Kabbalah 101.1: Sefer Yetzirah, chapter one, section one
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Kabbalah 101.1: Sefer Yetzirah, chapter one, section one

Fort Lauderdale : FL : USA | Jan 05, 2013 at 7:04 PM PST
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The Sefer Yetzirah (“Book of Formation”), as was stated in the last article, is one of the most influential pieces of literature in Western Mystical Tradition. Metaphysicians take note: this account of the Creation of the Universe need not be taken as Literal Truth, but is easily understood on many Spiritual Levels. This article has been written to cover the First Section of this brief Work. As usual, the opinions and interpretations expressed in this article are those of this writer, and may differ slightly from standard translations, Jewish Tradition, or Western Mainstream Occultism.

By travelling the Thirty-Two Mysterious Pathways of Wisdom, Yah, who is the Lord of Hosts, the God of Israel, the Living Elohim, and is called El Shaddai, engraved the Holy Name and created this Universe by means of these Three Counters (Sefarim םירפס), called Accounting (Sefer סְפָר) Counting (Sippur ‏סִפוּר) and Recounting (Safer ‏סֵפֶר). These Three are a Unity to the Holy One, and the same thing. Thus were manifested the ten Sefiroth (”Realms”) and Twenty-Two Foundational Letters. These Twenty-Two are the Three Parents, Seven Doubles, and Twelve Simples.

The “Thirty-Two Pathways”, mentioned in the first half of the first sentence, is a description of the Kabbalistic Tree of Life. Yah is a shortened form of YHVH, the longer form being a referent to the relationship between God and the Creation. “Lord of Hosts” is a Way of recognizing that God is above the Host of Angels. “Elohim”, the first Name of God mentioned in the Bible, is usually understood as “God the All-Powerful”. It is, however, a plural noun form and sometimes means “Gods” or “powerful people”, in the Hebrew Scriptures. When it does, it takes a plural verb. “El Shaddai” means “God of Abundance”, and was the Name revealed to Abraham

The second half of the same sentence is a series of puns based on the three Hebrew letters Samech (S), Pé (F or P), and Resh (R). Hebrew words, for the most part, are based on trilateral roots, in other Words, a group of three consonants with different vowels for each Word in a group of cognates. This writer’s version is intended to preserve the puns as much as possible, which is very difficult to in English. “Sefarim” means a Way of keeping track of something, “Sefer” means “book”, “sippur” means “number”, and “safer” means ”to speak”. The only term impossible to put into the same pattern in English was “Sefiroth”, which means “spheres” or “domains”, etc. To summarize this passage, it expresses that the only thing directly Created by the Holy One were the Thirty-Two Pathways: the Ten Numbers and the Twenty-Two letters. Having Created them, God passed through them and made all things.

The Three Parents correlate to three Primordial Elements, the Seven Doubles to the traditional Planets, and the Twelve Simples to the Zodiac. This will be further explained soon.

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Diagrammatic Depiction of the Sefer Yetzirah
THREE MOTHERS, SEVEN DOUBLES TWELVE SIMPLES
GLENN BORKEN is based in Dania Beach, Florida, United States of America, and is a Stringer on Allvoices.
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