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January 27, 2015 / 7 Shevat, 5775
 
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Title: Letters of Light

Title: Letters of Light
Author: Rabbi Aaron L. Raskin
Publisher: Sichos in English, Brooklyn, N.Y.

 

 

This is a fascinating sefer – seemingly simple, with answers easy enough for small children to understand and yet containing explanations to conundrums that have puzzled many for generations. It is beautifully crafted, handsomely printed and published in maroon and black library bindings, with an unusual dust-cover design that immediately catches the eye and hints
at the significance of its stimulating and well-written contents.

Rabbi Raskin expounds upon each letter of the Hebrew alphabet and the nekudos (the vowel
sounds), including explanations of the design of the basic shapes, the gematria (numerology that reveals deeper, hidden meanings), as well as the dictionary meanings. His exposition is extensive, including legends, tales and mysteries about the “aleph-bet” that have been passed down through many generations.

The chassidus of Lubavitch shines through on every page, with many quotes, comments and
stories about the rebbeim of Chabad. Aaron Raskin, the spiritual leader of Congregation B’nai
Abraham on Remsen Street in Brooklyn Heights, always has interesting stories to tell his fascinated listeners. He has woven together many of these tales in an ambitious production of over two hundred and fifty pages (in a quarto size volume).

Other languages (notably English) ascribe no special meanings to the specific letters of their
alphabets. This is something unique to loshon kodesh. Rabbi Raskin has spent his lifetime
collecting many of the fascinating tales and explanations about the Hebrew letters and has
woven together a reference volume that will not sit too long on most bookshelves but will be referred to again and again over time.

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