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Shemhamphorasch שם המפורש


The Name of 72 Letters

Why the Different NAMEs of GOD are valuable in Qabalah? They are the "Garments the One GOD of Spirit clothes HIMself in in order to do HIS WORK. To ask a Pantheon of Gods for help, one selects the appropriate type of God, say Hermes, rather than Pan or Aphrodite rather than Hera to get the most favorable hearing for your plea. In a Monotheistic religion, the ONE takes on different aspects without losing HIS essential identity of essence. So many of the Biblical titles used invoke GOD in armor, or GOD in physician scrubs, or GOD in helping with our Emotions, or Logic.

Beyond the Biblical Names, and Titles such as "The Terror Of Isaac", the "Shield of Abraham", variants include the Tetragrammaton, 4 letters of YHVH, and a 12 letter, 22 letter, 42 letter, and most commonly 72 letters, the Shemhamphorasch.

Maimonides, really Mosheh ben Maimon aka משה בן מימון, considered only the Tetragrammaton itself as the True Name of GOD, and the other Biblical appellations specific titles, such as AHYA and ADNI.

As the Tetragrammaton "seeds" the highest realm Atzilut. This attribution comes from Isaiah 43:7, "Every one that is called by My name and for My glory (Atzilut "Emanation/Close"), I have created (Beriah "Creation" the 2nd World), I have formed (Yetzirah "Formation"the Third World), even I have made (Asiyah "Action" our physical and Spiritual Tree of Life and plane of existence).

The 12 letter variant in Beriah is an amplification of those 4, in the three possible combinations of 3 letters with one repeated H. It seems to predate Abraham Abulafia, and be the basis of his more elaborate system of Holy Name manipulation. It’s 1st appearance is currently a mystery, according to the scholar Joshua Trachtenberg .

Hai Gaon writes of the 42-letter Name in Yetzirah while in Babylon, 939 – 1038 as אבגיתץ קרעשטן נגדיכש בטרצתג חקבטנע יגלפזק שקוצית . Rashi aka Shlomo Yitzhaki aka רבי שלמה comments that “this name was not given over to us’."

Abraham Abulafia was probably not the author of the Sepher RAZIEL or "Sefer Razi'el ha-Gadol" aka Zeh sifra de-adam ḳadmaʼah she-natan lo Raziʼel ha-malʼakh (that was more likely Rabbi Eleazar Ben Judah or Eleazar Ben Judah of Worms, part of the Kalonymus family of scholars, in 1176 – 1238). But a similar theme is picked up in the Ecstatic Qabalah of @ 1270.

For it is in Sepher RAZIEL that the Angel of Secrets reveals the 22 Lettered Name of אנקתם פסתמ פספסים דיונסים or roughly Anaktam Pastam Paspasim Dionsim The Angel of Secrets then reveals the Shemhamphorasch.

The NAME of 72 Letters was suggested by Rabbi Abraham Aben Ezra who suggested that to receive prophetic dreams, read relevant verses of the NAME of 72 letters, formed from Ex14:19-21. It relates to the Kether to Maltuth (or in some systems, Kether to Netzach - Hod) of our existence in the World of Action and Decision or Asiyah. Thus it was deemed important for focusing "devotion" and entreaties towards physical manifestations on Earth and in our lives.

It has a total of 216 letters, which produce the NAMEs. In Hebrew the 1st verse is written in the regular fashion, the 2nd backwards, the 3rd once again right to left, and then sets of three letters grouped down into a “fourth” line of 3 lettered NAMEs of the various Angels, Intelligences, Spirits and Demons in which the spark of GOD animates on this “Earthly World”, the physical manifestation around us. GOD has thus empowered the smaller NAMES of HIS Angels, Intellegences, Spirits and Demons, emphasizing that AT THIS LEVEL OF MANIFESTATION the One has diversified into the Many. These “Smaller Names" of Spirits may then be commanded by the more powerful, more unified aspects of God represented by the traditional Angels, or Divine titles which the One dons as the proper garment for various tasks, War, Mercy, Teaching, etc. Each of these “Smaller Names of 3 letters" becomes the “seed” of a Hebrew Name, which can be used to focus your attention (and draw that of Deity) to a specific issue among the many clamoring for Divine Attention. Adding IH “names” an angel of mercy or Chesed while the ending AL indicates an angel of judgment of Geborah.

This chart, by Lon Milo DuQuette may make this evolution clearer

72 is also the number arrived at by substituting the Tetregammaton into the Pythagorean Tetractys: see

But Abraham Abulafia does explore the Name of 72 Letters in Chaye Ha-Olam Ha-Ba or The World To Come, 1280. He uses the tradition three verses in Exodus, rather than an expansion upon the Tetragrammaton as so much of his Mantra based verbal Ecstatic Meditation employs. However, he pioneers the use of the vowels sounds in conjunction with the Divine Four Lettered Names to create the 45 Lettered Name, the 52 Lettered Name, the 63 Lettered Name and, in Asiyah, another version of the 72 Lettered Name by inserting a "Yod" into each of the 4 Letters spelling, called a "milui de-Yodin"+. This version is YVDHYVVVVYVHY.

Teachers: Rashi; Abraham Abulafia ; Thomas Rudd; Roger Bacon, who owned Liber Semamphoras; Johann Reuchlin ; Heinrich Cornelius Agrippa von Nettesheim; Athanasius Kircher; ]]; likely Eleazar Ben Judah or Eleazar Ben Judah of Worms; likely Rabbi Abraham Aben Ezra; Francis Barrett; William Wynn Westcott; Samuel Liddell MacGregor Mathers ; Robert Ambelain; Godfrey Selig, likely author of the 6th and 7th Books of Moses; Aleister Crowley; Eliphas Levi;

Students: Jacobus G. Swart of the Sangreal Soldality; Aaron Leitch aka Kephera; Chuck Furnace;

FOOTNOTE: The Book of Sacred Names by Jacobus G. Swart, 2011, pg. 22

Resources: ; ; Biblithoque National Manuscript # 830; The Book of Sacred Names by Jacobus G. Swart, 2011, all his books are great!; ; ;