Sefer Yetzirah
chapter 1

1. By means of thirty-two wondrous paths of wisdom, did Y_H, YH_VH of Hosts, the God of Israel, the living God and ruler of the universe, God Almighty, compassionate and gracious, high and exalted, dwelling in Eternity, exalted and holy is His name, engrave and create His universe: with three books (SeFaRim, 'principles'?), with SeFeR ('boundedness'?, 'text'?), with SeFaR ('letter'?, 'number'?) and SiPPuR ('number'?, 'communication'?).

2. Ten sefirot beli-mah (sefirot of nothingness, ineffable sefirot) and twenty-two letters are the foundation: Three mothers ['alef-mem-shin], seven doubles [bet-gimel-dalet-kaf-peh-raysh-tav], and twelve simple letters [hay-vav-zayin-chet-tet-yod-lamed-nun-samech-'ayin-tzadi-qof].

3. Ten sefirot beli-mah: the number of the ten fingers, five opposite five, and the covenant of the Unique One is set in the middle, as in the word (milah) of the tongue and the circumcision (milah) of the flesh.

4. Ten sefirot beli-mah: ten and not nine, ten and not eleven. Understand with wisdom and be wise with understanding. Test them and examine them, understand the matter thoroughly, and make the Creator return to His place.

5. Ten sefirot beli-mah whose measure is ten without end: Depth of first and depth of last, depth of good and depth of evil, depth of height and depth of abyss, depth of east and depth of west, depth of north and depth of south. A unique lord, God, a trustworthy king, rules them all from His holy habitation forever and ever.

6. Ten sefirot beli-mah whose appearance is like lightning and whose limits are infinite. His word is in them in their to-ing and fro-ing, and at His command they chase like a whirlwind, and bow down before His throne.

7. Ten sefirot beli-mah whose end is fixed in their beginning and whose beginning in their end, like the flame is bound to the coal. For the Lord is unique, and has no second, and before One what can you count?

8. Ten sefirot beli-mah: Shut your mouth (belom picha) from speaking and your heart from thinking. And if your heart runs on, return to the place, for thus is it said: 'And the living creatures ran and returned' (Ezekiel 1:14). And upon this word is a covenant made.

9. Ten sefirot beli-mah. One: the spirit of the living God, may He and the name of Him who lives forever be blessed. Sound, spirit, and speech is the holy spirit.

10. Two: Spirit from spirit. He engraved and hewed in it the twenty-two letters that are the foundation: Three mothers, seven doubles and twelve simple letters, and spirit is one with them.

11. Three: water from spirit. He engraved and hewed in it (tohu vavohu) chaos and disorder, mud and mire. He engraved it like a kind of furrow, hewed it like a kind of wall, and covered it like a kind of ceiling.

12. Four: fire from water. He engraved and hewed in it the Throne of Glory the serafim, 'ofanim, the holy creatures, and the ministering angels. And from the three of them He established His dwelling place, as it is said: 'Who makes the winds (ruchot) His angels (messengers) and flaming fire His ministers' (Psalm 104:4).

13. He chose three letters from the simple ones, sealed them, purified them, and set them in His great name YHV, and with them He sealed up the six extremities. Five: He sealed height and turned upwards and sealed it with YHV. Six: He sealed abyss, and turned downwards and sealed it with YVH. Seven: He sealed east, and turned forward and sealed it with HYV. Eight: He sealed west and turned behind, and sealed it with HVY. Nine: He sealed south, and turned to the right and sealed it with VYH. Ten: He sealed north, and turned to the left and sealed it with VHY.

14. These are the ten sefirot beli-mah: Spirit of the Living God, spirit from spirit, water from spirit, fire from water, height, abyss, east, west, north, and south.

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