Kabbalah Study: The "Book of Creation"
"Sefer Yetzirah"- the Book of Creation
The "Book of Creation," known in Hebrew as the "Sefer Yetzirah," is one of the oldest, yet secretive, occult manuscripts in the world. It is also considered one of the first mystical books on the Kabbalah.
This section on the Book of Formation provides the basic information on this ancient manuscript with links to more information. These pages are summaries from my new 347-page book Kabbalah's Secret Circles, where I reveal a cipher device, called a Kabbalah Wheel, to decipher the 231 Holy Gates.
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The Book of Formation is the Book of Creation
The "Book of Creation" is more accurately called the "Book of Formation" since the Hebrew word for formation (something that is formed rather than created out of nothing) in Hebrew is spelled as YTzRH.
This mystical manuscript has been studied for centuries by prominent rabbis and Qabalists who have pondered its riddles and obscure meanings with a variety of conflicting interpretations, correspondences, illusions and delusions.
After studying the early Hebrew and English versions for decades, there are some hidden patterns that can be revealed. Many of these secrets are published in this book on the Sefer Yetzirah.
Inside the Book of Formation
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What is The Book of Creation?
Excerpted from Kabbalah's Secret Circles
The "Sefer Yetzirah" ( also spelled as Sefer Yetzira, Sepher Yetsirah, etc.) has been in written form for about 2,000 years. This book is probably the most important of all the Kabbalistic texts.
The "book" was originally a very short manuscript, perhaps a few hundreds words long. The Book of Creation explains the entire process of the Universe in ten simple terms and 22 letters.
But, with all of its simplicity, this cryptic manuscript has evoked speculation and controversy for centuries.
The Book of Creation explores deep into divine magical formation and human manipulation of the Universe. The manuscript was written as a riddle or series of riddles. To unravel the mysteries of the book is to understand creation and know how to create something out of nothing.
Some commentators have claim that the book contains the knowledge of how to manipulate the foundations of the Universe, Time and Man. It also holds the key to the creation of a golem, an artificial man. Many say that it's both- a manual about how to manipulate nature and secretly gives the recipe to create a golem as proof.
Where did the Book of Creation come from?
The first time the teachings of the Book of Creation (Book of Formation) may have been first written down may be about 2,000 years ago, by famous Rabbi Akiba.
But the Book of Creation is claimed to originate thousands of years before as an oral tradition. Its origin is attributed to biblical ancestors like Abraham and Moses.
After it was written and rewritten over the centuries, anonymous authors and scribes added and changed the content.
This now creates many errors in the content and correspondences that we see today. But, the basic principles remain the same. Read about some of the authors and text of "Sefer Yetzirah."
The Sefer Yetzirah in Theory and Practice
The secrets within the text of the "Sefer Yetsira" were passed down by word of mouth for centuries through generations of Jewish mystics as part of the oral tradition called Qabalah (Kabbalah). The Book of Creation (or Formation) was probably written down in the 2nd century B.C.E. by Rabbi Akiba ben Joseph. But, the myth of this curious book dates back to Abraham the Patriarch and Moses.
The text of the Sefer Yetzirah lays out the principles of Kabbalistic cosmology and the Tree of Life, how humankind (the microcosm) reflects the Divine (the macrocosm). It also sets forth the Hebrew doctrine of Logos – the creation of the world in numbers, letters, and sound. As such, it is a seminal text for all serious magicians.
Most of all, the mystical secrets of the Sepher Yetzirah still has yet to be uncovered. While the text describes the universe, time and body in an organized order, it still is confusing to the average reader.
"Sefer" in Hebrew means book. "Yetzirah" (also spelled as Yesirah, Yetzira, Yetsira) means the word "creation (YTzRH)" or to create (YTzR). Traditionally, the Hebrew word is usually spelled with a z (yetzirah) instead of a s (yesirah). Most Spanish translation use the s instead of the z. Sometimes, the word formation is used instead of the word creation.
Great Jewish scholars like Aryeh Kaplan, Gershom Scholem and Moshe Idel have made some sense of the Sefer Yetzirah. But, what we read today are English translations of Hebrew and German (Yiddish) writings that have a tendency to lose some meanings in those translations. Aryeh Kaplan is probably best known for his work on the translation of the Sefer Yetzirah.
In the late 19th and 20th Century, authors like Eliphas Levi, Aleister Crowley, Israel Regardie, William Wynn Westcott have published books about the Sefer Yetzirah. The most recent edition, by Kaplan, is considered to be the authoritative study on the subject. Copies are the book are sometimes hard to locate since its last printing was in 1977. In the English speaking world, it became to be known as The Book of Creation or Book of Formation.
Using the Sefer Yetzirah to create a What??
Out of all of the persistent traditions, the most common is the ability to create a golem, a living object, by use of the techniques described in the Sefer Yetzirah.
This golem comes to life by the meditations of the golem-makers who learn their techniques from studying the manuscript. The golem has its appearances on non-Jewish mysticism as well- Egyptian, Greek and other cultures have their own versions of our Frankenstein. Read more about making a golem with the Sefer Yetsirah...
But, the most discussed and known aspect of the Sefer Yetzirah is its definition of the Tree of Life and the ten sephiroth. This explains the organization of the Universe. New sections on the Sephiroth are included on my upcoming QBL software program.
"Kabbalah's Secret Circles" explores the legends and history of Kabbalah, the Book of Creation ("Sefer Yetzirah"), and how to create a simple Kabbalah Wheel device. Hundreds of pages of information and references.
Download FREE PDF sample and read Kabbalah's Secret Circles.
Purchase a print or Kindle version on Amazon: Kabbalah's Secret Circles: Jewish Mysticism and the Kabbalah Wheel
Create your own Universe with the Book of Formation
The Sefer Yetsirah (Yetzirah) is filled with mystery and shrouded with myths, misconceptions and illusions. Out of all of the Hebrew manuscripts that have survived over the centuries, the Sefer Yetzirah continues to amaze and confuse those who study its pages.
This web site is the gateway to a computerized study of this mysterious manuscript which has influenced Judaism, Christianity, Occultism, Metaphysics, Philosophy, Science and Psychology for thousands of years.
The Sefer Yetzirah is also known as Sefer Yesirah, Yesira, Sefer Yetsirah, Sefer Yetzira, Sefer Yesirah, Sepher Jesriah, Jeseriah and Sepher Yezirah. The various spellings are based on the Hebrew letters, Y, Tz, Y, R, H. Depending on how the author pronounces or translates the sounds, determine how that author spells the word.
This section of the Qabalah website explores the Sefer Yetzirah, its history, theory and practice. Although most of my original material is still in handwritten notes in my file cabinets, more sections will be uploaded here with samples to a full printed book, interactive Qabalah study web site and software program. Read more...
Most popular and reliable books about "Sefer Yetzirah"
These are the most popular books on Sefer Yetzirah, the Book of Creation (Book of Formation). All of them can be purchased through these links at Amazon.com. Check for free shipping eligibility on some books.
Sefer Yetzirah: The Book of Creation
By Aryeh Kaplan. This is the most authoritative text on the study of the "Sefer Yetzirah" or Book of Formation (Book of Creation). Kaplan's explanations are easy to understand and make common sense. Hebrew with English translations in great detail and insight. A must have manual for anyone ready to decipher this ancient manuscript. Paperback: 398 pages.
Book of Formation or Sepher Yetzirah: Attributed to Rabbi Akiba Ben Joseph
By Arthur Edward Waite (Editor, Introduction), Knut Stenring (Translator) and R. A. Gilbert (Foreword).Stenring has made a word-for-word translation from several texts, choosing only those parts which he believed to be authentic. He reveals the text’s secrets in his diagrams, tables, and extensive notes. His "Master Key to the Theoretical and Practical Kabala" is a diagram of the correspondences between the English and Hebrew alphabets and is not found in other translations of the Sepher Yetzirah. The introduction by Waite surveys the historical background of the Sepher Yetzirah translations and the import of this foundational Kabbalistic text. Knut Stenring was a Swedish Hebrew scholar. He published this work in 1923 and it is regarded as a major resource, although some translations are dubious. 78 pages from Ibis Press.
By W. Wynn Westcott (Author) A selection from INTRODUCTION: The "Sepher Yetzirah," or "Book of Formation," is perhaps the oldest Rabbinical treatise of Kabalistic philosophy which is still extant. The great interest which has been evinced of 1ate years in the Hebrew Kabalah, and the modes of thought and doctrine allied to it, has induced me to translate this tractate from the original Hebrew texts, and to collate with them the Latin versions of mediaeval authorities; and I have also published An Introduction to the Kabalah which may be found useful to students. Three important books of the "Zohar," or "Book of Splendour," which is a great storehouse of Kabalistic teaching, have been translated into English by S. L. MacGregor Mathers, and the "Sepher Yetzirah" in an English translation is almost a necessary companion to these abstruse disquisitions: the two books indeed mutually explain each other. Sepher Yetzirah (Paperback: 48 pages).
Sefer Yetzirah The Book of Formation: The Seven in One English-Hebrew Edition - New Translations with an Introduction into the Cosmology of the Kabbalah by E. Collé (Author), H. Collé (Author) .
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