There are twenty-two letters in the Hebrew Aleph-bet (alphabet). This brief overview will define three of them, Mem, Nun, and Samekh, going over the basics of their mystical interpretations. In Mormon Kabbalah, these letters are used for spiritual communication in ways that do not require one to be fluent in the language. These letters help us gain a direct spiritual communication going beyond mere words. Meditation with the letters is a common practice in Kabbalah to help facilitate spiritual growth. While reading through these letters, look for the deeper meanings of each. All are also encouraged to study outside resources to deepen our understanding beyond what this simple text provides. As Kabbalists study and meditate over the years, we gain greater incites to the inner spiritual meanings of the letters.
Mem (or Meem, Meme, or Mim) is the thirteenth letter of the Hebrew Alphabet. It signifies the number 40 both forms, but its final form can also represent 600. Mem is tied to water (and thus Christ/YHVH) as it stands for “mayim,” Hebrew for “water,” as in the waters of wisdom, knowledge, and the Torah. Mem represents manifestation, granting us the ability to “dive” into wisdom. We thirst for the Word of God: the waters of life. Water is a vital element in our lives, we are mostly composed of water and the earth is covered with it.
When Mem is open it represents God’s blessings in our lives, His providence; when closed it represents the concealed part of the Lord’s Celestial rule. Mem also represents to us the importance of balanced emotions and of humility, which is key in using Mem in meditations. Water always runs downhill, finding the lowest point. The number 40, which Mem represents, equates to the long periods of time needed for growth. It rained for “40 days and 40 nights” while Noah was in the flood, representing the time it takes to remove sin from man. Likewise, Jesus fasted for 40 days. Mem thus teaches us how to balance emotions, with time and wisdom. We balance our feelings, just as one balances him or herself on a boat afloat in the waters of life.
Nun (or Nuun) is the fourteenth letter of the Hebrew Alphabet. It signifies the number 50, and in its final form represents 700. Nun is a symbol of both faithfulness and the reward for faithfulness, new spiritual birth, coming out of the waters of Mem. The nun stands for humility, as it is bent both above and below. It represents the soul Neshama, the heavenly spark housed in the earthly container of the body.
Nuun means “fish” in Arabic, Nun can be thought of then as the fish that swims in the waters of the Torah, represented by Mem. Connected to fertility, continuity and the ability to increase and multiply, Nun brings us out of the waters of rebirth and onto growth in Grace. Nun also represents the 50 Gates of Wisdom of Binah, indicating the constant presence and the humility of the soul. Like the letter Nun, the soul is bent as a person in prayer, humble constantly giving light but staying hidden. Thus Nun us to be bound to the will of the Creator, not our own Egoism. We must bend to God in the things spiritual (above) and worldly (below). Through Nun we better learn to be supple and flexible, like the fish, and not to be resistant to change. Nun reminds us to listing to our Neshama, through which the Creator is always present in us.
Samekh (or Samech) is the 15th Letter of the Hebrew Alphabet. It signifies the number 60. Samekh represents protection, support, and memory, reminding us to lean upon, support, uphold the Law of God. The outside of the letter, a circle, represents God as the Creator, it is Orr Makif; and within the circle his creation. God is ever present, supports and protecting that which he has made.
Orr Makif is the outer surrounding light in Kabbalah, indicating the general providence of God, surrounding and sustaining all of existence; a container of all forms. Samekh teaches us ubuntu, to seek the good of the whole (altruism), not just one’s self (Ego). Wisdom tells us that our world is not contained in merely one vessel, but in all beings, this also teaching us Tikkun Olam. Samekh helps us clean ourselves of negativity and distortions created by Ego.