A Qabalist was explaining to me the mysteries of the Christian Qabalá.

I can't remember whether or not she knew that I speak Hebrew.

So, here's how it works. You start off with YHVH, yod-he-vav-he, “Yahvéh,” the secret name of El, the Canaanite High God.

Into this, you insert the letter Sh, shin, one of the Three Mother Letters (whatever that means).

And voilà: YHShVH, “Yehoshuah”: Jesus.

Pretty nifty, eh?

“But that's not how you spell 'Jesus' in Hebrew,” I objected.

It isn't. “Jesus” in Hebrew is YShV, yod-shin-vav, “Yéshu”. This is short for YShV', yod-shin-vav-'ayin, “Yeshu'á,” itself short for YHShV', yod-he-shin-vav-'ayin,“Yehoshu'á.”

In short, unless phonetic spellings count, there's no “Jesus” in “Yahveh.”

She gave me a crestfallen look. “Well, but still....” She trailed off. Still what?

Then she changed the subject.

Well, I hope that I didn't ruin anything for her; that certainly wasn't my intent. But if I did, well, words are words, after all, and naught but moving air.

Myself, I'm a pagan. Among my gods-of-favor I number a star, a planet, and a meteorological phenomenon.*

Word-gods?

No thanks.

Me, I'll take solid, any day of the Moon.

 

*The Sun, Earth, and Thunder.