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

4.7 out of 5 stars 31 customer reviews

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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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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 0.6 x 6.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #411,463 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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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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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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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The subtitle tells a lot about the book and the alphabet. The alphabet is truly mystical. English letters may have stories beyond them but I have never heard them. The Hebrew alphabet has multiple stories for each letter and combines spiritual and other influences on each letter. The letters also represent values as numbers which was totally unexpected to me. You will learn something of the culture as you go through the book. The only regret I have about the content is the lack of a pronunciation guide. The artwork is beautiful.

It's a handy, interesting book for anyone who cares about the language.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
A young minister that I mentor was "dabbling" in numerology and needed a bit of guidance relative to the real meaning of some numbers within our scriptures. Having studied many languages who alphabets primarily only have sound, it is amazingly different that the Hebrew alphabet has 3 properties: SOUND, MEANING, & NUMERICAL VALUE. It's mystical, not magical. Having enjoyed this book myself since about 2002, it has deepened my understanding of some scriptures and nurtured my spirit as well. I purchased additional copies to give as gifts and highly recommend it to any serious Bible reader. The graphic design is inspired and impressive!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
straight and to the point is all I can say about this small book. The art work is beautifully done. Added bonus if you are learning the meaning of the numbers and their messages, this is a good start, if you do not want to purchase cards.
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By mna on June 16, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book is excellent for anyone wanting to learn about the Hebrew Aleph-Beit. As my knowledge increases, I expect to move up to more detailed books. There are so many interesting facts in this book that you will want to learn more also. Enjoy!
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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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