There are 2 simple letters, mem(m) and hei (h) in Hebrew, that when put together, they spell the word MAH! (pronounced, maw).
Naturally, when studying any language, you will come across the word, “What?” I’ve studied many languages over the years, but I must say this word captured my attention because “What” in Hebrew is, Mah! I thought, “that is so sweet!”
As I learned more about the word “What” in Hebrew, this is what I found… Mah is the root of the word, mayim (mah-yeem) which in Hebrew means water/waters. You can imagine in ancient times, the seas were such a great mystery, even as they can be today. The waters represented the unknown, or unknown elements, and through time ‘mah’ became a way of asking, “Who?, What?, Where, When?, Why?, How?”
What I find so amazing about this little Hebrew word, is that it describes exactly what mom’s do. We answer, Who, What, When, Why, and How for all of our children as they grow up in the world. Mom’s are charged with the singular task of untangling the world for their children! Helping them understand why things are, the way they are… Answering the endless trains of, Why?’s, When?’s, Where?’s and What?’s
LORD, you really outdid yourself with that one! The entire time our sons and daughters were shouting through the house, “Mom!, Ma!, Maw!” There was always a,
“Who?, What?, Where?, When?, Why?, or How?”, right behind it!
We’ve All Been Speaking A Little Hebrew…
Imagine my surprise to discover that my son, and practically every child on earth has a remnant of GOD’s original language that has remained in all of us, this entire time!
Because I love language so much, I happened across a website that provides a brief list of the many different ways ‘mom’ is said in several different languages. I think you will find it interesting and fun! It’s called, ‘Mother’s Day in Different Languages’.
From their list you can see that the majority of names for ‘mom’ begin with the letter ‘M’. That can’t be a coincidence, right? There’s a certain sound attached to the call for one’s ‘mom’, that translates and transmits across cultures, languages and time.
What else do we know about the letter Mem in Hebrew?
The mem represents the seas, their power, the chaos and storms created by the oceans and the atmosphere. Just as the Word is a 2 edged sword, the ‘waters’ of mem have another side; the waters of torah, living waters, knowledge and wisdom. The open mem appears at the beginning or middle of a word, (any place but at the end of a Hebrew word). In the picture below, you can see a small opening at the bottom left hand side of the mem. This opening represents knowledge/wisdom that is revealed. Likewise, a closed mem indicates knowledge that is concealed.
Mah, begins with an open mem. In context with the word itself, ‘What’ is something that can be answered?… Mah answers with ‘Knowledge’ that can be revealed.
The mem has a gematria (numerical equivalency) of 40. Forty has a great deal of spiritual significance in scripture. Primarily, 40 represents time, transition and change. A few examples; Noah – 40 days and 40 nights, Moses – 40 days on Mt. Sinai, 40 days for embryo to form in the womb, 40 weeks to full pregnancy, 40 years in the wilderness to reach full understanding… “God has not given you a heart to know, and eyes to see, and ears to hear, until this day” (Deut. 29:3-4), etc.; A few torah examples of transitioning from one level of reality/understanding to the next level.
The Hebrew Letter Hei – h
The letter hei means to behold! In ancient paleo Hebrew, the symbol for hei looks like a stick man with his hands held up in surrender!
In the hei, we find another example of torah. In the hei, this represents divine revelation, the breath of GOD (Ps 33:6), insight.
By the breath of GOD, His Holy Utterances, the world and all life was created, and by His breath we are sustained.
Mem and Hei, say What?
Considering that both letters, mem and hei convey the concepts of torah, and that once they are combined they express the meaning of, “What?” We see that only wisdom, knowledge and understanding can respond to the What, Where, When, Why and How’s of Life! …and the best and most complete answers, will contain the Word of GOD in them, i.e., torah will be in them.
That beautiful sound, Mah, Maw, Mama, is echoed across the globe. When our children call us on the phone, or yell “Maw” across the room, it’s not a country form of slang or merely a term of endearment. They are calling us by our motherly purpose…it’s what we do! We answer their questions and we untangle the world!
What other word combinations and meanings do you see in the combination of letters, mem – hei?
It need not be stated, but just in case….Dad’s as well field a multitude of questions from their children. It goes without saying. I just get a kick out of the fact that, the word “mah’ in Hebrew, sounds so much like a child calling it’s mother! I thought someone else out there might get a kick out of knowing this too!
Happy Mother’s Day! –Now Go Forth and Untangle the World! 🙂
I hope you hear a new thing, when you hear your name called, “Maw”
NOTE: The ‘T’ looking symbol that you see beneath the letter mem is called a ‘gamets’. It comes to us courtesy of the Masoretes, a 9th century group of scribes and scholars who invented a vowel system for the Hebrew Language. They took these steps out of concern, that over time, the ability to accurately pronounce the Hebrew words could potentially be lost. —Remember, the 22 Letters of the Hebrew Aleph-Bet are consonants, with no vowels.
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Copyright 2019 Rev. S. Madison torahisteaching.com