Q: Are the words Israel and Zion central to the Hebrew alphabet?
A: The word Israel is understood as an acronym. Its initial letters spell yesh shishim ribo otiot latorah, “There are 600,000 letters to the Torah.” This means that every letter in the Torah corresponds to one of the soul roots of the 600,000 Jewish souls that received the Torah at Sinai.
The Hebrew root of the word Zion, Tziyon (tzaddik, yud, hei) possesses only one consonant, its initial letter-tzadik. Since thetzadik, the righteous person, is the foundation of the generation, tzadik yesod olam, it is clear that Tziyon is a foundation of the entire Hebrew language and all of reality which is created from the Hebrew language.
Just as Israel is the name of the third Patriarch, Jacob, so Tziyon equals the name of his son, who was also an all-inclusive soul, Joseph. As stated above, Tziyon is basically just the letter tzadik, which means “the righteous one.” The archetype of the “righteous one” in the Torah is Joseph.