Codes, Alphabetical

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A mode of expounding the Bible by means of various codes in which one Hebrew letter is substituted for another so that a word can have, in addition to its plain meaning, one or more hidden meanings depending on the code used. This kind of code is found especially in the Kabbalah (see GEMATRIA) and in the writing of amulets where, to avoid writing the actual divine names, these were written in code. The codes are based on various arrangements of the letters of the Hebrew alphabet on the lines of the following illustration in the English alphabet: ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZZYXWVUTSRQPONMLKJIHGFEDCBA The word cat can be written in code as xzg. This is known as the at bash code, alef (the first letter of the Hebrew alphabet) being represented by tav (the final letter); bet (the second letter) by shin (the penultimate letter), and so on. These codes were used in private communications as well, though they were obviously fairly easy to crack.



Subjects: Judaism and Jewish Studies.

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