In the Talmud, the external term representing the hidden word of power, by whose virtues a new world might be. This word is lost to the human race, although even sounds approximating it have a magic power and can give to whomever pronounces them dominion in the spirit world.
Some of the old rabbis believed that the word of power contains 12 letters, others, 42, and yet others 72, but these are the letters of the divine alphabet, which God created from certain luminous points made by the concentration of the primal universal light. Shemhamphorash is, in fact, the name of this word.
In the Kabala, the Shemhamphorash, or 72 syllabled name of God, is related to three verses of the Hebrew Bible, Exodus 14, 119-21. Each of these verses, in Hebrew, contains 72 letters. If one writes the 72 letters or verse 19 in correct order, and under them write the letters of verse 20 in a similar manner in reverse order, and then the letters in verse 21 in correct order below the first two, one creates 72 three-letter names. By adding either AL or IH to these names the names of the 72 angels of Jacob's ladder were created.
This ancient Jewish mystical concept is somewhat paralleled by the ancient Hindu teachings of the creation of the world through the mystical trisyllable "AUM," said to contain the origin of the alphabet and all sounds. related to such concepts are the use of certain letters and sounds known as mantras for magical purposes.
(See also Nada ; Yoga )
Poncé, Charles. Kabblah: An Introduction and Illumination for the World Today. San Francisco: Straight Arrow Books, 1973.
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