Illuminated Hebrew Letter Series - Tet
Illuminated Tet - by Adam Rhine
Watercolor on Paper

For more information about this painting, email the artist at

“Hashem is good to all; His mercies are on all His works.” Tehillim/Psalm 145:9

Tov, the word for “good” begins this verse. At the beginning of creation the appearance of light is called “good” in G-d’s eyes. Righteous beings are also described in this way as they reveal the inner light and purpose of creation. They exist in this world but are not of it. They are conscious of the physical world in order to rectify it, while being fully aware that there is nothing other than G-d. Through the service of the soul all reality is filled with the Creator’s infinite goodness, bringing harmony and peace to this world. This is exemplified by the last seventeen years of our father Jacob’s life that are described as “good”, the numerical value of tov being seventeen. He lived in the depraved culture of Egypt, yet studied Torah incessantly with his sons, thereby creating a foundation of strength for the Jewish people to withstand the exile that was to come.

Tet is shaped like an open container, or vessel, with a flat, stable base. It signifies the space for potential, an open womb. There are nine months of pregnancy, and nine sefirot pour blessings into this realm of malchut, G-d’s Kingdom on earth.

Even when we cannot understand the workings of this world, we know that there is a Master plan and that everything, however challenging and difficult, is ultimately for the good. A person of faith believes in G-d’s goodness under all circumstances. By reciting Ashrei we create a positive state of mind that enables us to see and to embody this benevolence.

May we see with ayin tov “good eyes” the goodness in ourselves and in each other, filling the vessel of tet with infinite blessings.

Text by Louise Temple from the book "Hebrew Illuminations"