"Twenty-two foundation letters:
He engraved them, He carved them,
Hepermuted them, He weighed them,
He transformed them,
And with them, He depicted all that was formed
and all that would be formed."
(Sefer Yetzirah 2:2)
In this series, I have combined the process of drypoint and aquatint on copper plates, engraving the beginnings of apersonal exploration of the Hebrew alphabet. Regarded by some as a sacred language and a medium of divine communication, its letters are noordinary forms. Delvinginto the mystical heritage of thefirstfive characters (from aleph to hei ) has been a profoundly enlightening experience. On visualising the letters, one is invited into a form of contemplative meditation, revealing the spiritualpower that emanates from the individual characters.
First letter of Hebrew alphabet
Silent letter, yet from it arises the entire alphabet of sounds
Symbolizing that everything in life first emanates from stillness and silence.
The primal force of creation that exists before any form can be visualized.
Represents the number one - unity/oneness
- Meditate on the letter aleph to bring greater energy and creativity into your daily routine
Second letter of alphabet, symbolizing numeric value of two
Mystically associated with bayit, meaning house, dwelling place
Universal home, from which everything is born and nurtured.
Begins the hebrew word for blessing (berachah)
Beit signifies the number two and duality (ie dichotomies like day and night, light and dark, high and low, fullness and emptiness, macsculine and femanine,, etc, etc)
Meditate on the letter beit for a greater sense of blessedness and being at home in the world.
Gimel embodies the vital qualities of both kindness and growth.
Begins the Hebrew word for camel (gamal) - an animal that is consistent with the idea of true assistance and service
The letter gimel is about two apparently opposing forces that blend to form a third, more complete, and perfect entity.
Emanating from the oneness of aleph and the duality of beit, there comes the synthesis known as gimel.
Meditate on the letter to foster growth in any aspect.
The fourth letter of the alphabet
Begins the Hebrew word for doorway (deled) and knowledge (da-at)
Hassidic view has it that there are countless gateways hidden around us in everyday life.
Gateways may be symbolic of choice, pathway. direction.
Meditate on the letter daled to open a door that may appear closed or hidden in your life.
The letter Hei, the fifth letter in the alphabet, is found twice in the hly name of God known as the Tetragrarammaton - Yud-Hei-Vav-Hei - and signifies divine revelation.
It's sound, resembling a mere exhalation, is symbolic of the fact that attentive focusing upon the breath is a method for spritual awareness and growth.
Signifying the number five, it alludes to the five dimension of the human soul: physical instincts (nefesh), emotions (ruach), the mind (neshamah), bridge to transcendant awareness (chayah), and cosmic unity (yechidah)
Meditate on the letter Hei for greater inner light and awareness.
The letter vav sigfnifies space, mass and physical wholeness.
Representing the number six, it also indicates that every complete, self-contained object contains six dimensions - above and below, right and left, front and back.
Begins the Hebrew word for embryo (valad) implying containment.
The letter Vav is also the Hebrew prefix meaning "and" - that which joins together words sentences and ideas. It reveals that things seemingly separate can be seen to comprise a higher unity.
Meditate on the letter vav to strengthen your sense of connectedness.v