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The Hebrew Alphabet: A Mystical Journey Hardcover – July 1, 1998


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 96 pages
  • Publisher: Chronicle Books (July 1, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0811818837
  • ISBN-13: 978-0811818834
  • Product Dimensions: 6.8 x 6.9 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #181,366 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

Each person, like each letter in the Torah, has a unique purpose in the divine plan. No one may impinge on another's particular mission in life, just as no two letters may overlap. The Hebrew Alphabet

About the Author

Edward Hoffman is a New York-based psychologist and author of many books in the fields of Jewish mysticism, spirituality, and psychology, including The Way of Splendor and Opening the Inner Gates .

Karen Silver is a San Francisco-based illustrator and editor. This is her first book.

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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See all 18 customer reviews
The illustrations are beautifully stylized Hebrew Letters.
Ka
Not only is Hoffman's Jewel great for metaphorical teaching, it is an avenue to reach those inquiring, inquisitive, uniquely thoughtful Minds!
Fred W. Hood
For them to see the beautiful pictures of Karen Silver is a Plus.
Fred W Hood

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

43 of 45 people found the following review helpful By Pmthorner on October 6, 1998
Format: Hardcover
This richly printed and illustrated little book is a meditation on ideas, mystical experiences and ancient rabbinical stories sparked by each letter of the Hebrew alphabet, a transliteration of the Aleph Bet in the original language. I recommend it to those interested in Jewish studies, in meditation, and in mysticism. It is short but it contains much wisdom. It is also a beautifully designed little book and a fitting travel companion.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Bob on September 3, 2001
Format: Hardcover
I am not jewish, and I really enjoyed reading this book. I think it helps you understand the passages in the Bible better because you'll understand the jewish context. I wish this book went into even more detail about each letter, but this is a great sampling if you are curious about the powerful meaning of the hewbrew letters. The author, Edward Hoffman, writes beautifully and keeps your focus.
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21 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Fred W Hood on January 24, 2003
Format: Hardcover
After perusing several books on Kabbalah mysticism, not letting them 'sink-in', I went from Rabbi Kushner's Book of Letters and his Book of Words to this little jewel of Hoffman's mysical use of the 22 Hebrew letters. In his ten-age Part I he moves through developing Hebrew alphabet from the North Semitic tribes more than 3500 years ago, to Ezra the Scribe of the 5th Century, to the Midrash, to the Talmudic commentary on Exodus, to the 13th Century, Zohar (Book of Splendor)!
When Hoffman arrives at the Zohar he reflects on the statement that, "God looked into [the letters] of the Torah and created the universe." From one of the early Jewish mystics, Abraham ben Samuel Abulafia he quotes the Hebrew letters as a means to arouse tremendous intuitive capabilities: "Look at these holy letters with truth and belief...[it] will awaken the heart to thoughts of godly and prophetic images." In Abulafia's approach he suggests that one "begin to combine letters, a few or many, reversing and rolling them around rapidly, until [one's] heart feels warm."
In teaching dysfunctional children in their teens, I am making good use of Hebrew letters such as: Yud, Reish and Shin...Yud for the words 'yom' or day; names as Yoel [Joel] Yoneh [Jonah] and impulse for good and evil: yetzer hatov and yetzer hara.
Also, Reish as Holy Spirit [Ruach Ha-Kadosh]; healing [rafooah] and healer [rofeh]; Shin for words as Shabbat, Shalom and simcha [joy]and shanah [year]. These last ones fit beautifully with the name of one of the girls - Kashanah! Not only is Mr Hoffman's little Jewel great for metaphorical teaching it is an avenue to reach those inquiring, inquisitive, uniquely thoughtful minds.
For them to see the beautiful pictures of Karen Silver is a Plus.
I strongly recommend this to teachers of Special Education!
Retired Chaplain Fred W Hood
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Fred W. Hood on August 23, 2006
Format: Hardcover
After perusing several books on Kabbalah mysticism, not letting them sink-in I went from Rabbi Kushner's Book of Letters and his Book of Words to this little jewel of Hoffman's mystical entry to 22 Hebrew letters. In his ten-page Part 1, he moves through the developing Hebrew alphabet from the North Semitic tribes more than 3500 years ago, to Ezra the Jewish Scribe of the 5th Century, to the Midrash, to the Talmudic Commentary on Exodus, to the 13th Century Zophar (Book of Splendor)!

When Hoffman arrives at the Zophar he reflects on the statement that, "God looked into [the Letters] of the TORAH and created the universe." From one of the early Jewish mystics, Abraham ben Samuel Abulafia he quotes the Hebrew letters as a means to arouse tremendous intuitive capabilities: "Look at these holy letters with truth and belief...[it] will awaken the heart to thoughts of godly and prophetic images." In Abulafia's approach he suggests that, "one begin to combine letters, a few or many, reversing and rolling them around rapidly, until [one's] heart feels warm."

While teaching dysfunctional children in their teens I began making good use of the Hebrew letters such as Yud, Reish and Shin... Yud for the words 'yom' or day; names as Yoel [Joel] Yoneh [Jonah] and impulse for good and evil: yetzer hatov and yetzer hara!

Also Reish as Holy Spirit, [Ruach Ha-Kadosh]; healing [refooah] and healer [rofeh]; Shin for words as Shabbat, Shalom and simcha [joy] and shana [year]. These last ones fit beautifully with the name of one of the girls-Kashanah! Not only is Hoffman's Jewel great for metaphorical teaching, it is an avenue to reach those inquiring, inquisitive, uniquely thoughtful Minds! For them to see the beautiful pictures created by Karen Silver is a Plus!

I strongly recommend for teachers of Special Education... Retired Chaplain Fred W Hood
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Jay K. Nelson on August 1, 2005
Format: Hardcover
I have personally found this book to be spiritually enlightening. The author is obviously well versed in Kaballistic writings and philosophy. I find Mary Barker's review to be offensive and written from an uneducated point of view.

If you are looking at a fresh perspective on the Hebrew aleph-bet give this book a chance.
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By Audrey on July 13, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
A wonderful book and resource of the meanings of the Hebrew letters.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Beautifully illustrated. Informative, a kind of mystical experience. Suggest this as a cherished gift to anyone loving the Hebrew Aleph -bet.
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By Stacy on January 10, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a sure to please gift. I tend to give multiple small gifts to recipients who are hard to please. This item is consistently a favorite.
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