Sefer Yetzirah (Hebrew: ספר יצירה Sēpher Yəṣîrâh, Book of Formation, or Book of Creation) is the title of the earliest extant book on Jewish esotericism, although some early commentators treated it as a treatise on mathematical and linguistic theory as opposed to Kabbalah. Yetzirah is more literally translated as "Formation"; the word Briah is used for "Creation". The book is traditionally ascribed to the patriarch Abraham, although others attribute its writing to Rabbi Akiva. Modern scholars have not reached consensus on the question of its origins. According to Rabbi Saadia Gaon, the objective of the book's author was to convey in writing how the things of our universe came into existence.The famous opening words of the book are as follows:
By thirty-two mysterious paths of wisdom Jah has engraved [all things], [who is] the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel, the living God, the Almighty God, He that is uplifted and exalted, He that Dwells forever, and whose Name is holy; having created His world by three [derivatives] of [the Hebrew root-word] sefar : namely, sefer (a book), sefor (a count) and sippur (a story), along with ten calibrations of empty space, twenty-two letters [of the Hebrew alphabet], [of which] three are principal [letters] (i.e. א מ ש), seven are double-sounding [consonants] (i.e. בג"ד כפר"ת) and twelve are ordinary [letters] (i.e. ה ו ז ח ט י ל נ ס ע צ ק).
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