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An Introduction into the Sefer Yetzirah Course
For those desiring to take this advanced
Numbers, Letters & the Sefer Yetzirah
by Ariel Bar Tzadok
18 Elul 5769, Sequoia National Park, CA.
Yod is ten and it is also one. Hey is always five and Vav is always six. Thus Yod Hey Vav Hey can be the numerical value of 26 or it can be the numerical value of 17, the number for the Hebrew word Tov (good). Names have different numerical values based upon their correlations with greater concepts. Thus single digit values, what we call in Hebrew Mispar Katan Gematria (single digit numbering) correspond to the physical finite space/time continuum that we recognize as our present world (Olam HaAsiyah).
It is appropriate that YHVH in this world should be 17 and not 26. 26 is the essence of the Name; 17 is a "shortened" or "condensed" version of it. The Name YHVH is not indigenous to this dimensional plane. The Name YHVH is the Name of the Creator manifest in a higher parallel dimension. The Bible calls this dimension "Heaven," whereas the Kabbalah gives it a more precise name Olam HaYetzirah. This is one of four dimensional planes, three of which can be called "Heaven," (Yetzirah, Beriah & Atzilut).
In this dimensional plane of physical matter, the Name of G-d that dominates here and is thus manifest here is Elohim. This is the Name used to describe the creation process in Genesis. The numerical value of Elohim is 86. This is also is the value of the Hebrew term "HaTeva" (nature). Elohim is the Divine Force that is the Source of and is concealed in natural law. Interestingly, the Mispar Katan numerical value of Elohim is 14. 14 is a significant number in that it is also the value of the name David, who is G-d's chosen King in ancient times and David is also said to be the name of the future world leader the Mashiah. 14 is also the number of the Hebrew word Yad (hand). Thus the symbol of the Hand (as in the Hamsa) represents G-d's Presence and protection.
When we add the two Mispar Katan (small numerical) values of the Names YHVH (17) and Elohim (14) we arrive at the number 31. This number also has significance in that it is the numerical value of the general Name of G-d, El, the name associated with a great number of angels. Angels are actually messengers. Who they are and what they are for real, the written Torah does not elaborate. All we know is that when they are given an assignment, the Name that they embrace for the period of their present mission is a title manifesting their immediate purpose. Therefore when a messenger of healing is sent, he is called Rifael (G-d heals). When a messenger of judgment is sent, he is called Gavriel (G-d's might). This similar form applies to many other such examples.
The angel/messenger has its own life, its own identity and its own home, but when in the service of YHVH, it is called by the Name, so-and-so El, to signify that it is a messenger sent with the authority of two different dimensional sets of laws, those represented by the Name Elohim and those by the Name YHVH, as each of these Names materializes in this physical space/time dimension.
All dimensional planes are interconnected and interact with one another. Universal life-force energy (Shefa) flows from the highest dimensions to the lowest in accordance to a very intricate system of channels and meridians. A good example of how this operates can be seen in the meridian system of life-force (Nefesh/Chi) flow through the human body that serves as the basis of Oriental medicine. It seems certain that ancient Israelite (Jewish) medical personal followed a system of medicine similar to that practiced in the Orient today, a system that is based on understand the whole of the body and not just individual isolated parts.
Centuries ago we see that the famous physician/Rabbi Maimonides followed in similar course. From the medical writings we have said to be penned by him, they certainly are closer to the Oriental model than anything understood or practiced in modern western secular culture. Today, Maimonides would be considered to be a doctor of "alternative" medicine. He understood the concepts of life-force (Nefesh/Chi) energy; a concept that standard western secular medicine still refuses to identify and accept.
Regardless of individual or collective denials, reality still has a way of not going away or being ignored. Reality always seems to rear its most unwelcome head right into the face on those trying so hard to deny it. Energy is the ultimate reality of the universe. And it is not just some non-sentient force. Energy/Nefesh/Chi is alive, it is conscious and has a will and a purpose.
Energy is the life-force and it alone permeates all inter-dimensional realities and is the glue that binds them all and us too together as one. Everything is existence is in one way or another alive. It is enlivened by this energy (Shefa) and this energy also gives to everything at least the basic forms of consciousness and self awareness. How else does a sub-atomic particle know to do what natural law tells it to do. It must have a sense of awareness or else nothing would compel it to be what it is. In our universe this force is the power of Elohim, the Divine Presence underlying nature. We call this Force in Hebrew the Shekhina, which means the Indwelling Presence. It exists in everything, everywhere. The Source of the Shefa (Nefesh) energy is revealed through the different Divine Names and follows a very specific progression of descent from the Nameless Unknowlable Source.
Just as life-force energy must necessarily descend from the higher dimensions to the lower, so too must this energy, "bounce" and ascend up back the way it came. The energy that descends is called Ohr Yashar (straight, descending light). The energy that must ascend is called Ohr Hozer (returning, ascending light). The ascending energy is also called Mayim Nokbin (feminine waters, symbolizing the desire from below to bond with above). This can be understood as a cycle, similar to our modern day understanding of the flow of electricity. The law of gravity states whatever goes up must come down; Natural Torah Law also shows that whatever comes down must return and go up.
In this physical space/time dimension, reality has been constructed to fit certain very rigid finite rules. We call these rules the laws of nature, but they are not some unexplainable mystery. Rather, like pieces of a puzzle natural laws can be looked at individually and then placed into the whole of nature enabling the viewer to see the big picture. We call the method of viewing the individual systems in natural law science. Being that this specific space/time universe is built the way it is, we can explore its individual pieces through the science of mathematics and numbers. All physics is built upon mathematics. By understanding the secrets of numbers we can come to understand how they all fit together. We can thus gain a glimpse of the bigger picture of what our miniscule universe really looks like.
It is for this reason that mathematics in ancient days was always a part of the spiritual disciplines and used as a method of meditation to explore outer space through inner contemplation. The Torah path is no exception to this rule. That is why Torah has Gematria. It is easy to see that the word Gematria is not originally Hebrew, but Greek and is related to the Greek word for mathematics we all know today: geometry. In ancient times, in spite of the Hanuka wars and the conflicts that led up to it, many spiritually minded Greeks came and studied in Israel. We see remnants of this in much of both cultures.
The Hebrew word for number is Mispar. The root of this word is the Hebrew verb Sapar. This word Sapar also means "to tell." It is also the root verb for the word "sippur" (story) and "sefer" (book). The ancient Sefer Yetzirah which explains the spiritual mechanics of creation science opens its text by saying that G-d created this universe with three versions of this Sapar. The text states that the universe was created with a Sapar, a Sefer and a Sippur. This is translated as meaning a "story-teller," a "book" and a "story." The word Mispar (number) is not used here, but it presence is certainly implied in all these versions of this most multiple meaning verb and this most peculiar statement.
The nature of numbers is to create finite, limited reality. One is one and not two; only when we add two ones do we get two. Math is built upon a set of principles, which from our limited human point of view can be rather complex, but still from the point of view of the universe is as simple and direct and is one plus one.
The "story-teller" is the conscious mind full of thoughts, emotions, desire and agenda. It looks into the book, the finite boundaries of words, letters and constructions. It then builds using the building blocks of the book and thus creates the story. Words on the page of a book are dry and boring. They only come alive when read by a master story teller who knows how to imbue them with life, passion and meaning. This is the reality with books in print, so too is it the reality with the "book" of the universe. The book of the universe is the Torah. Now we can understand the ancient teaching that taught that in the beginning G-d gazed into the Torah and from it created the world. Torah pre-existed creation, but not the Creator.
As the ancients knew, numbers are alive. They have sentience and consciousness. They are the underlying forms and structures of all reality. Another word in Hebrew related to Sapar (telling) and Mispar (number) is Sefirah (sefirot in plural). This is the term given to the Divine Forces that form the construct of existence. They are said to be ten in number, each made up of a subjective ten, with each subjective ten having its own subjective, on and on into infinity. There is an infinite number of sefirot, however their pattern and general construct is only ten. To this day, Kabbalists contemplate the Ten Sefirot and endeavor to extract from them wisdom and an experience of reality, the Hand of the Divine.
To teach aspiring experiential Kabbalists how to contemplate and then experience the Ten Sefirot the first chapter of the Sefer Yetzirah was written. The chapter serves as a guide how to experience abstract thinking beyond the finite perceptions of external reality and the limited abilities of the intellect. The chapter is built upon the Sapar (telling) but is also connected to the Mispar (numbers). This is the foundation of the Sefer Yetzirah system of reciting letters as sounds, not as words, in specific formulas in specific ways, as outlined in the later chapters of the book. These techniques enable human consciousness to expand beyond the limitations of finite space/time and see the Hand of YHVH as it is concealed in Elohim.
As one's mind traverses the parallel universes through expanded consciousness one can come into contact with those who embrace the YHVH/Elohim union (in Mispar Katan), those charged with missions from El. In other words, this is how one comes to commune, learn with and learn from angels. This is also cover in the Sefer Yetzirah, in its last chapter.
Learning the proper systems as outlined by Torah which served as the blueprints of creation enables human consciousness to soar to its potential heights. The Sefer Yetzirah is a tool for this accomplishment, for those willing to embrace its path and to live by it. It requires much devotion, discipline and sacrifice on part of the practitioner, but the rewards are well worth it. What kind of price can we put of knowing and seeing reality? Who would not want to know YHVH and to call upon His Name, the way it was meant to be?
Let me add here at the conclusion that Sefer Yetzirah practices are not a path of religion, but rather a path of science. Sefer Yetzirah is where science and spirituality meet and merge. Religion plays no part in this, only Torah does. Do not let this confuse you. Delve into Torah and let it inside you and let it permeate you through and through. When you are in this way cloaked and fed by the true Torah of creation science only then will you be able to properly approach the "book" and read "its story" properly and in truth. The story is waiting for you to read it. The Story Teller is waiting to guide you and for you to listen to His tale.
Are you ready?
My course in Sefer Yetzirah is now available to the public. Those interested in taking it should contact me directly to ascertain if one is ready to walk this path.
Again, I ask you, are you ready?
Copyright (C) 2009 by Ariel Bar Tzadok. All rights reserved.
The Written Works of Ariel Bar Tzadok
Copyright (C) 1997 - 2013 by Ariel Bar Tzadok. All rights reserved.