The letter VAV

Vav is the power to unite everything that is separated in creation. Literally Vav means hook or peg and the Hebrew letter is a vertical line ו. It represents the Kav, the vertical line extension of the Creator’s perfection into the created world, in order to constantly direct it, guiding the cycle of existence step by step, until eventually the perfect Oneness of the Creator which underlies all of creation is revealed. Vav is related to the Or Yashar, the direct light of the Creator, entering the world.

As the connector, Vav contains the power to connect heaven and earth. It can be considered like a hose, or a tube, which connects and bestows all the energy of the shefa שפע abundance from above down to the created beings.   It represents the ladder of Yaakov – rooted in earth, with its head in the heavens. It is the extension of the essential dot Yod י, which all of creation comes forth from. The Vav can teach us the state of constant presence needed to connect our own heaven and earth (physical and spiritual aspects).

Vav represents the number 6 and represents the six days of the creation of the world, as well as the six physical dimensions (right left, front and back, up and down). The Vav is also representative of the male phallus, the fertilizing agent, bringing life, abundance, continuity, and addition.

In the beginning of Creation, when Infinite Light filled all reality, G d contracted His Light to create hollow empty space, as it were, the "place" necessary for the existence of finite worlds. Into this vacuum G-d drew down, figuratively speaking, a single line of light, from the Infinite Source. This ray of light is the secret of the letter vav. Though the line is singular in appearance, it nonetheless possesses two dimensions, an external as well as an internal force, both of which take part in the process of Creation and the continuous interaction between the creative power and created reality.

The external force of the line is the power to differentiate and separate the various aspects of reality, thereby establishing hierarchical order, up and down, within Creation. The internal force of the line is the power to reveal the inherent interinclusion of the various aspects of reality, one in the other, thereby joining them together as an organic whole. This property of the letter vav, in its usage in Hebrew, is referred to as vav hachibur, the vav of connection"--"and." The first vav of the Torah--"In the beginning G d created the heavens and [vav] the earth"-- serves to join spirit and matter, heaven and the earth, throughout Creation. This vav, which appears at the beginning of the sixth word of the Torah, is the twenty-second letter of the verse. It alludes to the power to connect and interrelate all twenty-two individual powers of Creation, the twentytwo letters of the Hebrew alphabet from aleph to tav. (The word et [which appears before the two instances of the word "the" in this verse, and is spelled alef-tav] is generally taken to represent all the letters of the alphabet, from alef to tav. Our Sages interpret the word in this verse to include all the various objects of Creation present within heaven and earth.)

In Biblical Hebrew, the letter vav also possesses the function of inverting the apparent tense of a verb to its opposite from past to future or from future to past (vav hahipuch). The first appearance of this type of vav in the Torah is the letter vav, which begins the twenty-second word of the account of Creation, "And G-d said...." This is the first explicit saying of the ten sayings of Creation: "And G d said [the verb 'said' being inverted from the future to the past tense by the vav at the beginning of the word- -'And']: 'Let there be light,' and there was light." The phenomenon of light breaking through the darkness of the tzimtzum, the primordial contraction, is itself the secret of time (future becoming past) which permeates space.

In the Divine service of a Jew, the power to draw from the future into the past is the secret of teshuvah ("repentance" and "returning to G-d") from love. Through teshuvah from fear, one's deliberate transgressions become like errors; the severity of one's past transgressions becomes partially sweetened, but not completely changed. However, when a Jew returns in love, his deliberate transgressions become like actual merits, for the very consciousness of distance from G-d resulting from one's transgressions becomes the motivating force to return to G-d with passion even greater than that of one who had never sinned.

Every Jew has a portion in the World to Come, as is said: "And all your nation are 'tzadikim'; forever they will inherit the land." The power of teshuvah to completely convert one's past to good, is the power of the vav to invert the past to the future. This transformation itself requires, paradoxically, the drawing down of light from the future to the past.

Drawing the future into the past in the Divine service of man is the secret of learning the inner teachings of the Torah, that aspect of the Torah which is related to the revelation of the coming of the Mashiach. Rashi explains the verse in the Song of Songs: "May he kiss me with the kisses of his mouth, for your love is better than wine" as alluding to the sweet teachings that will be revealed by the Mashiach. When a person intently studies the secrets of the Torah, he draws from the future into the past, in order to strengthen himself to return in complete teshuvah from love and thereby convert his past into future.

Vav can connect to high or low matters: High and low relates to a vast range of frequencies to which human being can be connected. Some support the essence of being a human and its function in the Universe, while others try to recruit it for a function lower than its design.

Vav's shape is like a pipe, which channels things through itself without a need or a compulsion to become part of them. The way to connect to things is related to being “same-same” with what they are and thus, by the Tuning Fork Principle, the full will always run to the empty, which vibrates on the same frequency. Human beings were given the technology to tune themselves like a human radio set. But unlike a radio, a human is not just one thing and can process multiple frequencies simultaneously. However, it is important to learn not to mix different frequencies inside domains with which they were not designed to echo naturally.

The letter Vav is also related to the connection with the planet Earth and to life here and now, in all elevations, and to the ability to stand with persistence and sensitivity in front of the tree of life – without trying to bypass it from the right or from the left.