Introduction to Gematria – Hebrew Numerology

In Hebrew, each letter possesses a numerical value. Gematria is the calculation of the numerical equivalence of letters, words, or phrases, and, on that basis, gaining, insight into interrelation of different concepts and exploring the interrelationship between words and ideas.

Here is a basic introduction to Gematria that discusses different systems for identifying the numerical equivalence of individual letters, how these letters can be calculated according to the implicit word-value of their names.

The assumption behind this technique is that numerical equivalence is not coincidental. Since the world was created through God’s “speech,” each letter represents a different creative force. Thus, the numerical equivalence of two words reveals an internal connection between the creative potentials of each one. (seeTanyaSha’ar HaYichud VeHaEmunah, chapters 1 and 12.)

There are four ways to calculate equivalence of individual letters:

  • Absolute Value
  • Ordinal Value
  • Reduced Value
  • Integral Reduced value

The Tikunei Zohar explains that the concept of reduced value is related to the spiritual world of Yetzirah. On that basis, a relationship can be established between these four forms of calculation, the four spiritual realms, and the four letters of God’s name:

letter of God’s essential Name, Havayah
type of calculation
absolute value
emanation (atzilut)
ordinal value
creation (beri’ah)
reduced value
formation (yetzirah)
integral reduced value
action (asiyah)

On Innerpedia, our online encyclopedia, there are entries for many individual numbers, explaining both the significance of each number in number theory and what words and phrases equal that number. Words and phrases are taken from the gamut of traditional Torah literature and divided into sections: Bible, literature of the sages, Kabbalah, Chassidut, and Harav Ginsburgh’s works. Here is a list of the current numbers with entries:

0 1014 1225
13 130 1301
1378 146 15
1513 156 1600
1839 207 216
2209 23 230
306 333 345
358 37 370
377 441 455
543 585 638
66 662 676
685 735 761
819 851 901

Main Index of Gematria (Hebrew Numerology) Tools and Resources