Contemplating Hebrew Letters || Aleph






    And God said to Abram, “Go for yourself from your land, from your relatives, and from your father’s house to the land that I will show you. And I will make of you a great nation; I will bless you, and make your name great, and you shall be a blessing.”

Genesis 12:1–2

    With these words begins the long journey of Abraham, the father of monotheism and the first Jew, through arduous deserts and foreign lands toward the discovery of a new faith and a new way of relating to God.

    Much has been said about why Abraham, of all people, was chosen for this task. The answer lies here: Beyond everything he later experiences, Abraham is first and foremost willing to take on this initial adventure, to leave behind all that is familiar to him—his country, his family, and his home—and begin again.

    You’ll notice that in this passage, Abraham’s name is spelled “Abram.” That’s because this story takes place before he’s truly proven himself, when he’s still in his original state of mind. Abram must go through a series of trials and tribulations before God endows him with the holy letter Heh, signifying his close connection to the Divine. Abram’s wife, Sarai, will also be renamed along the way, becoming Sarah, the first of the four matriarchs.

    The Hebrew term Lech Lecha, which are the opening words of the passage, literally means “you go.” In this instance, however, it’s used in the figurative sense—Abram is instructed not just to get up and go, but to “go for yourself” or “go toward yourself.”

    In other words, this passage reflects something much deeper than a physical movement into the unknown. The real journey is an inner one: Abram must leave behind his comfortable way of life, which is full of assumptions, and look deeper into his heart to discover what lies beneath. He must disrupt his routine in order to find something much greater—that is, the deeper truths of life.

    In kabalistic terms, this is the real greatness of the patriarch. He is the first to illuminate the path of self-discovery and “find himself.” It’s an active journey, one filled with many life-threatening risks and tests along the way, but it’s perhaps the most rewarding of all. It’s the journey that results in a new name, and a whole new life.




    The appearance of the Aleph card may be a sign that you’re unsure as to where your life is headed and that you want to know which direction to take. The Aleph, the first letter of the alphabet, comes at the start of a new adventure or at the end of an old cycle.

    Focus on the energy of Abraham in order to begin again, as if from scratch. Envision leaving everything behind and walking day by day into new spiritual and emotional territory. You know not what lies ahead, nor which direction is correct, but the journey is yours for the taking.

    Know that changing your life, and the lives of generations to come, begins with the very first step you take with faith in yourself and inner resolve.

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