The last word of the Torah is ישראל (Yisrael), making the final letter of the Torah ל, lamed. The first word is בראשית [“in the beginning”], with the initial letter ב, bet. This leads many commentators to suggest “reading backward,” from the final word of Deuteronomy to the first of Genesis, seeing Torah as the “heart” [לב, lev] of the Jewish people.


Another commentary connects the final lamed to the initial bet through the act of beginning a new reading, as at Simchat Torah when the one reading cycle is completed and a new one begun. The “heart,” then is in the continual striving to re-read and re-glean. This perspective also celebrates the the “white space” between letters of the Torah, through which each generation learns to understand and live the text.

ל >>>>>>> ב

Throughout November, as part of NaBloPoMo (National Blog Posting Month), “A Song Every Day” has offered daily posts with some connection, however tangential, to the number 30. And lamed, as it happens, is also the number 30 in Hebrew counting.

Note, please, that the motto of National Blog Posting Month is “Type Your Heart Out,” and that December (like Jan, Feb,….) is also NaBloPoMo.



Published by


Virginia hosts "Conversations Toward Repair" on We Act Radio, manages, blogs on general stuff a and more Jewish topics at and

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s