He considers such topics as the Tetragrammaton
in Jewish pre-Christian biblical texts in Greek and Hebrew, the Tetragrammaton
among Gnostics and magicians in late antiquity, the Tetragrammaton
in private devotion and magic in the Middle Ages, the Tetragrammaton
in Renaissance magic and among the later Christian Kabbalists, and the demystification of language and the triumph of philology.
So, the God of Abraham will be called Yahweh, a widely accepted vocalization of the ancient Hebrew tetragrammaton
, four letters probably derived from the Hebrew verb "to be" and Latinized as YHWH, and substituted for the actual name of God, the utterance of which could bring untold wrath.
In this essay I will follow the convention used by the NASB and gloss the tetragrammaton
as LORD in small caps.
Where Schaya veers into mystical explication -- of the meaning of the Tetragrammaton
, the manifestations of the sefirot, or the numerical significance of the Arabic construction of "Allah" -- his work does become dense, but the artistry of his arguments still warrants admiration.
During the period of effusive imposition of occult significance, the tarot came to be associated with ancient Egyptian high priests, ancient cabbalistic Jews, Hermes Trismegistus, the divine Lux (light/spirit) behind reality, the Gypsies (who were said to be roaming Egyptians), the divine name of God (the Tetragrammaton
), and the Sephiroth (divine emanations).
Chapter 1, "Different Names of God," is an analytical discussion focusing on the mis/understand-ing and mis/usage of the two basic names for the Israelite God in the Hebrew Bible, namely, the grammatically plural ending Elohim (God/Gods) and the mystery surrounding the sacramental activity of the high priest related to the tetragrammaton
Among Jews, for instance, the name of God (the Tetragrammaton
, YHWH) is a strict taboo, and similar taboos exist among Christians and other religious groups, too.
At times, the narrator uses the Tetragrammaton
; at other times, "Elohim." Still other times, the two are combined (for example, 1:9; 2:1, 6; 4:6).
In an extension of the Jewish law prohibition to pronounce the Holy Name, the Tetragrammaton
, Jewish law regards as sacrilegious the destruction of texts with other names of God.
Then he'd pulled his Hebraic letter fantasies in "La muerte y la brujula," something about the Tetragrammaton
, JHVH, God's unpronounceable Hebrew four-letter name, and the serial murders of Jews.
The Pentateuch section closes with four poems concerning Moses: "Moses," "Tetragrammaton
," "Pharaoh," and "Core." The first of these poems tells how Pharaoh's daughter drew the baby Moses from the water and senses his world-changing destiny.
The basic figure is 177, which is the gematria of Gan 'Eden on one hand, and the three divine names, the Tetragrammaton
, 'Adonai and 'Elohim, on the other; This is also the case of the phrase 'Day and night'--Yomam va-laylah.
Accordingly, the word Muvseevum itself affects him as an incantation or holy word--Enoch's version, even, of the unutterable Tetragrammaton
: "The strange word made him shiver....Enoch was afraid to pronounce the word again" (92).