Sunday, March 20, 2011


Note: For more on these subjects, see my second post.

I love language. I love to greet all the diverse people I work with in their native language, it makes them smile. Even if those are the only words that I know. One of the most interesting languages I've ever studied in depth is Hebrew (עִבְרִית) Ivrit.

I'm getting to where I know the alephbet well enough to sound out some words. Unlike the Latin alphabet, the Hebrew alephbet is an abjad, in which each symbol usually stands for a consonant; the speaker almost always supplies the appropriate vowel sound according to context.

Understanding the names of the letters requires us to look at an even older alphabet, the Phoenician system of writing. As this Proto-Sinaitic alphabet was derived from Egyptian hieroglyphs, each letter means something in and of itself. This chart, from left to right, shows the idealized letterforms of Phoenician, the Unicode symbols, the letter's name, the meaning of the word, the phoneme, and the corresponding letter in the Hebrew, Syriac, Arabic, Greek, Latin, and Cyrillic alphabets.

Now this is all very interesting by itself, but my real interest in Hebrew comes from my studies of Qabala/Kaballah, Jewish mysticism.

This link is one of the most interesting sites I've ever found about Hebrew, Qabala, Gematria, Astrology, Tarot, and archetypal maps. Since Hebrew is a formative hyperlanguage, you can take the Tree of Life and map it onto the Cube of Space.

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