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The Upside Down Letter Nun

Letters and Numbers of Torah - Behaalotecha

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The Upside Down Letter Nun: Letters and Numbers of Torah - Behaalotecha

"So it was, whenever the ark set out, Moses would say, Arise, O Lord, may Your enemies be scattered and may those who hate You flee from You. And when it came to rest he would say, Repose O Lord, among the myriads of thousands of Israel." (Numbers 10:35-36) These two verses are surrounded by an inverted letter "nun" at the beginning and end. Nowhere else in the Torah does the inverted nun appear. What is its meaning?
Nun, Behaalotecha, Parshah

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B June 29, 2022

This was such a beautiful Torah, thank you rabbi! Reply

Temimah Hunter June 16, 2022

Can the part between the nuns be read backwards? Reply

Anonymous Wisconsin June 21, 2018

Inverted Nun B"H....Todah Rabbi Raskin. I have been studying the inverted Nun for a little while. They are not misplaced. They are where they are for a specific reason, probably more reasons than you, or I could imagine.
Counting the number of Nun including both inverted Nun and all between them, there are 8 Nun, 5 upright, 2 inverted, and 1 final Nun. The parashah concerns lighting lamps, using Rabbi Munk's "Wisdom in the Hebrew Alphabet as a guide, the Nun can represent, Nairoth, Nawchawsh, Nephesh, Neshamah, and a tzaddik, or Kohen in the case of the final Nun.
By the number of them, 7 Nun for The Menorah, and 1 final Nun for Aaron HaGodal.
As an indicator: the two inverted combined form a Mem, which can represent the Stars, Mazal. The older Ksav Ivris was directly connected to The Stars. The crowns of Ksav Assur is seen in Modern Hebrew, used in a Torah scroll, yet in Tanakh it says, "and the heavens shall be rolled up like a scroll." Casseopeia = Shin , Orion = Cheth, Ursa Major = He', etc. Reply

Rabbi Aaron L. Raskin Brooklyn heights January 4, 2013

reside tranquilly Dear Dr. Joshua,

Perhaps we can answer your question based on Rashi's commentary on that verse. On the words "among the myriads thousands of Israel" Rashi comments, "We learn from here that G-d's presence only rest among us when there are twenty two thousand Jews gathered together." Obviously in most synagogues there are less than that number, yet we still believe that G-d's presence rests even when there are just ten Jew's coming together to pray. Therefore we don't mention this verse which implies that twenty two thousand are necessary for G-d's presence to reside.

Also you may want to see our video letters of light on the letter nun for more on that letter.

With blessings for success, Reply

Susan Joshua January 4, 2013

thank you for sending me the most recent comment. I did not hear back from Rabbi Raskin about my question. I wouldn't mind hearing from anyone who knows, ask the Rabbi, perhaps. thank you Reply

Alyshja Brogan Washington December 20, 2012

Aharon Taking the laws of the letters concerning miracle, Aaron has one so add the other. He was affirming the law is alive in our lives. If one places the Nun the phonetic Neuron an active word. Like Resurrection from the "ark".

Thank you. You are exciting and your words are dear and true. Thank you Reply

Susan Joshua MD Ashland, OR August 17, 2012

Behaaloscha why when we take the Torah out do we say only the first sentence, lamed heh, and we do not continue after setting the Torah down, continue to say, the remainder of the words between the two upside down nuns, sentence lamed vav.? It seems we would want to continue to affirm,,, that Ha Shem resides among us? what does Rabbi Aaron Raskin think of this question? Reply

Rabbi Raskin looks at the hidden meanings of the sizes and numerical values (gematria) of the Hebrew letters in the weekly Torah portion.
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