Beit – Susan Shuman

beit

The Hebrew letter ב “Beit” is the second letter of the Hebrew aleph-bet. Beit symbolizes the number two and is the extension, or vehicle, of א Aleph. To appreciate ב Beit, we must be mindful of א Aleph, since ב Beit is that through which א Aleph speaks. As such, ב Beit can be viewed as a mouth. Therefore, the breath of God originates in Aleph and emits through ב Beit. It can be inferred then, that when God breathes, life happens.

According to the Midrash, ב was chosen to be the very first letter in the Torah because all creatures, from the angels to humans, to the smallest of beings bless God with the letter ב : Blessed is Hashem forever, amen and amen. (Psalms 89.53)

With a numerical value of two,  ב represents duality, as there is diversity in all aspects of Creation. It is only in the Creator Himself, that absolute Oneness is found. In Hebrew, Beit means “house” which suggests the core of holiness on Earth. It also the symbolic expression for holy places in which the Jewish Spirit is prevalent.

In another direction, Beit also represents understanding (binah בִּינָה,) which stems from the art of differentiation and deduction.

It is said that King Solomon valued binah more so than any other Divine favor. When God appeared to him in a dream and asked the King what He should give to him, King Solomon asked for neither wealth nor honor, but for binah. To him, an understanding was the most prized gift of all, citing, Give your servant an understanding heart to judge Your people, that I may discern from good and evil (1Kings 3:9).

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