This intriguing volume takes readers on a fascinating journey through the Hebrew alphabet. Along the way, Rabbi Ginsburgh reveals each letter's secrets and demonstrates that they are a key to Jewish spirituality.

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This intriguing volume takes readers on a fascinating journey through the Hebrew alphabet. Along the way, Rabbi Ginsburgh reveals each letter's secrets and demonstrates that they are a key to Jewish spirituality.

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Editorial Reviews

Rabbi Ginsburg explores each Hebrew letter, summarizing and discussing its essence in relation to the nine dimensions of meaning assigned to them in Chasidic thought. In doing so, he demonstrates how each letter's meaning is a key to Jewish spirituality. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781568214139
  • Publisher: Aronson, Jason Inc.
  • Publication date: 7/28/1977
  • Pages: 518
  • Product dimensions: 5.66 (w) x 8.10 (h) x 1.48 (d)

Meet the Author

Rabbi Yitzchak Ginsburg is a renowned Kabbalist, author and composer. He is the founder of Gal Einai Institute in Israel.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 10, 2000

    'Invaluable'... a word I use rarely to describe anything made of matter, but in this case, I think I'll make an exception. The Alef-Beit is an absolutely invaluable sourcebook for those who have an interest in Judaism, Kabbalah or Gematria. Rabbi Ginsburgh holds a Master's Degree in Mathematics among his other accomplishments, and the discipline of his logic reveals itself in the systematic organization of this volume, but what transmutes a dry collection of facts into a living document is the good rabbi's subtle and often gently humorous ability to seamlessly interpret human nature and scientific knowledge side-by-side with the symbology. The depth of meaning thus generated is profound, and The Alef-Beit is one of those books which can be read and re-read both for research and for simple pleasure, and which happily yields up a treasure of new thoughts and new inspirations on each encounter. After a short introductory chapter which clearly describes a creation model that is consistent with both Judaism and modern science, R. Ginsburgh devotes a chapter to each of the twenty-two letters of the Hebrew alef-beit. Each letter is first 'introduced' as one might introduce a speaker to an assembly by giving its history and context and what its 'qualifications' are, then each letter is analyzed in amazing detail by means of a very simple but extremely effective set of three main categories (form, name and number), each of which is further broken down for analysis from the perspective of worlds, souls and divinity. To the delight of Kabbalists everywhere, this sums neatly to ten divisions within each chapter. (There are many more similarly delightful 'surprises' scattered throughout this book!) Careful to maintain historically correct contexts for all of his analyses, Rabbi Ginsburgh's extensive scholarly documentation is unobtrusively indexed in the back of the book. It is a great virtue that nary a footnote mars one's reading pleasure in the text, but if one wishes to find out where a particular concept was derived, it takes only seconds to find the reference. Yet the scope of the work is hardly limited to the traditions of the past. As befits a living, evolving system representative of a living, evolving relationship with G-d, R. Ginsburgh undertakes a well-considered effort to place each symbol in a realistic modern context. The depth of his scholarship also allows him to present a sort of time-line for the development of the understanding of some of the more important concepts, some of which he extrapolates into their evolving future contexts, thereby granting the reader a glimpse of a very probable (and wonderfully hopeful!) future. One comes away from this book with connexions to past, present and future, and with a sense of the underlying integrated, logical and infinitely self-renewing system which is the Creation. Also included in the book is a brief treatise on the basic Gematria systems and a glossary which is extremely useful to anyone who doesn't read and write Hebrew or who isn't familiar with the terms and practices of Judaism. Last but hardly least to the serious researcher, R. Ginsburgh again demonstrates his exceptional skill at systemization by including a most thorough and well-thought-out index which functions almost like an outline of the knowledge: by a simple examination of some of the more extensively cross-referenced items, one may gain a quick overview of related concepts. Following one of these 'chains' of concepts is rather like being taken by the hand by a playful tzadik and led through a three-dimensional maze of wisdom, and one can never be sure what surprise or delight will be around the next 'corner'!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 21, 2009

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