Mishkan ha-Echad

Sunday, 29 June 2008

The Mysteries Of Aleph


Aleph (pronounced Ah-lef) is the first letter of the Hebrew alphabet. It, therefore, has a gematria value of 1, and often you will see an Aleph used as this number in various texts. Its Hebrew spelling is Aleph Lamed Peh sophith (Peh Final), as displayed in the image above. This word, when spelled out, means "Ox", and comes from the Pheonician pictograph for the letter A, which is almost like an inverted Roman A, with both the lower lines representing the horns of the Ox. The gematria of this full word is 831 when counting the value of the Peh Final (Aleph=1, Lamed=30, Peh Final=800) or 111 when counting the value of the last letter as a regular Peh (Peh=80).

To draw the letter, draw the diagonal line first, then the uppermost leg (which looks like a Yod) and then the bottom leg (which also looks like a Yod). Note that the lines connecting these Yods to the central diagonal line should not meet, but rather the left one should be higher than the right (consult the image above to see what I mean). Since I've highlighted how this letter is made from two Yods (actually, it is argued that Yod is the root of all the letters, for all the lines are, in essence, extensions of it), let's explore this further. The diagonal line is considered to be a Vav, albeit with a thicker stem than is usually displayed in that letter. Thus the glyph of Aleph is a Vav seperating two Yods. This is a very striking image, indicative of the Hermetc maxim "As Above, So Below", but it gets even more striking when we consider the gematria. Yod has a gematric value of 10, while Vav is 6. So two Yods (10+10) and one Vav (6) equals 26, which is, interestingly enough, the value of the Tetragrammaton, YHVH (Yod=10, Heh=5, Vav=6, Heh=5). I'll leave you to ponder on that for a moment.

If we reverse the letters of Aleph (ALP) we get Pele (PLA), which is Hebrew for "Miracle". It also has the value of 111, particularly since it doesn't use the final form of Peh. For anyone familiar with Enochian, Dee's ring included the letters PELE on it, and was referenced as meaning "Worker of Miracles".

On a final note, the Aleph looks like a swastika, or a fylfot cross, and we know that the swastika is attributed to Kether, as indicative of the Rashith ha-Gilgulim, the First or Primal Swirlings. Aleph represents the mystery of Kether, for just as Kether is said to be incomprehensible, so Aleph is unpronounceable, for it is a silent letter. Many people seem to think that Aleph literally represents the English vowel A, which is erroneous, as all the letters in the Hebrew language are consonants. There are no vowels. Vowels are "read into" the words, originally via oral tradition, and later via the niqqud, the system of vowel points of modern Hebrew. Aleph represents the Breath, the intaking of breath before sound occurs. It is the Soundless before Sound, and is used to mark the place of a vowel sound, usually A or E. The Bahir confirms this by saying: "When you mention the Aleph you open your mouth". It is the opening of the mouth before sound emerges, and thus Aleph technically preceeds all letters.

A further relation between Aleph and Kether comes again from the Bahir, which states "From Aleph emanate all letters. Do we not see that it is first?" Kether is first, and Aleph is first, and just as Kether emanates the remaining Sephiroth, so too does Aleph emanate the remaining letters.
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