This article makes the following claim:

And now to our correspondence: one of the most important contributions to Jewish scholarship in the recent past has been the work of Rabbi Zalman Pinhas Horowitz (1).

Rabbi Horowitz was (to the best of our knowledge) the first to correctly count the number of times the Tetragrammaton (YHVH) appears in the Pentateuch: 1820 times. Even more surprising and innovative was Rabbi Horowitz’s cataloging of all the distinct words (2) in the Pentateuch, which he also found to be exactly 1820 in number.

(1) See his volume Ahavat Torah (Podgorza, 1905).

(2) Meaning words that stem from different roots (¦שרשי, shorashim), the 2 or 3 letter combinations which serve to form words in semitic languages like Hebrew [technically, 2 letter roots are known as gates (¦שערי, sha’arim)].

Does anyone know, more precisely where the source for this claim is in the Ahavat Torah (in the references).

I just checked the 5 books in the chumash on Mechon Mamre and found the number of times that the Tetragrammaton appears: 165 + 398 + 311 + 396 + 550 = 1820. Is the second claim of 'distinct words' verifiable and if so what does he define as a 'distinct word'?

Furthermore, despite the article brought above, in the sefer what is the connection between the number of times Hashem's name is mentioned and the number of 'distinct words' in the Chumash?

  • It's a little unclear what you're asking. But may I just note that the amount of words that are currently in the Chumashim isn't the number of words they had in them when given to Moshe Rabino, so I'm not sure what Rabbi Horowitz is trying to prove. – yechezkel May 31 '15 at 22:22
  • @yechezkel True, but perhaps the words that are different all share shorashim with other words that are definitely transcribed correctly. – Daniel May 31 '15 at 22:28

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