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The Llewellyn Encyclopedia

Term: sepher yetzirah

DEFINITIONS

Sepher Yetzirah: The Book of Formation. A brief Kabalistic book that supposedly dates to the second century C.E. or earlier. Although not printed until the middle of the sixteenth century, it is mentioned in many earlier sources. It does not have many of the later concepts of the Kabalah. Instead, it is limited to the ten Sephiroth (although not described as a tree), the powers of the Hebrew alphabet (although not described as being paths that connect the Sephiroth) and how God controls the universe through the transposition of His four-letter name, the Tetragrammaton, Yud-Heh-Vahv-Heh. Sometimes the title is incorrectly translated as The Book of Creation. Occasionally has other works attached to it, including The Fifty Gates of Intelligence and the better-known Thirty-Two Paths of Wisdom. The Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn uses the Sepher Yetzira in its teachings.


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