Design and Sefirah

The tzeireh is configured as two dots side by side. They repre­sent the Sefirah of Binah—understanding. Pardes Rimonim1 explains that the two dots signify the two luminaries, the sun and the moon, as well as the tzaddik and the baal teshuvah. When the Jewish people do teshuvah and Mashiach comes, G‑d will restore the moon to its original glory, commensurate with the power of the sun.

The teachings of Chassidus additionally explain that the two dots represent ratzo and shov;2 the passion of prayer that runs to expire into G‑d’s light, and the returning calmness of Torah study, also referred to as fire and water.

In addition, ratzo and shov are also interpreted as the self-nullification one experiences from spiritual bliss to the point of expiry, followed by a return to the material world to fulfill one’s mission in a body.


The numerical value of the tzeireh is twenty (ten for each dot, or yud).During the time when the Holy Temple stood, the weight of one shekel, one coin, was twenty gerah.Each Jew was commanded to give a half-shekel annually to be used for the daily communal sacrifices. Only when two Jews gave a half-shekel each, did they have a complete shekel of twenty, representing Jewish unity. The Rebbe explains that this exem­plifies one’s ability to be complete only when one bonds with another.

Tzeireh, which is twenty, can be broken down into ten and ten,3 representing the Ten Utterances of Creation which are dependent upon the Ten Commandments.4


The Tikkunei Zohar states5 that the tzeireh means vayitzer (Genesis 2:7), “to form.” This definition is consistent with Binah, the level of understanding that forms and elaborates on Chochmah, the flash of an idea.

Furthermore, it states in the Zohar and the Tikkunim6 that Binah represents the higher of the two levels of teshuvah. It is through this higher level of repentance that the moon is re­stored to its original strength, after Mashiach’s arrival.

One can draw a parallel between the word tzeireh (represent­ing teshuvah) and tzari (balm or remedy), which share the same letters. As it states:7 “Is there no balm (tzari) in Gilead?” And the Talmud8 tells us, “Great is teshuvah for it brings remedy to the world.”