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Every Hebrew letter holds a secret, but nothing Rabbi Infinity's lab can't break open. Even the all-encompassing secret of the letter chaf.

Secrets of the Letter Chaf

Secrets of the Letter Chaf


The Letter Chaf

Every Hebrew letter holds a secret, but nothing Rabbi Infinity's lab can't break open. Even the all-encompassing secret of the letter chaf.
Ratzon, Keter, Kaf, Makif & Penimi; Sovev & Memalle, Makif; Sovev

Some of you think I'm just making this stuff up as I go along. Chaf means hand and looks like a hand holding something, so the rabbi starts pontificating about how, "He's got the whole world in His hand" and signs off with a bracha on a drink, cuz it looks good.

So here's the real story: There's a little-used, tall volume with lots of small print of cryptic Hebrew notes called "Sefer Ha-Erchin Chabad, volume 4." That volume covers most of the letters of the alef-bet. For each letter, there's an explanation describing how that letter relates to different sefirot and relationships between sefirot. Each letter can be charged with a zillion sorts of different energy patterns depending on where it turns up and what's its function. In case you're finding Kabbalah too simple and straightforward, this is the book for you.

The KToons Alef Bet Series borrows a lot of material from that volume. Just that I've got the challenge of bringing it down to the level of a four year old girl and giving it a practical application.

So what's with Chaf? Chaf is for Ketter--meaning The Crown. The ten sefirot beginning with Wisdom/Chochma are all about how Infinite Light pours into creation to become all things and animates them. There's a mystery here, because it somehow stays infinite while investing itself within all these finite beings, but hey that just goes to show how infinite that light really is.

Ketter on the other hand, is where the Infinite Light hasn't poured into anything yet. It's just way beyond everything, high and pure. And yet, Ketter is the dynamo that gives all the sefirot their creative power to isify and sustain something out of nothing. Ketter is called the encompassing light, because it stays transcendent of everything and yet encompasses and holds each thing in existence. That's the light the letter Chaf conveys. All the other letters convey some sort of inner, vitalizing light, while Chaf brings with it a transcendent light. In this way, Chaf is the crown of all the letters.

It's a lot like your own life: You have thoughts and feelings and words and actions, but transcending all of them is an all-encompassing will and drive. Usually what drives you, what you really want out of life, is hidden from everyone that knows you, even from you yourself. If you think you've got it figured out, you're on the wrong track. It's not something you can put your finger on, because it's the core of what keeps you ticking. You can't know it, you can only be it.

Same with the universe: The energy source that keeps it ticking lies so deep that it's way beyond any created being's grasp. No thought can grasp it, not even the highest angel can conceive of it, even the deepest yearning of the heart only catches a glimmer of it. Everything else is measured somehow relative to something else, but the crown is absolute and beyond knowing.

You can't touch the crown, you can't know anything about it, you can't even have a hunch what it is. But you can become it. Meaning, you can allow the crown to shine through you. That's what a mitzvah is about--it's an expression of the inner will that sustains the universe. When you do a mitzvah, you become the vehicle through which that inner will is expressed. You and the crown become one. And so you are plugged into its light.

Since the crown is beyond knowing, it doesn't matter if you are Rabbi Infinity or little Miri--everyone is equally distant and equally close to the crown. The encompassing light of the crown is beyond higher and lower, closer and further. The difference is only that complicated people make a big show that gets in the way and doesn't allow the light to break out into the open. Simple people--like little granddaughters--just do the mitzvah with an earnest, open heart. And then the light breaks through and glows.

Hurray for little people. They can reach that which is beyond high and low.

Written and conceived by Tzvi Freeman. Rabbi Freeman is available for public speaking and workshops. Read more on his bio page.
Music by The Piamentas
Rabbi Infinity played by Andrew Torres
Animation and SFX by Pilar Newton of Pilar Toons
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Anonymous louisville, ky October 1, 2015

the light lit up when Miri said a bracha, but shouldn't a light also have come when the zaidy said amen? Reply

Michael December 21, 2008

Thank you , that melted my jaded heart.
Michael Reply

Carmen December 21, 2008

I agree with Esther Seider! These classes have giving me a new incentive to keep learning Hebrew systematically, with a broader understanding! Reply

Betty Seidner (Esther) Hallandale, Florida via December 20, 2008

Won't forget the Chaf I've been trying to learn Hebrew now I'll never forget the Chaf. learning the holiness of each letter is a great way to learn. Thank you. Reply

Celia Leal São Paulo, Brazil December 18, 2008

The Secret of the Letter Chaf Dear Rabbi Tzvi Freeman,

I really enjoyed this series. The Secret of the Letter Chaf is so beautiful! I enjoyed the Bracha, prayed by the little girl...she looks like an angel!

Shalom and Chanukah Sameach! Reply

william t mathews east haven, C.T. December 14, 2008

secrets of the letter CHAF it's so great to see the children
they get wise from kabbala toons
keep them coming! Reply

Michal December 14, 2008

Letter chaf Like Carmen I feel inspired to learn more about the Brachot, and what to say at the end.
I too would like to brighten up that Chaf, so that this "Hand" will holding me faster.
It is a wonderful "story"
Thankyou! Reply

Carmen December 14, 2008

Ketter and Atzilut Ketter and Atzilut are the same thing? Reply

Carmen December 14, 2008

Tet! Isn't it missing? Reply

Carmen December 14, 2008

Chaf! Today's Kabbala Toons inspired me to pray regularly (without that usual laziness) and so keep Chaf more "dense", protecting me.
Thanks! Reply

Ari Edson thornhill, ont December 13, 2008

Beautiful! Reply

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