[Israel.pm] gimatria

Anatoly Vorobey mellon at pobox.com
Thu Aug 26 11:16:40 PDT 2004


You wrote on Thu, Aug 26, 2004 at 08:32:17PM +0300:
> >In general, since people interested in gematria have traditionally been
> >converting words to numbers rather than vice versa, there is no single
> >rule for "what is a valid representation of a number in Hebrew letters"
> >as far as gematria is concerned. Every possible word has a numeric
> >value, and what more, several of them (with "filling", under different
> >systems, under different representations of the terminal letters).
> 
> I don't agree.
> For book page numbering as for numbering the days of the
> month it seems that the order is something as follows:
> 	every letter must weigh equal or less than the
> 	weight of the previous letter.

What you say doesn't contradict what I wrote, we're just talking about different
things (as I see more clearly know, having consulted a dictionary).
The English word "gematriya" refers almost exclusively to the Kabbalistic
activity of counting the numerical values of words, exchanging words with the same
value, finding deeper meanings etc. The Hebrew word "gimatriya" is used to describe
simply the method of counting and writing numbers with Hebrew numerals, but the
English word is usually more specialized.

> >AFAIK, if you're going from a number to a word: 1) if less than a
> >thousand, start with the hundreds, using an additional tav (400) if
> >necessary, then tens and singles. Avoid 10+ combinations for numbers 15
> >and 16, use 9+ combinations instead (this is done to avoid producing
> >sacred combinations of letters reminiscent of the Tetragrammaton). If
> >you have thousands, this is a
> >year number, and it's the current millennium, just omit them; otherwise
> >write out thousands and higher digits as a separate word beforehand.
> 
> Yes. I think that this pretty much fits to the principle I
> wrote above, that you start with the heavy letters and work
> yourself down until you end up with the desired sum.
> 
> Now, I wonder if there's a regular expression for this.

Well, if that's all we have to go by, it shouldn't be difficult to produce one...
assuming the logical order, something like, let's see...

the hundreds part:
(tav?shin?reish?kuf?)
(this assumes you can't have things like 800=T"T, and would rather encode them as TS"K, which
I think is true)
the tens part, with the 15 and 16 coded in as 'fifteen' and 'sixteen'):
(tsadi|pei|ayin|samech|nun|mem|lamed|kaf|fifteen$|sixteen$|yud(?![hei|vav]))?
the digits part
(tet|chet|zayin|vav|hei|dalet|gimel|bet|alef)?

Combine, rinse, repeat. Will that work, I wonder? (I haven't tested)

To allow for optional gershayim before the last letter, either place lots of (gershayim(?=.$))? in the right
places (introducing also special variants of fifteen and sixteen with gershayim), or remove all 
instances of the symbol from the string before running it through this regexp and then check the correctness of 
gershayim separately with another one.

-- 
avva
"There's nothing simply good, nor ill alone" -- John Donne




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