This version of the Hebrew script is used mainly in Poland to write an unusual
dialect of Hebrew and appears to have come from the Kanai (Zealots).
The mystery of this script is where it originated. The version shown below
is the Formal variant as this would be used in certain sacred texts (not the
Torah). The text in this formal style was apparently used in a sacred text
known as the Shem Elohoy Elohim, which talks about God having 144
names. There are more "finals" in this script and they are often used
differently from regular Hebrew. Beth has a "start" this is apparently
because the word Bereshyth means "Beginning". This is the word that starts
the Torah and the name of the first book, which is Genesis in English.
The Kanai tradition, which was initially "founded" during the Maccaen
Revolt, but became more visible during the time of the Herods and Roman occupation
of Judea. Famous for Masada when Elizar Ben Yair and his followers commited
suicide rather than be captured by the Romans. This was a radical sect of the
Kanai tradition called the Sicarii by the Romans.
After the Second Temple Era (536BC-70AD) some still adhereing to this tradition
migrated to India and Europe. This Script was apparently used by the European contingent,
who refused to use any "Hellenic" language or writing (such as Greek), and were
not keen on formal Hebrew in their own texts: they didn't want Pharisees and
Sadducees to read their work.
This "not liking the orthodox reading" attitude seems to have continued
in Poland where they kept certain writings from the Chassidim, an Ultra
Orthodox Sect founded by Israel Ben Eliezar in the 1700s
The script seems to be centered around reverence for the name of God,
as the core text was the Shem Elohoy Elohim, refering to the
name of God. It is not clear whether any mystical significance was given
to the script as the Shem Elohoy Elohim is a series of prayers
and commentaries surrounding each name. The Shem Elohoy Elohim
is sort of similar to the Qur'an in this respect.
There is a Jewish text, the Shem Ha Mephoresh, which does not
read like the Shem Elohoy Elohim but similar names seem to appear.
The core difference is that the Shem Ha Mephoresh tends to be about
invoking and calling various entities, and does not directly seem to attribute
the names to God, rather describes them as "spirits or angels".
Questions about this script
Is this script or a derivant of it still in use? Does anyone recognise it?
Does the Kanai tradition still survive in India? It was almost obliterated in
Europe during the Holocaust. Was there any communication between the Indian
Kamaim and the European Kanaim?
If anybody can answer the above questions and/or provide any further information
about this script or the dialect it is used to write, please contact Sophia Siedlberg
(see above), who provided the information on this page and speaks some of the dialect.
Download a font for this script created
by Sophia Siedlberg (TrueType format, 146K)
Information about languages written with the Hebrew script