The Source of the Hebrew Word Sus (“Horse”) Igulim and Yosher

Q: How do we arrive at the word for “horse” (“sus) by adding samech to vav and samech?

Any guidance would help.


A: The most obvious allusion of the three letters, samechvavsamech, which spell “horse”, is that samech is a circle andvav is a line. The word is then circle, line, circle. In Kabbalah, the circle is called igulim and the vav is called yosher. This represents the hishtalshelut of the igulim. After the initial tzimtzum (contraction and “removal” of G-d’s infinite light in order to allow for creation of independent realities), what remained was a great circle. Then a line, a ray of light, was projected into the vacuum, with the circle around it. Then another circle emanated from the line, and then the line proceeded with another circle and so forth until ten concentric circles were emanated from the line. Each circle emanated out of the line which descended to enlighten the darkness of the vacuum. Thus, the word csus” represents the evolution of the circles from the line, which is called kav or ein sof.

On a spiritual plane, the evolution of the circle is called the “evolution of natural order.” We can call it “natural progression.” The inner dimension of the line itself the secret of the soul of man, which possesses free choice. It is, however, the outer dimension of the line that projects circles. This dimension of the line is a power of natural progression. What is manifest in the image of the horse is the natural progression of the circles. A horse is also the image of a running creature. Running is progression or evolution. The power motivating the evolution is the line, but the evolution itself, or the way that motion appears, is as circles. If you would film a horse running, the image you receive is of the two hind-legs and two forelegs appearing as circles with the motivating power between them.

The line represents the dimension of time. The word “circle” in Hebrew is taba’at, “ring,” derived from the word teva, “nature.” From moment to moment of time there is a different, distinct picture of nature. Just as in a movie film, every plate is a different picture in progression, and time is making the movie run.

The average value of the three letters which compose the word sussamechvavsamech, 60, 6, 60 is 42. 42 is the secret of that one of G-d’s Names, which represents the power of creation. This continues the thought that the word sus represents the stages of progression in the evolution of nature.  

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