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Bob May
08-13-2010, 09:19 AM
Do any of you know of any literature in which the letters of the Hebrew alphabet are described as living beings?

Help my memory out here. There was a parable of sorts that described the letters arguing or discussing who would be first in the Bible.

Was it in the Zohar or Sephir Yetzirah?

Also I found something in the Nag Hammadi Scrolls in the Gospel of Truth.

Are there any other references that any of you know about?

Bob

Richard Amiel McGough
08-13-2010, 09:38 AM
Do any of you know of any literature in which the letters of the Hebrew alphabet are described as living beings?

Help my memory out here. There was a parable of sorts that described the letters arguing or discussing who would be first in the Bible.

Was it in the Zohar or Sephir Yetzirah?

Also I found something in the Nag Hammadi Scrolls in the Gospel of Truth.

Are there any other references that any of you know about?

Bob
Hi Bob,

The Zohar, Vol 1, 2b-3a presents the 22 letters as living beings that petition God to be used as the first letter of the Torah.

It is a very instructional text. The letters present themselves to God and use fundamental KeyWords as the reason they should be chosen. For example, the text says Tzaddi signifies righteousness (http://biblewheel.com/Wheel/Spokes/Tzaddi_God.asp), Kaph symbolizes the throne (kissa) of glory (kavod) (http://biblewheel.com/Wheel/Spokes/Kaph_Glory.asp), and so on. These are, of course, the meanings we discover in the Alphabetic Verses and the miracle is that they integrate with the content of the books on the corresponding spokes (as discussed in the linked articles).

Richard

Bob May
08-13-2010, 08:59 PM
Thanks Richard,

I will take a look athe the articles and see if I can find an online Zohar.
I don't have a copy anymore.

Any other literature containing similar info would be appreciated.

Bob

Richard Amiel McGough
08-14-2010, 10:42 AM
Thanks Richard,

I will take a look athe the articles and see if I can find an online Zohar.
I don't have a copy anymore.

Any other literature containing similar info would be appreciated.

Bob
Hi Bob,

Here is a link to the Zohar online:

http://www.sacred-texts.com/jud/zdm/zdm004.htm

And here is a bit from the section about the Alphabet:


Rabbi Chananya spake, and said: "Before creation began, the alphabetical letters were in reversed order; thus, the two first words in the Book of Genesis, berashith, bara, begin with B; the next two, Alhim, ath, with A. Why did it not commence with A, the first letter? The reason of this inversion is as follows: For two thousand years before the creation of the world the letters were concealed and hidden, being objects of divine pleasure and delight.


"When the Divine Being, however, willed to create the world, all the letters appeared before his presence in their reverse order. Th first ascended and. said: 'Lord of the Universe! let it please thee to create the world by me, as I am the final letter of the word Emeth (truth), which is graven on thy signet ring. Thou thyself art called Emeth, and therefore it will become thee, the great King, to begin and create the world by me.' Said the Holy One (blessed be He): 'Thou, oh, Teth, are indeed worthy, but I cannot create the world by thee; for thou art destined to be not only the characteristic emblem borne by faithful students of the law, from beginning to end, but also the associate of Maveth (death), of which thou art the final letter. Therefore the creation of the world cannot, must not, be through thee.'


"After Th had disappeared, Sh ascended and said: 'I pray thee, Lord of the Universe, as bearing thy great name Shaddai (almighty), to create the world by me, by the holy name that becometh thee only.' Said the Holy One: 'Thou art truly, oh, Schin, worthy, pure and true; but letters that go to form lying


and falsehood will associate themselves with thee, viz.: Koph (Q) and Resh (R), and with thee will make up SheQeR (a lie), Falsehood, in order that it may be received and credited, some first with the appearance of truth (Sh), which thou representest, and for this reason I will not create the world by thee.' So Schin departed and Q and R, having heard these words, dared not present themselves before the divine presence.

"TZ then went before him, saying: 'Because I mark the Zaddikim (the righteous), and thou thyself nearest me in thy name, Zaddik (righteous), and also it is written "The righteous Lord loveth righteousness,"Ps. 9:8 it will become thee to create the world by me.' Then said the Holy One: "Zaddi, Zaddi, thou art truly righteous, but thou must keep thyself concealed, and thy occult meaning must not be made known or become revealed; and therefore thou must not be used in the creation of the world. Thy original form was a rod, symbol of the female principle, surmounted by Yod, a letter of the holy Name, and also of the Holy Covenant, and emblem of the male principle. (By this, reference is made to the first man, who was androgynous, with faces turning one to the right, the other to the left, as symbolized in the figure of Zaddi in the Hebrew alphabet). But the time will come that thou shall be divided, and thy faces shall then be turned to each other.'

"Zaddi then departed, and P ascended and said: 'I am the beginning of the salvation (Peragna) and deliverance (Peduth) thou will execute in the world. It will be fitting to create it by me.' 'Thou art worthy,' replied the Holy One, 'but thou also givest rise to Evil (Peshang), and in thy form resemblest those animals who walk with drooping heads, like wicked men who go about with bowed heads and extended hands. I will not, therefore, create the world by thee.'

Bob May
08-14-2010, 11:48 AM
Thanks again Richard.

I have printed out the entire parable and put the Sacred Texts in my favorites.
Great resource.

Bob

Cardinal
11-26-2010, 04:41 PM
Hi Bob,

Here is a link to the Zohar online:

http://www.sacred-texts.com/jud/zdm/zdm004.htm

And here is a bit from the section about the Alphabet:


Rabbi Chananya spake, and said: "Before creation began, the alphabetical letters were in reversed order; thus, the two first words in the Book of Genesis, berashith, bara, begin with B; the next two, Alhim, ath, with A. Why did it not commence with A, the first letter? The reason of this inversion is as follows: For two thousand years before the creation of the world the letters were concealed and hidden, being objects of divine pleasure and delight.


"When the Divine Being, however, willed to create the world, all the letters appeared before his presence in their reverse order. Th first ascended and. said: 'Lord of the Universe! let it please thee to create the world by me, as I am the final letter of the word Emeth (truth), which is graven on thy signet ring. Thou thyself art called Emeth, and therefore it will become thee, the great King, to begin and create the world by me.' Said the Holy One (blessed be He): 'Thou, oh, Teth, are indeed worthy, but I cannot create the world by thee; for thou art destined to be not only the characteristic emblem borne by faithful students of the law, from beginning to end, but also the associate of Maveth (death), of which thou art the final letter. Therefore the creation of the world cannot, must not, be through thee.'


"After Th had disappeared, Sh ascended and said: 'I pray thee, Lord of the Universe, as bearing thy great name Shaddai (almighty), to create the world by me, by the holy name that becometh thee only.' Said the Holy One: 'Thou art truly, oh, Schin, worthy, pure and true; but letters that go to form lying


and falsehood will associate themselves with thee, viz.: Koph (Q) and Resh (R), and with thee will make up SheQeR (a lie), Falsehood, in order that it may be received and credited, some first with the appearance of truth (Sh), which thou representest, and for this reason I will not create the world by thee.' So Schin departed and Q and R, having heard these words, dared not present themselves before the divine presence.

"TZ then went before him, saying: 'Because I mark the Zaddikim (the righteous), and thou thyself nearest me in thy name, Zaddik (righteous), and also it is written "The righteous Lord loveth righteousness,"Ps. 9:8 it will become thee to create the world by me.' Then said the Holy One: "Zaddi, Zaddi, thou art truly righteous, but thou must keep thyself concealed, and thy occult meaning must not be made known or become revealed; and therefore thou must not be used in the creation of the world. Thy original form was a rod, symbol of the female principle, surmounted by Yod, a letter of the holy Name, and also of the Holy Covenant, and emblem of the male principle. (By this, reference is made to the first man, who was androgynous, with faces turning one to the right, the other to the left, as symbolized in the figure of Zaddi in the Hebrew alphabet). But the time will come that thou shall be divided, and thy faces shall then be turned to each other.'

"Zaddi then departed, and P ascended and said: 'I am the beginning of the salvation (Peragna) and deliverance (Peduth) thou will execute in the world. It will be fitting to create it by me.' 'Thou art worthy,' replied the Holy One, 'but thou also givest rise to Evil (Peshang), and in thy form resemblest those animals who walk with drooping heads, like wicked men who go about with bowed heads and extended hands. I will not, therefore, create the world by thee.'



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