The Kabbalists pointed out that most of the letters of the Tetragrammaton (י-ה-ו-ה) can be spelled out in various ways. While the letter י is only spelled out as יו”ד, the letter ה can be spelled out as either ה”י, as ה”ה, or as ה”א ; while the letter ו could be spelled out as וי”ו, as וא”ו, or as ו”ו . In modern terms, that implies that the elements that go into the basic structure of everything can be further divided into different sub-elements, thus affecting the final outcomes in subtle or broad ways. They thus derived that there are four combinations in all: the aforementioned *AV*, *SaG*, *MaH*, and *BaN*.

The name *AV* refers to the letters ע and ב, which are written ע”ב in combination (hence “AV”) and have the numerical value of 72. It represents the Tetragrammaton written out as follows: יו”ד ה”י וי”ו ה”י י-ה-ו-ה which has that numerical value.

The name *SaG* refers to the letters ס and ג, which are written ס”ג in combination (hence “SaG”) and have the numerical value of 63. It represents the Tetragrammaton written out as follows: יו”ד ה”י וא”ו ה”י which has that numerical value.

The name *MaH* refers to the letters מ and ה, which are written מ”ה in combination (hence “MaH”) and have the numerical value of 45. It represents the Tetragrammaton written out as follows: יו”ד ה”א וא”ו ה”א which has that numerical value.

And the name *BaN* refers to the letters בand ן, which are written ב”ן in combination (hence “BaN”) and have the numerical value of 52. It represents the Tetragrammaton written out as follows: יו”ד ה”ה ו”ו ה”ה which has that numerical value.

(c) 2011 Rabbi Yaakov Feldman

Feel free to contact me at feldman@torah.org

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There is an error in rendering the letters and numerical correlates of the name MaH, which should equal 45. You have described the expansion of the first hey as “hey yud,” It should be “hey aleph” (as you have described the expansion of the 2nd hey). As it stands in your explanation it would equal 54, not 45.

Thank you ever so much for this; I’ll get to the changes when I can. Welcome aboard! You obviously have a good background — please write to me at feldman@torah.org .