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Date: Tue, 5 Feb 2002 12:37:20 -0800 (PST)
From: Jerry Friedman 
Subject: Re: (urth) lost in the big woods

--- Joe Eull  wrote:

> As I've written here before I've been
> gestating on tree symbolism in Urth otNS for too long. One thing I came
> across was this concept from the Kabbalah about  Zaddiks. A zaddik is a
> righteous man. Zaddik is the ninth letter, just as Yesod is the ninth
> sephiroth.

Strangely enough, I made this same mistake when I was Hebrew school, but
the eighteenth (not ninth) letter of the Hebrew alphabet is tzadi or sadhe
(with a dot under the s) or however you like to transliterate it, not
zaddik or tzaddiq or however you like to transliterate it.  Its sound was
originally an "emphatic" s, whatever that is, but now it's the sound of
English ts.  The root tz-d-q originally meant correct or right, if I'm not
mistaken, but words built on it mean "righteous man", "justice",
"charity", "prosperity", etc.  I don't think this root is connected with
the name of the letter, but I might not be "tzodeq".

(Some might care to compare "tzedaqah", correctness, with its Latin
translation "caritas", dearness, and thus start on comparing Jewish and
Christian ideas of charity.)

If "sephiroth" is a regular word, the singular is "sephirah".

> Although I can't find my notes on this right now, I recall
> that
> there has to be a pillar from our world to Yesod, which is created by
> these
> righteous men. Severian's quest it would seem is about recreating this
> pillar. Note the similarity of Tzadkiel and Zaddik.

I think this is a real connection, that is, "Tzadkiel" might be
transliterated as "Tzadqiel" (or sadhqiel or whatever), and would mean
something like "God's righteousness".  I'm not sure because there's
another Hebrew letter with a k sound.  (I'm also not sure about those -iel

[snip things I'd have to think more about]
> How has Horn been "every being of his kind"? (pg 272 pb OBW).  This is
> said
> by the neighbour Horn to Horn before he is resurrected in Silk. Horn has
> been (so far) a son, student, lover, fighter, colonist, husband, father,
> mill builder, adulterer, sailor, quest taker....and more. Except for the
> last, many New Vironese men could probably claim to be all these things
> (replace miller with smith or cooper if you like).

Now that's a good question.  The person you *could* say that about is

> What do the writers mean by "his (?) search for the fabled town of
> Pajarocu"
> in the Afterword to RTTW (pg 409 tor hc).

I think Marc got this one.  They're talking about the person they knew who
looked like Silk, and questioning whether he's the same person as the Horn
who searched for Pajarocu.

> PS: is the Neighbour whorl one of the sephiroth?

Seems quite reasonable  Or it could be reached by walking the corridors of

Thanks (and thank you, Marc) for answering my green-mankiller question.

Jerry Friedman

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