Letters, Words, and Light Above All
"Two stones build two houses: three stones build six houses; four stones build twenty-four houses; five stones build one-hundred-and-twenty houses; six stones build seven-hundred-and-twenty houses; seven stones build five-thousand-and-forty houses; from here continue to calculate that which the mouth cannot speak and the ear cannot hear." (Sefer Yetzirah)
A stone, in the idiom of Sefer Yetzirah, is a letter; a house is a word (or phrase), a specific permutation of letters. Jacob rested his head on stones and thereafter referred to the Temple site-to-be as a "house" (not as Abraham, who called it a "mountain," nor as Isaac, who called it a "field").
Meaning "rests" (hovers) above individual letters, yet "resides" (lives) within words. While meaning is "resting" above the letters/stones, only their energy level, as the building blocks of Creation, is known. Meaning, in general, lives within the completed permutation of a word. Moreover, the unique essence of meaning related to the specific choice of a word (and to no other, though meaning can generally be conveyed by various choices of words), shines above the word, "inspiring" its components (permutation of letters) uniformly. This phenomenon is referred to in Chassidut as the "light above all," (אור העולה על כולנה), as will be explained.
The awareness of general meaning is the secret of Jacob's dream. The stones, previously beneath his head, come to life and merge to become one, as lifeforce from the head of Jacob permeates them with meaning. Upon awakening he experiences, in awe, the light of the unique essences of Divine meaning inherent in the word. The essence of meaning had been totally unconscious to his own "head" before and during his inspired "dream," the process of permuting letters into words. The innate "style" of the root of his own soul in Divinity ("Jacob called it 'house'") had never been revealed.
Within the limitations of the scope of this book, we hope to inspire the serious student to "rest" (orient) his head on the Hebrew letters. If one's heart is sincere and true to God he will then merit, as our father Jacob, to experience, first in a "dream" as it were, the letters permuting to form words, and finally "awaken," in one's unique style of expression, to the full, awesome consciousness of the House of God.