Monday, May 15, 2006

The Nation Of The Segol

You shall be my treasured possession. (Shemos 19:5)
The Hebrew term for "treasured possession" is segulah, which has the same root as segol, the three-pointed vowel - two dots on top, the third dot on the bottom. This teaches us a lesson in Jewish unity. Each of the three points needs the other two to form the vowel. To be a segol the two points that are on top cannot exist without the one on the bottom. The Jewish people are the am segulah, the nation of the segol. All Jews must be united, like the three points of the segol, regardless of their station in life and whether they are on top or on the bottom. In the same vein, you may say that each Jew is like a zero. Standing by itself, a zero represents nothingness, but if you place it behind a number it raises the value of that number tenfold. The more zeros you add, the greater becomes the value of the number. So is it with the Jewish people. If they are united, even the common fold among them count, for by their presence they contribute immensely to helping their learned brothers grow intellectually and spiritually.

(Degel Machaneh Ephraim)