Sefer Yetsirah - Research Article from Encyclopedia of Religion

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Sefer Yetsirah

SEFER YETSIRAH (Book of creation) is an ancient Jewish cosmogonical and cosmological treatise that forms part of the literature of Qabbalah; falsely attributed to Abraham the patriarch and to ʿAqivaʾ ben Yosef, a second-century tanna. Composed of six short chapters, it describes God's creation of the world by means of the ten cosmic numbers (sefirot) and the twenty-two letters of the Hebrew alphabet.

The date of composition of Sefer yetsirah is the subject of controversy among scholars. Gershom Scholem assigns it to the tannaitic period (second to third centuries CE), whereas N. Aloni argued that it is a work of the eighth or ninth century, written under the influence of Arabic linguistics. The treatise is extant in two main versions, one short and one long, without major divergences in ideas between them. It has been translated into several European languages.

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This section contains 710 words
(approx. 3 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Sefer Yetsirah Encyclopedia Article
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Sefer Yetsirah from Encyclopedia of Religion. Copyright © 2001-2006 by Macmillan Reference USA, an imprint of the Gale Group. All rights reserved.
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