The letter HE

Hei represents divine revelation, the breath of the Creator (Psalm 33:6 – By the word of the LORD the heavens were made, and by the breath of his mouth all their host.) The world was created with the utterance of the Hei. It represents the gift of life and creates the verb of being (היה Haya – being). It is divinity, the spiritual life that comes about through the first four letters. It represents the life essence in all creation. It symbolizes the effortlessness of the world and is the symbol of divinity, gentility, and specificity. It contains within it the freedom of choice. Hei is one of the letters of the Holy Name, giving it a special significance within the Alephbet.

The name of the letter hei appears in the verse, "Take [hei] for yourselves seed." "Take" (hei) expresses revelation of self in the act of giving of oneself to another. Giving to others in the form of self-expression is the ultimate gift of self. In the secret of the letter gimmel, the rich man gives of himself to the poor man in the form of charity. The highest form of charity is when the giver is completely concealed from the receiver, in order not to embarrass him, as is said, "the concealed gift subdues anger." Here, in the secret of the letter hei, the gift itself is the relation and expression of self, drawing the receiver into the essence of the giver. Joseph, the speaker of the verse "take for yourselves seed," corresponds to the sefirah of yesod, whose function is to express self in the form of giving seed, as explained in Kabbalah. When Joseph first gave grain to his brothers, they were unable to recognize him, similar to the dalet in relation to the gimlet. Upon his revelation to his brothers (and thereby to all of Egypt), his giving became that of the hei. Instead of grain he now gave seed.

The soul possesses three means of expression--"garments," in the terminology of the Kabbalah and Chassidut: thought, speech, and action. The higher garment, thought, is the expression of one's inner intellect and emotions to oneself. The process of the intellect and emotions becoming conscious through thought is similar to giving oneself (the essentially unconscious domains of the soul) to another (one's state of consciousness). The two lower garments, speech and action, express oneself to others.


The three lines which compose the form of the hei correspond to these three garments: the upper horizontal line to thought; the right vertical line to speech; the unattached foot to action.

The horizontal line symbolizes a state of equanimity. The continuous, horizontal flow of thought is the contemplation of how G d is found equally in every place and in every thing. In relating to one's fellow Jew, one must realize that each of us possesses an innate inner point of goodness, and that all Jews are equal in essence. This realization, the horizontal high plane of one's consciousness in relation to another, sets the "scene" for all individual, personal relationships.

The origin-point of speech, the right vertical line of the hei is directly connected to the line of thought and thereafter descends to express one's thoughts and inner feelings to others. The root of the word speech in Hebrew, davar, means "leadership," as in the expression "There is one leader [dabar] in a generation, not two leaders in a generation." Leadership implies hierarchy, relative positions of up and down, and thus is represented by a vertical line. The King, and likewise every leader, rules through his power of speech, as is said, "By the word of the King is His sovereignty."

The separation of action, the unattached left foot of the hei, from thought, the upper horizontal line, reflects a deep truth about the nature of action. "Many are the thoughts in the heart of man, yet the advice of G-d shall surely stand." The servant of G-d experiences the existential gap between his thoughts and deeds. Often he is unable to realize his inner intentions. Other times he is surprised by unexpected success. In both cases he feels the hand of G-d directing his deeds. The gap is the experience of the Divine Nothing, the source of all Creation in deed: something from nothing.

We have now reached the culmination of the sequence represented by the three letters gimel, dalet, and hei, the process of giving of oneself to another. The gift, represented by the foot, the unattached segment of hei, when fully integrated in the receiver, becomes his own power of action and giving of himself to others. Even more, now he fully realizes that the ultimate effect and potency of his deeds are in truth the act of Divine Providence.

The letter He contains the knowing, the consciousness and the understanding of things: The knowing of things before they occur or are understood, which includes the knowledge of things in the future. The consciousness of things while they take place in real time. The understanding of what occurred – understanding always comes after the event has already happened.

The letter He is the beginning of the learning processes. It is connected to inspiration, leadership and teaching, and/or to a figure that creates leadership and inspiration, and motivates processes. Many processes in life begin from the conscious motivation of knowledge and understanding, or from not knowing or not understanding, and from the desire to know and understand.

He is also connected to the fivefold system, which constitutes a part of the human design and the matrix of the Soul. What do people need to crystallize in themselves in order to be open and ready to meet the unknown? First, the admission that one does not know it all, and second, not trying to enforce past understandings upon what is incoming from the future.


What would constitute leadership in the future? It seems that in future leadership, the weight of knowing in advance would be more prominent than the analysis and understanding of events, that have already occurred.