The Power
of the Hebrew Alphabet

Gloria Abella Ballen

Buy Now from Amazon

Dreaming the Aleph-Bet

That morning as I awoke, I lay in bed thinking about an intriguing dream from the night before. I had seen myself asleep with the letters of the Hebrew alphabet flowing out of the top of my head, and as they floated off into space, they became larger and larger. What could this mean? I wondered.

The first thing I did after the dream was a pencil drawing to remind myself of the powerful sensation I felt with the dream.

Being an artist, this image of the aleph-bet floating from my head was engraved in my memory. Although I am not a word person, these letters tickled my imagination, and I set out to read about them looking first to the sages of Jewish mysticism. With those readings the letters began coalescing into words and visual images.

Reading about the mystical significance of the letters, the essence of each one emerged as meanings took on images in my mind.

The process was enriching as learning and creativity, as mystical insight into life, and most of all as understanding of the twenty-two letters of the aleph-bet. Each letter opened to me the significance of an aspect of traditional Jewish thought. It is said that each of the Hebrew letters represents a different expression of existence.

Hebrew has long been considered a “sacred language” with codes to explain the spiritual world. As early as Genesis, it is said that the world was created through words, “Divine Speech”. The Sefer Yetzirah (Book of Formation), an early Jewish metaphysical text based on oral traditions, specifically says that God created the universe through the power of these twenty-two letters. Later, the power of the aleph-bet is mentioned repeatedly in the Talmud. The Sefer Ha-Zohar, (Book of Splendor), a commentary on the Torah and masterpiece of kabbalistic thought written by thirteen century scholar Moises de Leon, speaks of the Hebrew letters as a celestial code for the universe. Truth lies hidden in the letters themselves.

Through the centuries Jewish mystics and sages have meditated on the Hebrew letters and their spiritual essence asserting that all things were created through combinations of the twenty-two Hebrew letters. As I have studied them over the last several years, I have come to discover some of those meanings. My wish is that these images and thoughts be as inspiring to you as they have been to me.

-- Gloria Abella Ballen


Click Here to See a Page
of the Letter Aleph

Click Here to See a Page
of the Letter Gimel

Bibliographic information
ISBN 9781935604259. Cloth.
240 pages, 230 in full color.

See it on

For information on group orders from Gaon Books
Call 505.920.7771
or e-mail


Gaon books

Excellence in Publishing



Home •Sephardic Traditions •Women's Voices •Jewish Thought & Practice
New TitlesAward WinnersMeet Gaon Authors •About Gaon BooksContact Us


What a powerful book! Just read it and couldn’t put it down!...Gloria Abella Ballen made a masterpiece!
--Rabbi Berel Levertov
Santa Fe


"The Hebrew letters, their shapes and colors give enlightenment and wisdom. Otiyot Mach’kimot. In Jewish mysticism they are also the building blocks of the universe. Enjoy the flight of consciousness this glorious book affords you."

Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi
ALEPH: the Alliance for Jewish Renewal


"The Hebrew letters, understood as building blocks of the universe, have inspired commentators and artists since ancient times.  But rarely do the letters find a lover so tender and passionate as Gloria Abella Ballen. With this book, you hold in your hands over 200 pages of artistic genius, exalted by the mystical quest and tamed by a deep caring for meaning and tradition."

Tamar Frankiel, President
Academy for Jewish Religion California


"The melodious art of Gloria Abella Ballen, who dreams of flying alphabets, fixes the Hebrew letters in time. Suddenly, we appreciate not only the texts they deliver but the texture they are made of."

Ilan Stavans
Lewis-Sebring Professor in Latin American and Latino Culture
Amherst College