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[Salomon Maimon's Autobiography]
The Sefer Yezirah
"The Book of Creation"
This is what is described as the short version of the
Sefer Yezirah, translated in the imperative.
Commentary: Gershom Scholem on the Sefer
- With 32 wonderous paths of Wisdom engrave Yah, the Lord of
Hosts, [God of Israel, the Living God, King of the Universe, Almighty
God, merciful and gracious, High and Exalted, dwelling in eternity,
whose name is Holy, and create His universe] with three books, with
text (Sepher), with number (Sephar), and with communication
- Ten Sefirot of Nothingness plus twenty two [foundations] letters:
Three Mothers, Seven Doubles, and Twelve Elementals.
- Ten Sefirot of Nothingness: The number of the ten fingers, five
opposite five, with a single covenent precisely in the middle, like
the circumcision of the tongue and the circumcision of the
- Ten Sefirot of Nothingness: Ten and not nine; ten and not eleven.
Understand with Wisdom, and be wise with Understanding. Examine with
them and probe them, make a thing stand on its essence, and make the
Creator sit on his base.
- Ten Sefirot of Nothingness: Their measure is ten which have no
end. A depth of beginning, a depth of end; a depth of good, a depth
of evil; a depth of above, a depth below; a depth east, a depth west;
a depth north, a depth south. The singular Master, God faithful King,
dominates them all from His holy dwelling until eternity of
- Ten Sefirot of Nothingness: Their vision is like the
"appearance of lightening", their limit has no end. His
Word in them is "running and returning". They rush to his
saying like a whirlwind, and before His throne they prostrate
- Ten Sefirot of Nothingness: Their end is embedded in their
beginning, and their beginning in their end, like a flame in a
burning coal. For the Master is singular, He has no second. And
before One, what do you count?
- Ten Sefirot of Nothingness: Bridle your mouth from speaking and
your heart from thinking. And if your heart runs, return to the
place, as it is written, "The Chayot running and returning"
(Ezekizl 1:14). Regarding this covenant was made.
- Ten Sefirot of Nothingness: One is the Breath of the Living God,
blessed and benedicted be the Name of the Life of worlds. Voice,
Breath and Speech. This is the Holy Breath (Ruach HaKodesh).
- Two: Breath from Breath. With it engrave and carve twenty-two
foundation letters - three, Mothers, seven Doubles, and twelve
Elementals - and one Breath is from them.
- Three: Water and Breath. With it engrave and carve chaos and
void, mire and clay. Engrave them like a garden plot, carve them like
a wall, cover them like a ceiling.
- Four: Fire from water. With it engrave and carve the Throne of
Glory, Seraphim, Ophanim, holy Chayot, and Ministering Angels. From
the three establish His dwelling, as it is written, "He makes
His angels of breaths, His ministers from flaming fire" (Psalms
- Five: With three of the simple letters seal "above".
Choose three and place them in His great Name: YHV. With them seal
the six extremities. Face upward and seal it with YHV.
These are the Ten Sefirot of Nothingness. One is the Breath of the
Living God. Breath [from Breath], Fire [from water, and the
extremities], up, down, east, west, north and south.
- Six: Seal "below". Face downward and seal it with YHV.
- Seven: Seal "east. Face straight ahead and seal it with HYV.
- Eight: Seal "west". Face backward and seal it with HVY
- Nine: Seal "south". Face to the right and seal it withn
- Ten: Seal "north". Face to the left and seal it with
- Twenty-two foundation letters: three Mothers, seven Doubles,
and twelve Elementals. The three Mothers, AMSh, their foundation is
the pan of merit, the pan of liability, and the tongue of decree
deciding between them.
- Twenty-two letters: Engrave them, carve them, weigh them, permute
them, and transform them, and with them depict the soul of all that
was formed and all that will be formed in the future.
- Twenty-two foundation letters: They are engraved with voice,
carved with breath, and placed in the mouth in five places: AChHO,
BVMP, GYKO, DTLNTh, ZSShRTz.
- Twenty-two foundation letters: They are set in a circle as 231
Gates. And this is the sign: There is no good higher than delight
(ONG), and there is no evil lower than plague (NGO).
- How? Weigh them and transpose them, Aleph with each one, and each
one with Aleph; Bet with each one, and each one with Bet. They repeat
in a cycle. Therefore, everything formed and everything spoken
emanates in one name.
- From substance out of chaos and make nonexistence into existence.
Carve great pillars out of air that cannot be grasped. This is the
sign: One forsees, transposes, and makes all creation and all words
with one Name. And a sign of this: Twenty-two objects in a single
- Three Mothers, AMSh: Their foundation is the pan of
liability, the pan of merit, and the tongue of decree deciding
- Three Mothers, AMSh: A great, mystical, concealed secret, sealed
with six rings. And from it emanate fire and water, separating
themselves as male and female. Three Mothers, AMSh, are their
foundation, and from them are born the Fathers, from which everything
- Three Mothers, AMSh, in the Universe are air, water, and fire.
Heaven was created from fire, earth was created from water, and the
air decides decides between the fire and the water.
- Three Mothers AMSh, in the year are fire, water, and breath. The
hot is created from fire, the cold is created from water, and the
temperate from breath decides between them.
- Three Mothers, AMSh, in the Soul are fire, water, and breath. The
head is created from fire, the belly is created from water, and the
chest, created from breath, decides between them.
- Three Mothers, AMSh: Engrave them, carve them, permute them, and
with them seal three Mothers in the Universe, three Mothers in the
Year, and three Mothers in the Soul, male and female.
- Make aleph king over breath, bind a crown to it, and combine one
with another. And with them seal air in the Universe, the temperate
in the year, and the chest in the Soul, the male with AMSh, and the
female with AShM.
- Make Mem king over water, bind a crown to it, and combine one
with another. And with them seal earth in the Universe, the cold in
the Year, and the belly in the Soul, the male with MASh, andthe
female with ShMA.
- Seven Doubles, BGD KPRT: Their foundation is life, peace,
wisdom, wealth, grace, seed, dominnance. Each hastwo sounds: B-Bh,
G-Gh, D-Dh, K-Kh, P-Ph, R-Rh, T-Th. Astructure of soft and hard, a
structure of strong and weak, double because they are transposes. The
transpose of life is
*death*, the transpose of peace is evil, the
transpose of wisdom is folly, the transpose of wealth is poverty, the
transpose of grrace is is ugliness, the transpose of seed is
desolation, the transpose of dominance is subjugation.
- Seven Doubles, BGD KPRT: Seven and not six, seven and not eight.
Examine with them and probe from them, make each thing stand on its
own essence, and mke the Creator sit on His base.
- Seven Doubles, BGD KPRT, parallel the seven extremeties. These
are the sixextremeties: up, down, east, west, north, south. And the
Holy Palace precisely in the middle upholdsthem all.
- Seven Doubles, BGD KPRT: Engrave them, carve them, combine them,
as planets in the Universe, days in the Year, and gates in the Soul.
From them engrave seven firmaments, seven earths, seven weeks. Seven
is therefore beloved under all heavens.
- How? Make Bet king over life, bind a crown to it, and with it
depict Saturn in the universe, Sunday in the Year, and the right eye
in the Soul.
- Make Gimel king, bind a crown to it, and with it depict Jupiter
in the Universe, Monday in the Year, and the left eye in the Soul.
- Make Dalet king, bind a crown to it, and with it depict Mars in
the Universe, Tuesday in the Year, and the right ear in the Soul.
- Make Kaf king, bind a crown to it, and with it depict the Sun in
the Universe, Wedneday in the Year, and the left ear in the Soul.
- Make Peh king, bind a crown to it, and with it depict Venus in
the Universe, Thursday in the Year, and the right nostril in the
- Make Resh king, bind a crown to it, and with it depict Mercury in
the Universe, Friday in the Year, and the left nostril in the Soul.
- Make Tav king, bind a crown to it, and with it depict the Moon in
the Universe, the Sabbath in the Year, and the mouth in the Soul.
- The Seven Doubles, how does one permute them? Two stones build
two houses, three buid six houses, four build 24 houses, five build
120 houses, six build 720 houses, and seven build 5040 houses. From
there on go out and calculate that which the mouth cannot speak and
the ear cannot hear.
These are the seven planets in the Universe: The Sun, Venus, Mercury,
the Moon, Saturn, Jupiter, Mars. These are the seven days in the
Year: The seven days of creation. And the seven gates in the Soul are
the two eyes, the two ears, the two nostrils, and the mouth. And with
them were engraves the seven firmaments, the seven earths, the seven
hours. Seven is therefore beloved for every desire under heaven.
- Twelve Elementals: HV ZCh TY LN SO TzQ. Their foundation is
sight, hearing, smell, speech, taste, coition, action, motion, anger,
laughter, thought, and sleep. Their measure is the twelve diagonal
boundaries: the north-east boundary, the south-east boundary, the
upper-east boundary, the lower-east boundary, the upper-north
boundary, the lower-north boundary, the south-west boundary, the
north-west boundary, the upper-west boundary, the lower-west
boundary, the upper-south boundary, the lower-south boundary. They
continually spread for ever and ever. They are the Arms of the
- Twelve Elementals: HV ZCh TY LN SO TzQ. Engrave them, carve them
weigh them, permute them, transpose them, and with them depict the
twelve constellations in the Universe: Aries, Taurus, Gemini. Cancer,
Leo, Virgo, Libra, Scorpio, Sagittarius, Capricorn, Aquarius, and
Pisces; the twelve months in the Year: Nissan, Iyar, Sivan, Tamuz,
Av, Elul, Tishrei, Mar-cheshvan, Kislev, Tevet, Shevat, Adar; and the
twelve directors of the Soul: two hands, two feet, two kidneys, the
spleen, the liver, the gall bladder, the hemsess, the kiva, and the
How does one permute them? Make Heh king, bind a crown in it, and
with it depict Aries in the Universe, Nissan in the Year, and the
right hand in the Soul.
Make Vav king, bind a crown to it, and with it depict Taurus, Iyar in
the Year, and the left hand in the Soul.
Make Zayin king, bind a crown to it, and with it depict Taurus in the
Universe, Sivan in the Year, and the right foot in the Soul.
Make Chet king, bind a crown to it, and with it depict Cancer in the
Universe, Tamuz in the Year, and the left foot in the Soul.
Make Tet king, bind a crown to it, and with it depict Leo in the
Universe, Av in the Year, and the right kidney in the Soul.
Make Yud king, bind a crown to it, and with it depict Virgo in the
Universe, Elul in the Year, and the left kidney in the Soul.
Make Lamed king, bind a crown to it, and with it depivt Libra in the
Unoverse, Tishrei in the Year, and the liver in the Soul.
Make Nun king, bind a crown to it, and with it depict Scorpio in the
Universe, Mar-cheshvan in the Year, and the spleen in the Soul.
Make Samekh kin, bind a crown to it, and with it depict Sagittarius
in the Universe, Kislev in the Year, and the gall bladder in the
Make Eyin king, bind a crown to it, and with it depict Capricorn in
the Universe, Tevet in the Year, and the hemsess in the Soul.
Make Tzadi king, bind a crown to it, and with it depict Aquarius in
the Universe, Shevat in the Year, and the kivah in the Soul.
Make Kuf king, bind a crown to it, and with it depict Pisces in the
Universe, Adar in the Year, and the korkeban in the Soul.
- Three Mothers which are three Fathers, from which emanate fire,
breath and water. Three Mothers, seven Doubles, and twelve
- These are the twenty-two letters which are founded by the Blessed
Holy One [Yah, YHVH of Hosts, God of Israel, the Living God, high and
exalted] dwelling in eternity, whose name is Holy, exalted and Holy
- Three are the fathers and their offspring, seven are the planets
and their hosts, and twelve are the diagonal boundaries. And the
proof of this, true witnesses, are the Univers, the Year, and the
Soul. He decreed Twelve, (Ten), Seven and Three and He appointed them
in the Teli, the Cycle, and the Heart. The three are fire, water, and
breath: fire above, water below, and breath, the decree that decides
between them. A sign of this is that fire upholds water.
Mem hums, Shin hisses, and Alef is the decree that decides between
- The Teli in the Universe is like a king on his throne, the cycle
in the Year is like a king in the province, the Heart in the Soul is
like a king in battle.
"Also every desire, one opposite the other was made by God"
(ecclesiastes 7:14). Good opposite evil, good from good, evil from
evil. Good makes evil recognizable, and evil makes good recognizable.
Good is kept for the good, and evil is kept for the wicked.
- Three: Each one stands alone. Seven are divided, three opposite
three, with a decree deciding between them. Twelve stand in war:
three who love, three who hate, three who give life, and three who
kill. The three that love are the heart, the ears and the mouth; the
three that hate are the liver. the gall bladder, and the tongue. And
God, the fathful King dominates them all. One over three, three over
seven, and seven over twelve, and all of them are bound, one to
- And when Abraham our father gazed, he looked, saw, delved,
understood, engraved, carved, permuted and depicted, and he was
successful. And the Master of all, Blessed be He, revealed Himself to
him, and took him in His bosom, [kissed him on the head, and called
him, "my Beloved"]. He made a covenant with him between the
ten toes of his feet-this is the covenant of circumcision-and between
the ten fingers of his hand-this is the covenant of the tongue. He
bound the twenty-two letters to his tongue and revealed their
foundation. He drew them in water, burned them in fire, agitated them
with breath. He ignited them with seven planets, and directed them
with twelve constellations.