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Boris de Zirkoff's "corrections" of variant spellings

May 21, 2001 07:30 AM
by Blavatsky Archives

SUBJECT: Boris de Zirkoff's "corrections" of variant spellings

As a student of HPB's writings, I am always trying to understand what 
she is writing about. Many times I have to try to grapple with a 
word that I don't understand and I try to ascertain what is the 
meaning of the term, etc. 

Take the words on the following pages of the SD:

QUOTATION A: sacr' n'cabvah SD, I, 5

QUOTATION B: sacr n'cabrah SD, I, 390

QUOTATION C: Zachar Nakobeh SD, II, 127

QUOTATION D: sacr n'cabvah SD, II, 467 

Are we to conclude that there are only TWO Hebrew words under 
discussion and on these pages of the SD we have 3 variant English 
spellings of each Hebrew word?

Hebrew Word 1 = sacr' = sacr = Zachar

Hebrew Word 2 = n'cabvah = n'cabrah = Nakobeh

What is the significance (if any) of the differences in spellings?

I assume Boris de Zirkoff concluded that the subject matter involved 
only two Hebrew words and that for whatever reason(s) variant 
spellings had crept into the SD manuscript. He probably consulted 
with Anava Kantor about this matter. See Vol. I p. [79] in CW 
edition of SD. Following guidline 3 on p. [77] Vol. I he corrected 
all spellings to "zakhar" and "negebah". [He was not totally 
sucessful in these corrections since there is still one variant 
spelling in the CW edition!]

If anyone believes that there is some significances to these variant 
spellings I would like some feedback on what these variant spellings 
are intended to convey that is not apparent to the "scholarly eye".

Also I do not completely understand what HPB is trying to convey in 
the following quotation:

". . . With the races of our Fifth Race it became in symbology
sacr', and in Hebrew n'cabvah, of the first-formed races;* then it 
changed into the Egyptian . . . ." SD, I, 5

What does the first "it" stand for?

Specifially, what does this phrase mean:

"in symbology the sacr', and in Hebrew n'cabvah"

One student has emailed me saying that he believes HPB is writing in 
this phrase about only ONE Hebrew word; not two.

I notice in the Boris de Zirkoff edition that Boris has not only 
changed the spelling of the two Hebrew terms but has also rearranged 
and changed some of the other words in the sentence. Why was this 


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