Yud begins the name for God . The singularity of yud signifies the oneness of God who is invisible and that all his actions stem from a single source. Do to its smallness, it also signifies humility.
Its association with the word yad (hand), yom (day), the hand becomes the hand of God who guides and sustains its people and "day" refers to the power of a single day to turn to a week. Yud also begins the names of some great Israel's leaders including Yisroel (Israel), the name given by God to Jacob.
Yud is number 10 and as such represents the infinite continuum of the aleph (1 and 0). The tenth day of the month Tishrei is Yum Kippur (Day of Atonement) gives further significance to yud.
Joshua begins with yud and this name became in Greek Iesous and in English Jesus which means God is Salvation. This name was given by God at the moment the Word was conceived in Mary "Behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall name him Jesus (Joshua). St. Luke tells us, "God exalted him at his right hand as leader and savior to grant Israel repentance and forgiveness of sins." (Ac 5:31)
Kaf literally means palm (of the hand). The overall meaning of the character refers to potentiality and actuality. God is creating the universe in real time and this is why it has hidden potential that can be actualized. The hand indicates the power for work which brings to light this hidden potential. Man's nature as such has hidden physical and spiritual potential which God expects us to actualize. This requires focusing of the mind and will to the task at hand. Kaf begins the word kavana which refers to the mind focus, intention and will power. Along this line the Kabbalists have developed types of Jewish meditation which make use of chant, melodies and visual forms of the Hebrew alphabet.
Jewish spiritual development is centered on the Torah and Prophets (the word of God) while Christian spirituality is focused on the Son of God made Man. Christ has well indicated as follows:
. "This the the will of my Father, that everyone who sees the Son and believes in him may have eternal life, and I will raise him [on] the last day."
Like Jesus Christ "son of Abraham" we acknowledge Abraham as our Father in the faith in the One true God. Like Christ, we make use of the Old Covenant revelation in prayer, especially the Psalms, which bring us back to the roots of our faith. On the other hand, the primary focus of Catholic prayer is the Expiatory Sacrifice of Christ. In the Christian monastic spirituality there is a motto "Work and Pray" and the two, with the right intention, can become one, the offering of whatever we do in life for the love of God.
Lamed literally means "learning" and teaching" but also refers to wisdom, that is the union between knowledge and heart. It indicates knowledge in the biblical sense as exemplified in the relationship between Adam and Eve "Adam knew Eve his wife: who conceived and brought forth Cain" (Gn 4:1) It points to learning that goes deeper than mere knowledge "These words which I command thee this day, shall be in thy heart" (Dt 6:6) A reference to the study of the Torah which must penetrated by the "heart" to become true understanding.
Jesus had truly an understanding heart. One day the scribes and pharisees brought to him a woman caught in adultery. They told Jesus that according to the law of Moses she was to be stoned to death. Jesus bent down and began to write on the ground, but as they insisted he said to them: "Let the one among you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her." But they all,one by one, left beginning with the elders. (Jn 8:3-9)
To Mem, Nun, Samech