[b-hebrew] Interchangeable letters

Shoshanna Walker rosewalk at concentric.net
Wed Oct 24 00:25:11 EDT 2007

You are right about the subject of the article, I don't know why AISH 
put it there, except that it uses Torah text to explain/prove that 
Avraham was educated enough to have written Sefer Yetzira.  That is 
why I posted the EXCERPT that was relevant.  As a COURTESY, I posted 
the URL, not to promote the article, but because that is accepted 
internet manners.

Whether Sefer Yetzira was as ancient as Avraham or less ancient, it 
is clear that the 7 double letters were designated as such - not as a 
later development.

As to Ben's website, what gave him away was his references to "Jewish 
magic".  That is not the way to describe Kabbalistic knowledge, which 
was handed down only very selectively to those who were deserving, 
and it was not used as "magic".


On 10/24/07, Shoshanna Walker wrote:
> I don't know who Kaptziel is, or Ben who supplies us with the website
> you cited, but it does not present authentic Kabbala.
> See this article at
> http://www.aish.com/spirituality/philosophy/Harry_Potter_and_the_Child
> ren_of_Ketura.asp

I used the site because it gives footnoted references to various positions
of both ancient and modern scholarship regarding Sefer Yetzirah.  This
begins with Saadiah Gaon's position that is also references in your link.
The references clearly show that the dating of SY is not simply "ancient
ancient ancient" and there are all kinds of various dates.  I fail to see what
an Aish article about Harry Potter adds to the wealth of information given
in Ben's post.  Do you want to say that Aish Hatorah's position on Harry
Potter is "authentic Kabbalah"?  Do you want to say that Saadiah Gaon's
position that SY is written in Mishnaic Hebrew and has later "inclusions"
after the time of Abraham is not "authentic Kabbalah"?  And why does
a position have to meet your or anyone's definition of "authentic Kabbalah"
in order to relate to any Hebrew work.  You are free to cite your (in my
view mistaken) position on authentic Kabbalah as your evidence that SY
and particularly SY's discussion of BGDKPRT as evidence that they are
ancient, but it doesn't mean that anyone has to explain their linguistic
evidence of the date of BGDKPT in light of this.  Those who produce the
linguistic evidence have a reasonable explanation for SY's comments --
that SY was authored in the 9th century CE and represents the
pronunciation of that time.

Yigal, Sefer Yetzirah is one of the earlier works which describe Hebrew
phonology in detail.  This is why it (and its date) are relevant for the list.

Yitzhak Sapir
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