Keynote Articles


July 3, 2007

Jump to featured essay: The Arm of God (pdf)

The Findings of Meru Research
From Stan Tenen's Preface to The Alphabet in Genesis:

After ten years of work with no results (from 1968 to 1978), and almost twenty years of work breaking new ground while looking for past precedent to confirm my findings, finally, in 2006 Jewish scholars that I've been working with have found discussions in traditional literature that match, confirm, and extend my findings. We now know that people in the 12th century knew that the letters came from hand-gestures, based on the same model that it took me thirty years to recover from first principles and only the letter-text of the Hebrew Bible.

The existence of these traditional references changes everything. While what I was working on and proposing was not known to be connected to any prior work, I was on my own. What I was proposing was just one of many proposals by scholars and independent researchers. My opinion wasn't worth more than anyone else's opinion.

What I'm proposing takes on real authority, because now we know that the geometry in Genesis, the idea of geometric metaphor, and the generation of the Hebrew (and likely Greek and Arabic) alphabet from hand-gestures, is not my original idea (only my designs and words are original). It is an essential part of the Western traditions that has been lost over the centuries. It is now our responsibility to present these findings for the benefit of as wide a range of scientists, students, scholars, peoples, and traditions as possible.

--Read Stan Tenen's complete Preface Here

The Alphabet Generating Model -- from Traditional Sources

The seminal Kabbalistic work Shefa Tal, by R. Shabatai Sheftal Horowitz of Prague (c. 1561-1619), contains some of the first symbolic illustrations ever printed in the Jewish world. It discusses geometric forms and concepts, including the alphabet-generating "model hand" pictured below, which Mr. Tenen independently rediscovered using the Hebrew letter text of Genesis. From Shefa Tal, 1:4, note on The Three-Part Picture:

Shefa Tal - Waterfall

"See how the straight line curves/bends into a descending gradient (like a waterfall),
narrowing, and ultimately ripening into a point in-itself."

First Hand - Top View
First Hand - Front View

First Hand, a model of Continuous Creation, ©1986, 2006 Stan Tenen

R. Horowitz, known as "the renowned physician of Prague," was a master of both the Talmudic and mystical traditions of Judaism. Prior to the Holocaust, Shefa Tal ("Abundance of Dew"), was one of the most widely-reprinted Kabbalistic works in Eastern Europe. In fact, R. Kalonymous Kalman Shapiro (the "Rebbe of the Warsaw Ghetto") urged his Chassidim who felt they were ready to undertake the study of Kaballah, to start their study not with the Zohar, but rather with Shefa Tal.


The 12th century sage Yehuda HaLevi (in Al Kuzari, part 4, #25) tells us that "The shapes of the letters are not the result of accident, but of a device which is in harmony with the character of each letter. . . " Each letter then, is not only generated by the model, but also has meaning connected to how the model generates the letter. For example, the letter Mem means "from" or "source of". The source of speech is at the throat. Thus, the most fitting gesture for Mem is at the throat, facing forward as if projecting from the throat as the source of speech. In the case of each Hebrew letter, the gesture that displays the letter’s shape carries the meaning of the letter’s name, based on its function.

Example using the letter Mem

Mem Images
Images ©/SNT/Meru

Why "New Releases"?

This section of the Meru Foundation research website features essays, graphics, and other materials not previously released on the Internet. Some were developed during the last few years; some have been held in the background for a decade or more.

Meru Foundation's DVD lecture series, and much of this website, reflect our research as it reached its first mature plateau in 1999. In the intervening ten years we have continued our work, but quietly and privately, studying and learning what we needed to know in order to progress further. Now Meru is entering a more public phase, with a greater emphasis on teaching and writing. Our new book series, The Alphabet in Genesis, is one example of our new focus -- some of the essays to be posted here were first published in the 3-volume Alphabet in Genesis: From Jerusalem to Sharon (1989-1999). This web page is another. We will also continue to publish new materials in our eTORUS Newsletter; to subscribe, send email to

Index of New Releases

The Arm of GodThe Arm of God:
Geometric and Algebraic Metaphors for the Sh'ma and the Unity of God

©1995, 2006 Stan Tenen

From the introduction to The Arm of God:
"As those who have followed the work of the Meru Foundation know, we have attempted to understand how the shape of the special Tefillin HAND (made of leather ribbon) that forms the letters of the alphabet was known and defined in traditional sources.

"When I began this paper I assumed that no algebraic function was involved because I thought that modern algebraic functions were not known in the ancient world. It seemed that only a geometric definition or a craftsperson’s operational definition would have been available. Further investigation showed that this is not necessarily so. While it is true that our modern algebraic notation was not available in the ancient world and while ancient methods of calculation may have been different from ours today, there is ample evidence of extensive algebraic knowledge in the ancient world.  Certain algebraic functions were well known and tables of values used to find solutions were available. . . ."    Read The Arm of God

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