Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Parshat Yitro/Jethro - יתרו


So here's my chidush, new idea, for you...

In Sefer Sh'mot parshat Yitro/Exodus 19:5 the Torah tells us:

וְעַתָּה, אִם-שָׁמוֹעַ תִּשְׁמְעוּ בְּקֹלִי, וּשְׁמַרְתֶּם, אֶת-בְּרִיתִי--וִהְיִיתֶם לִי סְגֻלָּה מִכָּל-הָעַמִּים, כִּי-לִי כָּל-הָאָרֶץ.
"Ve-atah im-shamo'a tish'mu be-qoli ush'martem et-b'riti vi-heyiytem li segulah mikol ha-amim ki li kol ha-aretz"
"So now, if you will hearken, yes, hearken to My voice and keep My covenant, you shall be to Me a special-treasure from among all peoples. Indeed, all the earth is Mine:" (Everett Fox translation)

In some Sifrei Torah, but not all, the letters Lamed and Yud in the word לִי - "li", to me, my or mine - are written in such a way so as to appear joined. This is an extremely controversial practice, which most sofrim and rabbis disagree with, as one of the approximately 4,000 rules in sofrut dictates that there be no negi'ah (touching) between any of the letters. So why here? What message calling to us from out of the text here is so crucial that an exception is made only once in our entire tradition?

The Letter Lamed (ל) has a gematrial value of 30, while Yud (י) is worth 10. That makes 40. Forty also means גואל "go'El" - Liberator - and יד י-ה-ו-ה "yad Y-H-V-H" - Hand of the Eternal.

Yud is the yad, hand, holding the Lamed, the goad, directing us in Sacred Intimacy.

The place in the Torah where we read G@D saying to us, " li segulah..." - " shall be to Me a special-treasure...", we learn that these two letters of the word "li", "to Me" or "for Me" are joined at this point in the Torah to show the closeness and intimacy that The Holy One wishes to share with each of us. G@d has consciously joined the individual energies of these two letters together to demonstrate how deeply connective a bond we can achieve through the pursuit of Yechidut, Unity, by performing mitzvot. It is then that we will experience true liberation, at the hand of The One.

Based on my original article published February 2006 at Netivat Sofrut:
Subsequently published February 2009 on Facebook:
Copyright A. Barclay

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