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    Inverted Nun – B’ha’alot’cha

    A section of this week’s sidra is made up of the 85 letters of the passages recited when the Ark is opened – vay’hi bin’so’a ha’aron – and when it is closed – uv’nucho yomar (Num. 10:35-36).

    There is an inverted letter nun before this section and one after it, as if it were enclosed in brackets.

    Rabbinic commentary regarded these two letters as enshrining a Divine message (Shab. 116a).

    One view is that nun is the first letter of ner, a light. But there are two lights that that it could symbolise, the light of the Lord and the light of man. Probably both are meant, one at the beginning and one at the end.

    When the world is enclosed and protected by Divine and human light, creation is safe. But if we allow the light of the Almighty to be dimmed and the light of humanity to be compromised, the future of civilisation is in jeopardy.

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