cabalistic rule of 'colel' states that one digit can be added to,
or subtracted from, the gematria value of a word without affecting
its value. This seems to modern ears to be a cheat, however the
cabalists explained the rule by pointing out that for them 'One'
was not a number - the Monad symbolises the Divinity and could come
and go as 'He' pleased, adding nothing and taking nothing away.
to this concept in his Sonnets, when he writes, "Among
a number one is reckon'd none." (1)
The word 'colel'
seems to derive from the Hebrew verb, 'KLL'
- to make perfect or whole.
rule of colel was described by Moses Cordovero in Pardes Rimmonim
written in 1549 (later published in Cracow in 1592). A more modern
reference to the rule is found in John Michell's
City of Revelation (Garnstone Press, London, 1972, p. 7).