This shawl is inscribed with the 22 letters of the Hebrew alphabet. Each letter has its
own unique energy and creative property. The letters are a revealed form of something
more subtle, that exists as a configuration of light or fire.
Combined in different ways the letters are said to give rise to the soul of every being
and the manifest world. The Kabbalists would move the letters of a word around
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(“permuting”), as a way to derail the intellect and allow for non-conceptual
consciousness to arise. The creating of a mental emptiness allows for a direct experience
of the divine. The letters on this shawl are therefore not in their usual alphabetic order!
¹ Meditation and Kabbalah, Aryeh Kaplan, p. 96
Abraham Abulafia, a 12th century Kabbalist taught that “one should permute the
letters by writing them down to make use of the body as well as of the intellect...from
the permutations your heart will become extremely warm... you will gain knowledge
that you never learned from human traditions nor derived from intellectual analysis.
When you experience this you are prepared to receive the (divine) influx.”¹