Shi'ur Qomah

(N.B. A normal parasang is about 4 miles.

Regarding the 'names', only the consonants are found in the ms.)

With the help of the Rock, and [God's] salvation, with the aid of heaven; with the help of GOD we will begin and we will complete [it]. 'My help comes from GOD, who made heaven and earth' (Psalm 121:2).

I will begin to write the Shi'ur Qomah. All Israel has a portion of the world-to-come, as it is said: 'Your people shall all be righteous; they shall possess the land forever. They are the shoot that I planted; the work of My hands so that I may be glorified' (Isaiah 60:21).

...Rabbi Ishmael said: I saw the Ruler of the ruler of rulers, the Holy Blessed One sitting on a high and exalted throne. The [divine] soldiers stood before, to the right and to the left. The Prince of the Face [i.e. Presence], whose name is Metatron Ruchpi, Sokoniah, Paskon, 'Itimon, the Ga'on, 'Igron, Sagron, Danigaron, Miton, Mikon, Hastas, Haskas, Sartam, Haskam, Hikron,, Raba, Bantaszantaf spoke to me.

Rabbi Ishmael said: How much is the height of the body (shi'ur qomah) of the Holy Blessed One who is hidden from all creatures? The parasangs of [God's] feet fill the entire world, as it is said: 'Heaven is My throne and the earth is My footstool' (Isaiah 66:1). The height of [God's] soles is 30 million parasangs. [God's] right sole is called Parsamiah Atrakat Shamah and the left Agomatz. From [God's right] sole to the ankle is 150 million parasangs. Similarly the left. The right ankle is called Tzagmiah and the left Astamatz. From [God's right] ankle to the knees is 190,005,200 parasangs. Similarly the left. The right calf is called Kangago Mahadiyah Tasaskam and the left Mangahovaziyah...zaziyah. From [God's right] knee to the thigh is 120,001,200 parasangs. And similarly the left. The right knee is called Satmagatz Yehamiyi and that of the left is called Maghanuriyah. The right thigh is called Shashtastafarnisiyi and the left is called Tafganichaziza. From [God's] thighs to the neck is 240 million parasangs. [God's] thighs are called 'Astanah...dadiyah. On [God's] heart are placed seventy names: Tzatz, Tzedek ('Righteousness'), Tzachi'el, Tzur ('Rock'), Tzvi ('Deer'), Tzaddik ('The Righteous'), Sa'af, Sachatz, Tzeva'ot ('Hosts'), Shaddai ('Almighty'), 'Elohim ('God'), Zan ('Provider'), YaH, YaH, YHVH, Tzach ('Shining'), Dagul ('Distinguished'), 'Edom/'Adom ('red'), Sasas, 'A', Va'a'a, 'Aya', 'Aha, Hav, YaH, Ho, Vecho, Tzatzatz,...faf, Natz, Heh, Chai ('Living'), Chai, Chai, Hahabav, 'Aravot ('Skies'), Yav, HeH, VaH, Mamam,...Nan, Havav, YaH, Yahah, Chafetz ('Will'), Katzetz, 'Ay, Za', Tza'a', Za', 'A'a',...Heh, Kesher ('Connection'), Bozach, Niter, Ya', Ya', Yod, Hon ('Wealth'), Fa'af, Ra'u, Yayay,...f, Vavav, Vro, Bavav, Bavav, Tatat, Bafach, Palal, Sis, are its letters. Blessed be the name of [God's] glorious kingdom forever and ever. Blessed be the name of [God's] glorious kingdom forever and ever. Blessed be the name of [God's] glorious kingdom forever and ever.

[God's] neck 130,000,800 parasangs....[God's] neck is called Sangihu Yavah Tikatz. The circumference of [God's] head is 3,000,000,033 and a third parasangs, of which the tongue cannot speak nor the ear hear. 'Atar Hodariya' 'Atasya is its name. [God's] beard is 11,500 parasangs. Its name is Hadrak Samiya'. The appearance of the cheeks is like the form of the wind/spirit (ruach) and like the form of the soul (neshamah). [And therefore,] no soul can recognise [it]. [God's body] is like beryl, the splendour of [God's] glory is luminous, awesome in the darkness, cloud and dense cloud. Surrounding it are the princes of the Face (Presence) and the Seraphim are before [God supplicating] as [obediently as water poured from] a pitcher. We have nothing in our hands but the names that have been revealed to us. The nose is called Lagbagtziya', but Gagtafiya' is [also] its name. [God's] tongue [stretches] from one end of the world/universe to the other, as it is said: 'Making [God's] words known to Jacob, [God's] statutes and judgments to Israel' (Psalm 147:19). 'Asasgichu'ya' is its name. The width of [God's] forehead is... Masasgihu Na'yaya' is its name. On [God's] forehead there are written seventy-two letters: YYHV, HYH, YVH, VYH, H', HY, HY, HY, H', HH, VVH, YYHV, VH, VYHV, HH, YH, Y', H', YH, YHV', HV, HV, YYHYV, HYH, VYH, YHV, H', H', HYH, VYH. The black of [God's] right eye 11,500 parasangs, and similarly, the left. The right is called 'Urik 'At Tisum and the name of its prince is Rechavi'el. The left is called 'Asasagychu'ya'. The flashes of their lights [extend] to all creatures. The white of [God's] right eye is 20,000, and similarly the left. [God's] right tooth [sic] is called Padranpasiya and the left...uktzatia'.

From [God's] right shoulder to the left is 160,000,000 parasangs. The right shoulder is called Matatgi'a' 'Angatz and the left Tatmahnagia'. It [also] has another name: Shalmahingya'. From [God's] right arm to the left is 120,000,000. The arms are folded. The right arm is called Gavarhazazya'tachsi and the left Metataghagtziku. The fingers of [God's right] hand are 100,000,000 parasangs each. Similarly the left. [Those] of the right [are called] Tatmah, Tatzmatz, Gagmavah, Gagshamash, Gagshas and [those] of the left [are called] Tatzmatz, Tatmah, 'Agagmatz, 'Ugmatz, Veshoshnas. And thus you may count from the big one onwards. The palm of [God's right] hand are 40,000,000 parasangs and similarly the left. The name of the right is...zaziya' 'Atgariyi and the left is called Shakizaziya'. [God's] toes [on the right] are 10,000,000 parasangs. 2,000,000 parasangs for each toe. And similarly the left. [The names of those] on the right is 'Adomatz, 'Asumat, Darmanat, Kavta...,...ramon, and [those] of the left are Yeshnayan, Baznayan, Hatzmat, 'Ahuz, Vtahamum. From the hands you count onwards. Therefore [God] is called 'the great, mighty, and awesome God,' as it is said: 'For GOD your God is God, [and] ruler of rulers, the trustworthy God, who keeps the covenant and love with those who love [God] and keep the divine commandments for a thousand generations' (Deuteronomy 7:9).

However, he told me the calculation of the parasangs. Each parasang is three mils, and each mil is ten thousand cubits. Each cubit is two spans of [God's] spans. And one of [God's] spans fills the entire world/universe ('olam), as it is said: 'Who measured out the waters with the hollow of the hand, and marked off the heavens with a span?' (Isaiah 40:12).

Rabbi Nathan, Rabbi Ishmael's student, says: Even [regarding] the nose he gave me an exact measurement; similarly the lip, and the cheeks. The appearance of the face and the cheeks was like the measure and the form of the soul. No creature can recognise it. Even though he gave me the measurement of the forehead, the width of the forehead is like the height of the neck. Similarly, the shoulder is like the length of the nose, the nose is like the length of the little finger. The height of the cheeks is [like] half the circumference of the head. Similarly the measure of any person. [God's] lip is like 77,0000. The name of upper lip is Gavrahtiya' [and] that of the lower is Hashrayiy. [God's] mouth is like a consuming fire' what it speaks [?]...Sadrasa' is its name. What [God?] desires, the spirit in [God's] mouth speaks. The crown on [God's] head is 500,000 by 500,000; Israel is its name. On the precious stone that is between its horns are engraved [the words] 'Israel, My people, is mine. Israel, My people, is mine.' 'My beloved is shining and ruddy [...]' his head is the finest gold. His locks are wavy.[...] His eyes are like doves beside springs of water[...]. His cheeks are like beds of spices,' etc. (Song of Songs 5:10-13).

...20,000,000 parasangs. Anyone who does not finish with this verse is deviating [from the correct path]. 'Yielding fragrance, his lips are lilies distilling liquid myrrh. His arms are rounded gold set with jewels. His calves are pillars of alabaster[...] His speech is most sweet; he is altogether very desirable. This is my friend and my beloved' (Song of Songs 5:14-16). 'Antiyya' Tachun Yachun Good Pure Yod Yod Yod Yah Yah Yah Chasin [Ya]h YHVH in place of YH YH. 'Holy, holy, holy is GOD of Hosts. The whole earth is full of [God's] glory' (Isaiah 6:3). [God's] eyebrows are like the measure of the height of the eye. The right eye is called Hadrazolad and the left 'Afdah Tzatziyhu. [God's] sideburns are like the height of the forehead. That of the right is called 'Atztahiyya' and the left Metatotzatziya'. Thus the total measure is 100,000,000,000 parasangs high and 10,000,000,000 parasangs wide.

Rabbi Ishmael said: When I said this thing before Rabbi Akiva, he said to me: Whoever knows the measure of the height (shi'ur qomah) of the Creator and the praise of the Holy Blessed One is protected from all creatures, secure in being a child of the world-to-come, and they will lengthen his days. Rabbi Ishmael said: Akiva and I are guarantors in this matter, but only if one recites this mishnah each day.

Blessed is GOD forever. Amen and amen. Finished.

translation of British Library ms.10675, in Martin Samuel Cohen, The Shi'ur Qomah: Texts and Recensions (Tubingen: J.C.B. Mohr (Paul Siebeck), 1985), pp.192-194.

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