A system of esoteric Biblical interpretation called gematria
, or numerology, assigns numerical value to the Hebrew letters (Scholem 56).
are numerical 'charades' made entirely of the alphanumeric values (AVs), or alphabet numbers, of the letters of the target word, in order.
Manifested in the habit of reading aloud from the Hebrew scrolls in study houses and synagogues (Holtz 18), in the tremendous care taken with the physical maintenance of those scrolls and the transmission of their content (Holtz 21; Alpert 270), and in the techniques of notariqon (acrostics), gematria
(numerology) and temurah (anagram) applied in the exegesis of the scriptures (Eco 27-28), it is clear that, in the Jewish tradition, the configuration of phrases, words, even letters, plays a central role in the overall "meaning" of the text.
Kirsch comments on excerpts from eighteen sources (not coincidentally, in gematria
18 = "life"): Deuteronomy, the Book of Esther, Philo of Alexandria's Exposition of the Law, Josephus' Jewish War, the Talmudic tractate Chapters of the Fathers, Benjamin of Tudela's Itinerary and Yehuda Halevi's Kuzari, Maimonides' Guide of the Perplexed, the Zohar, the Tsenerene and the Memoirs of Gluckel of Hameln, Spinoza's Theological-Political Treatise, the Autobiography of Solomon Maimon and Moses Mendelssohn's Jerusalem, the Tales of Nachman of Bratslav, Theodor Herzl's Jewish State and Old New Land, and finally Sholem Aleichem's Tevye the Dairyman.
in the Philosophical Theology of D.
The Hebrew word for a sick person --[phrase omitted](holeh)--has a gematria
(numerical value) of 49.
Perhaps twelve is "symbolically evocative" in a way that nine is not--especially prior to the modern history of baseball (at least in the National League)--but this involves applying a rhetorical form of gematria
I have not yet mastered.
I even had a teacher obsessed with gematria
, the mystical numerology of the Jews.
As many early modern humanists perceived, Gematria
dovetailed neatly with the numerological mysticism of the Pythagoreans.
This interpretation recalls the hermeneutic method known as gematria
that flourished in medieval Judaism.
23-26) uses etymography and gematria
to connect a chariot, mentioned in the protasis of the base text, with Ishtar, named in the apodosis.
(50) Harvey also draws on the argument of Moshe Idel that Spinoza was influenced by the gematria
that elohim and ha-teba' are both 86, which was originally argued by Abraham Abulafia and was quoted frequently by later kabbalists.