... perhaps one may conclude, that Jews in Narbonne would take more the side of the bishop than of the Cathars, just from this condition, beside possible contradicting details in the religious concepts. But religious competition might have been creative for both sides and might develop new ideas on both sides.
I would conclude that the persecution of the Cathars gives a good reason for some of the Jews of Narbonne to keep their views secret. Also, we are talking about only a few of the Jews of Narbonne. What side the Jews of Narbonne as a whole would take, if any, is not only a matter of religious views but of survival tactics, which may take precedence.
I need to study the other parts of your presentation more thoroughly.
I don' claim to know much about it. Scholem took the position, that the differences between Cathars and Jews were possibly even greater than the differences between Christian and Cathars.
http://books.google.de/books?id=9dRi8v- ... rs&f=false
When you write, "Actually the first Sephira wandered and became the last" I don't see why that is so definite. That assumes that you know which Sephira wandered. In your hypothesized original diagram, the top point seems to be what the SY calls "breath", and so the origin of everything else. I have no argument with that, but how could the creator become the lowest of the created? This is not Christianity. It seems more in keeping with Jewish tradition that the Bride would wander, and the Bride is not at the top. but near it and also near the Groom (or more exactly, between the King and the shepherd-Beloved, as in the Song of Songs, as Alemanno analyzes the literal meaning of this text). The Bride (= breath from breath, the second sefira, originally at the bottom of the top diamond), allegorically the human soul, then falls, in sin, to the lowest position.
About the group structure of the 32 ways in SY ( 22 [= 1+6) + 3 + 12] + 10 [1+3+6] ) one can say, that it appears also in the 32 complementary hexagram pairs of I-Ching. It's plausible, that this is not accidental so, but cause of a result of an identical or at least rather similar mathematical consideration.
The SY uses a row from 1-10 for the 10 objects in the Sephiroth tree, the I-Ching doesn't use the row. Considering, that the hypercube of 6 (2^6) doesn't produce or need the row from 1-10, we have the condition, that the row of 1-10 is just a not necessary condition for the math object, similar to the identification with the 22 letters, which are important for Jewish culture, but naturally not of importance in the Chinese culture and also not for the related math object.
The Jewish Kabbala development made a strong metaphysical development with this not necessary addition "1-10" in its Sephiroth tree system, in contrast the binary system in the SY went into the background and was more or less even forgotten or "hidden for unknown reasons", at least it dominated not the foreground.
The Jews involved a complex genesis-of-the-world-system (also a not really necessary addition), the Chinese ha similar ideas, but were (at least to our eyes) less intensive with it. Later the Jews modified the direction of their interpretation, and focussed on ideas, how the world would end. Just another addition, but nonetheless it was finally a major topic.
... .-) ... let's assume, that these 32 ways of wisdom are like an empty soccer field. Then, at Saturday, 22 players, some referees and onlookers appear, and have a big show with goals, excitements, yellow and red cards, penalties and much beer for the audience etc. Finally everybody leaves. Still the soccer fields meditates its old dream. The Platzwart comes and repairs the green, a lonely man on a wide field, to which he adds fresh new white lines.
As far as the Sefer Yetzirah contradicting itself, that is possible, but only as a last resort. Otherwise it is better to assume that seeming contradictions are actually enigmas. And although there are four versions, they do not contradict each other in what we are dealing with.
Some of the elements of the SY might be from 1000 years and more before the authors birth, other might be of a younger date. It's a potpourri of many ideas. The connected math goes in different directions, the 32 ways for instance have nothing to do with the letter considerations. "231" is also not necessary. The 5-5 system seems not necessary. The connection to astrology is not necessary.
We don't know the name of the author and we don't know his time and location.
Perhaps the riddle of the disappearance of the knowledge of the math background of the 32 ways of wisdom lies in the contrast between Iyyun kabbalists and the school, which lead to Isaak the blind. Perhaps it are just the general insecurities of the related time and region. We have, that the Cathars disappeared. We have, that the Kabbala emigrated from Provence to Northern Spain.
We have, that kabbalists spoke of secrets, which they wouldn't tell easily. We have these dualismus aspects in the math code, and gnostic perspectives weren't welcome. We have the relative exalted religious behavior accompanying the crusade against the Cathars. We have an absolute crazy crusade of children. We have Joachim of Fiore's prophesies.
... :-) ... and we have the condition, that we mostly did focus on 15th century and not on 12th or 13th century. So likely we have a lot of blind spots.