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 Post subject: Kabbalah and the Names of God
PostPosted: Thu Oct 30, 2008 9:19 am 
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Kabbalah and the Names of God
By Jacob Lumbroso

In the Kabbalah, the divine name of God which is written in Hebrew using four characters YHVH, represents the concept of Midat HaRachamim (God's Attributes of Mercy). In contrast, the more generic name used, Elokim represents, Midat HaDin (the Divine Attribute of Justice).

In the first chapter of the book of Genesis, the name Elokim is exclusively used. The Kabbalists understand this to refer to the manifestation of delineation and definition. For the Kabbalists, the name Elokim in Genesis chapter one relates the operation of the world according to natural laws. Interestingly, these well-ordered natural laws, also serve to conceal God's immanence in the world. Consequently, according to Aryeh Kaplan, as long as they are in effect, God interacts with the world on its terms and not on His.

YHVH, on other hand, relates to us God's transcendence and the impossibility that the natural laws of the physical universe can prevent or confine God's revelation in creation. According to Jewish mystics, the very letters denote this transcendence. Y and H refer to the past and future. V represents temporal existence in the six days of creation and the six directions of space. Thus the name, YHVH, contains the following: Hayah, (He was), Hoveh (he is) and Yihyeh (he will be). This reveals God's being in the past, present and future concurrently.

The distinction between YHVH and Elokim may be further seen in the following: Elokim is used in the account of the creation of man. This use reflects the fact that human beings possess logic, mental processes, and a physical nature derived from the name, Elokim. In a second account of man's creation in Genesis 2:7, the name YHVH is used. " YHVH Elokim formed man out of the dust of the earth, and breathed into his nostrils a soul-breath (neshamah) of life; man thus became a living creature." This passage refers to man's soul. This aspect of man is derived from the name YHVH.

Regarding the burning bush found in the book of Exodus, a transformation between the divine names Elokim and YHVH occurs. Until the time of this revelation, God had only revealed Himself to the children of Israel as Elokim. Their slavery and oppression existed in a world dictated by natural laws and human strengths (i.e. the strong conquer the weak).

At the incidence burning bush, God reveals Himself to Moses as YHVH. At this point He will transcend the space-time divide that has "constrained" Him and promises to reveal Himself in a physical and tangible way that He has not done in the past.

Jacob Lumbroso writes articles on history, foreign cultures, and Judaism. For more information on the tallit (prayer shawl) or other Jewish symbols, visit http://www.judaicaquest.com

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Jacob_Lumbroso

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 30, 2008 11:20 pm 
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I had read this some time ago and do find it a interesting point. The most important and most often written name of God in Judaism is the Tetragrammaton, the four-letter name of God.

Because Judaism forbids pronouncing the name outside the Temple in Jerusalem, the correct pronunciation of the Tetragrammaton may have been lost, as the original Hebrew texts only included consonants. Some scholars conjecture that it was pronounced "Yahweh", but some suggest that it never had a pronunciation (which is extremely unlikely given that it is found as an element in numerous Hebrew names). The Hebrew letters are named Yod-Heh-Vav-Heh: יהוה; note that Hebrew is written from right to left, rather than left to right as in English. In English it is written as YHWH, YHVH, or JHVH depending on the transliteration convention that is used. The Tetragrammaton was written in contrasting Paleo-Hebrew characters in some of the oldest surviving square Aramaic Hebrew texts, and it is speculated that it was, even at that period, read as Adonai ("My Lord") or Elohim when encountered.

These four letters are usually transliterated from Hebrew as IHVH in Latin, JHWH in German, French and Dutch, and YHWH in English. This was variously rendered as "Yahweh" or "Jehovah", since in Latin there was no distinct lettering to distinguish 'Y' from 'J', or 'W' from 'V', and the Hebrew does not clearly indicate the omitted vowels. In English translations, it is often rendered in small capital letters as "the LORD", following Jewish tradition which reads the word as "Adonai" ("Lord") out of respect for the name of God and the commandment not to take the name of God in vain.

However, there are many Names which have been developed over the centuries by the Jewish mystics. Some of these were very secret. Some exist whose meanings and origins have been lost to us.

Many alternate names were derived through various formulas applied to Biblical verses and already existing Names of God. These methods included:

Notarikon, in which the initial or final letters of the words of a verse or verses are used to make an acronym; for example, the Name Tzamarkhad is derived from the final letter of the first five verses of Genesis.

Temura, a form of letter substitution. A number of popular systems existed, ad some were fairly simple to understand; "Atbash", for example, transposed the first letter of the Hebrew alphabet with the last, the second with the second-to-last, etc. It's the equivalent of swapping A for Z, B for Y, C for X, and so on.

Gematria, a system of determining the numerical value of a name, word, or phrase, and relating it to other words, etc. with the same value. Hebrew letter also serve as numbers, which is what makes this possible. So for example, Metatron the angel was perceived to be particularly powerful because numerically, his name is equivalent to Sheddai ("Almighty"), a Name of God. The rarely-encountered Name Adirion has the same numerical value as the 22-letter Name of God (see below).

Which Names were in use depended partially on the time, the place, and the Kabbalistic sect. For example, certain Names seem to have been utilized primarily by Middle Eastern Jews, and when the Samaritan sect broke away from Judaism in 722 BCE, they proceeded to develop their own Names. Zucato's unpublished work Sefer Shoreshay Hashemot contains several thousand Names of God, along with their origins.

The Holy and Awesome 72-Part Name known as The 72-Part Name is made out of 72 triads of letters, and is one of the most powerful Names a Kabbalist might use. It is derived from Exodus 14:19-21, each line of which has 72 letters. To create the first triad, you put together (from the Hebrew) the first letter of 14:19, the last letter of 14:20, and the first letter of 14:21. To create the second, the second letter of 14:19, second to last of 14:20, and the second of 14:21. Continue until all the letters are used up.

Legend has is that this Name was revealed to Moses at the Burning Bush, and is what he used to part the Red Sea. Some speculate that this is the Name the High Priest would utter during the High Holidays.

Legend has it that to say this name in a state of impurity or uncleanliness will strike the speaker immediately dead! Probably due to its complexity and inherent danger, this Name was divided up into parts (that is, shorter series of triads), and these parts could in turn be used or specific purposes. The exact uses and how exactly the Name was to be divided up varied somewhat among Kabbalists.

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 31, 2008 4:21 am 
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I have a friend who is well versed in magick, and he says that the Hebrew language, when used in magickal rituals, leads to very powerful results, as opposed to using the English language. He mentioned that Hebrew, Sanskrit, Tibetan, Chinese and Egyptian are sacred languages whose vibrations cause profound effects on matter, as proven by recent experiments in the field of cymatics.

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 31, 2008 9:38 pm 
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qingfisher wrote:
I have a friend who is well versed in magick, and he says that the Hebrew language, when used in magickal rituals, leads to very powerful results, as opposed to using the English language. He mentioned that Hebrew, Sanskrit, Tibetan, Chinese and Egyptian are sacred languages whose vibrations cause profound effects on matter, as proven by recent experiments in the field of cymatics.


That's interesting, though I have found the use of the English Kabbalah to be equally effective as well. I think this lies in the fact of understanding. Since most speak and think in their native language, this gives the words more power than that of strange tongues. This is just a matter of opinion though through my own observations.

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PostPosted: Sat Nov 01, 2008 10:43 am 
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MagUidhir wrote:
That's interesting, though I have found the use of the English Kabbalah to be equally effective as well. I think this lies in the fact of understanding. Since most speak and think in their native language, this gives the words more power than that of strange tongues. This is just a matter of opinion though through my own observations.

And it's not only the language that's important, but also the symbol set that's used in the rituals (e.g. deities, sigils). Why call on strange masters to grant your wishes when the gods you grew up with will do quite nicely? So you're right about it being a case of understanding, more than anything else.


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 03, 2008 3:38 pm 
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Hebrew, like Sanskrit, Sumerian and Egyptian and unlike English has specific attributes corresponding to each letter/sound. Hebrew and Sanskrit are phonetic, but Hebrew has a glyph with a pictoral meaning to each letter, and that pictoral meaning correlates to what you might call a unit of metaphysical understanding.

Sanskrit is the same, only the basis of meaning there is the sound emphasis. Sumerian is syllabic, but started off as a pictorial language with sounds and images correlating felt meaning. I've read that a word pronounced in the earliest forms of these languages conveys a feeling and intuitive image of its representation, unlike English which conveyes a series of abstract ideas.

The word Elokim (transliterated ALHYM) is a string of five complex meanings in synthesis, and YHVH is another string. Over time, the language became more abstract with meanings becoming predetermined givens rather than experienced directly from the words involved.

English certainly can serve just as well for a magical operation, provided one has a strong sense of felt meaning for each word, even thought this probably needs to be cultivated through intended focus. On the other hand we are conditioned to interpret English in a rather mundane manner.

Ancients, IMO, probably experienced a similar effect as their languages became more abstract, and so stuck to the earliest versions to generate the greatest felt effect, something highly useful in ritual.

If you look at the two Hebrew divine names here, dividing each one into letter groups can help understand them better. Both names utilize the letter Heh, which signifies something alive or the breath of life.

With the Tetragrammaton we have a combination of Yod-breathing alive, and Vav-breathing alive. With Elokim we have the prefix Aleph.Lammed (forming the first two letters of the word for "Aleph") followed by a Heh.

A divine name with a letter structure linking the two mentioned here is Eloah (transliterated ALVH). This has the Aleph.Lammed of Elokim and the Vav.Heh of YHVH, and is the word for divinity singular.

Aleph.Lammed is an ox (a symbol of causal strength) and the ox goad (a symbol of a guiding force or wave-guide). You might call the combination a representation of causal will, enlivened in human experience by the Heh, and then diversified through the medium of existence through the plural designator Yod.Mem (YM).

With Eloah, the causal will connects with Vau.Heh, where Vav is a pivot, a phallus, a connector, and signifies a generative fertilizing connection of what comes before the Vav to what comes after, which is Heh again.

In Eloah, the causal will fertilizes and generates the breath of life, whereas in Elokim, it is inherently alive and permeating (Yod) the ocean (Mem) of existence/creation.

This gives some insight into the Tetragrammaton where we see the same coupling as with Eloah, but with a Yod.Heh prefix. Here we have an already living breath of permeation (Yod is depicted by an arm, and represents the execution of authority).

In that sense the letters do tell us that YHVH is a living penetration that fertilizes life, whereas ALHIM is a causal will that is also living but immanent in the ocean of creation and its diversity.

All these letter meanings, by the way, can be read in any established Torah dictionary. In this sense, the effectiveness of Hebrew in magic is similar to that of Norse Runes. The more you can understand and sense/vibrate the meaning of each glyph/sound the more the resulting synthesis of words becomes empowered.


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 03, 2008 10:57 pm 
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Good point my friend! I do agree!

Magick functions on a subconscious level that does not really understand spoken language. Thus with magick any language can be used, but it is the intent behind the words that really matters and not the words themselves.

However keep in mind that there are some languages that are layered in magical meaning such as Hebrew or Norse. So using magick in one of these layered languages can help increase one's focus and better the results one gets. Thus it still depends on the person, and their "Will" or "Intent" that is behind it's success.

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PostPosted: Tue Nov 04, 2008 4:41 am 
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Regarding the Hebrew alphabet, a research group called the Meru Project discovered that the first verse of Genesis in the Hebrew Bible generates a mathematical torus, thereby demonstrating a direct connection between sacred geometry and the Hebrew alphabet. Furthermore, when a particular portion, called the vortex form, is removed from this torus, the shape of this portion mirrors the human hand and each character in the Hebrew alphabet can be generated from two dimensional projections of this vortex form as it is rotated in three dimensional space.

If what I just wrote is clear as mud, check out the Meru Foundation for more details.

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PostPosted: Tue Nov 04, 2008 11:04 pm 
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That looks interesting Qingfisher!

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PostPosted: Wed Nov 05, 2008 7:20 am 
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Thanks for the link, qingfisher. I especially like the way they connect the Hebrew alphabet with sacred geometry. Can something similar be said about the alphabets of the other sacred languages? If so, this would explain why these are so much more powerful compared to the more modern languages.

But I concur with what MagUidhir said about understanding being of far more importance than language in Kabbalah and other magickal practices. Zen Buddhists say that:

Quote:
A finger is needed to point at the moon, but we should not trouble ourselves with the finger once the moon is recognized.

I guess it's the same with language.

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 07, 2008 6:26 pm 
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qingfisher wrote:
Regarding the Hebrew alphabet, a research group called the Meru Project discovered that the first verse of Genesis in the Hebrew Bible generates a mathematical torus, thereby demonstrating a direct connection between sacred geometry and the Hebrew alphabet. Furthermore, when a particular portion, called the vortex form, is removed from this torus, the shape of this portion mirrors the human hand and each character in the Hebrew alphabet can be generated from two dimensional projections of this vortex form as it is rotated in three dimensional space.

If what I just wrote is clear as mud, check out the Meru Foundation for more details.
That is interesting as I have heard about this also. There are compositions that are based on the Emerald tablet taken from the mathematical layering and put into music. When you listen to this it puts you into direct contact with the alignment of the path to the divine. I have one tape of this and without having to speak the words you go into the forgotten mode of speaking with the Divine. Very scientific and esoteric at the same time. It is amazing to me how words can be so powerful in all forms of communicating.

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PostPosted: Tue Nov 11, 2008 7:28 am 
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Lady Dunsany wrote:
qingfisher wrote:
Regarding the Hebrew alphabet, a research group called the Meru Project discovered that the first verse of Genesis in the Hebrew Bible generates a mathematical torus, thereby demonstrating a direct connection between sacred geometry and the Hebrew alphabet. Furthermore, when a particular portion, called the vortex form, is removed from this torus, the shape of this portion mirrors the human hand and each character in the Hebrew alphabet can be generated from two dimensional projections of this vortex form as it is rotated in three dimensional space.

If what I just wrote is clear as mud, check out the Meru Foundation for more details.
That is interesting as I have heard about this also. There are compositions that are based on the Emerald tablet taken from the mathematical layering and put into music. When you listen to this it puts you into direct contact with the alignment of the path to the divine. I have one tape of this and without having to speak the words you go into the forgotten mode of speaking with the Divine. Very scientific and esoteric at the same time. It is amazing to me how words can be so powerful in all forms of communicating.

Check this out, it's related to what Lady Dunsany is talking about.

The Secret Solfeggio Frequencies: Sound Vibration Rates for Creation and Destruction


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