The letter ALEPH
The alef is formed by two yuds, one to the upper right and the other to the lower left, joined by a diagonal vav. These represent the higher and lower waters and the firmament between them, as taught by the Ari z"l ("Rabbi Isaac Luria of blessed memory," who received and revealed new insights into the ancient wisdom of Kabbalah)
Water is first mentioned in the Torah in the account of the first day of Creation: "And the spirit of G-d hovered over the surface of the water." At this time the higher and the lower waters were indistinguishable; their state is referred to as "water in water." On the second day of Creation G-d separated the two waters by "stretching" the firmament between them.
In the service of the soul, as taught in Chassidut, the higher water is water of joy, the experience of being close to G-d, while the lower water is water of bitterness, the experience of being far from G-d. In Jewish philosophy, the two intrinsic properties of water are "wet" and "cold." The higher water is "wet" with the feeling of oneness with the "exaltation of G-d," while the lower water is "cold" with the feeling of separation, the frustration of experiencing the inherent "lowliness of man." Divine service, as taught by Chassidut, emphasizes that in fact the primary consciousness of both waters is the sense of the Divine, each from its own perspective: from the perspective of the higher water, the greater the "exaltation of G-d," the greater the oneness of all in His Absolute Being; from the perspective of the lower water, the greater the "exaltation of G-d," the greater the existential gap between the reality of G-d and that of man, thus the inherent "lowliness of man."
The Talmud tells of four sages who entered the "PARDES," the mystical orchard of spiritual elevation reached only through intense meditation and Kabbalistic contemplations. The greatest of the four, Rabbi Akiva, said to the others before entering, "When you come to the place of pure marble stone, do not say 'water-water,' for it is said, 'He who speaks lies shall not stand before my eyes.'" The Ari z"l explains that the place of "pure marble stone" is where the higher and the lower waters unite. Here one must not call out 'water-water,' as if to divide the higher and lower waters. "The place of pure marble stone" is the place of truth--the Divine power to bear two opposites simultaneously; in the words of Rabbi Shalom ben Adret: "the paradox of paradoxes." Here "the exaltation of G-d" and His "closeness" to man unite with the "lowliness of man" and his "distance" from G-d.
The Torah begins with the letter beit: "Bereishit (In the beginning) G-d created the heavens and the earth." The Ten Commandments, the Divine revelation to the Jewish People at Sinai, begin with the letter alef: "Anochi [I] am G-d your G-d who has taken you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage." The Midrash states that "higher reality" had been set apart from "lower reality," for G-d had decreed that neither higher reality descend nor lower reality ascend. In giving the Torah, G-d annulled His decree, He Himself being the first to descend, as it is written: "And G-d came down on Mount Sinai". Lower reality, in turn, ascended: "And Moses approached the cloud...." The union of "higher reality," the upper yud, with the "lower reality," the lower yud, by means of the connecting vav of Torah, is the ultimate secret of the letter alef.
Aleph: What does it say?
The letter Aleph is connected to new beginnings and to the capability of training and self discipline, while maintaining balances among many tasks. It says that it is possible to try and tame the gift of life or to say no and open up to the great wonder: where life comes from and why. If one connects to it and does not wish to tame it, it is possible to handle all that is around us without trying to control everything.
Aleph is the source from which everything emanates – the first principle, but the first principle is actually the second principle:
Why is the first principle the second principle in actuality?
Well, it is simpler and more profound than what can be initially assumed: if Aleph is a new beginning, such as birth – a new child coming to the world – then the child was born out of its mother. The mother, therefore, is the first principle although, in her nature, she is the second principle: the principle of containment.
God emanated from Creation, and then created all the universes for her, which is why she is the second principle, which is actually the first.