Mystical Teachings of the Hebrew Letters
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The Hebrew word for “letter,”– ot – also means “sign” or “wonder” or “miracle.” For thousands of years, Jewish sages have taught that the letters of the Hebrew alphabet, the Aleph Beit, embody wonderful and miraculous powers. According to the earliest known book on Jewish mysticism, The Sefer Yetzirah (The Book of Creation), written more than fifteen centuries ago, God formed the entire universe through speaking aloud the twenty-two letters. With the vibration of God’s cosmic utterances, out of the nothingness of silence all things spring to life.
The letters of the Aleph Beit, as the manifestations of God’s voice, are the energetic and vibrational building blocks of creation. They are analogous to physical elements. The letters are also archetypes. Each one expresses a specific primordial power or creative energy.
A New Oracle of Kabbalah makes ancient teachings about the Hebrew letters accessible and practical for contemporary readers and spiritual seekers. Author Richard Seidman describes the traditional meanings associated with each letter, and using a deck of cards that they can easily create or purchase separately, readers are shown how the teachings of the letters can apply to their own lives and respond to the questions they bring to the oracle.
A New Oracle of Kabbalah is grounded in traditional and mystical Judaism. At the same time, Seidman incorporates writings and teachings from a variety of religious and cultural paths to provide perspective on the materials. The result is a book that is deeply Jewish but not narrowly so.
REVIEWS & ENDORSEMENTS
“Jewish sages teach that each letter of the Hebrew alphabet is an awesome universe. Richard Seidman gently guides readers to explore the use of these letters to open mysterious gates of wisdom hidden within each one of us. A New Oracle of Kabbalah is an excellent tool for discovering the teachings of our own souls and is highly recommended.” – Rabbi David A. Cooper, author of God is a Verb
“This book, grounded in ancient mystical knowledge, offer many doorways to the great mysterious, and the power of our own personal truth. To experience them is to realize the infinite depth and exquisite beauty of creation.” – David Carson, co-author of The Medicine Cards
“You don’t have to be Jewish to love A New Oracle of Kabbalah. Richard Seidman has made the ancient wisdom and power of the Hebrew letters accessible to us all, so we can use it to help us better deal with the challenges of modern life.” – Monte Farber and Amy Zerner, authors of The Enchanted Tarot
“Seidman’s A New Oracle of Kabbalah is a feast of honey, humor, cultural diversity, and an outrageous insistence on hope. Though well rooted in indigenous Jewish understandings, a thousand flowers of the world’s teachers, make this personal divination style one that promotes the Divine in Nature and community without losing the nobility of the individual.” – Martin Prechtel, author of The Unlikely Peace at Cuchumaquic: The Parallel Lives of People as Plants
“In these wide-ranging, mystical, sometimes fanciful meditations on the letters of the Hebrew alphabet, Richard Seidman introduces the reader a contemporary installment of both Judaism’s millennial love affair with the letters of the Hebrew alphabet and a clever invitation to enter the conversation.” – Rabbi Lawrence Kushner, author of The Book of Letters
“Richard Seidman offers us a direct, clear, and practical approach to the Divine Mystery. His understanding of the Hebrew Alef-Beit and his guidance in interpreting each letter ignites an inner lamp that can illumine the most shadowed corners of the soul.”
– Rabbi Rami M. Shapiro, author of The Way of Solomon
“This enjoyable and educational book explores the symbolism behind the Aleph Beit, the Hebrew Alphabet. Author Seidman comes from a varied background, having seriously studied both Zen Buddhism and Jewish mysticism. This background serves him well in this endeavor. Seidman writes: “For each letter is an archetype and each letter is a koan and each letter is a dream and each letter is a poem.” Each chapter investigates a single letter, covering its history, meaning and symbolism. Seidman provides the basis of a “meditation” through his discussion, trying to lay the foundations for “unusual insight or intuitive perception” that may emerge from such a meditation. A set of cards displaying the letters (one letter per card) is also provided to facilitate contemplation. Readers of all world views should find this book to be spiritually rich.”
The Tampa Tribune – March 3, 2002
“I must admit that I was surprised at the depth with which I connected with this elegantly simple little book and pack of cards. It has been my constant companion during the past three months, encouraging and challenging me through major surgery and the frustrating tedium of convalescence. Richard Seidman successfully marries the ancient rooted wisdom of mystical Judaism with the adventurous and inclusive spirit of the New Age.
Oracles and divination tools, such as this, offer alternative perspectives in the symbolic language of our right brain. By lifting us out of our habitual patterns, we, hopefully achieve more satisfying and holistic perceptions. Oracle of Kabbalah emerges from the folklore and the mystical teachings of the Hebrew alphabet. According to the earliest known book on Jewish mysticism, the Sefer Yetzirah (The Book of Creation), written more than fifteen centuries ago, God formed the entire universe through speaking aloud the twenty-two letters. “Out of nothingness, with the vibration of God¹s cosmic utterances, all things spring to life.”
Each letter is understood as an archetype and has its own personality, its own magic and its own way of organizing the whole of existence around itself. It has ways of combining with other letters to form new meanings, and the words with which we in turn, create our reality. The mysticism and profundity of meaning within the system of letters and numbers of the Kaballah is a lifetime study in itself, but this Oracle of Kabbalah encapsulates it in simple language. Magically, it tends to meet one where one is, emotionally and intellectually, on any given day. As a divination system it sheds new light onto whatever question it is asked. However, Richard borrows from other traditions, especially Zen, to clarify and amplify his themes, which allowed me to feel included in the Universal family even though I am not Jewish and have little exposure to traditional Judaism.
While the Oracle of Kabbalah is not intended to foretell future events, it can provide a perspective on a present situation and show considerations to keep in mind when weighing possible courses of action. It seems to me that the secret lies in one¹s ability to form an accurate and perceptive question before consulting the Oracle. Vague and general questions get vague and general answers! The answer can only be as helpful as the question is precise. With this admonition in mind, I fully recommend this little book, both as a tool for divination and simply as a source of comfort and spiritual inspiration.
A portion of the profits from the book sales will be donated to Friends of Trees in Oregon, a wonderful gesture by the author, and one absolutely in keeping with the whole spirit and tone of the book. Thank you Richard Seidman. Shalom.”
New Connexions – September/October, 2002