The letters featured in this piece are RESH VAV CHET MEM HEY. Taken together, and reading from right to left, they spell RUCHAMA.
Each of the 22 letters of the Hebrew alphabet has a special meaning and a story to tell. Here a few brief ones about the letters on this painting.
RESH is the 20th letter of the Hebrew alphabet and has a numerical value of 200. RESH makes a sound like the R in Radiant. RESH means BEGINNING or HEAD. When one spells out the letter RESH in Hebrew, it is RESH YUD SHIN. YUD and SHIN spell YESH - THERE IS. The letter RESH means BEGINNING. So it is possible to say that the RESH literally means THERE IS A BEGINNING.
VAV is the 6th letter and has a numerical value of 6. It means HOOK and makes a sound like the V in Victory. When used as a vowel, VAV can sound like a long `o' or a long `u.' Translated it means AND. It is the GREAT CONNECTOR. VAV appears in the Four Letter name of God.
CHET is the 8th letter of the alphabet and has a numerical value of 8. CHET is pronounced like the CH in BaCH. Kushner's description is the best that I have found of what is necessary to create the sound of CHET. It is the "top of your throat and the bottom of your throat fighting against one another." (Kushner, Lawrence. 1990. SEPHER OTIYOT: THE BOOK OF LETTERS. Woodstock: Jewish Lights Publishing. 39).
MEM is the 13th letter of the Hebrew alphabet and has a numerical value of 40. MEM makes a sound like the M in Middle. But according to the ancient kabbalistic text SEPHER YETZIRAH, the MEM hummmmmms! MEM is usually associated with the word MAYIM - WATER or EEMAH - MOTHER.
The MEM is one of the 5 letters - CAF, MEM NUN, PEY, TSADE - that have 2 forms. One form is used in the beginning and the middle of a word - the open MEM . The other form is at the end of the word - the closed MEM. According to Talmud, the open MEM represents revealed teaching and the closed MEM represents concealed teaching (Shabbat 104a).
HEY is the 5th letter of the Hebrew alphabet and has a numerical value of 5. HEY means BEHOLD. The HEY is constructed of a DALET and a YUD. HEY makes a sound like the H in Happy. HEY appears twice in the YUD HEY VAV HEY Name of God.
This work is accompanied by the kabbalistic explanation printed above.
The original 5x7 watercolor painting of this image is available at $155.
mat color:: red
stock number:: nf7-179