BERESHIT - IN A BEGINNING
In this painting ALL 22 of the Hebrew letters are represented, but the letter featured is the Pey.
Variant spellings - bet, beth, beis, bait, pe
Pey means MOUTH. If one looks carefully at the Pey one can see that there is a Beit making up the empty space within the Pey. The Beit is the first letter of the word Bereshit - IN A BEGINNING, which is the first word of Torah. Therefore, God opened up Gods MOUTH and out came the Beit BEGINNING CREATION.
Peyis the 17th letter of the Hebrew alphabet and has a numerical value of 80. PEY makes a sound either like the P in Peace or the F in Food. PEY means MOUTH and is constructed of a Caf with a Yud situated at the top and rotated inward.
The Pey is one of the 5 letters [Caf Mem Nun Pey Tsade] that have 2 forms - the bent Pey band the straight Pey. The bent Pey represents an open mouth and the straight Pey represents a closed mouth [intimacy] (Shabbat 104a). I [PEY] signify redemption and deliverance (Zohar. 1984. Tr. Harry Sperling et al. New York: Soncino. 1:2b). In this painting ALL 22 of the Hebrew letters are represented. The Rabbis of the Talmud regarded the letters as the basic elements of the universe, much as we think of oxygen, nitrogen, hydrogen and carbon (From the teachings of Rabbi Mitchell Chefitz, author of The Seventh Telling, The Thiry-third Hour, The Curse of Blessings.).
The word ET consists of the letters Aleph and Tav, which include between them all the letters, as being the first andlast of the alphabet (Zohar. 1984. Tr. Harry Sperling et al. New York: Soncino 1984. Tr. Harry Sperling et al. New York: Soncino. 1:15b).
The story of ET...
Rabbi Dov Baer, the Maggid of Mezritch, and a follower of the Baal Shem Tov, explains in Or Torah the secret of the verse Bereshit Bara Eloheim Et - IN A BEGINNING GOD CREATED ET. These are the first words of Torah, Genesis 1:1, in a beginning God created the heavens and the earth. ET is a word that is not translatable into English. It is like a marker that says: a definite direct object is next. Thus there needs to be an ET before THE heavens and THE earth. If there was no the, there would not need to be an ET. But Dov Baer points out a deeper meaning. ET is spelled Aleph Tav. Aleph Tav is an abbreviation for the ALPHA-BET. Aleph is the first letter of the ALPHABET and Tav the last. So in a beginning God created the ALPHA-BET. And God did this before creating the heavens and the earth. God used the letters, the building blocks, to create the world.
R. Shneur Zalman of Liadi, the Alter Rebbe of Chabad explains that if the letters were to depart even for an instant, all of creation would become absolute nothingness (Zalman, Shneur. 1981. "Igeret Hateshuvah." . Likkutei Amarim - Tanya. Brooklyn: Kihot. 289).
Some of you may read these words and laugh. Silly stories. But I challenge you to spend 5 minutes a day thinking about the letters. Perhaps you could practice drawing one letter for about a minute and then think about it of 4 minutes. See if you can do this every day for a few weeks. And watch what happens. They letters are ALIVE.
This work is accompanied by the kabbalistic explanation printed above.
The original 9x12 watercolor painting of this image is not available.
This is great Bat Mitzvah gift.
This is great Bar Mitzvah gift.
mat color:: green
stock number:: ab7