The Letter Lamed

The word lev, which means heart, begins with a lamed. When the Hebrew letters are lined up, it is not surprising to find that the lamed is the middle letter, the "heart" of the Hebrew alphabet. In addition to taking center position, the lamed is also the tallest letter of the aleph-bet, making it a visual focal point.

The name lamed is related to the Hebrew root Lamed-Mem-Daled, which means both to teach and to study. The teaching and studying of the Torah is the central focus of Jewish life and those who immerse themselves in studying the Torah are meant to be the central figures in Jewish society, those to whom we turn for leadership. (Of course, in the ideal state!)

Lamed is often found as a prefix representing either the preposition “to” or “for.” For instance, “Hoo holech l’veit ha'knesset” means “he is going to the synagogue.” Whereas the Biblical verse “lech lecha” is translated as “go for yourself.”

Numerically, lamed represents the number 30.


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