Rabbinic tradition asserts that every letter of every word of Torah is a word in itself. In The Alphabet That Changed the World, author Stan Tenen demonstrates that each letter is also a hand gesture, and, at this level, Hebrew forms a natural universal language. All people, including children before they speak and people without sight, make use of these gestures.
In this book, Tenen examines the Hebrew text of Genesis and shows how each letter is both concept and gesture, with the form of the gesture matching the function of the concept, revealing the implicit relationship between the physical world of function and the conscious world of concept.
Using over 200 color illustrations, Tenen establishes geometric metaphor as the best framework for understanding the deepest meaning of the text. Such geometry models embryonic growth and self-organization, and also the core of many healing and meditative practices. As presented in The Alphabet That Changed the World, Tenen’s research demonstrates how many subjects from contemporary science were appreciated through the methods and means available millennia ago.
Mathematician Ralph Abraham, co-author (with Jerrold E. Marsden) of Foundations of Mechanics, comments: “It is my conviction, based on my professional background in modern geometry and topology, that Tenen’s utilization of this difficult material is impeccable. The Alphabet That Changed the World is an important and original contribution to the scientific research literature. It may boggle the mind, but the detailed brief presented in full in this book leaves no easy escape from Tenen’s theory: our alphabet was designed from a proto-language of hand gestures.”
Oppenstein Brothers Distinguished Professor of Judaic Studies (Emeritus) Joseph P. Schultz has been following Mr. Tenen’s research since 1993. He remarks, “When I was first introduced to the work of Stan Tenen...I felt that his lines of inquiry would lead to path-breaking insights into the true nature of Torah and the Hebrew alphabet. I have not been disappointed. The Alphabet that Changed the World is a stunning and remarkable book. In my opinion, the investigation presented here will open up new vistas of understanding, not only of the Hebrew alphabet and Judaism, but also of the sacred texts of all the world's religious traditions. The amazing interdisciplinary scope of The Alphabet that Changed the World will serve as a model for future researchers and even for non-specialists who value the growth in consciousness on our planet.”
Born in 1942 and raised in a nonreligious home in Brooklyn, Tenen says that he “has always been driven by curiosity.” A natural recognizer of visual patterns, he has a BS in physics and holds numerous patents. In 1968, while examining the Hebrew text of Genesis, Mr. Tenen noticed what appeared to be a pattern in the arrangement of the letters. This observation prompted forty years of research into the history and tradition of the text, and has led to a meaningful understanding of traditional teachings in a modern context. The Alphabet That Changed the World makes this authoritative recovery of the science of consciousness in Genesis accessible for the first time to contemporary readers.
The Alphabet That Changed the World: How Genesis Preserves a Science of Consciousness in Geometry and Gesture is available in paperback; it is published by North Atlantic Books and distributed by Random House. Mr. Tenen’s research is sponsored by Meru Foundation, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit with offices in California and Massachusetts. More information on Mr. Tenen’s research can be found at the Foundation’s website, http://www.meru.org.