~:J

symbolize wisdom, wealth, fruitfulness, life, dominion,
SECTION

.:J t1~'ll:'ti ";;ii11 il9~Q i1io; n61~~'6J~ ni'1D:p i1~~ : ilJl CiS~ i1~~t.?~C"~lJl "Jn ~ .:1
t1~'ll:'ti
-: -: : - '.'

3.
T :. .:

Seven dOD letters serve to sigt'ify the antithesis ble to which human life is exposed. The antithesis of wisdom is foolishness; of wealth, poverty; of fruitfulness, childlessness; of life, death; of dominion, dependence; of peace, war; and of beauty, ugliness.
SECTION

n""On:31"1::;)~ t"i'iD~ ".1::;)t"iiS1D~i1~t1 1"\""on".Jii1 "~i1 t"ii10n nS1~ no~n ni10r-\
:. '.' -: •••••• • T: T -:

nSt100 n""on
T T : '.' -:

n,o o"~n n.,.,on nootY i1iT
'.'T '.: T T: -.~

4.

: ""i1"~jlJ nl'0t;' n9Q?~ CiS~ nl'0t;' n1'1~ •
.,
T: • T T -:-

The seven double consonants are analogous to the six dimensions: height and depth, East and West, North and South, and the holy temple that stands in the centre, which carries them all.
SECTION

t1::l'll:'ti
-: -: : '.'

MilO n~o, i1Si10n"iD~ '11.1::;) niS1~~ i1~t1 i1~9~9 iP9 t1~f'O S~"iJ!Oii11 iiD¥ :Jl3!~'

:i~~ ~~i.J N1i11 n~
.n n~'l:Dti

5.

The double cOIlllonantsare seven, n.,t~ and not '1~:J six, they are seven and not eight; reflect upon this

nwtJ ~t;, ni1~t1n"iD~ '''.1:;)t"i;SlD~i1:3t1 T. . : T:. -; - : : - .••

BEPHER

YEZIRAH.

.M i ' Y'

i ~0

31

fact, inquire about it, and make it so evident, thatthe Creator be acknowledged to be on His throne agam. SECTION 6.

'~~lJ1 0Vt

.

iiPQJ ory~ lin~ i1~i~~ ~,6~ n~1~ : iJi:J~ 'Y i~;' :Jiliin, ;'ii:J '17 i:J' : " •• : : T T
•, n
'j

'ttl ):l

The seven double consonants, stamina, having been designed and established, combined, weighed, and changed by God, He formed by them: seven planets in the world, seven days in the year, seven gates, openings of the senses, in man, male and. female. SECTION 7. The seven planets in the world are ~ Saturn, Jupiter, Mars, Sun, Venus, Mercury, Moon. Seven days in the year are the seven days of the week; seven gates in man, male and female, are: two eyes, two ears, two nostrils and the mouth. SECTION 8. FIRSTDIVISION.He let the letter :J predominate in wisdom, crowned it, combined one with the other and formed by them: the moon in the world, the fil'Si day in the year, and the right eye in man, male and female. SECTION 9. SECOND IVISION.He let the letter.) predominate D in wealth, crowned it, combined one with the other. and formed by them: Mal'S in the world, the second day in the year, and the right ear in man, male and female.

l~"l¥l~¥':'lRi?':',;O~ n"l~~'1/ J? ni~~~f Y~Y 07iYil 0';Ji';:;' n¥?i?' Or? rrT;j!:111~i?~
-oi T ttJ~J:J O'i~ttJ: nY:JitJ "JitJ:::.l O'~' nY:JilJ T •••'.' : " T T: • T T : • T T:'

i~'

: n~j?~~
•T n 'j 'ttl ):l

n~t:1 C"~~ p~.~ 'tJ~~ C~iii~ C'~~i~ i1it~~ ,~, MY:JitJ JttJ:J O'~'T nY:JilJ i1J:J, :J;:);:;'Nil nTT : ..: T:' • T:' T T: T -

't::'rp "~p.~~ itJ~~~ O'!~iPi1¥1tP ~i:J~t:I i~t
: n~iJl11~Q ~'~.~C'.~1~ c~~,~ '~i? '~~
• M /n 'j 'ttl ):l

ir~;,itqR) n9=?~9':J niN l'~T?i) • N N~~
littJN,

0;' C?;Y~ n#~ Cijf i¥J
:M~j2~~ ttJ~~f "iJ
.b
n'j'ttl~

i1!~M.J 1~'l¥1

l't?;r~1n~~t
N~~

it)~ ;,

"tYR1

i~i17il' J n;N

1"?7?i) .:J

,~W 0;' C?;~~ C'!~~CV~ i~] n.J~nt..1~l¥1 :n~j?~l~t ilJ;j~~ rQ~n~1 n~~~

32

SEPHERYEZIRAlI. SECTION 10.

.i"I ., , Y'

., D [)

33

,'I

n J 'ttl

TltIRD DIVISION. He let the letter., predomina.te in producibility, crowned it, combined one with the other, and formed by them: the sun in the world, the third day in the year, the right nostril in man, male and female. SECTION 11. FOURTH DmSION. He let the letter;:, predominate in life, crowned it, combined one with the other, and formed by them: Venus in the world, the fourth day in the year, and the left eye in man, male and female. SECTION 12. FIFl'H DmsloN. He let the letter c predominate in dominion, crowned it, combined one with the other, and formed by them: Mercury in the world, the fifth day in the year, and the left ear in man, male and female. SECTION 13. SIXTHDmsION. He let the letter., predominate in peace, crowned it, combined one with the other, and formed by them: Saturn in the world, the sixth day in the year, and the left nostril in man, male and female. SECTION 14. SEVENTH msION. He let the letter n predominate D in beauty, crowned it, combined one with the other, and formed by them: Jupiter in the world, the seventh day in the year, and the mouth of man, male and female.

'\.9 ,~'~R1 ~'iP"

n,~':1"790
~

~

• J to9~

'l~'17~ 0''1O~'l1~ O\!~ M~rj '¥':
n J '!II

M~.1 ~.l~'"1¥! M :Mij?~~ rd~~~1"t;'~''1r:v~Mt~~ '~J
,~/I'l

,~ ,S

'l1!'1~'"1 oi'l 07'l1f j:'I~i.J 0G1f

'~mO'l~lJf'~ n,~'~i"~9o., ~1~
,~/I'l

,~! i!j l~l~! j'1}.1

: M1P.-t~ '~Jrd~~f ~~O~ 1'117.' M~~~

,~~ is

'~mM~~99~'~ n,~~r~t?0· M~1~
: M1P.1~'~t rd~~:p ,~O~ 1j.~1M~~~
,:I"'l

n Jm~

'1~,!'l~Q 07il1f ti~ O~f oi'l ~

,~! .]1MJ1~'"1~1 M

n:J

'ttl ~

,~~ " '~R1O;;~t'i ni~ 1'l~9o., ~~ 'liP~0''1O~'l1~ '1tJ~~ \!~ '¥1 M~.~ l~i:¥! o Mt,
: M1Pt~i~trd~~? ;~O~''1~;1~ M~~~
,i"'l

n ~'ttl

~

,~
Ii~~

i~R11/jt 'n tl,~ 1'l79i) • T to<1~ oi'l 07'l1f Pl}; 0Vf '¥1 M~~ 1~!¥1 M!.
it..,

:M~P.~~ rd~~? M~~t '~t M~~

34

BBPHEB IEZIBAB. SECTION

.i1i'JP

iElD

35

15.

•,u'O

ti J '12) 7:2

By the BeTendouble consonants,

mc~')~ were also

n~~ li?R':"~ lC9~ n/j~~
T • T T.. T :.

"'~ ,

ni"'~~ ~~~
" T : T : .•

designed seven worlds (at'03YEs), seven heavens, seven lands, (probably climates,) seven seas, (probably around Palestine,) seven rivers, seven deserts, seven days a week. seven weeks from Passover to Pentecost, there is a cycle of seven years, the seventh is the release year, and after seven release years is jubilee. Hence, God loves the number seven under

C~~ n~?~ ni~1~ n~1~ l"'V'~1 n¥1~ n;C~;31 n31~~C"Q'n31:;3~ ni~~ n~rtJ ni-,nJ n~::JttI
T:.

ni':ti' n~1~ l't?~~ n~~

c'~~ n3p~ ni310~

:O~~Lt ~f~~ ni!l~'~~v ~rj 'i')~'~7 n~
•fI'O
T. T T.

l"I J '12) 7:2
• T -: .':

the whole heaven.1'1 (In the whole nature.)
SECTION

O'~~ ttI,~ O'I:'J ,~~ t"iiJiJ O'J::JN,~~ n¥~~ n'iJiJ C'~~ 31~'~ O't:'1 n~~ niJiJ
C'l!~~ nN~ niJ'b C'J::JN •• T C'~J o,-,ft/311 ~~n ,., T 'T -; ' T ': '.':

16.

Two stones build two hOUBes,three stones build six houses, four build twenty-four houses, five build one hundred and twenty houses, six build seven hundred and twenty houses and seven build five thousand and fortY'" houses. From thence further

O""~~.1 niN~ ~~~ niJiJ O'JJN ~~ O'~J
• " , ' T -;.. T. " 'T-: -'.'

• T

O'~,~ t"i~t:?o.t"iiJiJ O'JJN ~JtcJO'r-o
.T

::3itn:p. 'i')?'~11~t.?C'~ N~

go and reckon what the mouth cannot express and the ear cannot hear,

n7i:~;lt~v 1"'~1 ~1?

C'~~~l(31J'1NU M70; M~V 1"'~~ ~
:1tiC~?
~'ij

CHAPTER V.
SECTION

1.

•'rt"~n
• llt

l"I:J '12) 7:2

The twelve simple letters p"3:"l' c"':'" ""~"n f"''';' symbolize, as it were, the organs of speaking, think-

pU~31 OU J' 'I/ronT'1n n;to-,ttI~ ... . n..,~~.O'IJ~ .

-

•..
.1'1 , Y' ., ., ~ 0 37

36

BEPHER YEZIBAH.

ing, walking, seeing, hearing, working, coition, smelling, sleep, anger, swallowing and laughing. 2.

n~~~ n~~t;'~ ~rbi}~nli}ii~~~ l"O~ n:~! ,

:pin~ ni9'~7l~,i'n~'~ lJ~',t'~~rptJ
.::1
\1~'C:)7:J

SECTION

The twelve simple consonants i'''~''J' O"':"~~"~"n t"''';' symbolize also twelve oblique points: east height,

north east, east depth, south height, south east, Bouth depth, west height, south west, west depth, north height, north west, north depth. They grew wider

and wider to all eternity, and these arll the boundaries of the world.
SECTION

3.

The twelve simple letters i'''~''J'r::".:"~~"~"n t""';' stamina, having been designed, established, combined, weighed and changed by God, He performed by them: twelve constellations in the world, twelve months in the year, and twelve leaders (organs) in the human body, male and female.
SECTION

C~r-\t' ".. t'i'rj~1~,.'::l1 liO??~'?~:3~ C'~.~ 11iC~ n'r-\nr-\ n'mro ~1:3~ n'Ji~Yn'n"ro '1::l~'oi, n ~1:J~'mttJ' n'oi" '1:J~n'oi, n'oi,'1 '1::l~ n t.,1::l~~o1't'i'::l'~Ot.,1::l~ ' : n t'i'r-\n~t'i'01,'1 :. . T-:: • : ~1:J~ t'i't:'r;'IIJ n'~1~~ t.,~::l¥'~1'l t'i'~1~~ n n'J1~Y n'::l'~t'n'l'Ji~Y n'o1, n'J1~!l ~1::l~ '1::l~ 1~ Jljl ,~ ',~: ,~ r~71n1 r~Qlt;"'~1 t'i'~~t:' :0'1~n1~0;1

i:'IIY~ oll:h,lIiOn II,n T rW.o1tJ~ ".. ., ' . ii'fo~ . I

'~~T
'T:' •

• : -

'T:'

:

'

:

:

'

:

T:'

,

:

:

.::

.:

:..

T-:-

.:

:

.

.:

T

:

.'1 \1~'C:)~

PII!l~11J' ~lIiOn t'i1to~tJ~-:w~, '~~ 0 TII,n n C

00t '¥1 ll'~ijl l~!¥ lRP':' 111C~ 17P~ 11¥':'
o~tJ,n ,fo~ 0'JtJ O'i~::1 i~ron,fo~ O'r-\t! n 1 :n1i?1'~ttJ~~~ 0'~~0~~ O'~o/ n~~~ ,~~
• T-: T T ,. : T T T •• : '.' " :

4,
.: '.' T

.,
T

\1 ~ 'C:) ~
T T"": ".' •• :

The twelve constellations in the world are: Aries,

C~t'iN~ n,to O'i~::;) n,~~ O'r-\tI ,itl n;,ro

po

38

SEPHERYEZIRAH.

.~ ., , It'

., El 0

39

Taurus, Gemini, Cancer, Leo, Virgo, Libra, Scorpio, Sagitarius, Capricornus, Aquarius and Pisces. The twelve months of the year are: Nisan, 1yar, Sivan, Tamus, Ab, Elul, Tishri, Marcheshvan, Rislev, Teves, Schevat and Adar. The twelve organs of the human body are: two hands, two feet, two kidneys, gall, small intestines, liver, gullet89 or esophagus, stomach and milt. SECTION 5.

'?i '!1 n;;R.~lP~ t:r~~1~o 1t"9ii:l~ ii9'"1Q ii7 n'Q i"~~ i9"~ii~~~ C"~!p:i~~ C"~~:C"~~ :il~ to~~ n~~ '~q~ ntfllj"i.tflt:' ~~ m~rJ ~1~~: 0;1: "~~ ii;JR;11 t ~~~ C"~"i)~~ C"~~ i1 i~¥ q:JPi'P> '~fP?1iil~ n'''7f '~9C:2rl "~~

:~,ni9 M~Rnlt1~
.l'i l'i~m~

First Part.
FmsT DIVISION. God let the letter i1 predominate in speaking, crowned it, combined one with the other, and formed by them: Aries (the Ram) in the world, the month Nisan in the year, and the right foot of the human body, male and female. SECTION6. SECOND DIVISION. He let the letter' predominate in thinking, crowned it, combined one with the other, and formed by them: Taurus (the Bull) in the world, the month 1yar in the year and the right kidney of the human body, male and female. SECTION7. THIRD DIVISION. He let the letter t predominate in walking, crowned it, combined one with the other, and formed by them: Gemini (the Twins) in the world, the month Sivan in the year, and the left foot of the human body, male and female.

,~ i~Rl iir:'''~~1M n'N l"~t.?i)•NC1~NN?:t I i9'~1C~'~? ii?t9 Cij:ti¥1 i1!.~ i1] 1~'"1¥1iV~ :M~R-t1i~t~?~~i"~~ iit~~
., l"l ~

'r~~

m~

" i~R1 i1iil0~ " n'N l";t?0 •N~~ '~ N~:t i"~~i C~'~f i,rtJ O~:t i¥1 iiJ.~M!. 1~'"1~1 iV~ :iitRt1 i~t ~?~~ n"~9;N~71~J M~~~
.T l'i ~ m

~

" i~m l1~i}:P n'N l"?t.?i) .Ni:;I~ N~:t 'l '.1 IrQi C7'~f C"~'N~Cij~i¥1 ii~~iit 1~'"1¥1 iV~ :ii~R~1i1t.~~~~ '~0f¥'~'1~ M~~:P

40

SEPHERYEZIRAH.

41

SECTION8. Second Part. FIRST DIVISION. He let the letter M predominate in seeing, crowned it, combined one with the other, and formed by them: Cancer (the Crab) in the world, the month Tamus in the year, and the right hand of the human body, male and femalfl. SECTION9. SECOND DIVISION. He let the letter ~ predominate in hearing, crowned it, combined one with the other, and formed by them: Leo (the Lion) in the world, the month Ab in the year, and the left kidney of the human body, male and female. SECTION10. THIRD DIVISION. He let the letter ~ pr<ldominate in working, crowned it, combined one with the other, and formed by them: Virgo (the Virgin) in the world, the month Elul in the year, and the left hand of the human body, male and female. SECTIONII. Third Part. FIRST DIVISION. He let the letter, predominate in coition, crowned it, combined one with the other, and formed by them; Libra (the Balance) in the world, the month Tishri in the year, and the gall of the human body, male and female. SECTION12. SECOND DIVISION. He let the letter.: predominate in smelling, crowned it, combined one with the other, and formed by them: Scorpio (the Scorpion) in the world, the month Marcheshvan in the year, and the small intestines of the human body, male and female.

'~mi1:~!~ 'n n;~ 'T~t?i}·i1~~iPiJ ~1~ i~'~
O~;~?

.n

11~~i':J

i~lg 01::9 '¥1 i1.!? i1~.i~l¥l 'tJ? ;~ : i11P.-t~ e'~~~ i"t?; '~1 i10tJJ 'tt i1~~:P
.~ 11~~~

i1~i~tp:;l 'tDtl;~ l"~9i}.i1;~iPiJi~':) ~1~

D~;~?i1~'l~0v~ '¥1nl~i1.J~l~J'Q?, ;~ '~m i
." 11~~i':J

:n?p.~~~te'~~?n"~~9fp~:?~~1 ' n~~:p:)~1

'~RJ n~~9?'"n;~l"~9i}.i1~~~iJi~'J ~~~
c~;~f n?1n?0iJ~'~1 i1~~i1 ! i?l~1'Q?, ;, : n~p.11 e'~~? ,~ofp '21 n~~:p~1~.~J '~J . ~u., 11 ~ ~ ~ rt'''r.?tp~~ n;~ l"?9i} •n"~"~9iJ i~'~~~~ c:J1~o 0v~'~1 n~.~no!i~!¥1 't:)~;~ '~~J
o

I~

: n~p.11'~te'~~:p i1l9~n~~:p"!~t:"Jo~;~:p
• ~".,
1

11 ~ ~ ~

'~R!/j"'1:j) J n;~ l"~9i}·n"iP"~~iJ~':) i ~?~
c~;~:j) :)'X?3l

0v~,~~n.9no!. i~l¥l 'r.?;,

:n~p.-t~ tl~~:p n~~:p '1~ 1"f11 n~ljl~1

------------------------"""lIlIIII
42,
SEPHEB YEZIBAH.

•••• ------------------------

.:'1 , , Sf'

" El C

43

SECTION 13. THIRDDIVISION. He let the letter c predominate in sleep, crowned it, combined one with the other, and formed by them: Sagittarius (the Archer) in the world, the month Rislev in the year, and the stomach of the human body, male and female. SECTION 14. Fourth Part. FmsT DIVISION. He let the letter l' predominate in anger, crowned it, combined one with the other, and formed by them: Capricornus (the Goat) in the world, the month Teves in the year, and the liver in the human body, male and female. SECTION 15. SECOND DIVISION. He let the letter.)l predominate in swallowing, crowned it, combined one with the other, and formed by them: Aquarius (the Water. man) in the world, the month Schwat in the year, and the esophagus of the human body, male and female. SECTION 16. THIRDDIVISION. He let the letter i' predominate in laughing, crowned it, combined one with the other, and formed by them: Pisces (the Fishes) in the world, the month Adar in the year, and the milt of the human body, male and female. He made them as a conflict, drew them up like a wall; and set one against the other as in warfare.

,';I'"

l1:J to 7:l

n~~? '0 ni~ T~9o'.n,~,h~~Q '.1 ~f 1~ C7i~fn~R, 0Vfi¥1 n~.:;: il.J1~l¥1it:)~is i~R1 :n1P~~ ~~~f n1'p.ln~~:p'?9~1 i1~
,i".,
l1:JW ~

~1iif'~ ni~ T~?;:1·n'~':;1lQ It;''~ ~1f n7i~1'!~ i¥': n~~n~.l~l¥1 ~t:)~ i, i~R1 0Vf :n1p.-t~ t ~P~f '~~1~~~ n~~ i1 M
,,"0 l1:J to

~

ni9'~?:;3 ni~ 1'790 .· n'~':;110It;''~ ~~ '~ C7i~1 0Vf i¥l n9 n.!.~l¥l it:)~is i~m '?~: i :n1p.~~ ~~~:t i~t n1~.lJ1 Q1Ri;'Pl) ro1~ n~~f
.T"O l1 ~ W ~

piil~:;3 ni~ 1'~9i:t.n'~':;3lQ1~ '.1 ~9f Ip 07i~fC'~10Vfi¥1.n.!,1 M~.I~l¥l i, i~Rl iP~ 1't;':Pt$rp~ I n.1p.-t~ tlJ~~~ 'iilt9~n~~~i~~j i~J :i1rt~?~rt;'f'I~I~ nrtiil r~:p rrTP "n?''J~
: m'"1O ;~ ilJ'"10
T .: T .:

W') ("

44

SEPHER

YEZIRAH,

.;, "1' !I'

"1D 0

45

CHAPTER VI.
SECTION

1.
T : ••• •• : T:

.~
a."

nJ'tV~
".": •.

These are the three mothers or the first elements, from which emanated three progenitors; primitive air, water and fire, and from which emanated as their offspring, three progenitors and their offspring, namely: the seven planets and their hosts, and the twelve oblique points,
IV"l:i"X

nidSid Cli1~1~Y~'idl/~I/~n;i.:)~idSiZJ li1 C ~b~
T" "

niZJSid ;,S;n ni:J~~1iZJ~, l~~1 Clil'n;::)~ n C '~1~
T: : T •• " : • •••• : T

Oil~n;~::)y,O~:JJ;~ i1~:JiZJ, Cli1~n;,S;n,ri;:J~
','.. :.: ' T T: ': .,'.. ::

T

:i;O~?~: ,~~ ~?1:J~
.::1 nJ'tV~
•••;... • ••. T T-

O~~~1

SECTION 2.

To confirm this there are faithful witnesses; the world, year and man, the twelve, the Equipoise, the heptade, which God regulates like the Dragon,(O (Tali) sphere and the heart.
SECTION 3,

tJ~.:Ji1.:Jid O';~J Cl"j~~.:l ~'~ ':J" O
••• "," T T T TOT

i1~~'
T -: _

~~t:'f np~1 ii~Srp1 ii~1iP1
.':\
T -;: •• •••

pr:; 'ff'~O~~iP1
::J"
•• T

nJ'tV~
..••• •••:

,b."
-:-:

The first elements lV"l:i"X are air, water and fire; the fire is above, the water below, and a breath of air establishes the balance among them, For an illustration may serve, that the fire carries the water is the phonetic character of l:i which is mute and IV is hissing like fire, there is ~ among them, a.breath of air which places them in eqilibrium,'l
SECTION 4.

MS~~, td~ Cl~~1 '~1~ iZJl/~l/~ td~ nii.:)~iZJSid
• T

i9~P)Cl:D~~ ~~"'p~ pr:;

1]1i "~~':

n8~~iZJ~; n99" '~ Cl:~O ' n~

~~'J i11~ iZJ~~

i1~~? ~~1 O

: Cl:Dt~~~-9~PQij1i "~~ '~ .1 i1J'tV~

Dragon (Tali) is in the world like a king upon his throne, the sphere is in the year like a king in the empire, and the heart is in the human body like a king'2 in war.

l?9f

i11~?'J?J ;~9~,~ l?9:j' Cl7i~~~~~ : M9Q7y~l?9:j' iZJ?2.~J? "Mt'R:;l :

•••

46

SEPHER YEZIBAH. SECTION

47 .M t'O'l2) ~

5.

God has also set the one over against the other; the good against the evil, and the evil against the good; the good proceeds from the good, and the evil from the evil; the good purifies the bad, and the bad the good; the good is preserved for the good, and the evil for the bad ones.
SECTION

nTP~? C"l:i~~ n!.nTP~? n~ CJ ::lito n~~ n.j ::li~n ~~o ~'"i.~iWO ::licoi~~? ~~ ~~ ::lito t "~ito ::li~iJ l.,r:t~Q"1vl~1":1ti~ l"r:t:t9 ti~ ~ :C"~~~ nj"ortJi1~~'C"::l'~~ ~10~ n
T" T' '.. T T • TT T: T T: • T •

6.

•,

M ~ 'l2) ~
-: T •••

There are three of which every one of them stands by itself; one is in the affirmative, the other in tha negative and one equalizes them.
SECTION

1M~' ••-: e: "~TO,ri~
T ••

T -.-..

'O'~ ,n~ ~~ nrtJ~~ ":l~
: C"~.J:l ~"~O .-:. ':.T M~'l2)~
T: T, T •

,n~,
T T T'.':

:l"llMO .-:

7.
, :. ': -

There are seven of which three are against three, and one places them in equilibrium. There are twelve which are all the time at war; three of them produce love, and three hatred, three are animators and three destroyers. SECTION 8. The three that produce love are the heart and the ears; the three that produce hatred are the liver, the gall and the tongue; the three animators are the two nostrils and the milt; and the three destroyers are the mouth and the two openings of the body; and God, the faithful King, rules over all from His holy habitation to all eternity. He is one above three, three are above seven, seven above twelve, and all are linked together.

C"~D ~.,~~o,n~, i1~hrtJ 10n~,~ n~~~ ~
T ',':

O"~qi~ n~~~
, ': T;

:nt?Q?~~ r"1t?'~~~~
•- : T: • •

O"~~
T.

:c"n"oo n~'~1 c":lnon~hrtJC"~~,ro ra~~ n
.M M:J 'l2)~

C"~iroii~h~ C:~1~~1 C"~Q1~~~~ ::It.:?O n "~i?~J~ C"~1'J9 lirtJ~i-Il '~flj " M~~~ nit¥0 ~~)i1~OlC"~R~iJ .,~~C"r}.,~t? n~~~1~in~iJl ,i ""1~: ,~ irtJ1Ri'~tp~C~~?~~iOl~~ ~~~

~~6

M~1~ nv~~.,~~}In~~~ n~~~"~j ~i1.O~ ~ ' : i1jt n.JC"V"~C~~l~~~ C"~~.,~~ ~1!

48

BEPHEB

'iEZIRAH.

49
.~ tn'l%)~

SECTION

9.

There43 are twenty-two letters by which the I am, Yah, the Lord of hosts, Almighty and Eternal, designed, formed and created by three Sepharim, His whole world, and formed by them creatures and all those that will be formed in time to come.
SECTION

10.

Oi:)~ 0V~ M~~lO~~~ i1~n;,~ 'tt niN~¥ i1~n~ ~; OM~ iO,i17 nN OMON':;j~O"DO i1~~rtJ 'Y'l ~~ ,"n17i1~~ nN' '1Y~i1~~ n~
'.' T T ; T

M~!!~ PR'J

mf~nN}iN O~~~1O'~~
T ',' '.' " TT T 'T'.' T '.';

:,.,y~

•T :

T

:

:-

T

'.'

When" the patriarch Abraham comprehended the great truism, revolved it in his mind, conceived it perfectly, made careful investigations and profound inquiries, pondered upon it and succeeded in contemplations, the Lord of the Universe appeared to him, called him his friend, made with him a covenant between the ten fingers of his hands, which is the covenant of the tongue/Ii and the covenant between the ten toes of his feet, which is the covenant of circumcision, and said of him: "Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee." (Jer. 1,5.)

," t'i:J

m~

PR01 i1~,io'~i:'ll O~1?~ i'~~;'?' r ~J'~~ 'l~~N iN1R1~~~ 1;'~ "?~ii?1~ Mt:'?~1 ;';1 n'!,? N1i11 1~ " n;17f¥~ ,~~, i"~ n'!1 i~ nl~1
::1111;11

n?'~ijn'!1 N1i1i t1 n;17~¥~'fp~1'~1iirtJ7ij "7 • : 9't:'17;1; i~~;191¥tt o~~ ,,~¥N1R1
J1io~ i, :'I~?1iJi~~ ni~ryit( C:J::I~ t::J'~~~"~~1 (a n~ t(MJ
J n:.W'..•C'r:t~ IT.... nl1T:,l~.'~T~, , !:!?

l)~"~ l~~ ~~~ .. c~~~ li'rT

.

l~~ :ni"'"
T-

50

NOTES.

51

NOTES.
I) Our author maintains that there is a first intelligent, self-existing, almighty, eternal ruling cause of all things, and that an everlasting entity produced nonentities by a progression of effects. The divine knowledge, he adds, differs from the human knowledge in such a degree, that it gives existence to all that is. 1:1'~':it '/"l n" ):lpn is a talmudical expression. (See Treatise Bava Bathra p. 73.) It seems to me, that the author not only wanted to contradict Plato's assertion that the Supreme Being had need of a pian, like the human architect, to conduct the great design, when he made the fabric of the Universe, but also the common belief that God reasons and acts by ideas like a human being. As the prophet Isaiah exclaimed: "Behold! God has no ideas like you, and his ways of acting are not like yours," (Isaiah 55, 84.) 2) The number thirty-two is not only the fifth power of two, and the sum of ten units and twenty-two letters, but is also the sum of the first and last letter of the Hebrew Pentateuch, namely: :ll 2. and;' 30, equal thirty. two. (See Kusari p. 34-3, translated into German by Dr. David Cassel.) 3) Paths denote powers, effects, kinds, forms, degrees or stages. ",) These Sepharim or three words of similar expression signify: first, number, calculation or idea j second, the word; third, the writing of the 'Word. The idea, word and writing (of the word), are signs to man for a thing, and is not the thing itself, to the Creator, however, idea, word and writing (of the word) are the thing itself, or as some ancient Rabbis remarked: ",nM::lMpl"l::l iMIlt "'l::li Zit'n ;:m 11'lllJ'~'"'l'~i M::l'lllnO Idea, word and work are one and the same to God," There is an ideal world in the divine intellect, according to which this sensible world was made. The difference between the human and di"ine manner of thinking admits no comparison. 5) This means to say, that there has not been any matter or hyle existing from all eternity, containing different kinds of primitive atoms or molecules etc., as the Greek philosopher, Anaxagoras, taught, but that all things are the gradual emanations of one everlasting being. This idea is then symbolically explaiued in the next paragraph. 6) The design of the author is evidently to deduce the proof of the decade from the phenomena in the nature of man, who is generally considered the crown or the fina! cause of the terrestial creation, and upon whom God vouchsafed two most precious gifts, namely: the articulated word, and the

religious element (spiritual purity). This passage is explained by Isaac Satanow in his Hebrew Dictionary entitled Sephath Emeth, p. 44. b:

i"l:m:m "'l~~' 'C"I;'::IlZ:M t'1";,,t'1;' ",\"'0 ~J' ~'n i''lll~m mm o,~n n~ 'C"I"Ip:: 0::'31 t1"1"'l~~,n iM~ ;'::11'C"I"I"'loMn n'i;"t'1; n"lt'1"1~'::l "I~n ,t'1"'l':Z' ''''l~1"l ,"It'1'J':::lZ"It'1'lll;J' t'1"1M:lZ' no"l;'o:: The tongue is, as it were, the .,t'1"'l':::Z~ nT' ''''li:lM~ nT n"lt'1"1l1'i::l "~n'
descriptive pen of all the spiritual issues, and the genital parts are the originators of the corporeal substances. Everyone of them is an eternal covenant in order to preserve the human race for ever, according to its twofold being: body and spirit. Each working after its own way, physically and spiritually. 7) Like Pythagoras, who taught that the digits inclusive number ten which are typified in Tetraktys, (TETpaxTv.) namely: 1 plus 2. plus 3 plus", equal 10, and which comprise the whole arithmetical system of nature, etc. Our author endeavors to show the gradual emanation of all things from God, which were completely finished in ten spheres. 8) My Hebrew reading is I "'::l?:l ;'Jl "'l2'''1::l'lll,m There are various readings; therefore Postellus rendered it: "restitue figmentum in locum luurn;" Rittangel, "restitue formatorem in throno suo;" Pistorius, "fac sedere creatorem in throno suo." The author seems to ridicule here the Gnosticians who maintained that Demiurg was the creator of man and the sensual world. 9) In God is the beginning and he is the boundary of the Universe. Compare also the Talmud treatise Chagigah p. 12.
10) Here is contradicted the system of ditheism, consisting of an eternal God, the Author of all good and of "Hyle" or "Satan," the co-eternal and co-equal principle of evil, maintaining that an all-perfect God alone is the author of all good and evil, and has in his infinite wisdom so wonderfully contrived the nature of things, that physical and moral evil may produce good, and hence contribute to carry out the great design of the Supreme Being. Compare also Chap. 6 ~5. II) As the infinite series of numbers starts from one unit, so was the whole Universe formed a unity, that centres in the Godhead. 12) The meaning is, that as the living creatures which the prophet saw in his vision were stricken with such an awe, that they could not go any further to see the divine glory, and had to return, so Is the decade an eternal secret to us and we are not permitted to understand it. We find this very idea in the Pythagorean system. The disciples of Pythagoras looked upon the decade as a holy number, and swore by it and by the Tetrakty' which contain the number ten.

13) See above Note

I,

God, idea and word are indivisi"le.

••
52
NOTES.
20) My reading is I

NOTES.

14-) I adoptedhere the reading of Judah Halevi, namely: ,n::l ::l:lIm tli'" '1:11 t)"'t), llll:l"l 1n::l with the exception of the word ,i1t"1; because it is obvious from "Yezirah," Chap. II, that the author signifies by the word "Tohu," nothing, and not something, as Judah Halevi erroneously thought. Moses Butarel and others tell us that they had before them a correct copy of"Sepher Yenrah," where it reads: tl"'~::l~1;~ 1M::l ::11 P1"1"'1p MT'Mn " 1l;:11~;1l:l~The same passage is mentioned in the Talmud treatise Chagigah, p. 1:7., a, with the addition of '"'~:lI1"' 'i1~1ll tl,i1t"1::lt"I1:PP1'lll~M .tl"'~ The word t"I1l:l;1l:lr.:M translated by Rashi, moist. Some say it is is a compound word of t'I,~;'!:lr.l; others of ,","~;~ "'~1;;l:letc. But the word is not of Semitic origin; it is, accordingto my opinion, borrowed from the Greek as the word ,'?:l"'Oetc., IIlLilj.lTJ flood. t"I'l:I;l:lr.l tl"'~::l~lIoodstones. The same word is used treatise Beza, p. 24-,b, ,'"'r.l;1l:lr.li1 tl"':I' fish that are caught from out of the lIood: 15) According to the author, the space and six dimensions emanated from the ether. 16) Judah Halevi in his book entitled "Kusari," p. 356, illustrates it thus: The Creator is one, and the space has in the figurative expression six dimensions. The book "Yezirah," having ascribed to the Creator some names in the spiritual language, chooses now in the human language the linest sounds which are, as it were, the spirits of the othersounds, namely: ""\1M" and says, that when the divine will was expressed by such a sublime name, it became that which the Exalted by praise wished to call furth according to the combination of ","\1n" Hence it follows, that the material world was created in such a way and manner which corresponds with the material, namely, by the sublime spiritual name, which corresponds with the material name, ,"'n' ,M"\' ,'"'M ''''M ,M'"' .1M"\and out of each of them became one dimension of the world, the sphere. 17) The author shows here by the symbol of a scale and the phonetic character of the fundamental letters ,1ll"r.I"~ that the opposite forces and the struggle which prevail in the smallest as well as in the largest circle. of creation are appeased and calmed. 18) Meaning outlets, outgates of the creative power, formations. 19) The word :I~:Psignifiesjoy, and when transposed, forming the word :P:I~it signifiesjust the contrary, trouble, plague. He means to say, that the letters of the words '~:Pand :P:I~ the same, but they signify neverare theless, opposite ideas on account of transposition. Just as the sphere remains the same during the rotation on its axis in its setting and in its rising; yet it appears to us as if it had undergone a great change on account of its different position.

'1"\r,lt:!':

,~p.~ W'1~
:J -

53

21) The combination of the twenty-two letter. without permutation it represented in the following table:

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ a q J~ l4 1!J'Ie: •..• -v-u • 0
~~~dJoJJJJ~JJ-v-u
'Ie:

°

::J

J

•..•U

:ot

qqqqqq~qqq qqftftqqftqq J~l4I!J'le:o~0-v-uqa2~~:J~~U:ot

~ ~........ _ a :J ~'J~JJJJ u ° _ :J ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ _ ~ :J ..••..• ° -v-u .:J:J
-I •..• 0 •..•

:ot :ot

U

~~~~~~5~~~55~~~5~ ~ g ~ 8 S-8 ~ g 3 ~ ~ g ~ E S.~
'(j":::a~~'c;:'(j3'S'S'3'S~'jj~ 2 g S-S q g g g g g 9 E S ~

O~t;~i33~~:i~t:ti%
oOooooo:J°oooo..••..• U :ot -v-u • a :J _ ~

lJ,!,"[f:r~~:r:r~lJ~
'-4~~!=!~~~~~~ d:i_.~:i":;s.::u:i

gggg5EB~
:J :J :J:J :J :J :J :J -~ ..••..• u:ot

:i ::i L: U ~
:J:J :J :J U :ot •..• :ot u

..•....

..•..•

-I

•... •... u:ot
u

:ot

2.2) The number of combinations of twenty-two letters two and two without any permutation is according to the mathematical formula
n--I
n'-2-=22--1 x

-;-=31.

22

23) The ancient philosophers maintained that if God is the lirst cause, and He is necessarily, He, the immediate effect of Him, as an absolute unity,

1

- ----54
NOTES. NOTES.

.•

55

can only be again a unity. Hence from a being that is in every respect a unique being, there can only emanate one be1ng; because would two essentially and truly different things issue conjointly from one being, they can only proceed from two different things of substance, that would consequently admit a division that is inconceivable. They then put the question, how came so many various beings into existence? Our author is therefore endeavoring to show that the whole universe emanated gradually from the spirit of the one living God. 7.4-) The reading of Yon Jo. Meyer and others is as follows: ~n~t'1~":ll:" Cbt'1:1 :I.,lIt~ .,,,,1It~ O"~l1":1O""~~' ::1:ll:M'1 ~ ~,~., ~'''1ItI'TIO'~"IO):J~ ,MlIt O~::1O".,::1,n ~:l t'111t' .,':It''n ~:lI'TlO'3l .,):J"):J,nb~:ll: j):J"O nn I"'1Ml1t ~~:11 O:l"",):JO"r.~, O"""I03l"::"1; j):J"O' My reading according to a manuscript of Rabbi Isaac Luria, which I have preferred to all others, is thus: 0";1':1 O""~' ::1:ll:m ~'"IO" "1It t'llit n~,~ ~mt1~ "I07:l~ " ":ll:" n"':ll: lit 03l j;1:l, j;,:l 0' lit t'1~lIt~"O nT~ Obt1:1 j ~:I.,lIt~""~N~ "l:''; j):J"01 ,nllt O~ "1::1"'1n r.1It1"':ll:.", ';:l t111t ;:l 1'TIO''1 .,~.,~~ : lit 1:)':1::1 O":l%~nO"t'I~, 0"""10' 7.5) It has been already mentioned above Chap. i, SI, "that God, his idea and his word are a unity; hence the author signifies by the letter Aleph the air from which emanated the creative speech, etc. 7.6) Here iuneant: ethereal air, ethereal water, ethereal fire, the macrocosm, the courses of time and microcosm. Many offspring or derivations came from the latter three, as their progenitors, as it is explained afterwards in the chapter. 7.7) The author endeavors to show how the creative divine word became more condenBedand how a new series of productions came out of three elements. 7.8) In ancient times coldness was considered to Dea substance. [See Psalm 14-7, 17.] 7.9) Id est, made it the reigning power. 30) Namely, with the two other elements. 3 1\ That is to say a different combination of the elements. 37.) According to the opinion of the author, it may be arranged as follows: Aleph. Mem. Sheen. World: Air, Earth, Heaven or Atmosphere.
(belai .•• of Land and 8ea.)

34-) According to the idea of our author, there emanated from the unity of God three ethereal elements: primitive air from the spirit, from the air, primitive water, and from the water, primitive fire or ether, out of which came other spheres of existence in the significant and highly importznt number, seven, from which descended smaller spheres and which produced again others. He endeavors to show how the ideal became, after numerous emanations, more condensed, palpable and concrete. The whole creation is thus contemplated as a pyramid, terminating in a point at the top with a broad basis. [See Dr. Graetz's Gnosticismu., p. U4-.] 35) Compare Chapter I, Section 3, Note, 8. 36) The order of the planets (including the Sun) i. stated here according to the Ptolemaic system which was in vogue even among the learned men till the middle of the fifteenth century, namely: Moon, Mercury, Yenus, Sun, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn. But this arrangcment is undoubtedly an interpolation of a later time, as the author of the book "Yezirah" lived many years before Ptolemy. And indeed Prof. Jo. Friedrich Yon Meyer and others of reliable authority had in their copies of "Y ezirah" the following order: .O"''''lllt~j;)"'l:lt"t'I::l"lO m::l; ::l:l1::l n:l1' nr.m Mars, Jupit~r, Saturn, Moon, Mercury, Yenus, Sun. 37) Philo (Allegor I, 4-2,) the heptade is to be found in language, in the gamut and similar to our author: "The after having called attention to the fact that many biblical laws, in the vowels of the Greek in the organs of the human body, exclaims, whole nature exults in the heptade !"

38) The rule for permutation is as faHow8: (n-I). n. I X 7, X 3 X4-X 5 x 6 x 7=504-0' In our edition it reads: .0"'t'1::1 ,::1.,lIt, C"b;lIt t'I"IO~nFive thousand and four houses, which is obviously a mistake, it should read: 5°4-0 honaes. ,0"t'I::10"3l::1"1It1 "b;lIt t'I~~n C 39) I read t'I"l":I instead of j::~):l"'):l for two reasons. In the first place, the same thing is mentioned afterwards, and in the second place, it is proved by the expression nt).,,; that the author meant t'I":I":I and not

.'\=l~):l"'):l
4-0) Some maintain that by the expression Tali is understood the constellation Draco or Dragon, which is a very large constellation extending for a great length from East to West; beginning at the tail which lies half way between the Pointers and the Pole Star, and winding round between the Grea t and Little Bear by a continued succession of bright sta.s from 5 to 10 degrees asunder, it coils round under the feet of the Little Bear, sweeps round the pole of the ecliptic, and terminates in a trapezium formed by four conspicuousstars from 30 to 35 degreesfrom North Pole. Dr. Steinshneider (see M:agazin fuer Literatur des Auslandes, 184-5) and Dr. Cassel (in his commentary to the book entitled Kusari,) maintain that the ancient Jewish

Man: Year,

Breast, Moistness,

Bellv, Coldness,

Head. Heat.

33) The aspirating pronunciation of p in thc Greek, was adopted by the ancient Jews in Palestine for the Hebrew letter". They pronounced it partly aspirated and partly unaspirated. [See Dr. Geiger's Lehr-und Lesebuch der Mischnah, p, u, and Dr. Graetz's Gnosticiamna, p. II7.]

~ 56
NOTES.

...• --------------------57

astronomers signified by the word Tali, not the con.tellation Draco, but the line which join. together the two point. in which the orbit of the moon intercepts the ecliptic (Dragon's head and tail). Dr, Ca.sel i. of the opinion that our author meant here, probably the invi.ible, cele.tial or universal axis that carrie. the whole Universe. ,p) Our author mean. to .ay that the water has a great di.po.ition to unite it.elf with the caloric, thus for instance is the fire latent in steam, but the air equlpoi.e. them. 4-2) The meaning is, as God is the centre of the Univer.e, .0 have the macrocosm, the .eason. and temperature and the microcosm, their centre. receiving power from the principal centre to regulate and rule. 43) The substance of this Mishnah is mentioned in the Talmud treatise Berachoth, p. 55, a. It reads there: t1'1t1 :I"''I:l' 'r.l~ 11"n'l:l" "r.lllt lr'lit' b'l7:llD '~':I)lD l:1''Il:1,lit~,:v:; ;~;:V::l "Rab Jehudah stated in the name of Rab, that Bezalel understood to combine letters by which heaven and earth were created." To this the commentator Rashi add.: "as it is taught in the book Yezirah." It is undoubtedly certain that the book Yezirah, or a co.mogony as it i. represented there, was known to Rab, who was a disciple of Jehudah Hanasi, during the secondpart of the second century. (C. E.) See treatise Berachoth, p. 55 a, where the commentator Rashi referred to the book Yezirah.

GLOSSARY
OF

RABBINICAL WORDS.

,..,:1

To adhere, cohere.
""~ 11.

VI, 8. Air. II,~. I, 1.

''1~•.
niM n.

[Syriac ,"MM Greek aqp] Sign, letteri ,~:

hi'ry.iM

fuudamentalletters.

'iJ~~
\~~

adt'.
adj.

'iJ?'~~~ i
Thes~.

bine et Ulterius; from now further. IV 16 Equals the biblical .~~ VI, I.

41-) This whole paragraph is an interpolation of an unknown hand, a. it can be easily proved. 45) I have translated according to the reading of Rabbi Judah Halevi. The reading of Rabbi Luria is a. follows: l:11'1l:11~ b'll:11!j' b'l'lD:I' "lDj:l' ,':1':1 m':l jlD" lDlit:l jj;l;i b'lr.l:l j:llDr.l 1"10 l:1~1; 11;'1:11 lD;:l m "He fastened twenty-two letters on , l:1,;1?::l'lD:I' b'l)1!j:l j")I1) 11:1':llD:l his tongue and revealed to him His mystery, He drew them by water, kindled them by fire and thundered them by the wind, He lighted them by seven, and rules them by twelve constellation•••• Pistor. renders it: "Tranat per aquam, accendit in igne grandine signavit in aere. Di.posuit cum septem et gubemavit cum duodecim," Poste1lus' version is: "Attraxit eum in aqua, accendit in spiritu, intlammavit in .eptem aptatum cum duodecim .ignis," Meyer translates it: "Er zog .ie mit Wasser, zundet sie an mit Feuer, erreg'te .ie mit Geist, vebrannte .ie mit .ieben, go••• ie aus mit den swoe1fGestimen:'

~C??~ a4i.
~M
T

[Greek Ufov] Middle. centre.

Oblique, diagontl direction. V, 2I, 2.

r~

n.

Cleameas, perspicuity. I, 3. i,!~ ~11 '.!?~~ and put the subject in a clear'point of view .. ~ .- : . n. •Division. V, 5.

";ry

c'm::l. or c'niJ'::l.

Composed of ,O'r:lt.?~ omitting t:J between them. r .. I, 1. [See Duke's Spracha der lrfisehnah. p. 68.]

Back. '~ ,~ upon the back Body, substance II,5.

id est, upon or above.

VI,S.
Circle, eelestial orb, or sphere. II, 4.

58

GL08SABY.

,
n
T

GLOSSABY.

59

Word. 1.8.

D~tcO .-;-

fJ. fJ.

The planet Mars. IV, 7. Measure, quality, divine attribute. Doctrine, lesson, paragraph. Constellation~; espeoially the twelve signs of the Zodiao. V, 3. ;);t:) ~~ a happy oonstellation.
T-

mo
TI

T'

I, 4.

,mi"l

tI. fJ.

Think, muse. meditate, reflect. 1,7. Refleotion, meditotion;, V, 1.

m~

n.

~n;;:'l
n~,
I

fJ.

Innocence, purity, godlinell8,merit.

II,I.

It is a particle like ,]I as; it is added the word l'!? kind, denoting: as a kind of, like, as. II, 4. Chald.info't?K12 or ,'?t? To speak,oommand. II,S. Substance, reality. II,S. I, 8.

n
M;)in
T

n.
tI.

MiSdeed,trespass.

II, 1. II, 5. II, 6.

'm
"T T .-:

To return, to turn one's self round. Rotation; from to dance round.
T

i"I~~~n n.

~,n

Rampart, a lioar, pavement.

mo
TT

n.

Gall. V,4 See.Jm
-T

:amMO. -:

..

IV,l.

~nt:) n.
T

lfilt, spleen. V, 4.

J 3m
IV, 16.
!I.

With a

°T

j':I)b

n.
!I.

following after it, signifies: to make use of any thing. IV, 1. The planet Venus. IV, i. Chald. Stick in, fasten, conjoin, oonneot. I, 6.

::l

f~
~;]I
T

or ltc~ adtI. Here, there; n.
tI.

ftC?'? thenoe, from thenoe.
I, 2-

Y3!~

Star; espeoially the pl8llet lIercury. Direct;

IV, 7.

;)~.~ n.

Opening. IV, 8.

f\'3l ptell'-~

n~f?directed, lituated.
IV, 3. I, 7.

-nll'~ no
T;

Ugliness.

o
"0 'T
~~O
T'

'!l]l ()f' '!l]l~adll. So, thus. V1]1 Hiph. lI'''1:li''l
"T
0

tI.

Arrange.
m,p.eiov

V, 16.

tI.

'1.

To intervene in any thing, to mediate the ueaoe, aooomodate a quarrel. 11,1.

no

Sign, illustration. II, 4. [See Geiger's Lese8~oke der MiFhnah, p. 121.] the end (C'f a book or ohapter.)

j)~?~ no

Finished;

nt:)~"
T .,

n.

Eating, swallowing.

V, 1.

'!l~~~?dtI. a

Composed of the words

~!??and .'!l~ Aooording to

Contention, rivalry.

V,6.

that, therefore. IV, 15.

'~rw ,..
• T

Future.

II,2.

60

GLOBSA.BY.

P1~ n.
~~eJ~ atfi.

Chapter, section. Divested of clothes, undressed, simple. I, 8.

l"~ ......
T • I

n.

The planet Jupiter. .Appearance. I, 5.

IV, 7.

""El~ n.

Refine, melt together, connect, combine. II, 2.

p
To fix, to fasten. I, 8. II, 3.

n?'p'.Of' rr~p'.n. Stomach. T",4.

I~~:~ 1~p';~P Of' n.
n. n. n.
tI.

Stomach. V, 4.

,

M'N'T-: MIN'
T' :

.Argument, evidence. VI, 2. Sight. V,I. Redundancy of water, moistness. III. 4. Smen. V,l.

Ml" , T'

n',

The pl&lletSaturn.

IV, 7.

rrn'b/
T •

n.

Speaking. V.I. Hearing. V, 1.

nJ~

v.

To serve. I,8.

'~l'1 n. • I ~l:IeJl'1
:
T

The constellation Draco or Dragon. VI, 2. n.
T

. -

Coillion. V, J.

ClDl'1 Of' ~Ell'1

v. To seize, to take hold of.

Post script to this Posting:
This is another booklet I have carried around for a long time that I felt the need to Share/Save on-line. I searched for other postings of this particular translation and couldn’t get anything to come up with both the English and Hebrew. A feature I’ve always liked about this translation. Here’s is part of a review extracted out of a document by A Don Karr, the complete form of which is posted on Scribd, though I retrieved it from a different Web site.

“Notes on Editions of Sefer Yetzirah in English By Don Karr
Sefer Yetzirah (BOOK OF FORMATION, hereafter SY) is the oldest known speculative treatise in Hebrew. There are three prime recensions of SY: short, long, and one somewhere in between called the Saadian recension (in that it was the basis of Saadia’s commentary of the early tenth century).* Even the longest of these contains something less than 2500 words. The date of SY’s composition remains a matter of some debate, but most scholars agree that it was written or compiled between the second and sixth centuries. However, Steven M. Wasserstrom has offered a strong case for the ninth century within an Islamic milieu. It was certainly extant by the tenth century, for it exerted a great influence on speculative and mystical thought from that time on. . . . Most versions of SY have six chapters containing brief, even laconic, statements, similar in tone to the hekhalot texts of early chariot mysticism. It was from the first chapter of SY that Kabbalah derived the term sefirot and the notion of these as metaphysical stages of creation. The remaining chapters of SY tell of the powers and correspondences of the twenty-two Hebrew letters. . . .

Kalisch, Isadore. Sepher Yezirah. A Book on Creation; or the Jewish Metaphysics of Remote Antiquity, with English Translation, Preface, Explanatory Notes and Glossary. New York: L. H. Frank & Co., 1877. . . . Kalisch gives a straightforward translation, showing the English and Hebrew side by side. His notes clarify the ideas and language of SY, often referring to readings from major commentaries and other rabbinic works. The publisher’s forward in the AMORC edition says, “The service Dr. Kalisch rendered in 1877 by his first English translation of the Sepher Yezirah has grown ever greater with the passing years. Other translations, it is true, have a certain merit; none the less, none has surpassed and few have equaled the work which he did.” This comment was written in 1948, but one could have made a case to fully concur until relatively recently (i.e., until Kaplan [1990]; see below, page 13). Kalisch translated what appears to be the long version. 1 The work is free of any sort of occult agenda—a feature which plagues many of the versions discussed hereafter.

1

The short version, thought by some to be more representative of the original text, begins (chapter 1, paragraph 1) Thirty-two mysterious ways has the Lord, Lord of Hosts, ordained through Scribe, Script, and Scroll. (from Phineas Mordell’s translation) By contrast, the long version immerses this simple line in a stream of biblical epithets: In Thirty-two paths of wisdom did Yah, Lord of hosts, God of Israel, the living God, king of the universe, God almighty, merciful, gracious, exalted, Who dwells in an eternity of holiness, holy is His name, create His universe by three enumerations: number, word, and script. (from a partial translation of my own) Further, with this first paragraph we run into complications with the last several words, which are rendered differently by each translator. Kalisch has “by three Sepharim, namely: 1) S’for; 2) Sippor; and 3) Sapher,” Leaving these transliterated in the text to then be explained in his notes.

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