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The Letters of the Hebrew Alphabet

The Letter BET Bet

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Click a letter to find out more Aleph Bet Gimmel Dalet Hey Vav Zayin Het Tet Yod Kaf Lamed Mem Nun Samekh Pey Ayin Tsade Kof Resh Tav

BET. The second letter of the Hebrew alphabet

The letter bet appears in two variations.
Bet
, with a dagesh kal (a small dot in the center) of the letter, and
Vet
without a dagesh.

Bet
The letter Bet

Vet
Vet

Pronunciation. the letter Bet has two pronunciations.
Bet (with dagesh kal) is pronounced as "b" in bed.
Vet
is pronounced "v" as in violin.

Transliteration. The letter
Bet is transliterated "b".
Vet is transliterated "v".

Example
Bayit - House (house) is transliterated bayit. Syllabification. ba-it.
Av - Father (father) is transliterated av. Syllabification. av.

The letter Bet is also a prefix.
As a prefix Lamed
Bet as a prefix means "in", "with" or "on" . Bet is an inseparable preposition—it is always attached to a word—and usually takes a sh'va.
Example. e.g. House (house); In a house (in a house).
In some grammatical situations it can take other vowels. [The rules for attaching inseparable prepositions to a noun are available HERE.]

Gematria. Bet is equal to 2.

SPIRITUALITY in the letter BET Bet

The letter bet is the beginning of creation. Midrash suggests that bet was chosen to begin God's creation because it represents blessing בְּרָכָה.

Bet is for Blessing

At the creation of the world all the 22 letters were inscribed on God's crown and at creation each descended in turn before God and requested to be the chosen letter with which to begin the creation. Bet was chosen because with bet all creatures would bless God.

Pslam 89:53
Blessed in the Lord forever; Amen and Amen. (Ps. 89:53)

Bet stands for "house" —God's house. God desired a dwelling place in the lower reality. God created humanity with a Divine soul whose desire is for God. So the house is built by God's people (the tsadikim) seeking always the Divine source. This is why bet has a little point that is always pointing upward. The root of bereshit is rosh which means head. The tsadik draws God "the head" into God's house.

Bet

Bet is a house with walls and a roof but its door is always open. Creation is the beginning of all—henceforth the pathways of humanity [with God] are focused forward yet always remain conscious of their source, and the unity from which humanity is born, and to which all desire is to return. Humankind procedes forward from the open door of bet.

Bet - The pathways of humanity are focused forward

Rashi*, noting a grammatical inconsistency of the first two words of Torah בָּרָא בְּרֵשִׁאית, and drawing upon an interpretation of bereshit (with reishit) which, in the Book of Proverbs (8:22) refers to Wisdom (okmah), and a rabbinic interpretation that "Wisdom means nothing other than Torah," stated midrashically that God created the world for the sake of Torah. Rashi is now able to teach "For the sake of Torah, God created the heavens and the earth."

Rashi then midrashically interprets the meaning of reishit in Jeremiah (2:3) as referring to Israel and concludes: "For the sake of Israel, God created the heavens and the earth."

Genesis Rabbah teaches that God created the world with Torah values so that there will be a place in the universe where the values of Torah will be put into practice (Gen. Rabbah, 1:1,6).

Why is bereshit always written large at the beginning of the Torah ...to teach that humanity should always seek the first Aleph which is the creator.

Bereshit


*Rashi, Rabbi Shlomo Yitzaki, was a 10th Century Torah scholar and commenator on the Talmud.

 

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