Kabbalah: Golem

The Golem and Permutation and combinations of the letters

Kabbalah's Secret Circles by Robert ZuckerNew book on the legends and history of Kabbalah and the Book of Creation, Kabbalah's Secret Circles! Read some of the chapters and download a free PDF sample of the book to preview. This page contains notes from the book.

By Robert Zucker

One of the major meditative methods in Kabbalah, and the process used in the creation of a golem, is manipulaing the letters of the Hebrew alphabet and reciting them. This section explores the various techniques used by the ancient Kabbalists to produce their magical effects.

According to SEPHER YETZIRAH 2:4: The sign for “this” is when you rotate, or oscillate, one column up or down (back and forth), you change the pair of Gates.

Each combination of two letters, which correspond to the limbs of the body, are combined with all the other letters to form a two-letter “Gate.” It seems the magical activity begins with the combination of the letters.

Then, continue with verse 2:5: Permutate them. Weigh them and transform them. Aleph (A) with them all. Bayt (B) with all of them, and all of them with Bayt. They repeat in a cycle and exist in 231 Gates. It comes forth that all that is created (formed) and all that is spoken emanates (is created) from One Name.

All 231 Gates can be generated by rotating the strips up and down.

Rabbi Abulafia instructs to “Turn the wheel in the middle, and begin to combine until the two hundred and thirty-one gates [are computed], and [then] he will receive the influx of Wisdom. When he receives the influx, let him [then] recite speedily the circle of velocity, which is the divine spirit.”

Using the Hebrew letters instead of English letters is morfe effective, since the Hebrew letters are closer to the source. The sounds, though, are very similar. An "A" in Hebrew is the same "ah" sound as the "A" in English.

The permutations (combinations) are formed by pairing each letter with all the other letters of the alphabet. This pairing of letters, forward and reverse, generates the Holy Gates. By pairing those “combinations” and rotating the wheel, one can make non-existence exist– create something out of nothing, according the SEPHER YETZIRAH.

Rabbi Eleazar of Worms mentions one method is permutation of the first eleven letters from Aleph to Lamed with each of the 22 letters, often associated with the creation of the golem.

R. Eleazar lists the combinations of 21 letters with each of 22 letters and their various positions. This gives 462 combinations or 231 (when halved). He says to obtain the proper combination, only eleven letters are doubled. The other 22 letters are left as they are.

Another way is using the Torah Code.

Teruf: Letter Combination

Combining and permutating the letters of the Hebrew alphabet with specific breathing techniques and contemplation on specific body centers produces ecstacy almost immediately.

The continuous, monotonous repetition of letters and sounds excites the mind, rather than dulls it. This is done in combination with various bodily and breathing techniques. This Hebrew letter combination technique is called Tzeruf.


Gemaria is a technique where  each letter is given a numerical value and other words with same value are equivalent of the originals.


Temurah, Form of cryptic writing which substitutions are made for letters according to one code or another.

Notariqon- (notarikon) combining letters

  • ATBASH is most common form where first letter is substituted for the last letter of the alphabet, the second for the penultimate, etc.
  • ALBAM is a similar form of substitution, where the first letter is replaced by the twelth, the second by the thirteenth, etc.
  • AVGAD is a form where each letter is replaced by the one succedding it so that a=b, b=c, etc.
  • AQ BEKER; The Qabalah of 9 Chambers

The “Gates” are formed by pairing the forward and reverse combinations of the letters. Each “Gate” in the circle stands as a combination of two consonants of the Hebrew alphabet. When the letters are pronounced, the creative power emanates through these two outer “Gates.” Through the combination of all the letters– forwards and backward– all of the Gates are completed.

The combination of the letters is used to both create words and to reveal the Secrets of the Universe. Through these Gates the creative power emanates out into the Universe, which is sealed on all “six sides,” according to the SEPHER YETZIRAH.

The two-letter Gates can be imagined as a tall column with each Gate stacked up on top of each other and then “bent” into a circular wall– like a wheel. Each two-letter combination can rotate independently as two separate wheels. This is the description of the Kabbalah Wheel.

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