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Can I come up with my own gematriah?

by Rabbi Yossi Marcus


Library » Torah » Codes and Numbers | Subscribe | What is RSS?


Not unless you’re an authentic Torah sage. The gematriah methodology is easily misused. Every gematriah must have an authoritative Torah source. The biblical commentator Ramban writes: “A person is not permitted to employ the gematriah methodology and reach conclusions that he comes up with on his own” (beginning of Sefer Hageulah). Rabbi Yosef Irgas also writes about the preciseness of the principles and application of gematriah (Shomer Emunim, Debate 1, 20-23).

The fact that two words are numerically equivalent does not necessarily indicate an inherent connection. The numeric equivalent of a Hebrew word represents the “number” of its “energies.” So when two words equal the same number it indicates that both things possess the same number of energies.

However, this does not necessarily mean that there is an inner connection between them beyond the number of their energies.

Only when you know that there is an intrinsic, conceptual connection between two things, then the fact that they are numerically equivalent indicates that in their spiritual source they share the same type of energies.

Sources: Likutei Sichot 26:206; Tanya 2:7; Encyclopedia Talmudit on Gematriah; Igrot Kodesh Admur Mahoryatz 8:324.

[Ed. note: Also read "What is gematriah and how does it work?"]


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Posted by: Anonymous, Brooklyn, NY on Jul 24, 2005

A few people take a word, find the gematria, get another word, find out the gematria and then they say that they are both connected. Is this allowed?

Editor's Comment

It's "allowed," and sometimes makes for a fun pastime. However, as indicated in the article, there is no guarantee that there actually is a connection between the two words.


Miscellaneous » Hebrew / Languages » Codes and Numbers

Torah is G–d’s teaching to man. In general terms, we refer to the Five Books of Moses as “The Torah.” But in truth, all Jewish beliefs and laws are part of the Torah.
Foundation text of Chabad chassidism. Authored by Rabbi Schneur Zalman of Liadi, founder of the Chabad movement, and first published in 1796. Considered to be the "Bible" of Chassidism.