SALMAI is from the Aramaic, meaning GARMENT.
Biblical name SALMA was one of the Babylonian Exile returnees (Ezra 2:46).
The letters featured in this piece are SHIN LAMED MEM YUD. Taken together, and reading from right to left, they spell SALMAI.
Each of the 22 letters of the Hebrew alphabet has a special meaning and a story to tell. Here a few brief ones about the letters on this painting.
SHIN is the 21st letter of the Hebrew alphabet and has a numerical value of 300. SHIN means TOOTH, YEAR, REPEAT, TEACH. SHIN makes the sound SHHHHHH when the DOT is on the right, and SSSS when the DOT is on he left.
LAMED is the 12th letter of the Hebrew alphabet and has a numerical value of 30. LAMED makes a sound like the L in Like. LAMED means both TO LEARN and TO TEACH. The LAMED is the tallest and most majestic of all the letters. Indeed Rashi interprets A TOWER FLYING IN THE AIR (Hagigah 15b) - as applying to the upper stroke of the LAMED.
The LAMED is generally considered to be constructed of a CAF (20) with a VAV (6). In this configuration the LAMED has a GEMATRIA of 26 - the same as that of the YUD (10) HEY (5) VAV (6) HEY (5) name of God. Since LAMED means LEARNING, it would seem that this would constitute a direct connection between LAMED, LEARNING and GOD.
MEM is the 13th letter of the Hebrew alphabet and has a numerical value of 40. MEM makes a sound like the M in Middle. But according to the ancient kabbalistic text Sepher Yitzirah, the MEM hummmmmms! MEM is usually associated with the word MAYIM - WATER or EEMAH - MOTHER. MEM is composed of a CAF (20) and a VAV (6) = 26, which have the same GEMATRIA as the YUD (10) HEY (5) VAV (6) HEY(5) = 26 name of God - the holiest of God's Names.
YUD is the 10th letter of the Hebrew alphabet and has a numerical value of 10. YUD makes a sound like the Y in Year. YUD is a simple point. It is the smallest letter in the alphabet and yet is frequently associated with the very large concept of EMANATION, the highest level in the Four World paradigm of Kabbalah.
YUD has the important job of being the first letter of the Tetragrammaton - YUD HEY VAV HEY. Zohar states that, in this context, the YUD represents the head of all creatures (Zohar. 1984. Tr. Harry Sperling et al. New York: Soncino. 3:130).
This work is accompanied by the kabbalistic explanation printed above.
The original 5x7 watercolor painting of this image is available.
mat color:: brown, orange
stock number:: nm19-120