The Letter Bet

Bet or vet the second letter of the Hebrew alphabet.This letter’s name means “house” in some Semitic languages (Hebrew: בַּיִת, Arabic bayt, Akkadian bītu, bētu).The letter is a picture of a nomadic tent such as would have been used by the ancient Hebrews.


The Hebrew letter represents two different phonemes: b sound or v sound. The two are distinguished by the dagesh (a small point) in the centre of the letter for b and without for the letter vet.
Bet in gematria symbolizes the number two. As a prefix, the letter may function as a preposition meaning in, at or with. Bet is the first letter of the Torah, as written in Genesis 1:1-

“בְּרֵאשִׁית, בָּרָא אֱלֹהִים, אֵת הַשָּׁמַיִם, וְאֵת הָאָרֶץ.”
“In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.”


The letter is also a sign for the two parts to Torah: the Written Torah and the Oral Torah

(Misnah and Talmud).

Rashi, the famous Jewish commentator, explained that the letter is closed on three sides and open on one; this is a symbol for us that we can question about what happened after creation, but not what happened before it.

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