Beyond Measure: A Guided Tour through Nature, Myth, and Number
by Prof. Jay Kappraff, New Jersey Institute of Technology
©2002 World Scientific Publishing

Chapter 12:  The Flame-Hand Letters of the Hebrew Alphabet
An Introduction to the Research of the Meru Foundation

This reprint of  Chapter 12 of Jay Kappraff's new book, Beyond Measure: A Guided Tour through Nature, Myth, and Number, is offered with permission.

About Beyond Measure:
Excerpted from the back cover:

"This new work by Prof. Kappraff (Mathematics, New Jersey Institute of Technology) is a study of how numbers and geometry arise in several ancient cultural contexts and in nature, and how these numbers and number sequences are related to the modern mathematical study of numbers, dynamical systems, chaos, and fractals." (World Scientific editorial abstract) 

". . .The book is thus a carefully crafted combination of philosophy, history, biology, geography, philology, geology, and chemistry engagingly woven together by the quadrivium of music, astronomy, geometry and number." 
            --H S M Coxeter, University of Toronto

". . .From ancient myths, to music, to fractals and consciousness itself, Jay Kappraff ranges far and wide in an exhilarating, challenging, and innovative book sure to stimulate reader's sense of wonder at the incredible vastness of our mathematical universe." 
            --Clifford A Pickover, T.J. Watson Research Centre, IBM

Prof. Kappraff, focusing on earlier aspects of Meru research, provides a readable and enjoyable introduction to some of our basic premises, and relates this research to other fascinating topics in the history of mathematics.

Here is an excerpt from Prof. Kappraff's Epilogue (p. 560):

"Part I of the book explored, through number and geometry, man-made systems of language: systems of music, written language, and design as they may have been expressed at the threshold of these momentous changes.  It is forever lost to us how ancient civilizations actually conceived of these systems. However, remnants of these creative impulses are to be found in Kepler's attempts to build a planetary system from the 'harmony of the spheres', Brunes' recreations of the methods by which ancient temples might have been constructed, Michelangelo's preservation of the principles of an ancient geometry in the pavements of the Laurentian Library, and Tenen's description of the creation of the letters of the Hebrew alphabet."
Stan adds, "I don't think I have ever been mentioned in better company."

Beyond Measure: A Guided Tour through Nature, Myth, and Number, by Jay Kappraff, is Volume 28 of General Editor (and Meru Advisory Board member) Prof. Louis Kauffman's mathematics series, Knots & Everything (World Scientific Publishers).  The complete Table of Contents for Beyond Measure, showing the topics Prof. Kappraff surveys in his "Guided Tour through Nature, Myth, and Number", is available here.

By special arrangement with World Scientific Publishing, Meru Foundation is offering Beyond Measure on its secure-server website,  Each book will be shipped to you directly from World Scientific, for $63.00 (UPS Ground shipping included -- for other shipping methods, or for overseas destinations, please email Levanah Tenen at  To order Beyond Measure: A Guided Tour through Nature, Myth, and Number, please click here, click on "Order," and on the next page, and scroll down until you see the listing for Beyond Measure, or go to and click on the link to Beyond Measure.

Meru Foundation has reproduced Chapter 12, titled The Flame-Hand Letters of the Hebrew Alphabet, below.