Aleph - The first letter in Hebrew
The Hebrew alphabet was originally written using pictures that later evolved into script. These ancient pictographic letters give us a little understanding of how the Hebrew language is meant to be understood. For ALEPH the picture is that of an Ox head and it represents the strength and leadership of G-d. Aleph is the father of the alphabet. In a number system we call Gematria the letter has a numerical value of 1 or it can be 1,000. It is a silent letter in the Hebrew language. The letter contributes to the sound of the letter next to it. In classical Hebrew script Aleph is constructed with two Yods (one to the upper right and the other to the lower left) that are joined by a diagonal Vav. The Yod is the 10th letter of the alphabet and the Vav is the 6th. Each of these letters has meaning also but we will discuss that in a later lesson.
The Bible tells us that the name of G-d is YHVH which is Yud - Hey - Vav - Hey. The letter Aleph is made of two yuds and one vav with a total of three letters all of which are part of the name of G-d. Classical Hebrew study looks at the upper Yod or arm as representing the hidden aspect of YHVH (HaShem). The lower Yod represents the revelation of YHVH to mankind as we see it connects to the earth. The Vav, whose meaning is “hook,” shows connectedness between the two realms. Vav is also thought to represent humanity, since Adam was created on the sixth day. Vav is the sixth letter of the alphabet and represents the number 6 in Gematria. The Vav is diagonal showing that it is humbled in the face of God’s mystery and His revelation. In the two Yods we also see how G-d has a hidden nature which is high and lofty and is demonstrated as being seen in His hind parts that were shown to Moses. This is the part of G-d that is hard for reasoning and intellect to grasp. The second yod is the part of G-d that is close and near.
Hebrews also see the two yuds as two candle flames on either side of the Torah scroll. On Friday night (Shabbat) as the Sabbath begins a Jewish family will begin the night by the woman lighting two candles. The Sabbath then begins with study and time to contemplate over the Torah portion for the week. Since the time of Ezra Jews have read a weekly portion called a Parasha which comes from the books of Moses calledTorah. Today Torah tends to also mean the TANAKH which means the entire Hebrew Scripture. It is interesting that as the Torah scroll is opened and read by the father of the family who is the priest of the family the pointed used looks like a finger but is actually the letter Vav.
Aleph is a picture of Messiah’s Intercession
What does this show to Gentile believers in Yeshua about G-d? Using Classical Hebrew teaching we can see that G-d shows His strength and leadership as the One who created the heaven and the earth in the letter Aleph. We see that the heavenly part of the letter is out of reach but that G-d reaches down and touches man who has humbled himself before Him seen in the Vav at an angle. The humility of the man who submits or bows to HaShem (LORD) by obedience to His commandments then finds Shalom ( peace) and comfort here on earth. Now the next stumbling block to jump over is what do we mean by obedience? We will deal with that in a future Blog.
If you have time visit the http://hebrew4christians.com web site and review more about how the Messianic Jewish community views this letter in terms of Yeshua.
Here is a quote from that web site:
"From a Messianic point of view, Aleph represents Yeshua the Mashiach as our Intercessor and Kohen Gadol. The two Yods represent outstretched arms or hands reaching both to mankind and to God. The diagonal Vav represents the sacrifice of Yeshua on our behalf. And since Yeshua is the Aleph and the Tav, the letter represents His divinity, His humility in silence as He opened not His mouth when He was unjustly accused, and so on. "
One of the major challenges to Jews about Gentile Christians comes in the doctrine of the Trinity. This doctrine is not easily understood by Christians and remains a confusion for many who attempt to look at it through reasoning. But G-d is not always reasonable. In the letter Aleph we see something of the Trinity. The actual idea of the Trinity is not taught in the Bible any more than resurrection is directly taught . We will talk more about this in future writing. For now just consider how Aleph shows us the natureof G-d and that the expression of HaShem is found in three parts. Something to think about?