The Book of Formation (Sefer Yetzirah)

The Sefer Yetzirah is, according to the different approaches, the earliest Jewish scientific treatise, or a treatise on mathematics and sacred grammar, or the earliest and most enigmatic book on Jewish esotericism. It is traditionally ascribed to “our father Abraham”, though modern scholarship tends to date it around the 9th century CE.

In thirty-two mysterious paths of Wisdom, Yah… Almighty God, engraved and created His world in three Sefarim: in writing, number and word. Ten Sefirot out of nothing, twenty-two foundation letters, three mothers, seven doubles and twelve simples.

Click here to view the PDF of an English translation with excerpts of a medieval Arabic commentary.

or click here to follow the link to the original HTML version, with thanks to the Walter Benjamin Research Syndicate.

The Internet Sacred Texts Archive holds two translations, one by Isidor Kalisch with the Hebrew text, and another one by W.W. Westcot.

For several Hebrew versions, including facsimiles of early printed material, follow this link to For further English literature, the “Notes on Editions of Sefer Yetzirah in English” are highly recommended, with thanks to Don Karr.

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