Book: The Sepher Yetzirah by William Wynn WestcottThe Sepher Yetzirah is one of the most famous of the ancient
Qabalistic texts. It was first put into writing around 200 C.E. Westcott Translation of the Sepher Yetzirah was a primary source for the rituals and Knowledge Lectures of the Golden Dawn. This is the Third Edition of Westcott’s translation, first published in 1887. A Fourth Revised Edition of the Sepher Yetzirah by Darcy Kuntz, complete with Hebrew text, notes and bibliography, is available from Holmes Publishing Group, P.O. 623, Edmonds, WA 98020.
The "Sepher Yetzirah," or "Book of Formation," is perhaps the oldest Rabbinical treatise of Kabalistic philosophy which is still extant. The great interest which has been evinced of late years in the Hebrew Kabalah, and the modes of thought and doctrine allied to it, has induced me to translate this tractate from the original Hebrew texts, and to collate with them the Latin versions of mediaeval authorities; and the author also published An Introduction to the Kabalah which may be found useful to students.
The "Sepher Yetzirah," although this name means "The Book of Formation," is not in any sense a narrative of Creation, or a substitute Genesis, but is an ancient and instructive philosophical treatise upon one aspect of the origin of the universe and mankind; an aspect at once archaic and essentially Hebrew. The grouping of the processes of origin into an arrangement, at once alphabetic and numeral, is one only to be found in Semitic authors.
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