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The beginning of every letter is a point, which is the letter yud

Something from Nothing

Something from Nothing

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Something from Nothing
The beginning of every letter is a point, which is the letter yud

[Selected from Zikhron Zot, 4a]

Wisdom, Chochma, is alluded to by the Yud in the Tetragrammaton, while Understanding, Bina, is represented by the Hei.

We are taught that there are fifty gates of bina. We are also taught that bina is called "Who" [in Hebrew, "mi", spelled Mem, Yud, which has the numerical value of fifty].

Anyone receiving from another is represented by the letter Dalet. The name of this letter comes from the Hebrew word "dalut", meaning "poverty", since the recipient has nothing of its own. The beginning of every letter is a point, which is the letter yud

Only through Wisdom can one Understand and know. Bina is therefore a recipient from Chochma.

Chochma is represented by the letter yud. [The letter yud is written as a simple point, this being chochma,] the first point that emerges from the Hidden. The beginning of every letter is a point, which is the letter yud…It is thus written, "You made them all with wisdom". (Psalms 104:24) This was the very first stage, bringing "something from nothing," and therefore, the yud is the smallest letter of all.

[The letter hei consists of two parts, a dalet and a yud.] Bina is represented by the dalet. When this dalet receives a yud, it is transformed into the first hei in G‑d's name.

On high, each unit becomes ten. [Since the numerical value of dalet is four, on high] it becomes forty. We therefore say, "Forty years old for bina." (Avot 5:21).

[Forty is the numerical value of mem.] But we are taught, "He is wise with Understanding, and understanding with Wisdom." The yud must therefore be added to the mem. The two letters then form the word "mi" [mem - yud] meaning "who".

(Translated and addapted by RAbbi Aryeh Kaplan in The Chasidic Masters/Moznaim Press)

Rabbi Yaakov Yitzchak Horowitz (the "Seer") of Lublin, (1745 - 9 Av 1815), was the successor to R. Elimelech of Lizensk (1717-1787), and leader of the spread of chassidus in Poland. Many of his insights were published posthumously in Divrei Emmes, Zichron Zos, and Zos Zichron.
Rabbi Aryeh Kaplan was the Bronx-born renowned author of over 50 books. In addition to his brilliant success as a youthful prodigy in various yeshivas, as a university graduate student, he was described in a scientific "Who's Who" as the most promising young physicist in America. In the field of Kabbala in English, he translated and elucidated two of the oldest and most important texts: Sefer Yetzira and Sefer Habahir, and his Meditation and Kabbala is still the classic in the field. The Jewish people suffered a tragic loss when he passed away suddenly in 1983 at the age of 48.
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