## Primary Letters

The *Sefer Yetzirah* teaches that of the Twenty-two Hebrew letters, three are primary.

These are the Three Mother Letters - *Aleph *א*, Mem *מ and* Shin *ש.

*Shin *ש is in the triangle in the lighter red. The sound of *Shin* is an outward, chaotic, hissing sound. *Shin* is a vertically oriented letter that is open upward - like Fire that rises to the Heavens. Our orientation to the Heavens is vertical.

*Mem מ *is in the rectangle in the lighter blue. The sound of *Mem* is an inward, harmonic humming sound. *Mem* is a horizontally oriented letter that is open downward - like Water that flows down, and how planet Earth is primarily Water. Our orientation to Earth is horizontal.

*Aleph* א is in the circle. It is a silent letter and represents the Breath of Air that forms all spoken letters. Breath moves in two directions - out and in. The yellow diagonal part of this *Aleph* is between the upper red part with vertical lines (representing the exhale *Shin*) and the lower blue part with horizontal lines (representing the inhale *Mem*).

Hebrew letters are also numbers. This is called gematria (number value). The word gematria is very similar to the word geometry. Thus the Three Mother Letters can also represent the three primary geometric shapes - triangle, circle and rectangle.

*Shin *is the 21st Hebrew letter. Two plus one equals three thus the gematria of *Shin* is three - and a triangle has three sides. *Mem* is the 13th letter. One plus three equals four thus the gematria of *Mem* is four - and a rectangle has four sides. *Aleph* is the first letter and thus its gematria is One. In *Sefer Yetzirah *it says, “One is the Breath of the Living God”. When we say *Hashem Echad* השם אחד (The Name of God is One) we should mean Infinite and all-inclusive, like a circle, which has an infinite number of sides.

Notice how *Shem* שם (Name) is spelled with *Shin *ש and *Mem *ם, and *Aleph* א is One. Also notice how the yellow diagonal of the *Aleph* is the diameter of a circle. In geometry, the ratio between the circumference of a circle and its diameter is pi (3.14.….) - an irrational number that goes to infinity. The first three digits of pi are three (like the triangular *Shin*); one (like the circular *Aleph*); and four (like the rectangular *Mem*)!