Hebrew Letters

Artwork inspired by each Hebrew letter.
Please click on an image to see it enlarged, as well as to get an in depth description of the symbols and thought process used by the artist.

Alef #2 edited


watercolor 30″ x 24″ (part of the collection of Ms. E. Berkowitz) “In the beginning Hashem created the heavens and the earth” (Genesis 1:1).   Aleph, the first letter of the Hebrew Alphabet, is linked to Creation and the two basic elements:   “Adamah” (earth) and “Aish” (fire).    Aleph corresponds to the number one.   Likewise, Adam, the first human being, was… Read more →

Alef II

Aleph II

Watercolor 27″ x 20″ ‘Aleph’ is the first letter of the Hebrew alphabet, and hence signifies beginnings. The name Adam, the first human being, starts with an Aleph. Adam’s name, derives from the Hebrew word ‘adamah’, meaning earth , for Adam was created out of primal clay. One Midrash tells us that the Adam was created of red, green, black… Read more →

Bet #1 edited


watercolor 26″ x 20″ The Torah starts with the letter “Bet” of “bereshis” (in the beginning).   “Bet” symbolizes “bayit” (home) where the reign of Shabbos is kept.   Its numerical value is two, represented by the two Shabbos candles. Read more →

Dalet #1 edited


30″ x 24″ Private collection: Mr. & Mrs. Simon Eskenazy The fourth letter in the Hebrew alphabet, ‘Dalet’, has the shape of an open doorway.   It also suggests the word “dal” (pauper), who knocks on doors begging for alms.    King Solomon proclaimed:   ‘He that gives to the poor graciously makes a loan to Hashem and He will pay him… Read more →

Dalet #2

Dalet II

Watermedia 28″ x 21″ Private collection: Mr. & Mrs. Simon Eskenazy Dalet is the fourth letter of the Hebrew alphabet.  It is closely connected with the word ‘dag‘, fish, which is the symbol of good luck and God’s protection. Just like the fish never closes its eyes, God sees and protects us all the time. Read more →

Vav #1


Watercolor 28″ x 22″ Private Collection: Mrs. E. Berkowitz ‘Vav’ is a connector in the Hebrew language. Likewise, the ladder in Jacob’s dream linked angels of heaven to earth. In Jewish tradition, the white rose symbolizes our yearning for redemption. Read more →

Zayn #2


Watercolor 28″ x 22″ Private Collection: Mr & Mrs. G. Himelhoch This letter, ‘Zayn’, represents the splendor of Shabbos.   Zayn’s numerical value is seven, corresponding to the seventh day of the week, the day of rest. Read more →

Tet #2


Watercolor 28″ x 22″ Private Collection Tet’s numerical value is nine, which corresponds to the months of gestation.   The first Tet that appears in the Torah is in the word “Tov”, which means ‘good’ (Genesis 1:4).    Our Guide in choosing the good in life is the Torah, which is called “a good acquisition”. “For a good acquisition have I… Read more →

Chaf #2 edited


Watercolor & collage 27″x 34″   The Hebrew word ‘chaf’ means the palm of the hand which represents productivity and accomplishments.   There is so much more that can be accomplished by putting many hands together, like the flower in this painting. Read more →

Lamed 72dpi edited


Watercolor 25″ x 19″ The name of the letter ‘Lamed’, is related to ’lamad’, which refers to teaching and to learning.   The fact that the tallest letter of the alephbet is the one that implies learning and teaching shows us that this quality is man’s greatest gift. The name ‘Lamed’ , for learning, is an acronym of ‘a heart understands… Read more →

Mem #3


Watercolor Collection of the Mikveh Taharas Ysrael at the Chabad Lubavitch Center in Houston  “Mem” begins and closes the Hebrew word for water (mayim) and symbolizes for Jewish mystics the vast sea of human consciousness.   It is also associated with “mikvah” which brings about purification. Read more →

Nun #1


Watercolor on oriental paper 25″ x 19″  “Nun” is the initial letter of the word “neshamah” (soul), which is symbolized by a burning candle.  The flame of fire shoots heavenward, apparently defying the very laws of gravity. Read more →

Samech #1


Private Collection: Dr. & Mrs. I. Fishman The round closed frame of the letter “samech” represents an inner core protected by a surrounding perimeter.    Its closed circle indicates that Hashem protects His children like a “surrounding wall of fire” (Zechariah 2:9).   The burning bush is a symbol of the Jewish people and their survival throughout history. Read more →

Ayn #1edited


Watercolor 26″ x 20″ The word Ayn means eye.   Another meaning for the word Ayn is spring of water.   Just as a spring brings water from the dark depth of the Earth to the light, so the eye brings the perception of the world to man. Read more →

Peh #1


Mixed media 27″ x 20″ The peh, mouth in Hebrew, makes a human being able to fulfill te ultimate purpose of creation:   to sing the praises of the Almigty and to study his Torah.   As the Psalm (115:17) says “the dead do not praise God but living people do, by virtue of their speech.” Read more →

Final Phey

Final Phey

Mixed Media 20 3/4″ x 26″ The letter Peh is related to the mouth: peh, mouth in Hebrew. “Final Fey” was associated by the rabbis to the open mouth, speaking and words. This painting was inspired by sayings from Mishleh that compare words to the sea: ” hurtful words are like stormy waters, they can harm and destroy;  kind words… Read more →

Tzadi #1


Watercolor Part of the private collection of Mr. and Mrs. S. Amber “Tzadi” or “Tzaddik” is the eighteenth letter of the Hebrew Alphabet.   The “Tzadi” represents the righteousness of God and devout human beings.   The term ‘tzaddik’’ is applied to those who conduct themselves with integrity, truth and justice.   One who lives in accordance with the Torah’s dictum:   ‘Justice,… Read more →

Final Tzadi #1

Final Tzadi

watercolor 20″ x 26″ The final “Tzadi” with its upright shape represents the righteousness of God and devout human beings. The final Tzadi is the final letter in the word earth, which is one of the four elements with which the world was created:   earth, air, water and fire.   It’s also the final letter of the word ‘ets’ (tree), the… Read more →

Kof #1


Watercolor Private Collection of Mr. & Mrs. Barnett ‘Kuf’ is composed of two elements: one higher and one lower.   The higher one seems to represent the sky, while the lower one reminds us of a humble praying person.    The letter Kof alludes to the word ‘keddushah’, holiness.    The Torah tells us:    ‘Holy shall you be because I… Read more →

Reish #1


Watercolor 25″ x 19″ Reish is the Aramaic word for head, or beginning.   According to the Midrash:    Rosh,head in Hebrew, is the Holy One, Blessed is He.   He is the ‘Head’ of the entire world, and He is the ‘End’ of the entire world. The shape of the letter can be seen as a passageway through which man can… Read more →