400 6 200 80 60
5 40 10 30 2
40 10 5 30 1

Tree of Life
Keter/Kether | Chokmah/Hhokmah | Binah | Daath/Da'at | Gedolah | Gevurah | Tipheret | Netzach | Hod | Yesod | Malkuth

Neither the Rabbis nor the scholars have noticed that Nativot Phayliot (their "wondrous paths") is just Aleph-Bayt (the alphabet) in reverse (let alone why), or that Elohim and Belimah (their "nothingness") have the same letters, except for a Bayt for an Aleph (how coincidental), and a slightly different order.

On one side, Aleph projects (Lammed) Life (Hay) in biological existence (Yod-Mem, Ym, the waters). One the other side, Bayt responds/adjusts (Lammed) with the existence (Yod) of the waters (Mem) necessary for life (Hay). They run in opposite directions, just like all the other dual descriptions of energy/consciousness found in the Sepher Yetsira.
Ten Sephirot Beli-Mah and twenty-two Autiot-Yassod; three Mothers, seven doubles and twelve simples.

Sephirot: Sammekh-Phay-Raysh, 60.80.200: a boundary/support (Sammekh) for a space/sphere of unstructured energy or potential transformations (Phay) which fills the universal container (Raysh).

Belimah: the response of Bayt to the Elohim process.

All the basic texts of the Qabala, especially Bereshit, the Sepher Yetzirah and the Shi'ar Ha-Shi'areem, are saturated with double equations for different states of the One energy. The constant interplay of energy in two directions is understood as a shadow of itself in poetic imagery and parallelism. The significance of the three core equations of the Sepher Yetzirah -- Nativot Playiot, Autiot-Yassod, and Sepherot-Belimah -- is always missed because their complementary duality is never seen.

All of the three primary equation pairs specify abstract states or structures of energy and consciousness in terms of a complementary duality: Aleph and Bayt in the case of Nativot-Phayliot and Sephirot-Belimah and Aleph and Yod in Autiot-Yassod.

In the text of the Sepher Yetsira, Belimah is sometimes written in one word, sometimes in two: Beli-Mah. In one word, in Hebrew, it signifies a restraint, a fetter, an obstacle. In two words: Beli "without," Mah, "what?".

The key of Belimah, however, is not in the Hebrew tongue whose ontological origin is forgotten. We have said that the Sephirot are derived from the energy of Elohim.

40 10 5   30 1 86
5 40 10   30 2 87

This relation illustrates the double organic movement of life in a state of being. In fact, reading these two series of Autiot by the code it is seen that Belimah is the response of Bayt, the archetype of all physical support, to the Elohim process. The Aleph-Lammed-Hay-Yod-Mem ( of Elohim, indicates that Aleph (1), in exerting its biological action, Lammed (30), on life (5), enters into existence, Yod (10), in the midst of Mem (40), where the whole of organic life is born.

The Bayt-Lammed-Yod-Mem-Hay of Belimah shows how, in return, the organic movement Lammed (30) is engendered by Bayt(2). In these sequences the inversion of their three finals is most remarkable: Hay-Yod-Mem for Elohim and Yod-Mem-Hay for Belimah. In one, life confers existence on Mem; in the other, the existence of Mem engenders life.

Often the Ancients secretly put their knowledge of the One in the minutest detail.

        Suares, Sepher Yetsira, p.68

Of Nothingness

The Hebrew word here is Beli-mah (bet-lamed-yud-mem-heh). This word can also be translated as meaning closed, abstract, absolute or ineffable.

This word occurs only once in scripture, in the verse, "He stretches the north on Chaos, He hangs the earth on Nothingness (Beli-Mah)" (Job 26:7). According to many commentaries, the word Beli-mah is derived from the two words, Beli, meaning "without," and Mah, meaning "what" or "anything." The word Beli-mah would then mean "without anything," or "nothingness."

According to this interpretation, the dsignation "Sefirot of Nothingness" is used to indicate that the Sefirot are purely ideal concepts, without any substance whatever. Unlike letters which have form and sound, the Sefirot have no intrinsic physical properties. As such, they are purely conceptual.

Kaplan, SY, Aronson, 1995, p.25

On the contrary, the whole point of creation is to create physicality. Each sephira is a step-down transformer for the infinite, unstructured energy of the uncreated. Each sephira concentrates and responds to the Elohim process, until the last, which reflects it back.

This is a good example of what happens when the mind tries to imagine the meaning of the word "nothingness." Belimah is a containment and biological transformation of living energy, which is how nothing gets to be something. A better translation would be "without, what?" or "without which, nothing."

Sepher Yetsira Index
Etz Hhaim / Etz Chaim: The Tree of Life of the Sepher Yetsira Contents