Wednesday, April 23, 2008
GEMATRIA AND FREEMASONRY
While researching the credentials of Rabbi Ariel Bar Tzadok for last Monday's blog, I happened into Peter's Gematria Site.
The Jewish Virtual Library tells us
Gematria is the computation of individual letters, words or entire sentences utilizing their numerical equivalence. Some people believe that the words and ideas in the Torah may be connected with or understood from the numerical values and relationships. It is alleged that the numerical word-value is not unintentional, but rather prearranged. This study was first introduced amongst tannaim in the 2nd century C.E.
Many believe there are secret codes to be uncovered by interpreting the numerical values of the letters in the Bible. The kabbalists employ gematria to decipher the Torah and everyday events.
Peter Bull takes the position that
The Latin code of gematria is the key that unlocks the meaning of some of Freemasonry's greatest secrets. It does this both in conjunction with the codes for Hebrew and classical Greek and more especially by virtue of the fact that it also provides the means to procure the cabalistic coding of English. The three cabalistic codes are all recorded in one of the main sourcebooks for the esoteric teachings of high degree Freemasonry - Agrippa's Three Books of Occult Philosophy (1531).
In that webpage you can find the Hebrew, Greek, and Latin codes.
The letter "G" plays a significant part in Masonic ceremony. It sometimes hangs above the head of the Grand Master as can be seen at the website of the Grand Lodge of British Columbia. The article at that link discusses the many interpretations of this symbol. The ones I have seen most often claim that "G" stands for God or for geometry.
An example of the use of gematria, which Peter Bull claims is Greek for "geometry", is given at the first webpage linked above:
We can consider, for example, a Vesica Piscis - one of the most important figures in sacred geometry. A vesica with a width of 26 - IHVH (the Creator), has a height of 45, which is the gematria value of the man he created ADM - Adam. The difference between God and man is 45 - 26 = 19. This is the value of the woman created as a companion for Adam, ChVH - 'Eve'. In this way the sacred vesica defines the relationship between the Creator and mankind.
Interestingly, the homepage of Bull's website has "Peter's Gematria Site" flanked by the Eye of Thelema, trademark of the followers of Aleister Crowley.