"Separate and Connect"
Class and Chant
Texts for Class Notes and Practice
וֶעֱז֣וּז נֹורְאֹתֶ֣יךָ יֹאמֵ֑רוּ וּגְדוּלָּתְךָ֥ אֲסַפְּרֶֽנָּה
Ve’ezuz norotekha yomeiru, ug’dulat’kha asap’reina
And of Your awesome power they will speak,
and of your greatness I shall relate!
Meaning and Mystical Associations:
Vav can mean “hook,” and as a prefix, it means “and.” Both words imply connection. In the Sefer Yetzirah, Vav is one of the twelve “simple letters,” and represents the activity thought, the astrological sign of Taurus, the right kidney in the human body, and the month of Iyar in time.
בְּרֵאשִׁ֖ית בָּרָ֣א אֱלֹהִ֑ים אֵ֥ת הַשָּׁמַ֖יִם וְאֵ֥ת הָאָֽרֶץ
In the beginning, The Divine created ET the heavens and ET (ו) the earth…
-Torah, Bereisheet, 1:1
(Based on Aleph Bet by R. Yitzhak Ginsburgh)
Vav is the sixth letter of the twenty-two letters of the Aleph Bet. The first instance of vav in the Torah happens in the first verse, in the sixth word. This vav is the prefix “and.” It connects the “et heavens” and the “et earth.”
Et is untranslatable; it is a direct object marker and comes before direct objects in sentences. In Kabbalah, however, the meaning of et is “totality” or “all that is,” implied by its spelling, aleph – tav, the first and last letters of the aleph bet. Seen in this way, the vav in this verse is the principle of connecting, yet also separating, all elements of Existence. This vav also happens to be the twenty-second letter of the Torah, further reinforcing this interpretation.
Another function of vav is that when it is used as a prefix before a verb, the tense of the verb is reversed. The first instance of this is in the twenty-second word of the Torah, Vayomer – And Elokim said, in the third verse: וַיֹּ֥אמֶר אֱלֹהִ֖ים יְהִ֣י אֹ֑ור וַֽיְהִי־אֹֽור – And Elokim said, let there be light, and there was light.
Yomer means “will say,” but vayomer means “and said” – the vav reverses the tense.
The deeper meaning of this is the power of teshuvah, of returning to the Divine in your heart. When we regret having done something, and we commit to serving the Divine better in the future, the positivity of our future transforms our past, and our past mistakes actually become merits. The key to this is in the meaning of “and.” When we fully own our mistakes, saying yes to them without justifying or denying them, AND committing to change, than an aspect of ourselves that became fragmented becomes whole again.
There is a story of Rabbi Levi Yitzhak of Berditchev, that once he saw a wealthy but stingy and sinful man in the street. “Oh sir, I envy you!” said Reb Levi Yitzhak.
“What do you mean?” cried the man.
“I envy you because when you one day turn to Hashem, all those sins will become such glorious merits, their light will light up the whole world! Oh sir, I do envy you!”
Notice different elements in your experience, and say V’Atah Hu, or V’At Hi– And You are the Divine. See each different perception also as the Divine. The add, V’ani Hu or V’ani Hi – and “I” am Divine. Know that your consciousness is the Divine perceiving through you.
Vav Chant and Kavanah
Think: V’Atah Hu, or V’At Hi– And You are the Divine, and chant:
וֶעֱז֣וּז נֹורְאֹתֶ֣יךָ – Ve’ezuz norotekha yomeiru
Think: V’ani Hu or V’ani Hi – and “I” am Divine and chant:
וּגְדוּלָּתְךָ֥ אֲסַפְּרֶֽנָּה – ug’dulat’kha asap’reina
1. Chant the Hei Invocation Verse with kavanah.
2. Open meditation with the Ten Sefirot, adding Aleph, Bet, Gimel, Dalet, Hei and Vav verses and visualizations. Visualize the Aleph above, the Bet below, the Gimel at your right, the Dalet at your left, Hei in your chest and Vav as your spine, extending into your belly as you chant the first six sefirot, then continue with the rest of the sefirot and the Sh’ma.
3. Spend some time in silent meditation. 20 minutes is wonderful, 2 minutes is infinitely better than nothing!