Letter Perfect

Hebrew has no one letter words. The word for “I” is “Ani,” which begins with the letter aleph. Aleph is a silent letter. Referring to oneself then, should begin in silence.

Over the centuries, people have uncovered wonders in Hebrew. The difference between the word for man and woman (ish/ishah) is a heh, which is also a sign of God. Both man and woman have the word for “fire” in them; so between the two there is fire and more often than not, it is the woman who brings God into the relationship. You see how the game is played?

Take the last letter of the Torah, lamed, and the first, bet, switch them, and you get lev, heart. If you take the first, middle and last letter of the Hebrew alphabet— aleph, mem and taf — you get the word emeth, truth. Because truth is the first and last value, and must be observed all along the way. Once you add gematria, since each Hebrew letter has numerical values (as in chai equals 18) there is no end to the ingenuity of combinations. Learn our language, spin it around, play, calculate and discover. 

Rabbi David Wolpe is spiritual leader of Sinai Temple in Los Angeles. Follow him on Twitter: @RabbiWolpe

About the Author
Named the most influential Rabbi in America by Newsweek Magazine and one of the 50 most influential Jews in the world by the Jerusalem Post, David Wolpe is the Rabbi of Sinai Temple in Los Angeles, California.