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In this blog, we are going to look at the letter zayin

The zayin has the sound “z” as in “Zion”.

The gematria is 7 שבע

The first association the number seven evokes is often Shabbat שבת. G-d created the world in six days and on the seventh He “rested” from all His work, Shabbat.

On the sixth day, He created man. The letter wav ו – which comes before the zayin in the alep-beth – is seen, among other things, as a symbol for man. When man was still in the womb, he swore a oath (נשבע שבועה) to the angel who was with him, that he would live as a righteous man and not as a sinner. Man has a duty to do good deeds in his life. These good deeds are like a crown on his head. The letter wav with a crown is the letter zayin.

Making and carrying out the right choices is not always easy. There is a constant battle between our yetzer hatov and yetzer hara (the good and bad inclination). We can see this in the meaning of the letter zayin which is “sword”. We have to fight against evil, evil in ourselves and evil in the world around us. But it is a good battle to fight, because the letter zayin carries the promise of good nourishment/reward.

We see this in the bracha after dinner. הזן את הכל = He Who nourishes all.
Sustainer = זן
We also see this connection in the words bread לחם and war מלחמה.

when we humans wear a crown of good deeds on our heads, peace and sustenance arise, then it becomes Shabbat. These good deeds are connected to the previous six letters of the Aleph-Beth:

  • Aleph = Humilty
  • Beth = Hospitality
  • Gimel = Kindness
  • Dalet = Chesed
  • Heh = Repentance and Marcy
  • Wav = Gladness

We are now familiar with the:

ו ב י ת א ל פ ף ג מ ם ד ה ז

and with the:

ִ וֹ וּ ּ ֶ ָ ַ ֵ ֹ

and can now read the following words, among others:

Numbers 14:8

אִם־חָפֵ֥ץ בָּ֙נוּ֙ ה’ וְהֵבִ֤יא אֹתָ֙נוּ֙ אֶל־הָאָ֣רֶץ הַזֹּ֔את וּנְתָנָ֖הּ לָ֑נוּ אֶ֕רֶץ אֲשֶׁר־הִ֛וא זָבַ֥ת חָלָ֖ב וּדְבָֽשׁ׃

If pleased with us, יהוה will bring us into that land, a land that flows with milk and honey, and give it to us;

Deuteronomy 8:8

אֶ֤רֶץ חִטָּה֙ וּשְׂעֹרָ֔ה וְגֶ֥פֶן וּתְאֵנָ֖ה וְרִמּ֑וֹן אֶֽרֶץ־זֵ֥ית שֶׁ֖מֶן וּדְבָֽשׁ׃

a land of wheat and barley, of vines, figs, and pomegranates, a land of olive trees and honey;

Deuteronomy 6:8

וּכְתַבְתָּ֛ם עַל־מְזוּזֹ֥ת בֵּיתֶ֖ךָ וּבִשְׁעָרֶֽיךָ׃

inscribe them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.

To hear the texts, see youtube below

By Angelique Sijbolts

Sources: [1] The Wisdom in the Hebrew Alphabet p. 97, habadVideo, The Wisdom in the Hebrew Alphabet Grammatica vh Bijbels Hebreeuws by E. Lettinga, Grammar For Biblical Hebrew by C. Seow, Mamre

The second and third youtube in this section was produced by, and is copyrighted by the author and/or 

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