northanger (northanger) wrote,

With 231 Gates

Twenty-two Foundation Letters:
He placed them in a circle
    like a wall with 231 Gates.
The Circle oscillates back and forth.
A sign for this is:
    There is nothing in good higher than Delight (Oneg—GNO)
    There is nothing evil lower than Plague (Nega—OGN).
{Sepher Yetzirah 2:4}

Sefer Yetzirah: The Book of Creation | Meditation and Kabbalah

Sepher Yetzirah, by Aryeh Kaplan ( pps. 113, 115 & 117)

The number 231 represents the number of ways in which two different letters of the Hebrew alphabet can be connected. This number also is the number of two letter words that can be formed with the letters, provided the same letter is not repeated, and provided that order is not considered. These combinations may be arranged in a triangle.

This first method is called the Logical Method. Besides this, there is also a Kabbalistic Method, which is somewhat more complex.

In the Kabbalistic Method, one begins by writing the entire Hewbrew alphabet, from Alef to Tav. On the second line, one writes every other letter, ending with Shin. One then skips the Tav and begins once again with Alef. The sequence therefore repeats itself.

The next step is to take the array and break it into pairs. This yields 21 lines and 11 columns, producing a total of 231 pairs. These are the 231 Gates according to the Kabbalistic Method (figure 22).


Very important is the eleventh line, where the letter pairs repeat themselves. In the Alef array, the letters Alef and Lamed repeat themselves in this line. In the Bet array, the letters Bet and Mem will repeat themselves. As subsequent arrays are constructed, the repeating letters continue to conform to those in the ALBaM cipher.

This holds true until one reaches the Kaf array, where the letters Kav and Tav repeat. In the Lamed array, the letters Alef and Lamed repeat, so that this is the reverse of the Alef array. The repeating letters in the subsequent arrays are the reverse of those in the first eleven arrays.

Therefore, there are eleven arrays where the eleventh line has the pairs in the ALBaM sequence repeating. The next eleven arrays have their reverse repeating.


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