Thursday, September 25, 2008

Frontwards and Backwards

The Gemora (Gittin 69) states: For blood running out of one’s nose, one should bring a Kohen whose name is Levi, and he should write the name Levi backwards.

The Tiferes Yosef explains: It is well-known in the books of Kabbalah that the alef beis written forward connotes kindness, for this way, the inspiration comes in the regular manner; descending from Heaven to earth. The alef beis written backwards connotes judgment, similar to fire, which ascends from the earth.

It is written in the Zohar that a Kohen is a man of kindness, and a Levi is one of judgment. This is why the name Levi, written backwards, signifying judgment, should be written by a Kohen, for he represents kindness.