Puzzle

Can anyone decipher the writing on this image, which was sent in by a visitor to Omniglot.

Mysterious writing

It looks like Hebrew to me.

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This entry was posted in Language, Puzzles, Writing.

18 Responses to Puzzle

  1. Daniel says:

    Above the drawing of the heart with the wings it says חי (Chai),
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/חי

    Below the infinity symbol, the first two letters are obviously ה and ש, but the last one is no Hebrew letter, although it seems like the letter א was attempted.

    It does not seem to have been written by a Hebrew speaker; just by someone who saw some letters and wanted to boost the mystical quality of that piece of paper by writing them down on it.

  2. lukas says:

    השא can be read as hasha’ “now”. But I agree with Daniel that the aleph (and the shin too) are very crudely drawn by someone who must not have much experience with Hebrew letters. Uri Geller is a native speaker of Hebrew, isn’t he?

  3. Júda says:

    I guess whoever wrote it meant to write ‘אשה’ (transcription: išá; transliteration: ʾšh), that is ‘woman’ in Hebrew, but xe wrote the letters from bottom to top for some reason. The two feminine profiles support this theory.

  4. Yenlit says:

    Are you sure the hebrew above the heart isn’t just the name “Levi”?

  5. Tom says:

    I promise you this has been written by Uri Geller. I am the sender of this piece and it is on his Twitter Account. Did anyone get a conclusion? At the moment, all I know is that the first part can be translated as
    “Life” or “Living” or “Alive”.
    HELP!

  6. Kellen says:

    Maybe it was intentionally crude.

  7. Probably written with a bent marker…

  8. Christopher Miller says:

    To add to Judah’s hypothesis about ‘אשה': this makes sense if you assume that they copied the model, but incorrectly read the letters in left to right sequence, transposing this onto a top-down sequence (written in vertical Werbeh!) . Thus: 1 א 3 ש 2 ה becomes 1 ה 2 ש 3 א So, all the characters taken together seem to mean something like “alive – forever woman”.

  9. Daniel says:

    lukas – in what language does hasha’ mean “now”? Definitely not in Hebrew…

  10. lukas says:

    I looked it up, apparently it’s Aramaic, not Hebrew. That’s what I get for relying on memory alone…

    Anyway, shouldn’t Uri Geller know his Hebrew too well to write ishah like that?

  11. Tom says:

    Well it’s interesting, because I am actually his friend and ive been to his home. He knows I believe Michael Jackson us alive and he told me he is hiding in his pyramid, so can anyone find a link in that sense?! Don’t dismiss it because it is branded a far fetched conspiracy, there is a lot of truth in this!

    Thanks again!

  12. Tom says:

    Any more help?!

  13. Tommy says:

    If you look at the work as a whole, it has this “speed drawing” or improvised quality to it. Distorted shapes, only two colored magic markers, lips and heart not completely filled in with red, etc…in my opinion, these are just few examples as evidence for a lack of premeditation (and perhaps time) which, therefore, would standardize the expectation for this apparently mysterious Hebrew writing and word.

  14. Drabkikker says:

    @ xarxa: The word that your link refers to is חשא, pronounced khasha, with a letter khet. The letter in the drawing, however, is the (rather similar-looking) he. So the result is השא (at least reading from top to bottom), as was already pointed out.

    It is puzzling indeed that Uri Geller should write Hebrew in this crude way – and what’s more, use the printed script, not the cursive as you would a native speaker expect to do.

  15. Just a thought:

    Assuming the bottom scribble IS meant to be a hebrew א, the three letters actually represent three of the four letters found on the dreidel (the hanukah spinning top). BUT, they left out the gimmel, and replaced it with an infinity sign? I’m not sure what this means for the meaning behind the document, but it might make way for some interesting pondering?

  16. Christopher Miller says:

    I took it into my head to Google up “Uri Geller art” and found a page at his website urigeller.com/art with many more of his productions. Most of them have motifs similar to this one, including hearts, face to face profiles, pyramids, disembodied eyes, infinity signs, the sequence 11:11, and various Hebrew letters, most often א ,ח and ש, put together in random orders. I suppose they have some special significance for him. That they look like “אשה” written top to bottom is likely just a fluke in this particular piece. Although the Hebrew letters in his pieces seem always to be the same block style as those here, he usually signs his name in regular Hebrew cursive letters (this is one of the rare pieces where he signs only in Latin script). However, one of his pieces on the page above has his Hebrew signature in the same kind of block letters as he usually has only in the compositions themselves.

  17. Drabkikker says:

    Might the number values of the letters play a role? Maybe some caballistic reference?
    1 א
    ה 5
    ח 8
    ש 300