Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Gematria is numerology of the Hebrew language and Hebrew alphabet. Several forms can be identified: the "revealed" form and the "mystical form". The word itself comes from the Greek word 'geometry' and the concept or system is the same as the Greek isopsephy.
The most common form of gematria is used occasionally in the Talmud and Midrash and elaborately by many post-Talmudic commentators. It involves converting words and sentences into numbers, usually by assigning numbers to each letter of the Hebrew alphabet. When converted to a number, they can be compared to other words and similarities drawn. A commentary almost completely dedicated to gematria is Baal ha-Turim by Rabbi Jacob ben Asher.
Gematria is a system of recognizing a correspondence between the ten sefirot, or fires of God, and the twenty two letters in the Hebrew alphabet. This system is elaborated in many mystical Jewish writings such as the Zohar.
One example of Gematria is that there are twenty-two solid figures that are composed of regular polygons. There are five Platonic solids, four Kepler-Poinsot solids, and thirteen Archimedean solids. Since there are twenty-two letters in the Hebrew alphabet (aleph-beth), a correspondence is possible between these two facts. The art of Gematria is knowing which solid is associated with which letter.
Another example is that of Hebrew numerals. Although there are twenty-two letters, there are twenty-seven numerals necessary to express each number up to 999 (one through nine, ten through ninety, one hundred through nine hundred). The mystical Hebrew numeric system notes that the missing final five letters of the numeral system match exactly with the five 'sofeet' forms of the Hebrew letters, which are alternate forms of particular letters only used when that letter is the last consonant in a Hebrew word. These extra letter-forms are not used in non-mystical numeration.
Another use is that words which have the same numerical value, share the same qualities, and reveal still other aspects of the Divine.
- Jewish mysticism
- Hebrew language
- Hebrew numerals
- Hebrew alphabet
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