Hebrew letter kuf with crown

Kuf: The Nineteenth Letter of the Hebrew Alphabet

Kuf: The Nineteenth Letter of the Hebrew Alphabet

Raskin, Rabbi Aaron L.
November 23, 2021

“The design of the kuf is similar to that of the hei. But while the hei represents holiness, the kuf represents kelipah, or unholiness.


Both have three lines, two vertical and one horizontal. These three lines, depicting thought, speech and action in the hei, are also represented in the letter kuf, but its three lines represent unholy thoughts, profane speech and evil actions.


These negative qualities are illustrated within the actual form of the kuf. Its long left leg plunges beneath the letter’s baseline. It represents one who ventures below the acceptable, an individual who violates the circumscribed boundaries of the Torah.

On the other hand, it invites trans­formation. Just as the design of the three-sided beis embodies a certain tension that is resolved in the four-sided mem, so does the foot of the kuf call out to be elevated from its station below the horizon.


We all have the ability to transform the irrational to the superrational, thus directing our thought, our speech, and our action solely toward G-d and holiness.”