Between Sefer Yezirah and Wisdom Literature: Three Binitarian Approaches in Sefer Yezirah

Ronit Meroz


This paper presents three basic ideas which are interrelated with one another: 1) The assertion that a single subject unites all the discussions in Sefer Yezirah, from beginning to end: namely, the nature of Wisdom, upon which the world stands (or is suspended); 2) A stylistic-linguistic analysis leading to the division of Sefer Yezirah into three accounts, around which are crystallized the style and contents of the book as a whole. The Account of the Sealing of the Ends is the latest of these accounts, and was written by the editor of the book, who joined his account with the other two to form a single book; 3) The assertion that the worldview reflected in Sefer Yezirah acknowledges the existence of a secondary power alongside God, that assists Him in the Creation and ongoing existence of the universe (as against doctrines claiming the existence of an additional force in conflict with God). The term I use in this context is binitarianism. In the earliest of the three accounts, that of the Covenant, this power assumes the form of an angel, while in the other two it is more abstract. This paper lays the foundations for this claim but, due to the limitations of this paper, I do not enter into discussion of its far-reaching implications. I hope to continue this discussion elsewhere, on another occasion.


Sefer Yezirah, Binitarian, Ditheism, Kabbalah, Angelology, Jewish Magic, Science, Wisdom, Wisdom literature, Sefirot, Hebrew Alphabet

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