The Chalom (Dream) Series - Yud
Chalom Yud - by Adam Rhine
Watercolor on Paper

For more information about this painting, email the artist at adam@hebrewart.com

“All Your works shall thank You, Hashem, and Your devout ones will bless You.” Tehillim/Psalm 145:10

Yud is the smallest letter in the Hebrew alphabet and is contained in all letters and words, as if it were a seed, the first dot of creation. It is the only letter that is suspended and is the first letter of G-d’s Holy Name, the tetragrammaton. It is whole and not built from separate parts, which is symbolic of the Oneness of Hashem.

The power of 10 resonates throughout Judaism. There are 10 Divine channels, or emanations of light, through which the Creator continually brings this world into being, and as each word and letter contains the power of yud, each is a channel for Hashem’s infinite light to enter finite reality. There are 10 commandments, 10 utterances of creation (“Let there be light, etc.), Abraham survived 10 tests of faith, and 10 plagues were brought by Hashem against the Egyptians. A prayer service cannot begin without a quorum of 10 men.

We speak of the “pintele yid”, the dot of Jewish essence, as it were, that is never extinguished, that will continue to survive even the hardest trials.

May we contemplate the nucleus of all life that is the yud as it hovers in a state of becoming, soaring upwards as the Divine point of everything. May we never “miss the point”.

“Chalom” in Hebrew means “Dreams,” like that of Yakkov Aveinu (Jacob our Father) who dreamt of angels traveling up and down a ladder between heaven and earth. The gestural qualities of these paintings explore the dreamlike spiritual qualities of the Hebrew letters.


Text by Louise Temple from the book "Hebrew Illuminations"