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Dalet

by Rabbi Shlomo Chein

  

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The letters of the Hebrew Alef Bet are unique insofar that they communicate meaning, and are therefore studied, independent of the words they form. This article offers brief insight into the form, numerical value, and the name of the letter Dalet:1

Dalet2 is the fourth letter of the Hebrew Alef Bet. There are a total of 7,032 Dalet's in the Torah.

The Form:

ד

The form of the Dalet reflects a person bent over (the pauper)3 or a person bowing (any beneficiary acknowledging gratitude).4 It represents the notion of humility; the key to receiving. 

Which leads us to the second reflection of the Dalet: a doorpost and lintel. The doorway to development. 

The Numerical Value:

Dalet = 4

4 are the letters of the Tetragrammaton - a symbol of Divine energy, the beneficiary of which is our universe. Hence the recurring theme of four in creation. Four (spiritual) worlds:5 Atzilut, Briyah, Yetzirah, and Asiyah. Four elements: Fire (energy), Air (gas), Water (fluid), and Earth (solids). Four seaons: Spring, Summer, Fall, and Winter. And Four Directions: East, West, North and South.6  

The number 4 is also apparent in the birth and continuity of the Jewish People. There are (3 Patriarchs/Males, but) 4 matriarchs/Females.7 On Passover we celebrate (our birth as a Nation) with four cups of wine, we speak of four sons (receiving a transmitted tradition), and ask four questions (to receive answers).

Dalet symbolizes the benefit of having a beneficiary that actualizes potential.

The Name:

Dalet is etymologically related to the word Delet: Door. It is also related to Dal: Pauper, and Dilit-ani: lifted me up.8

Poverty is the doorway to elevation. Poverty is the attitude of humility in which you recognize you still need to learn and receive more. You don't have it all. You don't even have all that you need. This humility allows you to discover and grow.

Furthermore: if the rich man can't give, and the wise man can't teach, their potential is limited. Thus one grows not only when in a personal state of Dalet, but even when having a Dalet to reflect upon. The beneficiary opens up doors for his own development, and the development of the benefactor.

A father's seed is turned into a child through the development of the mother's womb. The Divine potential is glorified through the beneficiary of creation.

The Message:

Seek to receive what you don't have, and be eager to find a receiver with whom to share what you do have. The humility of the Dalet is the doorway to your success.

Footnotes

  • 1. See http://www.askmoses.com/en/article/228,2266616/A-Language-of-Letters-Inside-the-Hebrew-Alef-Bet.html
  • 2. Also written/pronounced as Daled and Daleth.
  • 3. See the end of http://www.askmoses.com/en/article/228,2273119/Gimmel.html
  • 4. Hebrew reads from right to left, so the figure is bowing forward.
  • 5. See http://www.chabad.org/library/article_cdo/aid/361902/jewish/The-Four-Worlds.htm
  • 6. Additional examples of four: The four most common elements in living organisms CHON: Carbon, Hydrogen, Oxygen, and Nitrogen. Four physical forces: gravity, electromagnetic, strong, weak.
  • 7. Parenthetically, because Gimmel represents the giver and Dalet the receiver, it is no surprise that we have 3 Patriarchs and 4 Matriarchs.
  • 8. As in Psalm 30:2 "Aromimcha Hashem Ki Dilitani" ("I will exalt You, O Lord, for You have raised me up").

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RELATED CATEGORIES

Miscellaneous » Hebrew / Languages » Codes and Numbers
Miscellaneous » Hebrew / Languages » Hebrew

Torah
Torah is G–d’s teaching to man. In general terms, we refer to the Five Books of Moses as “The Torah.” But in truth, all Jewish beliefs and laws are part of the Torah.
Passover
A Biblically mandated early-spring festival celebrating the Jewish exodus from Egypt in the year 1312 BCE.