November 12, 2019
You can use WP menu builder to build menus

1 of 9  

The Origins of Qoph

alphabet-hebreu-qofQoph or Qop (In Modern Hebrew: Kuf/Kof, Arabic: Qāf) is the nineteenth letter in many Semitic abjads, including Phoenician, Aramaic, Syriac, Hebrewק and Arabic alphabetqāfق (in abjadi order). Its sound value is an emphatic[] or [q]. The OHED (Oxford Hebrew English Dictionary) gives the letter Qoph a transliteration value of Q or a K and a final transliteration value as a ck. In Hebrew Gematria, it has the numerical value of 100. It became over time the letter Q in the Latin alphabet, and the letter Qoppa in certain early varieties of the Greek alphabet. The origin of Qoph is usually thought to be a sewing needle. Specifically the eye of needle, as the Paleo-Hebrew glyph strongly resembles a needle.(In Hebrew, Qoph, spelled in Hebrew letters as קוף, means “hole.” It is also hypothesized that the Qoph could also be a monkey as they share the same spelling. There are two vocalizations for קוף. Qoph means monkey and Quph means needle. Both pronunciations are common.Others have proposed that it originated from a pictogram of someone’s head and neck (Qaf in Arabic meant the nape); qaw is also reconstructed as a proto-Afro-Asiatic word for neck (ḫḫ in Egyptian), and in some dialects of Arabic, qoph is pronounced as a [hamza] ء, a glottal stop in the back of the throat – similar to the part of the throat used to make the sound of the qoph. In hieroglyphs, two determinatives for neck, F10 and F11 Gardiner’s sign list#D. Parts of the Human Body (F12 for “nape”), are both vertical lines topped with heads with horns. F10 is a line underneath an ox head (and a cross toward the bottom of the line), which could conceivably have evolved into the Arabic aleph with a hamza on top (the pronounced (and sometimes written) Egyptian Arabic way of saying qaf). The Arabic hamza far more closely resembles the earlier iterations of Aleph Aleph than does the aleph character itself, which is just a vertical line on top of which the hamza can sit Aleph#Arabic Alif.

The Pronunciation of Qoph

Hebrew spelling: קוֹףIn modern Israeli Hebrew, Qof usually represents /k/; i.e., no distinction is made between Qof and Kaph. However, many historical groups have made that distinction, with Qof being pronounced [q] by Iraqi Jews and other Mizrahim, or even as [ɡ] by Yemenite Jews under the influence of Yemeni Arabic.

The Significance of Qoph

Two letters, a reish and a zayin, combine to form the letter kuf.  The zayin, to the left, descends below the line, while the reish, to the right, hovers above it.  The paradoxical union symbolized by the two components of the kuf is the secret of “There is none holy as God.”  In general, the kuf stands for קְדוּשָׁה, “holiness.”  The unique level of holiness inherent to God is expressed, in the words of the Zohar, as “He is grasped within all worlds, yet none grasps Him.” The descending zayin of the kuf symbolizes His being grasped in all worlds, permeating even realms of reality “below the line,” i.e., worlds antithetical to those in whom God’s Presence is revealed.  The reish, God’s ever-present transcendence, remains “separate” and holy (in Hebrew, “holy” means “separate”) in relation to His descending immanence. (Rabbi Yitzchak Ginsburg, The Hebrew Letters. Channels of Creative Consciousness, p. 280)

In the name of the letter tzadik, its initial reading, tzadi, “hunts for fallen sparks.”  The holy spark, enraptured “below the line” in physical matter (“anti-matter,” relative to that of spiritual realms) is the secret of the following letter, the kuf (ק), to which the tzadi (עדי) connects to form the full, rectified name – tzadik (עדיק).  (Rabbi Yitzchak Ginsburg, The Hebrew Letters. Channels of Creative Consciousness, p. 280)

The tzadik is the eighteenth letter of the alef-beit, תי, “life,” thus symbolizing the power to enliven the fallen sparks, as represented by the kuf.  The kuf, the nineteenth letter, is the letter of Eve (תיה =19; in ordinary numbering, Adam, אםד = 1 + 4 + 13 = 18 = תי), whose name also derives from the root meaning “life,” as is said: “…and Adam called the name of his wife Eve [Chavah, תיה], for she was the mother of all life.” Nonetheless, of her is said: “her feet descended into death,” for in the primordial sin of eating (the “sense of the letter tzadik, as explained above) from the Tree of Knowledge, she was ultimately responsible for bringing death to the world.  Even within the “broken” (dead) corpse, a spark of life remains hidden, awaiting the power of the tzadik (תי, “life”) to reinforce its dormant potential of life and to resurrect the body to whom it belongs.  (Rabbi Yitzchak Ginsburg, The Hebrew Letters. Channels of Creative Consciousness, p. 280)

As well as the hidden inner sparks of life, a hovering, relatively transcendent “vapor,” is present above every corpse or fallen, “dead,” physical object. (The word for vapor, הבל, is also the name Abel, the second son of Adam and Eve, who was killed by his older brother Cain. הבל = 37=18+19).  These two components of life present within the seeming state of death, correspond to the two letters, the reish (the hovering vapor) and the zayin (the hidden spark), which compose the letter kuf.  For this reason the kuf symbolizes in particular the reality of fallen sparks, as well as the paradox of the simultaneous omnipresence of God’s transcendence and immanence.  The innate holiness of each spark insures its ultimate redemption and elevation by the tzadik (i.e., souls of Israel).  (Rabbi Yitzchak Ginsburg, The Hebrew Letters. Channels of Creative Consciousness, p. 280-281)

The most fundamental significance in Torah of the number nineteen the ordinal value of the kuf, is the nineteen-year cycle of the moon in relation  to the sun, the basis of our Jewish calendar. The moon represents the female, the secret of the sefirah of malchut (“kingdom”), personified by Eve (תוה = 19, as above).  The sun represents the male figure (the bestower of light, whereas the moon is the receiver of light), and in particular the sefirah of yesod (“foundation”; =80=8 x 10,  = תי= י.ה), as personified by Adam.  Just as explained in the secret of the form of the letter zayin, the “woman of valor” who is “the crown of her husband,” when the letter kuf (ק) precedes the letter tzadik (ע), the word קץ, the “end” of time, is formed. This hints at the verse: “…He has set an end [קץ] to darkness.”  The “end,” the coming of Mashiach and the subsequent era of resurrection, is the ultimate revelation of the great light and energy latently present within the secret of the letter kuf.  (Rabbi Yitzchak Ginsburg, The Hebrew Letters. Channels of Creative Consciousness, p. 281)

The Form of Qoph

A reish above with a zayin descending below the line on the left.

Two letters combine to form the kuf, a reish above and a zayin descending below the line on the left.  The reish hovers, as an aura, above the descending zayin.  Just as the yud is the only letter of the alef-beit suspended in mid-air and only the lamed rises above the “ceiling” of the letters, so the kuf is the only letter whose normative, “inner” form of this world (in contrast to the four final letters xxx of the World to Come, whose “descending below” is purely the filling of all reality with Divine revelation) descend below the “floor” of the letters. (Rabbi Yitzchak Ginsburg, The Hebrew Letters. Channels of Creative Consciousness, p. 283)

The Form of Qoph in the Worlds

“Shells” of impurity “suck” lifeforce in this world.  The zayin and reish spell zar, “foreign.” Souls : The mission of the soul – its descent to clarify sparks of holiness. The zayin and reish spell zeir, “crown.” The “boomerang” property of the soul.

The descending “foot” of the kuf below the “ground level,” into the grave, as it were, hints at the verse: “Her feet descend into [the realms of] death.” “Her” refers to malchut, as personified by Eve, the first woman, responsible for impairing  the initially created barrier of immunity between the realms of life (the kuf of קדושה, kedushah, “holiness”) and death (קליפה, kelipah, literally, “the shell,” the kuf descending into “profanity” and allowing it to “suck” from it). Before the final rectification of this world, when death will be swallowed up forever,” the realms of death (the three impure kelipot enumerated in Kabbalah) “suck” lifeforce from the “excess products” of kedushah, just as Eve, who added to God’s command not to eat of the tree of knowledge the prohibition of even touching it (kuf means “touch”) and was thereby seduced by the snake to not only touch but eat of it, as explained by the Sages.  (Rabbi Yitzchak Ginsburg, The Hebrew Letters. Channels of Creative Consciousness, p. 283)

The two letters, zayin and reish, the components of the kuf, spell זר, “foreign” or “strange,” as in the phrases עבודה זרה, “evil [literally, “foreign”] thought,” and זרה עבודה, “idolatry” (literally, “foreign service”). (Today, “strangeness” is a “property” of quantum physics.) In Torah, even an Israelite is considered “foreign” and thereby unworthy and forbidden to perform the service of the kohanim in the Temple.  Thus “foreign” or “strange” is a relative term.  God Himself, the Creator, appears to our lower perspective of consciousness to be totally incomprehensible, and so is existentially foreign and strange to our natural, as yet unrectified, senses.  (Rabbi Yitzchak Ginsburg, The Hebrew Letters. Channels of Creative Consciousness, p. 283)

Though now the zayin of the kuf gives “suck” to the kelipah, nonetheless the reish of the kuf hovers above and envelops the zayin as an aura of untouched” protective lifeforce, ensuring the eventual “passing away” of death, “…and the impure spirit [death] I will make pass away from the earth,” forever.  (Rabbi Yitzchak Ginsburg, The Hebrew Letters. Channels of Creative Consciousness, p. 283)

The Form of Qoph in the Souls

The Will of God hovers above the soul in its source, and decrees upon it to descend, against its own initial will, into a physical body.  The soul’s mission below requires it to become totally involved in the process of the rectification, clarification, of its body and “portion” in the world.  By means of the inner power of the Divine decree, the soul’s initial state of unwillingness and fear to descend below is transformed into a state of willingness and fear to descend below is transformed into a state of willingness and readiness, as explained in Chassidut. The hovering aura of Divine Will is symbolized by the reish of the kuff (the initial letter of רעון, “will”) while the readiness of the soul and its actual descent into this world is symbolized by the zayin of the kuf (whose “crown” is its own, newly-aroused will and whose descending “foot” is its manifestation in the unconsciousness of the body below, together with the impressions it retains from having first passed through seven [ז] spiritual heavens in its journey to earth). The zayin also represents the “scepter” of the Divine Will, the power and expression of the King, which, subsequent to the descent of the soul, extends itself below to bestow to the souls its “magic touch,” the power of the soul to ascend and return to God, together with its “booty” of holy sparks.  (Rabbi Yitzchak Ginsburg, The Hebrew Letters. Channels of Creative Consciousness, p. 284)

The two components of the kuf, the zayin and the reish, together with the letter kuf itself, spell זרק, “to throw” (the name of first “cantillation” of Torah: זרקא), whose secret is the “throwing” of the soul below in order that it redeem and “throw”” holy sparks upward to their source, as explained in Kabbalah.  “Throw a stick, and it will [eventually] fall to its source.” This “boomerang” property of the soul is the secret of the form of the letter kuf. (Rabbi Yitzchak Ginsburg, The Hebrew Letters. Channels of Creative Consciousness, p. 284)

The Form of Qoph in the Realm of Divinity

“He is grasped in all worlds [the zayin], yet no one grasps Him [the reish].” The reish and zayin spell raz, “mystery.”

Both זר, “foreign,” and זר, “crown,” spell the two component letters of the kuf ascending (from ז to ר), in secret of “returning light.”  At the level of Divinity, the descending union of the reish and the zayin – the secret of “straight lights” – spells רז, “mystery.”  רז (“mystery”) = ארז (“light”) = איז םוף (“infinite”) =  ארזן  ולם (“the Master of the universe”). Though זר (“crown”) and זר (“foreign”) belong to the same “gematria-class” (i.e., the set of all worlds or phrases which equal 207), nonetheless, in particular, זר (“crown”) corresponds to גדר “fence” or “confinement of consciousness” (as in גזר, definition), making tat which is outside one’s “fence” of consciousness זר, “foreign” and “strange.”  גדר (“fence”) permutes to ררג (“level”, “step,” and “finite order”) alluding to the three different levels assumed by the souls of Israel: “the crown of Torah,” “the crown of Kingdom,” “the crown of kehunah,” as explained above. (Rabbi Yitzchak Ginsburg, The Hebrew Letters. Channels of Creative Consciousness, p. 285)

The Divine mystery symbolized by the two components of the kuf is the secret of “He is grasped within all worlds [the zayin], yet none grasps Him [the reish].” The zayin is immanent while the reish remains transcendent.  (Rabbi Yitzchak Ginsburg, The Hebrew Letters. Channels of Creative Consciousness, p. 285)

In script form, the two letters רז, “mystery,” from the border of the yud, XXX, the initial point of creation and consciousness.  The yud, uniquely, is suspended in mid-air, neither “touching” nor “not touching,” yet simultaneously “toughing” and “not touching” – “the mystery of mysteries.”  The yud also resembles a “microcosmic” lamed (and is therefore its “form-mate”), as expounded in the halachah.  (Rabbi Yitzchak Ginsburg, The Hebrew Letters. Channels of Creative Consciousness, p. 285)

The three letters of the alef-beit each unique in its form, the suspended yud (י), the ascending lamed (ל), and the descending kuf (ק), spell a Divine Name in Kabbalah, לקי.  This name derives from the initial letters of the three words of the verse which epitomizes the forcefulness of our father Jacob’s blessing to his sons (the concluding verse of the blessing of Dan, the “end” of the tribes; only in this verse does the Name Havayah appear in Jacob’s blessings): לישועתך קויתי יתויה, “For Your salvation do I hope, God.” The three letters of the Name לקי hint at a sequence of spiritual motions of the soul. In the lamed, the soul runs up to learn.  In the kuf, the soul is thrust down to realize its mission on earth.  The yud is the ultimate universal point of Divine revelation to the soul.  Together they spell the mysterious Name לקי (ascent to the unknown, descent into the unknown, the point of the unknown – known) of salvation.  (Rabbi Yitzchak Ginsburg, The Hebrew Letters. Channels of Creative Consciousness, p. 285)

The Word for Qoph

Qof is used in an Israeli phrase: after a child will say something false, one might say “B’Shin Qoph, Resh” (With Shin, Qoph, Resh). These letters spell Sheqer, which is the Hebrew word for a lie. It would be akin to an English speaker saying “That’s an LIE.”  Qoph means Monkey; to surround or touch; strength; in Aramaic: the eye of a needle.

The word kuf means קוף, “monkey”; קוף, “to surround” or “touch”; and תקף, “great strength.”  In Aramaic it means קופא, “the eye of a needle.”  (Rabbi Yitzchak Ginsburg, The Hebrew Letters. Channels of Creative Consciousness, p. 286)

The Word of Qoph in the Worlds

Monkey – vanity, the false imitations of this world. The eye of the needle – the empty point of tzimtzum.

The Arizal explains that the monkey is the intermediate state between animal and man. (So do there exist intermediate states between the inanimate and vegetable, and between vegetable and animal. The concept of the “intermediate,” more fully expounded in Chassidut, is one of the basic secrets of Creation, the power of “continuum” hidden within the “quantum leaps” of nature).  The Midrash states that the descendents of Cain (who murdered his “human”) brother, Abel) “degenerated” into monkeys. (Rabbi Yitzchak Ginsburg, The Hebrew Letters. Channels of Creative Consciousness, p. 286)

A monkey is a false imitation or “copy” (from the Hebrew קוף) of man. The book of Ecclesiastes (Kohelet, קהלת, which begins with a kuf; the two subsequent letters. הל, alludes to הבל, “vanity”) begins: “Vanity of vanities said Kohelet, vanity of vanities, all is vanity.” This alludes to the seven vanities of this world (according to the principle: “the plural indicates at least two,” “vanity of vanities” implies three vanities; “vanity of vanities” implies another three vanities; “all is vanity” brings the total number of vanities to seven). (Rabbi Yitzchak Ginsburg, The Hebrew Letters. Channels of Creative Consciousness, p. 286)

According to the one interpretation of the Sages, these seven vanities refer to seven periods, or seven “worlds,” through which one passes in life.  In each world one is likened to a different creature.  First, when born and placed in a crib, one is like a king, to whom all come to bow down and give homage.  At the age of two, one crawls the floor sticking his fingers into filth like a pig.  Later, at the age of ten, one jumps and plays like a goat.  At eighteen one combs his hair and runs after a mate like a horse.  After marriage one bears the burden of earning a livelihood as a donkey.  Later, with a large family to support, one barks after livelihood with insolence, like a dog.  Finally comes the difference; if through one’s first six worlds of vanity, one remained close and devoted to Torah, one ends his life on earth as a king, this time a real king (though, the Torah of this world, before the coming of Mashiach, is itself considered “vanity” relative to the inner truth of the Torah, the inner essence of malchut [kingdom] inherent in Torah to be revealed by Mashiach).  If, however, one strayed from Torah, one ends his life like a money.  Thus, the monkey symbolizes the epitome of the vanity of this world. (Rabbi Yitzchak Ginsburg, The Hebrew Letters. Channels of Creative Consciousness, p. 286)

Ultimately, vanity reflects the existential state of emptiness.  All of nature evolves in the empty space, actually no more than an empty point (of zero-dimension), “created” (as it were, for in truth, from God’s perspective, the tzimtzum is not real) by the tzimtzum or “contraction” of the infinite light.  This is symbolized by the “empty eye of a needle,” קופא דמתטא , to be discussed at the levels of Souls and Divinity. (Rabbi Yitzchak Ginsburg, The Hebrew Letters. Channels of Creative Consciousness, p. 286-287)

The Word of Qoph in the Souls

The touching and connection between souls. The soul opening to God.

The soul of Israel, the true “man,” knows that “there is no place vacant of Him.” Though, when enclothed in the physical consciousness of this world the soul experiences apparent emptiness, it ever strives to touch the omnipresent surrounding light.  Though this world, as experienced by our physical senses, is “the world of deceit,” the truth of the Torah is “very close,” as Moses assures us at the end of his life: “For the thing [Torah and teshuvah] is very close to you, in your mouth and in your heart to do it.” (Rabbi Yitzchak Ginsburg, The Hebrew Letters. Channels of Creative Consciousness, p. 288)

Awareness of the omnipresent surrounding light depends upon individual souls touching one another and connecting consciously.  The individual Jew is called “man” (in contact with truth, unlike the vanity of the monkey) only when part of the collective stature of the Man of Israel, the  organic union of all souls.  This experience reaches its height during the hakafot (הקפה from קוף) of Simchat Torah. (Rabbi Yitzchak Ginsburg, The Hebrew Letters. Channels of Creative Consciousness, p. 288)

“Open to me [an opening] as the eye of a needle and I will open to you [an opening] as the great entrance to the Temple Hall.” The opening of the soul as the eye of a needle is not an experience of emptiness and vanity, but rather becoming an “empty vessel,” fitting to receive light and life, in greatest anticipation and yearning to be filled.  The empty point is the contraction (tzimtzum) of one’s ego, making a point empty of “me,” in order for Him to enter and dwell; for “I God and he [the arrogant man] cannot dwell together.” (Rabbi Yitzchak Ginsburg, The Hebrew Letters. Channels of Creative Consciousness, p. 288)

The Word of Qoph in the Divinity

Great strength as revealed in miracles.

“The Esther the queen, the daughter of Avichail, and Mordechai the Jew, wrote with ‘all strength’ [את בל תקף, from קוף] to confirm this second letter of Purim.” Rashi interprets “all strength” as the “the strength of the miracle.” “Great strength (תקף) refers in particular to strength of conviction and determination to overcome obstacles (in “victory” over one’s enemies, Amalek, the ancestor of Haman, being the “arch-enemy” of Israel) and to fulfill one’s decisions.  Miracles in general, and that of Purim, overcoming nature while enclothed in nature, in particular, are the expression of God’s greatest strength (תקף). (Rabbi Yitzchak Ginsburg, The Hebrew Letters. Channels of Creative Consciousness, p. 289)

Purim occurs in the month of Adar.  In Sefer Yetzirah, the letter of Adar is the kuf (ק), and its sense is that of laughter, xxx.  In Adar, “the strength of the miracle” makes all “turn over,” even until the “world of deceit” turns into the “world of truth.”  The miracle of Purim is the secret of the “elephant entering the eye of a needle,” which even in the vivid, often wild imagination of a dream is “impossible,” unless explicitly though of by day.  The word “elephant” (פיא) relates to the word פלא which is in fact  (אלף turned over), “wonder” (as it is said, “One who sees an elephant in his dream, wonders of wonders shall happen to him”).  The “song” of the elephant in Perek Shirah is “How great are Your deeds, God, Your thoughts are very deep.”  The unique strength of the miracle of Purim is that God’s greatness (symbolized by the elephant) actually entered into the vanity of the world (monkey) of the empty point of the eye of a needle.  The Divine miracle enclothed itself in the “strange” vanity and folly of King Ahashuerus, whose love for his first wife, Vashti, turned into hatred and determination to do away with her, and then fell in love with Esther, as elucidated by the Sages and in Chassidut.  The effect of the miracle of Purim on Israel was our acceptance of the yoke of Torah with infinitely firmer conviction and determination to realize its truth than when first accepted at Sinai. (Rabbi Yitzchak Ginsburg, The Hebrew Letters. Channels of Creative Consciousness, p. 289)

The Number of Qoph

Qof in gematria represents the number 100. Sarah is described in Genesis Rabba as “בתק’ כבתכ’ שנהלחטא”, literally At Qof years of age, she was like Kaph years of age in sin (i.e. when she was 100 years old, she was as sinless as when she was 20).

The number of Quop is One hundred.

The Number of Qoph in the Worlds

The one-hundred year life span of the eagle. “The youth will die at the age of 100.” “At the age of 100 one is as though dead, passed away and ‘null’ from the world.”

The life span of an eagle is said to be one hundred years.  Every ten years the eagle soars upward, aspiring to reach the sun, faints from the heat of the sun, fall into the ocean and is thereafter rejuvenated, only to repeat this process ten years later.  The tenth time he soars with greater strength and higher than ever before, is totally burnt and dies.  The rejuvenation of the eagle is referred to several times in the Bible, as in Psalms: “May my youth be renewed like an eagle.” In the future, “a youth will die at the age of a hundred,” as before the flood man became liable to punishment only at the age of one hundred. (Rabbi Yitzchak Ginsburg, The Hebrew Letters. Channels of Creative Consciousness, p. 290)

In Kabbalah, the eagle, the third of the four faces of the “chariot,” correspond to the sefirah of tiferet, “beauty” (its synonym is יפי, the secret of 100, 10 times 10, as will be explained), the secret of the “youth of Israel.” Worldly beauty is the origin of vanity and deceit, whereas the beauty of Torah and the soul of Israel is the ultimate manifestation of truth. (Rabbi Yitzchak Ginsburg, The Hebrew Letters. Channels of Creative Consciousness, p. 290)

“Remaining young” in nature is the result of repeated trauma of frustrated episodes of love.  Death is the actual achievement and consummation of one’s love.  This deep parable of life and death has its parallels at the higher levels of Souls and Divinity as well. (Rabbi Yitzchak Ginsburg, The Hebrew Letters. Channels of Creative Consciousness, p. 290)

The passing away of the eagle at the age of one hundred relates to the previously quoted saying of the Sages in Pirkei Avot: “…at the age of one hundred one is as though dead, passed away and is ‘null’ from the world.”  The three expressions “dead,” “passed away,” and “null” mean “dead” in relation to action, “passed away” in relation to emotion, and “null” in relation to mind and perception of the vanities of this world (עולם, “world,” from העלם, “concealment” of Divine Light, the secret of tzimtzum and the consciousness of the “eye of the needle” at the level of Worlds, as explained in Chassidut). (Rabbi Yitzchak Ginsburg, The Hebrew Letters. Channels of Creative Consciousness, p. 290)

The Number of Qoph in the Souls

  The age of Abraham at the birth of Isaac. “Go to you”: to the source of your soul or to enter your body.

Isaac was miraculously born to Abraham at the age of one hundred, the age when Abraham totally “passed out” of worldly consciousness and became one (“Abraham was one”) with the source of the soul of Israel, to “pass on” the soul to his descendants forever.  In Isaac’s name (xxx), the final letter, kuf, stands for the one hundred years of his father Abraham, as taught by the Sages and mentioned above, while the first letter yud, 10, the “root” of 100 (10 to the second power), stands for the ten trials Abraham withstood by the power of superrational faith. At the time of the giving of Isaac’s name, when Abraham had reached the age of one hundred, eight trials had passed in his life and become actual while two were still potential.  Though potential in relation to their manifestation at the level of Worlds, the were already present at the levels of Souls (of Abraham and Isaac), as the secret of the yud of Isaac’s name indicates. (Rabbi Yitzchak Ginsburg, The Hebrew Letters. Channels of Creative Consciousness, p. 291)

The first words God spoke to Abraham, commanding him to leave his land, birthplace, and father’s house and go to “the land which I will show you,” were xx xx, “Go to you” (the name of the third Torah-portion). In the Zohar, “go to you” is interpreted as upward travel to reach the source of the soul above, the spiritual “promised land” (the secret of the upward soaring laimed, the initial letter of xx xx, as explained above).  The Arizal interprets its secret of the downward journey of the soul to earth to enter a body (the secret of the downward journey of the soul to earth to enter a body (the secret of the downward thrust of the kuf, the full value of xx xx, 100) with the sense of purpose and mission to spread to the knowledge of God on earth (the revelation of the “suspended” yud, all in the secret of the Name xxx, as explained above).  The two words (xx xx, “go to you”), spelled identically, equal 50 + 50 = 100.  When these two words are finally written fully,(xxxxx xxxx), their “pregnant” letters equal 248, the numerical value of xxxx, Abraham. This hints that the true fulfillment of Abraham’s journey shall come at the age of one hundred with the birth of his son Issac (the existential projection of his essential “you” – “Go to you”). (Rabbi Yitzchak Ginsburg, The Hebrew Letters. Channels of Creative Consciousness, p. 291)

The two words לך  לך (“go to you”) are “encoded” in the text of the first paragraph of the Shema, recited twice daily, in the two verses:

וְשִׁנַּנְתָּ֣ם לְבָנֶ֔יךָ וְדִבַּרְתָּ֖  בְּם  בְּשִׁבְתְּךָ֤ בְּבֵיתֶ֙ךָ֙ וּבְלֶכְתְּךָ֣ בַדֶּ֔רֶךְ וּֽבְשָׁכְבְּךָ֖

וּקְשַׁרְתָּ֥ם לְאֹ֖ות יָדֶ֑ךָ לְטֹטָפֹ֖ת בֵּ֥ין

“And you shall teach them diligently unto your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise up. And you shall bind them for a sign upon your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes.” (Rabbi Yitzchak Ginsburg, The Hebrew Letters. Channels of Creative Consciousness, p. 291)

From the lamed of לְבָנֶ֔יךָ (“to your children”) one “skips” 25 letters to the kaf of וּבְלֶכְתְּךָ֣ (and when you go,” just as  לך  לך, “go to you”).  Once more one skips 25 letters to the lamed of לְאֹ֖ות (“for a sign”) and then to the kaf of עיניך (“your eyes”). Three skips of 25 equal 75, the age of Abraham when told “go to you.”  The fullfilment of “goto you” came with the birth of Isaac after an additional 25 years (the secret of the 25 letters of the opening verse of the Shema, the first letter of which is “returned” to after an additional 25 letters “over” the last verse of the first paragraph of the Shema – which itself contains 24 letters) at the age of one hundred. (Rabbi Yitzchak Ginsburg, The Hebrew Letters. Channels of Creative Consciousness, p. 292)

The Number of Qoph in the Divinity

Perfect beauty. The perfection of the square, 10 times 10. The ten sefirot interincluded. The one hundred daily blessings.

At all levels of Worlds, Should, and Divinity, the number 100 represents perfection and completion, the “interinclusion” (התבללות ) of ten sefirot, each reflecting all the others. Physically, perfect “interinclusion” is represented by a square, n=10.  Ten is the full number of dimension of any whose secret is “the beginning of revelation.” N in the second dimension is the interinclusion of all of the initial properties in each unit (individual property) of n in the first dimension. The ultimate beauty of interinclusion finds its full expression in Divinity, in the secret of the ten sefirot of Atzilut perfectly reflected in one another.  The true beauty of Atzilut is the consummate, paradoxical (to our mind) union of the many and the one (“the elephant in the eye of the needle,” who himself is “great” in the sense of incorporating a multitude – “many” – of parts, yet wondrously “small,” to enter the needle’s eye, in the sense of “one”). (Rabbi Yitzchak Ginsburg, The Hebrew Letters. Channels of Creative Consciousness, p. 293)

The word “beauty,” יפי, itself equals 100.  It can be read as an acrostic for פעמים, “yud [ten] times yud.”  In Sefer Yetzirah, the yud is the letter of the month of Elul, which “faces” the month of Adar, whose letter is kuf. (Rabbi Yitzchak Ginsburg, The Hebrew Letters. Channels of Creative Consciousness, p. 293)

In the reduced numbering system, the sum of all the 22 letters of the alef-beit is 1000, 10 at the second power. This is one of the secrets of the “ten tangible sefirot and 22 letters of foundation,” the “32 pathways of wisdom” of Sefer Yetzirah. The sum of the first 10 letters from alef to yud is 46, the normative numerical value of the word מאה, “one hundred.” (46 equals לֵוִי, Levi, the “highest” of the tribes of Israel, while the remaining 54 equals דו, Dan, the “lowest” of the tribes.) The “triangle” of 46 (the sum of all numbers from 1 to 46) is 1081, the gematria of tiferet (תפארת, consummate “beauty” and splendor). (Rabbi Yitzchak Ginsburg, The Hebrew Letters. Channels of Creative Consciousness, p. 293)

In our service of God, one hundred is the number of blessings to be said daily.  The consciousness of truly blessing God is the awareness that all one receives from His open Hand (the secret of the yud at the level of Divinity) is, in truth, a Divine miracle enclothed in nature, as was the  miracle of Purim. (Rabbi Yitzchak Ginsburg, The Hebrew Letters. Channels of Creative Consciousness, p. 293)

The Symbolism of Qoph

Two letters, a reish and a zayin, combine to form the letter kuf. The zayin, to the left, descends below the line, while the reish, to the right, hovers above it. The paradoxical union symbolized by the two components of the kuf is the secret of “There is none holy as God.” In general, the kuf stands for kedushah, “holiness.” The unique level of holiness inherent to God is expressed, in the words of the Zohar, as: “He is grasped within all worlds, yet none grasps Him.” The descending zayin of the kuf symbolizes His being grasped in all worlds, permeating even realms of reality “below the line,” i.e., worlds antithetical to those in whom God’s Presence is revealed. The reish, God’s ever-present transcendence, remains “separate” and holy (in Hebrew, “holy” means separate) in relation to His descending immanence.

In the name of the letter tzadik, its initial reading, tzadi, “hunts” for fallen sparks. The holy spark, captured “below the line” in physical matter (“anti-matter,” relative to that of spiritual realms) is the secret of the following letter, the kuf, to which the tzadi connects to form the full, rectified name – tzadik.

The tzadik is the eighteenth letter of the alef-beit, the gematria of chai, “life,” thus symbolizing the power to enliven the fallen sparks, as represented by the kuf. The kuf, the nineteenth letter, is the secret of “Eve” (Chavah = 19; in ordinal numbering, Adam equals 1 plus 4 plus 13 = 18 = chai), whose name also derives from the root meaning “life,” as is said: .”..and Adam called the name of his wife Eve (Chavah) for she was the mother of all life.” Nonetheless, of her is said: “her feet descend into death,” for in the primordial sin of eating (the “sense” of the letter tzadik, as explained above) from the Tree of Knowledge, she was ultimately responsible for bringing death to the world. Even within the “broken” (dead) corpse, a spark of life remains hidden, awaiting the power of the tzadik, (chai, life) to reinforce its dormant potential of life and to resurrect the body to whom it belongs.

As well as the hidden inner spark of life, a hovering, relatively transcendent “vapor” is present above every corpse or fallen, “dead,” physical object. (The word for “vapor,” hevel, is also the name Abel, the second son of Adam and Eve, who was killed by his older brother Cain. Hevel = 37 = 18 plus 19.) These two components of life present within the seeming state of death, correspond to the two letters, the reish (the hovering vapor) and the zayin (the hidden spark), which compose the letter kuf. For this reason the kuf symbolizes in particular the reality of fallen sparks, as well as the paradox of the simultaneous omnipresence of God’s transcendence and immanence. The innate holiness of each spark insures its ultimate redemption and elevation by the tzadik (i.e., souls of Israel).

The most fundamental significance in Torah of the number nineteen, the ordinal value of the kuf, is the nineteen-year cycle of the moon in relation to the sun, the basis of our Jewish calendar. The moon represents the female figure, the secret of the sefirah of malchut (“kingdom”), personified by Eve (Chavah = 19, as above). The sun represents the male figure (the bestower of light, whereas the moon is the receiver of light), and in particular the sefirah of yesod (“foundation”; yesod = 80 = 8 · 10, chet times yud = chai), as personified by Adam. Just as explained in the secret of the form of the letter zayin, “the woman of valor” who is “the crown of her husband,” when the letter kuf precedes the letter tzadik, the word keitz, the “end” of time, is formed. This hints at the verse: “…He has set an end [keitz] to darkness.” The “end,” the coming of Mashiach and the subsequent era of resurrection, is the ultimate revelation of the great light and energy latently present within the secret of the letter kuf.

 The Tarot Attribution for Qoph

the-moonThe Moon (XVIII) is the eighteenth trump or Major Arcana card in most traditional Tarot decks. Two large, foreboding pillars are shown. Some see them as tombstones, others relate them to Karma. A wolf and a domesticated dog howl at the moon. A crayfish appears in the water. The Moon is “shedding the moisture of fertilizing dew in great drops”.WAITE These are numbered 18 in the Rider-Waite deck and are all Yodh-shaped. On this basis, some associate this card with impregnation. According to Waite‘s The Pictorial Key to the Tarot, the card represents life of the imagination apart from life of the spirit. The dog and wolf are the fears of the natural mind in the presence of that place of exit, when there is only reflected light to guide it. This reference is a key to another form of symbolism. The intellectual light is a mere reflection and beyond it is the unknown mystery which it cannot reveal. It illuminates our animal nature, types of which are represented below—the dog, the wolf, and that which comes up out of the deeps, the nameless and hideous tendency which is lower even than the savage beast. It strives to attain manifestation, symbolized by crawling from the abyss of water to the land, but as a rule it sinks back whence it came. The face of the mind directs a calm gaze upon the unrest below, and the dew of thought falls. The message is: “Peace, be still,” and it may be that there shall come a calm upon the animal nature, while the abyss beneath shall cease from giving up form.

The Qabalistic Path Attribution for Qoph

quoph---Qoph is attributed to path no Twenty-Nine of the qabalistic Tree of Life. This is the path joining Netzach with Malkuth. This path is difficult to describe as it undoubtedly refers to some aspect of trhe astral plane. Mening “back of the head” Qoph is associated to the “Corporeal Intelligence” in the Sepher Yetzirah and its attributed to the zodiacal sign of Pisces, the sign of fish. The fish is this symbolism refers to the spermatozoa swimming in the foundation of one’s being. The keynote of this path goes like this: “From physical being we rise to the awareness or our emotional nature.”[1] The magical motto of this path is the following word of Shakespeare: “There is a tide in the affairs of men which, taken at the flood…”[2]

1 of 9  

billwallace

No Comments

Leave a Comment