Temurah is one of the three ancient methods, the other two are gematria and Netrikon, used by the Kabbalists to rearrange words and sentences in the Bible to derive the esoteric substratum and deeper spiritual meaning of the words.

Temurah has a second meaning also when pertaining to Judaism, particularly Hebrew mysticism, which is in association with the art of word-changing. This entails the changing of letters in certain words to create a new meaning for a Biblical statement. A.G.H.


Temurah, in the context of Kabbalistic study and Hebrew mysticism, refers to one of the methods used to interpret and uncover deeper spiritual meanings within the Hebrew Bible. It is part of a trio of classical techniques, which also includes gematria and notarikon, employed by Kabbalists to delve into the esoteric aspects of the sacred texts.


Temurah in Kabbalistic Practice

  • Word Rearrangement: The primary function of Temurah is the rearrangement of words and sentences in the Bible. This is done by changing the letters in words according to specific rules or systems, thereby uncovering hidden meanings or shedding new light on the scriptural passages.
  • Creation of New Meanings: By altering the order or the actual letters in certain words, Kabbalists believe they can reveal new meanings or insights that are not immediately apparent in the straightforward reading of the text. This practice is based on the belief that every letter and word in the Hebrew Bible has a divine origin and, therefore, multiple layers of meaning.


Gematria and Notarikon:

  • Gematria: This is a method of interpreting Hebrew scriptures by computing the numerical value of words, based on their constituent letters. Each letter in the Hebrew alphabet has a numerical value, and words or phrases with the same numerical value are believed to be related or bear some deeper connection.
  • Notarikon: Notarikon involves creating acronyms or phrases from the initial or final letters of a series of words. This technique is used to find hidden meanings or to reveal secret messages believed to be embedded in the text.


Temurah’s Second Meaning:

  • Art of Word-Changing: Beyond the rearrangement of letters, Temurah also refers to the broader art of word-changing in the context of Hebrew mysticism. This encompasses various techniques used to reinterpret or recontextualize the words of the Bible to derive new, often mystical, meanings.
  • Importance in Kabbalah: In Kabbalah, these practices are not merely linguistic exercises but are considered profound spiritual endeavors. They are used to gain insights into the divine nature of the universe, the human soul, and the connection between the two.

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