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Kaf (Chaf): The Eleventh Letter of the Hebrew Alphabet

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by Raskin, Rabbi Aaron L.

“One of the meanings of the letter kaf is ‘spoon.’ The root of the word ‘spoon’ is kafaf—to bend… The kaf is a letter that is bent. It represents the aspect of submitting oneself to a greater power.

 

This notion of submission—and humility—can be seen clearly in the difference between the words anochi and ani. Both mean ‘I.’

 

When a person walks around all day and says, ‘I, I, I,’ he has a problem with egotism. How does one over­come this self-inflation? By adding a kaf to the אני (ani), the I, and transforming it into the אנכי (anochi).

 

When the ‘I’ submits to G-d, when it recognizes and bends to the higher power through the kaf, it is no longer the egotistical I. Rather, אנכי(anochi) is the ‘I’ that serves as a channel to do G-d’s will.”