The double letters
 

The double letters are:

ב ג ד כ פ ר ת
Bet Gimel Daleth Kaph Peh Resh Tau

They each have two sounds, hard[1] and soft. They are also unions of opposing principles:[2]

  • Beth (ב) is wisdom [חכמה] and folly [אולת].
  • Gimel (ג) is wealth ['ושר] (riches) and poverty [עוני].
  • Daleth (ד) is seed [זרע] (fertility) and desolation [שממה].
  • Kaph (כ is life [חיים] and death [מות].
  • Peh (פ is dominance [ממשלה] (rule) and servitude [עבדות].
  • Resh (ר) is peace [שלום] and war [מלחמה] (evil).
  • Tau (ת) is grace [וחן] and ugliness [כיעור].

In the Gra and Ari Trees, the double letters are vertical paths communicating between Sephiroth in the various Pillars.

Please note that the assignations above are those taught by the Gra. That system assigns their correspondences by matching their order in the Alef-Bet to the order in which they are named in chapter 4 of Sefer Yetzirah. Hermetic Qabalah assigns them differently, saying that:

  • Beth is life and death
  • Gimel is wisdom and folly
  • Daleth is peace and war
  • Kaph is riches and poverty
  • Peh is grace and ugliness
  • Resh is fertility and barrenness
  • Tau is rule and servitude

The double letters change their pronunciation based on how they are written. With a dot (called a dagesh) in them, they are hard -- B or T -- and without it they are soft -- V or Th. … Or at least this was true of them all in Biblical times. We know there was a hard Resh (ר) because it appears in the Bible, but today no one knows how it was pronounced. Modern Hebrew treats Resh like a laryngeal, not a double. Similarly, modern Hebrew is in the process of losing the soft Tau (ת), no longer distinguishing between the T and Th sounds as it once did.


Read more about:

Alef-Bet | Sefer Yetzirah | letter classes | Gra | Ari


[1]The hard Resh appears in the Bible, so it is known to have been used, but modern Hebrew doesn't use it. No one knows any more how it was pronounced.
[2]The correspondences I list here for the various letters are according to the Gra. Others assign them differently; see below.
[1]The hard Resh appears in the Bible, so it is known to have been used, but modern Hebrew doesn't use it. No one knows any more how it was pronounced.
[2]The correspondences I list here for the various letters are according to the Gra. Others assign them differently; see below.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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An Interactive QabalahThe Mother lettersSeven of Swords A Brief Introduction to QabalahNepheshSix of Swords Kether, the CrownNeshamahFive of Swords Chokmah, WisdomThe Veil of ParokethFour of Swords Binah, UnderstandingPermutations of the NameThree of Swords Daath, KnowledgeThe Three PillarsTwo of Swords QliphothThe ProfaneAce of Disks Chesed, MercyReflectionKnight of Disks Geburah, StrengthRuachQueen of Disks Tiphareth, BeautySefer Yetzirah, the Book of FormationPrince of Disks Netzach, VictorySeverityPrincess of Disks Hod, SplendorThe simple lettersTen of Disks Yesod, FoundationWhat is a Soul?Nine of Disks Malkuth, KingdomThe SoulsEight of Disks AlefThe Supernal TriadSeven of Disks BetThe FoolSix of Disks GimelThe MagusFive of Disks DalethThe PriestessFour of Disks HehThe EmpressThree of Disks VauThe EmperorTwo of Disks ZainThe HierophantAdjustment ChethThe LoversAeon TethThe ChariotArt YodAdjustmentThe Chariot KaphThe HermitDeath LamedFortuneDevil MemLustThe Emperor NunThe Hanged ManThe Empress SamekhDeathThe Fool AyinArtFortune PehThe DevilThe Hanged Man TzaddiThe TowerThe Hermit QophThe StarThe Hierophant ReshThe MoonThe Lovers ShinThe SunLust TauThe AeonThe Magus The Qabalistic WorldsThe UniverseThe Moon Atziluth, ArchetypesAce of WandsThe Priestess Briah, the CreativeKnight of WandsThe Star Yetzirah, the FormativeQueen of WandsThe Sun Assiah, the ActivePrince of WandsThe Tower The court cardsPrincess of WandsThe Universe The AcesTen of WandsHebrew alphabet transliterations The KnightsNine of WandsThe Triads The QueensEight of WandsThe Qabalistic Veils The PrincesSeven of WandsThe Name of Names, YHVH The PrincessesSix of WandsAlef The TensFive of WandsAyin The NinesFour of WandsBet The EightsThree of WandsCheth The SevensTwo of WandsDaleth The SixesAce of CupsThe double letters The FivesKnight of CupsGimel The FoursQueen of CupsHeh The ThreesPrince of CupsKaph The TwosPrincess of CupsLamed The 32 Paths of WisdomTen of CupsMem The AbyssNine of CupsThe mother letters Adam Kadmon, the Body of GodEight of CupsNun AlchemySeven of CupsPeh The Alef-Bet in Space and TimeSix of CupsQoph The Ari TreeFive of CupsResh The Astral TriadFour of CupsSamekh The double lettersThree of CupsShin The Ethical TriadTwo of CupsThe simple letters the Flash of LightAce of SwordsTau The Gra TreeKnight of SwordsTeth The 72 Hidden Names of GodQueen of SwordsThe Tree of Life The Tree of LifePrince of SwordsTzaddi The Hebrew alef-bet letter classesPrincess of SwordsVau MercyTen of SwordsYod MildnessNine of SwordsZain The Presence of the Most HighEight of Swords