Well ...mikeh wrote:.
Reuchlin insists on having it both ways. On the one hand (On the Kabbalah, p. 285):In other words, infinity and zero. I think this is related to Gikatilla's language that EHYE "ascends to the top of Kether" (p. 349). And (Reuchlin p. 286):Above the Crown is placed En Sof--infinity, and the abyss.But there is also, like Pico--and also Gikatilla (p. 360f) in his description of the first sefiroth--Reuchlin at the bottom of p. 286:They assert that En Sof is Alpha and Omega, for he said "I am the first and the last."Infinity is the most absolute Essence, drawn back in the depths of shadows, and, lying or, as they say, reliant upon nothing, is hence called "Nothing" or "Not being" and "Not-end" (En Sof) because we are so damned by our feeble understanding of divine matters that we judge things that are not apparent in the same way as we judge things that do not exist.
But when it shows itself and becomes something and actually subsists, the dark Aleph is changed into the bright [i[Aleph[/i]. For it is written, "As is its darkness so is its light." It is then called the great Aleph, because it desires to come out and be seen as the cause of all things, through Beth, the letter that follows next.Menehem Recanat writes this: "So you will find this letter Beth doing all things."
The Jews (likely) didn't invent the alphabet, it were Phoenicians.
The bible has two names, Elohim and Jahwe. Elohim is a plural form from El. So I've read.
In the region, where one might expect to have been Phoenicians, were found some rather old texts about a god El and about a god Baal. Baal was a bull god, possibly with some context to the Egyptian bull god in the delta region of the Nile, and some connection to bull cult in Creta (in a successful period of the Egyptians after the Hyksos-crisis Egypt controlled this Phoenician region; in this period a lot of 'Pharaos had the part "-mosis" in their name, for instance Kamosis ad Tutmosis).
It seems plausible, that EL also was connected to the bull cult. It's not clear to me (I've just read the story somewhere), how El and Baal were written, possibly aleph-lamed for El and beth-lamed (or beth-aleph-lamed ?) for Baal. If so, than AL would have made the number 31 and BL 32 (or BAL = 33), anyway all numbers around 32.
The alphabet started with aleph, which meant Ox ... or Bull, or whatever.
One has to remember, that the biblical Moses had trouble with a golden calf, when he got his 10 commandments.
The Egypt had a rather active myth about 42 death gods, which somehow stood in some relation to the 42 political districts of their original country, 20 for the delta region, and 22 for the small river region in the desert.
Moses in his myth arranged, that the Egytians got 10 plagues, and that the Jews got 10 commandments, written probably in an alphabet with 22 letters. 22 + 10 + 10 = 42. The Sepher Yetzirah presented the 22 letters together with 10 Sephiroth. 22 + 10 = 32 (ways of wisdom). Othe Jewish sources imported the story of "10 (dangerous and negative) kellipot (or Qliphoth), negative Sephiroth. 10 + 10 + 22 = 42.
Generally the Egyptians had also their meeting-points with the number 64, for instance in the use of the Horus-eye and in their calendar myth. It's rather plausible (with Moses myth or without Moses myth), that they used the same mathematical backround as I-Ching and SY and embedded it in their culture, similar to the Jews and to th Chinese and the people with Zoroaster-favour. And, btw., also the Greeks. And the Indians. And even in North Europeans myths.
The binary cody was internationally used and often preferred, especially in the time, when myths were rather important.
German bible researchers found to the idea, that the first five books of the bible were composed of two major different sources, one addressing God with Elohim and the other source addressing him with Jahwe. Likely in the King David or King Salomo time.
The name Joshua (important at the finish of the Moses story) was written rather similat to JHWH. It wouldn't be the only example, when the name of a successful political leader was used in some other ways. Alexander founded Aklexandia, Zar Peter St. Peterburg, for instance. Buddha founded the Buddhism, Zoroaster Zoroastrism.