Genesis 23 - A Lesson from the Letter Chof ©

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Journey Through Genesis

Genesis 23

A Lesson from the Letter Chof © 

By Dr. Akiva Gamliel Belk

B'nai Noach Torah Institute, LLC


If the Hebrew Text does not appear please click here.

Our Devri Torah is in the loving Memory of Mr. Yochanan Bond and Mr. Stephen Reynolds may they rest in peace. 


Gen. 23.2

וַתָּמָת שָׂרָה בְּקִרְיַת אַרְבַּע הִוא חֶבְרוֹן בְּאֶרֶץ כְּנָעַן וַיָּבֹא אַבְרָהָם לִסְפֹּד לְשָׂרָה וְלִבְכֹּתָהּ:11

Shalom Dear Ones, please notice the 13th Word of Passuk Bet.  The 13th Word is the last Word. 

Notice the Word  וְלִבְכֹּתָהּ Vih Lee Bih Choh Tawh, meaning and to weep for her.  Please notice the 4th Letter is reduced in size.  Here the normal k Chof  is not so normal.  The normal k Chof  is reduced in size.  Our Sages Teach that the Letter k Chof is reduced to teach us to reduce our mourning.  Our Sages also Teach that the reduced Chof in וְלִבְכֹּתָהּ, Vih Lee Bih Choh Tawh should actually be read, HT;bil]W, Voo Lih Bee Tawh, meaning daughter.  When conbined as part of the last three Letters of 23.2 the meaning is  HT;bil]W hr:¡c;l] dPoès]li, to eulogize Sarah and her [virgin] daughter,'; who also died on that day, for the Sages derive from [Bereisheit 24.1 that the lKoBæ, Bah Cohl, meaning 'in all' as in Hashem Blessed Avraham in all must include a son, Yitzchok and a daughter.]  Rabbi Meir Zlotowitz and Rabbi Nosson Scherman, The Artscroll Tanach Series - Bereishis Vol. I(a) (Brooklyn, New York: Mesorah Publications, Ltd. 3rd Impression, 1989), p 866

Why a virgin daughter?  The Gematria of HT;bil]W, Voo Lih Bee Tawh, meaning, and a daughter too is 443.  The Gematria of hl;WtB], Bih Too Lawh, meaning virgin is 443.

Voo Lih Bee Tawh, meaning, and a daughter too

443 = h5 t400 b2 l30 w6

Bih Too Lawh, meaning virgin

443 = h5 l30 w6 t400 b2

When we consider the Letter k Chof we are aware that there is the normal k Chof  and the final ˚ Chof.   The final ˚ Chof is only used at the conclusion of a word.  The final ˚ Chof stands tall and proud.  When the final ˚ Chof is at the conclusion of a word it often means 'your'.   The final ˚ Chof  represents the Gematria 500.

Gen. 12.1

וַיֹּאמֶר יְהוָֹה אֶל־אַבְרָם לֶךְ־לְךָ

 מֵאַרְצְךָ וּמִמּוֹלַדְתְּךָ

1: וּמִבֵּית אָבִיךָ אֶל־הָאָרֶץ אֲשֶׁר אַרְאֶךָּ

The normal k Chof  is at the beginning of a word or in the middle of a word.  The normal k Chof  when at the beginning of a word is often a connector that means 'like'.   The normal k Chof  represents the Gematria 20.

Gen. 1.26

וַיֹּאמֶר אֱלֹהִים נַעֲשֶׂה אָדָם בְּצַלְמֵנוּ כִּדְמוּתֵנוּ וְיִרְדּוּ בִדְגַת הַיָּם וּבְעוֹף הַשָּׁמַיִם וּבַבְּהֵמָה וּבְכָל־הָאָרֶץ וּבְכָל־הָרֶמֶשׂ הָרֹמֵשׂ עַל־הָאָרֶץ :11

Deut. 2.33

וַיִּתְּנֵהוּ יְהוָֹה אֱלֹהֵינוּ לְפָנֵינוּ וַנַּךְ אֹתוֹ וְאֶת־בנו [בָּנָיו] וְאֶת־כָּל־עַמּוֹ 1:1

Some Teach that the Letter Chof maybe enlarged in Devarim 2.33.  The Letter Chof if enlarged would represent great emphasis on 'and we struck him, i.e. Sichon.'  ,

The Letter   k Chof  when Represented as Miluy equals 100 and as Miluy Godal equals 820.  Why?  The final Letter is the Letter π Pay which can have a Gematria of 80 or of 800.  The Letter   k Chof  is spelled  πk that is with the Letter  k Chof and the Final Letter π Pay.


100 = π80 k20

Miluy Godal

820 = π800 k20

Rabbie Michael Munk, author of The Wisdom in the Hebrew Alphabet, Teaches that 'The name πk; means bent [from πWpK;] for the [Letter] derives its name from its bent shape.'  I.e. the bent shape of a spoon, the bent palm of the hand, the bent sole of the foot and the bent palm branch.  Rabbi Michael Munk The Wisdom In The Hebrew Alphabet Mesorah Publications, Brooklyn, N.Y. 1990), p. 135

Mystically our Sages Teach that the Letter  k Chof is Representive of rt,K,, Cheh Tehr, meaning crown. 

We know that among women that Sarah was the crown.  The Gematria of  וְלִבְכֹּתָהּ, Vih Lee Bih Choh Tawh, meaning and to weep for her, is 463.  The Gematria of  twOnB;hæ, Ha Baw Noht, meaning 'the daughters' is 463.  This seems like a paradox.  How could Sarah who has only one virgin daughter who dies on the same day as her mother weep for her.  Ha Torah Says, 'I Will Bless her [Sarah] and she [Sarah] will be [a mother ] of to nations', Bereisheit 17.16.  The daughters of the Nations weeping over Sarah is Prophetic.  Who does not mourn the loss of Sarah, the greatest jewel of the Keter, Crown?  When Sarah died it was like the Chof of  וְלִבְכֹּתָהּ, Vih Lee Bih Choh Tawh, meaning 'and to weep for her', was removed.   The greatest of Jewish women came first and now she is gone.   The mother of Yitzchok is gone.  The wife of Avraham is gone.  The mother of nations is gone.   Why was Sarah the greatest of jewels taken first?  It is to limit our mourning.  One should not exceed the mourning of Avraham for his wife, Sarah.  When we mourn the loss of our mother Sarah we are reminded not mourn excessively.  When we mourn the loss of others we are reminded not to mourn excessively.

Vih Lee Bih Choh Tawh, meaning 'and to weep for her'

463 = h5 t400 k20 b2 l30 w6

Ha Baw Noht, meaning 'the daughters' 

463 = t400 w6 n50 b2 h5

The Letter  k Chof is quite unique in Ha Torah.  Out of the twenty-two Letters of Hebrew only five are Final Letters.  Of the five Final Letters only two are connecting Letters, the k Chof and the m Mem.  The  k Chof and the m Mem can both change the beginning and conclusion of a Word.

It is possible that the Letter k Chof  is the only Letter in Ha Torah with meanings in the beginning middle and conclusion and with reduced size and with enlarged size. 

May Hashem Bless each oif us in our time of mourning in our time of sadness.  May we limit our time of grief.  May we limit our mourning.

Blessings, Love, Health, Prosperity, Kindness and Peace,

Dr. Akiva Gamliel

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This page contains a single entry by B'nai Noach Torah Institute, LLC Blog published on October 30, 2012 12:01 AM.

Genesis 22 - The Ten Trials of Avraham © was the previous entry in this blog.

Genesis 23 - The Value of Mothers Milk © is the next entry in this blog.

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