The letter DALET

Dalet דלת is the word for door, gate and indicates resistance and the state of selflessness and humility needed to pass through it. It indicates how to pass through the gates to know one’s own mystery of being and return to the power of the Aleph – the One source of all creation and being. The Dalet is in the shape of a bent over man, signifying the humility and receptiveness. It represents Bitul, the self-nullification, or nullification of the ego, necessary to realize ones inherent connection to the Creator. Also, it is the structure, form and the diligence required to receive.

Dalet is also Dalit דלית, the poor man, who receives from benevolence of the Creator, represented by Gimel. It is the realization that as humans, we having nothing of our own, but are entirely dependent on the creator and that every breath and movement is given to us from Him.

Finally, the Dalet represents structure. Its form of a horizontal and vertical line represents a grid, giving structure to the form. It is shaped like a stair-step, the structure and overcoming of resistance needed to study. When Dalet is in someone’s name it indicates strong will, diligence, perseverance, patience, ability to concentrate, organization, planning, building. It shows us the structure and stability required to receive.

The dalet. the poor man, receives charity from the rich man, the gimel. The word dalet means "door." The door stands in the opening of the house, the bet.

In the Zohar, dalet is read as "that has nothing [d'leit] of her own." This expresses the property of the lowest of the Divine Emanations, the sefirah of malchut, "kingdom," which has no light other than that which it receives from the higher sefirot. In man's service of G-d, the dalet characterizes "shiflut," "lowliness," the consciousness of possessing nothing of one's own. Together with the awareness of one's own power of free choice, one must be aware that He gives you the power to achieve success, and not to think, G-d forbid, that one's accomplishments are "my power and the strength of my hand." Any achievement in this world, particularly the performance of a mitzvah, the fulfillment of G-d's will, depends upon Divine aid. This is especially true in one's struggle with his evil inclination, whether it be manifest as external passion, stubborn resistance to accepting the yoke of Heaven, or laziness, apathy, and the like. As our Sages teach: "If not for G-d's help he [man] would not have been able to overcome it [the evil inclination]."


The Talmud describes a situation where one man is carrying a heavy object and another man appears to be helping him by placing his hands under the object, when in truth the first man is carrying all the weight. The second man is referred to as "a merely apparent helper." So are we, explains the Ba'al Shem Tov, in relation to G-d. Ultimately, all one's strength comes from Above. Free choice is no more than the expression of one's will to participate, as it were, in the Divine act. One merely places one's hands under the weight carried exclusively by G-d. 


"For to You, G-d, is kindness, for You pay man in accordance with his deed." The Ba'al Shem Tov observes: Just payment in accordance with one's deed is not an act of kindness (chesed), but rather one of judgment (din)! He answers: "in accordance with one's deed," can be read "as though the deed is his." Thus G-d's ultimate kindness is His enclothing the "undeserved" reward in the guise of deservedness, so as not to shame the receiver. The Name of G-d in this verse is Adnut, the letters of which also spell in Hebrew dina, "judgment," implying the Divine guise of judgment, through which Gd's kindness (chesed) is most fully expressed. The Zohar reads chesed as chas d’leit, "having compassion [on] the dalet," i.e. he who possesses nothing of his own.


In regard to an arrogant person G-d says: "I and he cannot dwell together." The door to G-d's house allows for the humble of spirit to enter. The door itself, the dalet, is the property of humility and lowliness, as explained above. The dalet is also the initial letter of the word dirah, "dwelling place," as in the phrase "[G-d's] dwelling place below." Thus the full meaning of the dalet is the door through which the humble enter into the realization of G-d's dwelling place below.

The letter Dalet is the path or the gate to Aleph, Bet and Gimel. Dalet is a door that needs to be opened – the door between higher and lower levels. It is a revolving four winged-door. The four wings of the door simulate the four seasons and the axis upon which they rotate simulates a central force that radiates on all things equally. It is possible, therefore, to enter through each of the door’s wings, or through one of the four seasons, but only in a manner that is equal to the nature of that season. Dalet constitutes the first cycle of maintenance* and the seasons symbolize both the planetary and the universal maintenance system.


Dalet is connected to a governing power, to continuity, to endurance and to one law system equal to all, wherein willpower is the pathway toward higher elevations of the Universe.