Yod ~ י
"The Question of Identity"
"The Question of Identity"
Family of four letters ~ א ה ו י
These letters are found in G-D’s name
Meaning = Comes from Yad which means “hand”
Gematria = 10
Represents = humility and modesty
Example(s): Moshe is a picture and a foreshadowing of the Messiah … “Now Moses was a very humble man, more so than any other man on earth.” In Leviticus 1:1 we see the diminished Alef (V'yikra) when G-D called Moshe & spoke to him from the tent of meeting.
Zechariah 9:9 ~ “Rejoice greatly, Fair Zion; Raise a shout, Fair Jerusalem! Lo, your king is coming to you. He is victorious, triumphant, Yet humble, riding on an ass, On a donkey foaled by a she-ass.”
The Messiah is humble and modest, so how do we reflect the Yod and who He is?
- The way we come across to others
- The way we dress
- The way we pray [ “But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.” ]
All of these letters represent G-D’s holy and sacred name even though we don’t know how to pronounce it. *Liturgical connection ~ The Adon Olam prayer has two lines at the end which are found only in the Sephardic Tradition.
- The prayer affirms that the Mashiach will indeed build the temple, and will teach us the Shem Meforash - the pronunciation of the Name of G-D.
- This will take place after the fulfilment of Zephaniah 3:9 “For then I will change the peoples, so that they will have pure lips.”
The letter Yod and the DNA of the Jewish people
The Yod in His name is also found in the following Hebrew words:
Jew = י הודי (Yehudi) Yeshua = י שוע
Judah = י הודה (Yehudah) Yehoshua = י הושע
י ה ו ה = HaShem's name which we will not know how to pronounce until Mashiach comes to teach it to us
The Yod is the smallest letter in G-D’s name and yet it comes first … it represents His humility, His meekness in the world around us.
R. Akiva: https://www.chabad.org/library/article_cdo/aid/112059/jewish/Rabbi-Akiva-His-Life-and-Teachings.htm
[some of these stories of R. Akiva and certainly his humble beginnings are beautiful and moving]
- He states that G-D has put His DNA within the Jewish people … and all those who are attaching themselves to the Jewish people should also have this DNA.
- Having this DNA begins with humility so that He can be seen within us.
Otiot Rabbi Akivah: Famous Essay from Akiva about the letters of the Alphabet.
- In it he states, “Don’t call it the letter Yod but call it Yad (hand), because it gives us a clue on the Divine Supervision of G-D or on the name that G-D will give the righteous in the world to come.”
- The Paradox of it: The Yod represents something so tiny and yet Exodus 13:14 speaks of G-D delivering Israel "It was with a mighty hand that the LORD brought us out from Egypt, the house of bondage.” In essence we see a picture of G-D in “this tiny bit” on one hand, but on the other His hand is mighty to save and can reach anywhere - nothing is beyond His reach!
We are to become small and humble ourselves as the little hand, so that the Big Hand can come and deliver us.
Speaks of the paradox of why G-D’s name starts with the letter Yod
Kingdom principle: “Mount Sinai vs The Burning Bush”
- He states that in every place where we find the greatness of G-D, we will also find His meekness, His smallness … His awesomeness and power!
- The more humble we become, the more holiness we will experience … like Moshe at the burning bush: he was told to take off his shoes for he was standing on holy ground.
- The burning bush is considered more significant than Mount Sinai or the giving of the Torah because of the little yod!
- My thought is that at Mount Sinai, G-D was promising to betroth His people to Him forever. And just as a wife takes on the name of her husband, Rabbi Shapira speaks about us taking on the name of G-D, allowing the Yod which is part of His name to become our name … in order that people would recognise us by our humility and not by our knowledge.
If the knowledge of the Torah is not supported by humility, we have misrepresented G-D!
The letter Yod gives us a safety mechanism in that it represents something that is so tiny and yet firmly rooted, like a tiny root that is difficult to remove from the ground … making it difficult for someone to come along and pull out!
- “If we want a lasting ministry … relationship … whatever it may be, we must remember to stay tiny!”
- Think of the many empires which have fallen because of their own sense of greatness and pride.
ACTS 1:10 ~ "They were looking intently up into the sky as he was going, when suddenly two men dressed in white stood beside them. 11“Men of Galilee,” they said, “why do you stand here looking into the sky? This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen him go into heaven.”
* We are not to look up into the clouds waiting for Yeshua to return, but we are to look around us and for opportunity to represent the Yod to the world around us.
Numbers 13:16 ~ “Those were the names of the men whom Moses sent to scout the land; but Moses changed the name of Hosea son of Nun to Joshua.”
It is understood that Moshe pulled Joshua to one side, singled him out because of the meekness and humility of his character. When the scouts came back with a bad report and used Lashon Hara (evil speech), Joshua said nothing … he remained small and silent and he was lifted up to follow in the footsteps of Moshe, but lead the people into the promised land.
Matthew 5:17-18 ~ Yeshua was speaking to the Jews when He said “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfil them.”
- He speaks about the jot and the tittle … this is the heartbeat of the Torah!
- Even the tiny Yod will not pass!
- The melodies of the Torah and the cantillation marks, as easy as they can be to miss, when we look for them a great light is given.
- The Letter & The Spirit are more valid now than ever … those whom Yeshua addressed were keeping the word of the Torah but not the Spirit of the Torah.
- Yeshua was saying He came to Raise the Torah … He raised the bar on Torah when He spoke of committing murder by simply hating our brother in our heart.
- The entire Torah is resting on the Yods …
The entire foundation of the Torah is resting on the things we are doing behind the scenes
The things we do when no one else is watching, the things we put into our hearts, the things we say when no-one is there to point it out to us … that is the essence and the Spirit of the Torah.
- Doing the mitzvot is only half the equation.
- Interesting look-up: Eliyahu Soloveitchik ~ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eliyahu_Soloveitchik
The Musar of the Letter Yod
Each and every one of us has a duty to strengthen the Torah
D’varim 27:26 ”Cursed be he who will not uphold the terms of this Teaching and observe them.—And all the people shall say, Amen.”
We are presenting the letter Yod to the world not in our actions alone, but in our lifestyle … asking ourselves this:
“What impact is my walk with HaShem having on those around me?”
“Have I become a supporter of Torah or an enemy of the Torah? ______________________________________________________
V’zot HaTorah - Within Judaism there is a lot of symbolism and the reality of performing a physical act reflecting the depth of meaning behind the action. This prayer is said as we conclude the Torah reading on Shabbat. The Torah Scroll is lifted high (The HagBa’ah) for all to see (by the Magbiah, the one who lifts the scroll), and we lift our pinky - the smallest digit - in the air toward the scroll and recite “Vezot haTorah asher sam Moshe lif’nei benei Yisrael, al pi Adonai beyad Moshe.” It comes directly out of scripture, Deuteronomy 4:44
Why are we pointing with our pinky? The smallest digit, the pinky, is a representation of the smallest letter - the Yod. We are expressing that we are looking for the fine print - the jot and the tittles. Yeshua teaches us to pay attention to the jot and tittles and it is understood that “whoever looks at the jot and tittle will be given a great light.”
COMMUNITY IS KEY! The important thing is to say that the community receives it in the same way all of Israel were at the mountain when they received the Torah and said “We will do and we will hear … we will hear and we will do.”
Messianic Connection: We are re-enacting Mount Sinai, asking HaShem to give us another rectification of Mount Sinai.
Shaul exhorts the Philippians to hold on to the word so
- he would know his work was not done in vein and
- when they do, it honours their teachers and their community, etc.