The Hebrew Letters: Zayin

The Woman of Valor

The Maggid of Mezeritch, the successor of the Ba’al Shem Tov, teaches that the verse “A woman of valor is the crown of her husband” alludes to the form of the letter zayin. The previous letter, vav, portrays the or yashar (“straight light”) descending from God into the worlds. The zayin, whose form is similar to a vav, though with a crown on top, reflects the or yashar of the vav as or chozer (“returning light”). Or chozer ascends with such great force that it reaches a higher state of consciousness than that of the revealed origin-point of the or yashar. When reaching the initially superconscious realm of keter (the “crown”), it broadens its awareness to both the right and the left. In truth “there is no left in that Ancient One [the level of keter], for all is right.” This means that the awe of God (left) at this initially superconscious level is indistinguishable, in its nature to cling directly to God, from the highest manifestation of the love of God (right).

The experience of or chozer, subsequent to the consummation of the creative process inherent in or yashar, the creation of man on the sixth day, is the secret of the seventh day of Creation–Shabbat. The Shabbat Queen” who, in general, signifies woman in relation to man–“the woman of valor is the crown of her husband”– has the power to reveal in her husband his own superconscious crown, the experience of serene pleasure and sublime will innate in the day of Shabbat.

Who is a good [literally, “kosher”] woman? She who does her husband’s will.” Chassidut explains that the word “does” also means “rectifies,” as said in the completion of the account of Creation (the seal of the seventh day, Shabbat): “that which God created to do”– “to do” in the sense of “to rectify” (thus implying that God has given us the task to consummate the rectification of His Creation), as explained by the Sages. Thus the “kosher woman” is she who rectifies her husband’s will by elevating him to ever new awareness of previously superconscious realms of soul.


FORM

A “vav” whose head extends in both directions and thus appears as a crown. Scepter of a King.

Worlds:

  • Rulership manifested in the world.
  • “Natural” selection.

Souls:

  • “A woman of valor is the crown of her husband.” Sarah: the soul’s experience of Shabbat and Kabbalah.
  • The election of the Jewish People.

Divinity:

  • Shabbat, Kabbalah.
  • Returning light spreading, at its peak, to the left – fear, and to the right – love.
  • Becoming a vessel for God’s blessing and sanctity.

NAME

Weapon – sword; ornament or crown; species – gender; to sustain.

Worlds :

 

  • Weapon – a sword.
  • Conflict as an inherent property of physical nature.

Souls:

 

  • Species or gender; the union of husband and wife.
  • Man is the crowning ornament of Creation.
  • God’s three crowns, two of which He gives to His children.

Divinity:

 

  • God sustaining the world.

 

NUMBER

Seven – “All sevens are dear.”

Worlds :

 

  • Maximal compactness.
  • The seventh day of Creation – Shabbat.
  • Seven weeks of counting the Omer.
  • Seven consecutive months in which fall the three Festivals.
  • The sabbatical year; The jubilee year, after 7 times 7 years.
  • The seventh millennium.
  • Seven fruits of Israel; Seven seas; Seven heavens.
  • Seven chambers of Paradise.

Souls:

 

  • Seven lamps of the menorah; seven categories of Jewish souls.
  • Seven shepherds of Israel: Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, Aaron, Joseph, and David.
  • Seven circuits, seven blessings, and seven days of celebration of groom and bride.
  • Seven Rabbinic mitzvot.

Divinity:

 

  • Seven “eyes” of God watch over all Creation.
  • Seven lower sefirot.
  • Tishrei, the seventh month:
  • Rosh HaShanah and Yom Kippur, the revelation of Divine Providence,
  • Sukkot Seven clouds of glory,
  • Simchat Torah – Seven Hakafot.