Gimel ~ ג
"BeGeD KeFeT and The Mystery of the Gimel"
The family of letters known as BeGeD KeFeT are the family of 6 letters within the Hebrew Alphabet that hold the dagesh. Dagesh means "to emphasise" and changes the sound of three of those letters - beit, chaf and pey. The letters gimel, dalet and tav will always keep their same sound.
Sound = The letter ג Gimel will always make a "g" sound
Gematria = 3 (*the number 3 is always significant within scripture)
Derived from = "Geulah" which means redemption
Represents = The 3 fathers of the faith: Abraham, Isaac & Jacob
The musar (ethics) is all about G'milut Chasidim: The dictionary will say it means charity or benevolence but in Jewish understanding, it means so much more.
- In the Talmud, the Rabbis state that the significance of the numerical value of the Gimel represents 3 things by which man is blessed: 1. Prayer 2. G'milut Chasidim and 3. Faith
- Jeremiah 23:3 points to the 3 names of G-D in when is speaks of "The L-RD of our Righteousness" 1. The Righteous One 2. Messiah Himself (Yah), Yeshua and 3. Y'rushalayim
Jeremiah 51:56 ~ in looking at the Hebrew text, we see the word G'milut. This verse is speaking to us about G-D giving to us according to our deeds, paying all as we deserve: "For the L-RD is a G-D of recompenses, He will surely requite." I'd encourage you to look up the verse and see what the Hebrew text means.
"At bash" [את בש] and it's connection within context:
When looking at the Hebrew AlephBeit, there is a methodology of pairing the letters. If you look at the hebrew in the words above, you will see that it is the 1st and last letters paired and the 2nd with the second to last letters paired that form the term "at bash." The connection to this principle found in the letter Gimel, is that when paired with its "at bash" letter - Reysh - it forms the Hebrew word "ger." Why is this significant? Ger means "dweller" and it points directly to those who dwell among the Jewish people.
The rabbis ask "why is the Gimel placed between the Beit and the Dalet?"
- It represents the way we live (dwell) in the world, remembering that everything we go through in the world is temporary.
- Gimul is to pay somebody according to the way they are doing things - to compensate.
So how do these two things connect?
- When people are outside our house, it is our responsibility to open our house and open our door." This is the real significance behind G'milut Chasidim and the Gimel. It is SO much more than simple charity.
- Gimel represents Israel who were once far away from G-D and He brought us in ... it is about us opening the door of our heart to Him.
- Matthew 6 and the Sermon on the Mount tells us to "be careful not to practice our tzedakah (charity giving) before people." We are not to show off, boast or flaunt - "do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing." It isn't always necessarily about our actions but about the heart in which we perform those actions.
- Remember that Chesed is about giving something that is not deserved. It is allowing ourselves to become vulnerable as we open the door of our heart and homes. Those things done in secret are significant and have impact in the heavens!
Connection to Liturgical Prayer:
This letter and the concept reminds me of what we find in one of the traditional Liturgical prayers:
Avot: It means "fathers." The prayer begins by blessing our G-D and G-D of our fathers. We pray the words "gomel chasidim tovim" which speak of the One "who bestows good kindnesses and purchases all." It continues to speak of the kindnesses of the patriarchs, and then finishes with "and brings a redeemer to their children's children, for the sake of His Name in love."
The theme of the Avot is "Geulah" [redemption] and it is reminding us of Avraham who was willing to be a redeemer/purchaser of Lot. HaShem purchases us through acts of lovingkindness, and so are we to purchase others through undeserved acts of love ... G'milut Chasidim! (click here to read a personal written assignment on G'milut Chasidim)