In the tradition of gematria, are there any methods for taking binary values and generating words out of them?

I'm working on a story that involves a character obsessing over a particular chunk of binary numbers, and if there's an opportunity to have a character do this, it would serve the story quite well.

If this is possible, what are the options for interpretation? Is this something that someone could obsess over for years, arguing with others over? What are the restrictions on this kind of methodology? Does this sort of interpretation relate to Kabbalah, or is that an ancillary discipline?

  • I suppose my comments on avi's answer, q.v., have turned into a sort of answer.
    – msh210
    Oct 18, 2011 at 20:48

1 Answer 1


There is nothing directly you can do with Gematria (what you are asking about) and Binary numbers. Hebrew has no letter for 0.

The best you can do is turn the binary numbers into base Ten numbers, and then do gematria on that.

  • You don't need a 0 in binary any more than you do in decimal. But I'll agree that I've never heard of a connection between binary and gimatriya. Really, decimal notation, binary notation, and gimatriya are three ways of representing a number (though gimatriya can be more), so whatever number is represented by a particular binary numeral can be represented in gimatriya as well as if it were written in decimal (which seems to be what you're saying, "turn the...").
    – msh210
    Oct 16, 2011 at 8:08
  • In theory you would be able to use the Aleph for 1 and some other letter for 0 and then look at the words spelled, and deviate from there... though maybe someone could use yud(10) for 1 and hey(5) for 0 and do something with divine names?!?
    – avi
    Oct 18, 2011 at 10:21
  • You don't need a 0 in binary. We get by without it in decimal. But I'll take back my "Really... whatever... as well..." statement, noting instead: Standard gimatriya is 1, 2, 3, ..., 9, 10, 20, ..., 90, 100, 200, 300, 400 (22 letters). If you wanted binary, you would make it instead (in decimal notation) 1, 2, 4, 8, ..., 2097152. Just as 65 is represented by 60 and 5 (samech he) in standard gimatriya, it'd be represented by 64 and 1 (zayin alef) in binary gimatriya. No need for a 0.
    – msh210
    Oct 18, 2011 at 15:38
  • That works for turning gematria into binary, but not binary into gematria. What is the series of hebrew letters of 010010101 ?
    – avi
    Oct 18, 2011 at 18:25
  • avi, you reverse the procedure, and get ches he gimel alef.
    – msh210
    Oct 18, 2011 at 19:02

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