Mishkan ha-Echad

Monday, 21 July 2008

The Mysteries Of Gimel


Gimel (pronounced Gee-mel or Gim-el) is the third letter of the Hebrew alphabet. It, therefore, has the gematria value of 3. Its Hebrew spelling is Gimel Mem Lamed, which, in turn, has a gematria value of 73 (Gimel=3, Mem=40, Lamed=30). The fully spelled word means "Camel", and is sometimes transliterated as Gamel.

The letter is drawn by starting at the left-hand side of the uppermost line and extending straight across and down on the right in one movement. The floor is then drawn from right to left. It's important to make sure that the back of the letter has a "tail", to distinguish it from Mem.

Gimel is seen as a charitable, indeed, a righteous, man in the Talmud, chasing after a poor man to give him charity (Daleth, the next letter, is related to Daluth, meaning poverity). The root of Gimel is gamal, meaning "to give", and thus Gimel gives to Daleth from the House of God (Beth), which is filled with the wealth of God's Divine Breath (Aleph).

The act of "giving" is also indicative of Binah, which, as the Supernal Mother, gives birth. The act of giving birth to the rest of creation is a kind and merciful act, for she gives birth to Chesed, just as Gimel gives birth to Daleth; and Chesed is the Sephirah of Mercy and Lovingkindness.

The camel of Gimel is also a symbol of Binah, for it carries water in its hump, which is symbolic of the water of life contained in the "bump" or belly of the Mother. The camel surives in the harshest of desert conditions, a state suitable for the dark Saturnian waters of Binah. An interesting parallel is that the full spelling's gematria of 73 is also the gematria of Chokmah (ChKMH), and thus intimates that the male principle is present within the camel of Binah, thus further supporting the idea of its water-bearing hump as the impregnated female. Likewise, the simple gematria of 3 is the Mystic Number of Chokmah, as well as the number of Ab, "Father".

Gimel is also a Double Letter, and the Moon is the planet assigned to it, while the High Priestess is its Tarot card, according to modern Hermetic tradition. The GRA Version of the Sepher Yetzirah (Kaplan translation) attributes Mars to it, while the Short, Long, and Saadia Versions opt for Jupiter. Indeed, even Wescott's translation shows Mars, so I'm not sure where the Moon came from (it was attributed to Beth, which now has Mercury assigned to it).

"He made the letter Gimel king over Wealth
And He bound a crown to it
And He combined one with another
And with them He formed
Mars in the Universe
Monday in the Year
The right ear in the Soul,
male and female."

Sepher Yetzirah (GRA version), 4:9

The idea of wealth is covered in the fact that Gimel gives money to poor Daleth (although Peace and War are sometimes attributed). The crown can be seen in the font I've used. These are employed on certain Hebrew letters, and called tagin. The assignment of planets and days are hard to reconcile with other established traditions we currently employ (such as the Moon belonging to Monday, thus a potential reason for its change).

It is also called the Unifing Intelligence in the 32 Paths of Wisdom (Westcott translation), while in Kaplan's translation we have the following:

"Unity Directing Consciousness. It is called this because it is the essence of the Glory. It presents the completion of the true essence of the unified spiritual beings."
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