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by Rabbi Shlomo Chein


Library » Miscellaneous » Hebrew / Languages » Codes and Numbers | Subscribe | What is RSS?


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 Bet:1

Bet2 is the second letter of the Hebrew Alef Bet (the first letter of the Torah). There are a total of 16,344 Bet's in the Torah.

The Form:


A Bet consists of three lines (Vav's) closing all but one of its sides. Bet represents creation3 and our sages say the world is "closed" on three sides and "open" on the fourth. Parenthetically, there is land mass on three sides of the world, but not on the fourth side, the North Pole.4

"All is from heaven except for the fear of heaven."5 Three dimensional reality, as well as the three garments of the soul - thought, speech, and action - are created by G-d and natural to creation, as indicated by the Bet. The fourth dimension, our cognizant awareness of our Creator in ourselves and in creation, is something we must develop on our own. Similarly, the three lines symbolize the three pillars - Torah, prayer, and acts of kindness - that the world stands on.6 It is man's task to complete creation, building on the foundation of the three pillars.

The Numerical Value:

Bet = 2

Bet is the beginning of duality: heaven and earth, spirit and matter, concealment and revelation. Everything in creation is created in pairs: male/female, positive/negative, giver/receiver. 

(When spelled out, Bet [2], Yud [10], Tav [400] the numerical value becomes 412, which is the value of the word for "desire" Tavah: Tav [400], Alef [1], Vav [6], Hey [5]. See next section for connection).

Bet symbolizes the Divine power to contain two opposites: infinity and finitude.

The Name:

Bet is etymologically related to the word Bayit: House.

The Midrash7 states that the Divine motivation for creation is that the Holy One, Blessed Be He, desired a dwelling place in lower reality. The fulfillment of this desire begins with the creation of a lower reality, Breishit (which begins with the letter Bet).

The middle letters of the word Breishit (Reish, Alef, Shin) form the word Rosh, head/beginning, i.e. G-d. The word Rosh is surrounded by the letter Bet on one end, and the letters Yud and Tav at the other. They form the word Bayit, House. G-d desires to dwell in Creation.8

The Message:

"My house will be called a House of Prayer for all peoples."9 Everything that G-d created in this world can, and ought to, be used to beautify His house. "Everything that He created, He created for His honor".10  A home consists of various entities that unite for (and are united by) the existence of a home. Duality exists so that you can unify all of its unique aspects for their common purpose of serving G-d.


  • 1. See,2266616/A-Language-of-Letters-Inside-the-Hebrew-Alef-Bet.html
  • 2. Also pronounced as Bait or Bais.
  • 3. The first letter in the narrative of Genisis is a Bet. See the rest of article for further elucidation.
  • 4. The Torah often refers to East as "up" and thus North would be represented by the left side of the Beit.
  • 5. Talmud tractate Megillah 25a
  • 6. Jerusalem Talmud tractate Megillah 26a 3:6
  • 7. Midrash Tanchuma, Nasso 7:1
  • 8. See,2248754/What-is-the-purpose-of-life.html
  • 9. Isaiah 56:7
  • 10. Ethics of our Fathers 6:11


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

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.
(Pl. Midrashim). Non-legal material of anecdotal or allegorical nature, designed either to clarify historical material, or to teach a moral point. The Midrashim were compiled by the sages who authored the Mishna and Talmud (200 BCE-500 CE).
It is forbidden to erase or deface the name of G-d. It is therefore customary to insert a dash in middle of G-d's name, allowing us to erase or discard the paper it is written on if necessary.