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ALEPH BET: The Building Blocks of Civilization

The Origins of the “Alphabet”:


Have you ever questioned what “A” is? Why it looks like it does? Why it sounds as it does? Why it comes first? From where it originates? From birth, we accept the Greek Alphabet. The Greek Alphabet — the base script of the bulk of the world’s major languages, (English, Spanish, German, Russian, French etc.) — is one of the few, if not only things, still accepted as universal truth. The letters’ shape, sound, order, and the words that they compose are rarely, if ever, questioned. Why is that? The revelations revealed by seeking to answer this question holds the key to attaining the levels of happiness and tranquility that we are all searching for in these most turbulent of times. A happiness and tranquility that can come only through knowledge of the existence of One, Omniscient, Infinite, Creator that wants the best for every single one of us. So why is “A” “A” and “B” “B”? Juxtaposing the English script with the two scripts of the Hebrew Alef Bet (Ktav Ivri and Ktav Ashuri), one can ascertain that the Greeks didn’t invent the “Alphabet” out of nowhere, but instead produced the script by basing it off a pre-existing entity. When one looks at Ktav Ivri, it is striking how clearly the shapes of the letters of the English Alphabet are predicated on Ktav Ivri.¹ In addition to their shapes, the names of the first four letters of the Greek Alphabet are named after the first four symbols of the Hebrew Alef Bet. (Alef, Bet, Gimmel, Dalet = Alpha, Beta, Gamma, Delta). Ktav Ivri is primarily used in an everyday shorthand capacity for speed and mundane purposes.² On the other hand, scribing the symbols in Ktav Ashuri, the script found only on an authentic Torah scroll³, is a rigorous, lengthy process that requires specific quills, inks, parchments, and training to complete. An authentic Torah scroll is the closest Earthly replica of what is professed to have been transmitted by “God” to Moses and millions of people at Sinai. Therefore, when disposing of an article containing the Ktav Ashuri script, it is buried and not simply tossed away. The Power of Words The Hebrew Alef Bet is made up of Otiot [אותיות] which is mistranslated across the entire planet as “letters,” though the proper translation of Otiot is “signs”. A sign can have many functions. It can be a picture/symbol, a sound, a number, and yes — also a letter. When letters are combined, they form words. Words are extremely powerful.⁴ The most godlike ability is to speak, a key difference that separates humans from animals. Words can inspire people to do the greatest good and the greatest evil. World leaders have changed the course of history for both better and worse through the power of their tongues. On a more micro level, the practice of therapy allows people to overcome the biggest traumas in their lives. We have the power to unite and inspire by speaking words of encouragement or to divide and dishearten through words designed to hurt one another. It is solely up to us in how we choose to wield this power. According to the Torah, The Infinite One speaks the world into existence. “God” says, “Let there be light”, [ויהי אור] “and there was light.” This is the source of “Abra Kadabra,” which is a transliteration of the Hebrew phrase, “EVRA Ke’A’DaBRaH” [אברא כאדברה]: “I will create as I will speak”.⁵ The Infinite One speaks words, which are formed from symbols, and the world came to be. Words made of letters, or more accurately, words made of 22 Otiot — SIGNS, SYMBOLS, PICTURES, NUMBERS, SOUNDS, FUNCTIONS, STORIES: the intersection of all information. That is why “Devar” דבר is both the Hebrew word for “word” and “thing.” Because every single thing is created by the word of God.⁶ The concept of numbers and letters generating reality is one backed by science. Over the past decade, mounting scientific evidence has emerged that our world is essentially a simulated hologram.⁷ As Albert Einstein famously explained, mass is energy multiplied by the speed of light squared (E=mc2). The more you zoom into that mass, you will see atoms that are vibrating in space. All matter in existence, from something as lively as the human body to something as lifeless as a table are composed of these atoms.⁸ Therefore, what appears to the human eye as completely still and solid, is really composed of vibrating atoms, the building blocks of all existence.⁹ An easier way to understand this concept is by using the example of video games. Video games are built utilizing billions of lines of code. Code is simply numbers and letters in a specific sequence which then generates the virtual reality.¹⁰ Just like the virtual world exists as long as electricity is flowing through the system, so too does this entire universe exist by the Infinite One willing it to exist every single second.¹¹ What is Truth? The near universality of the Greek Alphabet as the basis for our communication is especially notable because we don’t agree on much in today’s world. It is common to hear the words “speak my/your truth” used in everyday conversation, which shouldn’t be a surprise when we can’t agree on fundamental realities, such as biological sex — what makes a man a man, and what makes a woman a woman. If we don’t possess a degree of certainty on such core aspects of our existence, how can we then be expected to agree on something as complex, consequential, and seemingly unattainable as an objective truth: the knowledge of the existence of One Omniscient, Infinite, Creator?? Let’s start by trying to answer the question of what “Truth” is. Truth is objective and real. Truth is composed of things we see, hear, count, touch, and experience. That which is evident & verifiable. Truth is what’s true for everybody. There is no “your truth & my truth.” What does exist is our completely unique perspectives on the same universal objective truth, making life wonderfully diverse, intellectually stimulating, and breathtakingly beautiful. The word for “Truth” in Hebrew is Emet¹² (אמת). Emet אמת, is composed of the Otiot: Alef (א), Mem (מ), &Tav (ת) — notably the first, middle, and last Ot of the entire Hebrew Alef Bet. So what then is “Truth”? “Truth/Emet” is All 22 Otiot of the Hebrew Alef Bet¹³, from the beginning, to the middle, to the end. Each Ot has its own unique shape, sound, number, function, & purpose. Each Ot depicts different truths or facts of life that are universally recognizable & understandable by people of all ages and backgrounds. The method used by the children in Ancient Israel to learn The Alef Bet during the times of the Sages is recorded in the Talmud (The Learning Process).¹⁴ As the children went through the Alef Bet Ot by Ot, learning what each depicts¹⁵, they ultimately reached the end with Tav ת. There they teach that since Tav is the first Ot of Torah תורה, that Tav symbolizes Truth. The children further elaborate by stating that like the Torah, Truth is not merely “found”, but must “be acquired” by learning from those who learned from their teachers — all the way back to the millions of people who received the Torahs¹⁶ at Sinai. As those children learned, the Otiot which comprise אמת are spread out evenly and in order throughout the entire Alef Bet, while the Otiot of Sheker שקר (the Hebrew word for ”lies”) are all bunched up just before the end. From here we see that while it is easy to spot a lie, one must go searching far and wide for the full Truth. The Talmud continues by teaching that “Truth stands”¹⁷ because the Otiot of אמת when “stood up” — remain standing on a solid base. On the other hand, “lies” שקר consists of Otiot that each ends on a point. שקר is telling us that lies, unlike the Truth, “stand on one leg” and will come crashing down when “stood up” or called out.¹⁸ The structure of the word Emet is insinuating that the Alef Bet, from beginning to middle to end, are themselves Truth. The Alef Bet is the proof that Objective Truth exists and is the design/handiwork of the One Infinite Creator.¹⁹ There is precisely 0% chance any human being, let alone 1,000 monkeys with typewriters, could create something as deep, beautiful, timeless, and foundational as this script that was given by the One Infinite Creator to the Nation of Israel at Sinai. The more one studies this pictorial script, beginning with the basic lesson of the Alef Bet, the more one sees The Designer behind the designs.²⁰ When do things stop being a coincidence? Truth/אמת and lies/שקר are just one of countless (Infinite?) examples of a word’s/concept’s meaning being lost in translation when converted to a different language/script from the Hebrew Alef Bet in Ktav Ashuri — the script of the Torah, the literal Word of the One Infinite Creator. One can experience this phenomenon simply by juxtaposing the Hebrew word for “tree” (Etz עץ) with its physical construction: the symbols come together and code for a tree.²¹ ²² ²³ Another example is the Hebrew word for “heart” (לב = Lev). The connection of “Lev” as the source of the word “Love” is an easy one to make. As referenced earlier, the Alef Bet have numerical value and utilizing them can yield some amazing connections. ל numerically is 30 and ב numerically is 2, which also happens to line up with the accepted compression-ventilation ratio of 30:2 when giving CPR to an adult.²⁴ Reasonable people can chalk that fact up as a pure coincidence, but the question must be asked, “How many coincidences is too many?” Does a point exist where excessive coincidence can start to be more rationally explained through the intention of a Divine Creator? Arguably the most fascinating connections are those that transcend time. Take the Hebrew word for “Horse” (Soos, סוס), for example. For centuries, horses were humans’ primary mode of transportation, especially when traveling long distances. That all changed in the late 19th century when Karl Benz invented the automobile. Benz first had the thought to invent the car, and then he physically manifested the idea into reality. Just like “God” first had the idea to create the world and then spoke it into existence, it is our thoughts and ideas, composed of words, which enables us to then create in the physical world. Now take another look at the word סוס. There is not a string of symbols in the entire Alef Bet that can possibly resemble that of a person in a car more than the Hebrew word for “Horse”. One can make the connection that thousands of years before the first assembly line, the Infinite One was already referencing what was yet to come. The more one delves into words and their ultimate source — the Hebrew Alef Bet in Ktav Ashuri — knowledge of the One Infinite Creator’s brilliant design and omniscient presence becomes glaringly apparent. Introducing Ahava Echad There is a large segment of today’s population who feel disenfranchised from Torah, Judaism, and Spirituality — even people with Yeshiva educations. The reason for this current reality is that the education system leaves students with many questions that should have been answered during their learning process. Kids feel forced to learn out of fear of failure rather than through the love, heart, and emotion that the Jewish education of the past provided. As covered here in Part 1 of the Launch of Ahava//Echad, modern Jewish Education fails to teach the insights into the Torah that are provided by the Alef Bet in Ktav Ashuri as seen on an authentic Torah Scroll. Very few students are ever exposed to the Alef Bet in its more pure and right form. Torah is fascinating but is taught in a dull and rote way that comes off as a chore rather than a pleasure. Over the past eight years, Ahava Echad has developed a unique curriculum to teach the Hebrew letters in all their glory, the way they were taught by Rabbi Akiva more than 2,000 years ago. Ahava Echad’s goal is for children and adults to discover the beauty and inspiration contained in the Torah as well as the Hebrew symbols of which it is composed. Part 2 of Ahava Echad’s curriculum involves the study of Targum (more detailed article coming soon). Very few children are taught the Targum, which is the Aramaic partner to the Torah that provides the explicit translation of the meaning behind the Torah’s words. Ahava Echad has developed patented Torah books that facilitate the learning of Targum through color and spacing. At this time, the vast majority of Yeshiva graduates are incapable of learning the Targum in Aramaic, which is an issue because the entire Talmud is Aramaic. In lieu of being intimidated by a language barrier when first encountering Talmud, Ahava Echad’s goal is for students to grow up already having learned Aramaic by studying Targum in conjunction with the Torah in Ktav Ashurit. This will give students both a deeper insight into the meaning of the words of the Torah and prepare them to learn the Talmud when they come of age. Part 3 of Ahava Echad’s curriculum focuses on understanding what One Infinite, Omniscient, Perfect Creator looks like. What is “God”? What does it mean to be Infinite? Does God make mistakes? How can free will exist in the presence of an Omniscient creator? By learning what “God” truly is, through the study of the Alef Bet as well as sourcing from some of our greatest sages like the late Rav Aryeh Kaplan, we can cut through the confusion that has run rampant over the past 2000+ years. A confusion that has led many to unfortunately associate God’s name with callous destruction and coldhearted indifference, as opposed to the love and warmth of the ultimate Mother & Father. This amazing truth, among countless others, can be gleaned by returning to the basics of human communication which is the Alef Bet in Ktav Ashuri as seen on an authentic Torah Scroll. Only by returning to the basics and learning together as One can we begin to rebuild the foundation that has eroded over the past 2000+ years due to the inaccuracies that have been spoken in the name of God by both good and ill-intentioned people. Please join us on Tuesday night, May 26th, for a live Zoom session where we will start to learn the Alef Bet the way it was learned thousands of years ago during the times of our greatest leaders. All questions are always and forever welcome as legitimate inquiry is the only way people of good intention can unite to achieve the goals of peace, understanding, and God-willing, Moshiach. In order to achieve these loftiest of goals, petty, partisan differences need to be put aside and a will to unite must emerge. One thing all people can unite around is the desire to give their kids an opportunity to live a better life than the ones they lead. Ahava Echad’s mission is to provide that opportunity through an inclusive, inspirational curriculum that touches on the most important concepts in the history of humankind, including above all else, to care for every human being that is in need. We hope you found utility in this article and we hope to see and hear from you on Tuesday night. Much Love, Andrew Hershkowitz for AHAVAECHAD.ORG @AHAVAECHAD on all social Special Thanks to: Jacob Nachimovsky, Michelle Hershkowitz, David Hartman, Isaac Maxwell, Steven Applebaum, David Illouz and many others who provided feedback to help complete this final version.

  • Jewish Education

  • Spirituality

  • Language

  • Communication

1 WRITTEN BY AHAVA /// ECHAD Follow Here to help you learn HaShem’s Torahs, as meant to be seen & heard; real Aleph Bet + their explanations & Targoom. // ___

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