The Hebrew Letters: Yud

The Infinite Point

The letter yud, a small suspended point, reveals the spark of essential good hidden within the letter tet. Subsequent to the initial tzimtzum, the contraction of G-d’s Infinite light in order to make “place” for Creation, there remained within the empty void a single, potential point or “impression.” The secret of this point is the power of the Infinite to contain finite phenomena within Himself and express them to apparent external reality. Finite manifestation begins from a zero-dimensional point, thereafter developing into a one-dimensional line and two-dimensional surface. This is alluded to in the full spelling of the letter yud (yud-vav-dalet): “point” (yud), “line” (vav), “surface” (dalet). These three stages correspond in Kabbalah to: “point” (nekudah), “spectrum” (sefirah), “figure” (partzuf). The initial point, the essential power of the yud, is the “little that holds much.” The “much” refers to the simple Infinity of G-d hidden within the initial point of revelation, which reflects itself as the Infinite potential of the point to develop and express itself in all the manifold finite phenomena of time and space.

Before the tzimtzum, the power of limitation was hidden, latent within G-d’s Infinite Essence. Following the tzimtzum, this power of limitation became revealed, and paradoxically the Infinite Essence of G-d that originally “hid” the power of limitation now Itself became hidden (not in truth, but only from our limited human perspective) within the point of contracted light.

From within this point of limitation is revealed the secret of the ten sefirot, the Divine channels of light through which G-d continually brings His world into being. Ten, the numerical value of the yud, is also the number of commandments (literally “statements”) revealed by G-d to His People Israel at Sinai. All the commandments, and in fact every letter of Torah, possess the power of the “little that holds much”; each is a channel for the revelation of G-d’s Infinite Light in finite reality.


FORM

A “formed” point: a crown above and a “pathway” below.
The smallest of the letters; The only letter suspended in midair.

Worlds:

 

  • The “pathway” of the yud; The initial point of space and time.
  • Natural wisdom: “The wisdom of Solomon.”
  • Direction and purpose: the consciousness of the present moment.

Souls:

 

  • The “body” of the yud; The enwedged point.
  • “The wisdom of G-d” as manifest in the judgment of Solomon.
  • The power of self-nullification.

Divinity:

 

  • The crown of the yud above; The unenwedged point.
  • “The wisdom of G-d” inspiring and directing Solomon’s genius.
  • Revealed Omnipresence; The beginning and end of every letter (form).

 


NAME

Hand; to thrust.

Worlds:

 

  • The secret of space; To thrust – the principle of action and reaction.
  • The wave-nature of radiation.

Souls:

 

  • Intelligence; Friendship.
  • To acknowledge – to make space for others; Empathy

Divinity:

 

  • G-d’s “hand” – the Infinite Will and ability to sustain the Creation.
  • Charity, physical and spiritual.
  • “Shaking G-d’s Hand”: identifying with archetypal souls and Temple service.
  • G-d’s thought – the origin of the Jewish soul.

 


NUMBER

Ten; “The tenth shall be holy”; the decimal nature of reality.

Worlds:

 

  • Ten Divine utterances through which the world was created.
  • Ten things created on the first day.
  • Ten things created at dusk at the end of the first Friday.
  • Ten generations from Adam to Noah and from Noah to Abraham.
  • Ten kings ruled the whole world; Ten nations given to Abraham.
  • Ten pure animals; Ten categories of forbidden magic.
  • Ten battles of Joshua; Ten essential limbs of the body.

Souls:

 

  • The sefirot – Spiritual Powers; Ten categories of the souls of Israel.
  • Ten trials of Abraham; A minyan of ten men.
  • Ten synonyms for prayer; Ten synonyms for song.
  • Ten cardinal songs sung throughout history.
  • Ten martyrs of Israel; Ten spiritual functions of the heart.

Divinity:

 

  • Ten Commandments; Ten plagues.
  • Ten miracles in the Holy Temple; Ten days of repentance.
  • Yom Kippur–the tenth day; The Divine Name ten times on Yom Kippur.
  • Ten names of Ruach HaKodesh; Ten are called “the man of G-d.”
  • Ten verses of Kingdom, Remembrance and Shofar-blast.
  • Ten synonyms for teshuvah.

 

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