“From there he went on toward the hills east of Bethel and pitched his tent … ” Genesis 12:8
“Commit your way to the Lord; trust in Him and He will do this … ” Psalm 37:5
VAV is probably the most used character of the Otiot. There is a reason for this, be it a traditional one, but VAV was seen as some kind of abstract foundational confirmation or commitment – I’ll explain by asking you a question:
Have you noticed that the Bible has many sentences beginning with ‘and’? Have you ever wondered why?
The answer lies in what the Hebrew word VAV means, which is ‘peg’ or ‘nail’.
But the orthodox Jews see something far more significant – VAV relates directly with the pegs holding up the tabernacle. It has been suggested (possibly based upon the number of times 50 is used in the variety of loops and clasps mentioned in Exodus 35) that 50 were used either side of the tabernacle. Somewhere in the distant past Jewish scribes were ordered to treat each ‘page’ of the scroll they were writing the Scriptures on as if it were the tabernacle – ie with 50 VAVs either side of the page.
So, VAV can be seen beginning each line of Jewish Scripture. Then, the English translators must have puzzled over why this was the case. But seeing as VAV is also the grammatical conjunction ‘and’, they saw fit to begin sentences with ‘and’!
However, our investigation goes much further. For VAV, as mentioned before, is the act of committing oneself to something (most importantly a relationship). Although this character also points back to the Israelites nomadic time in the desert, for VAV has the meaning ‘pitching your tent in a camp’ … most commonly ‘pitching your tent in the camp of God’.
VAV is a two-way action – our action towards our Father, and His action toward us.
For us it is a solemn commitment to ‘dwell’ with or in God, abiding by His rules, and following His ways. 2 Chronicles 7:14
When VAV is used within a word you can be sure that it is attaching the idea of being committed to whatever the word contains as a call to action – a kind of emphasis, or an exhortation for the reader to apply the call to themselves.
Yet with VAV coming from our Father, there is an important difference in the act of committing, and that is that YHWH is already committed to His creation so if VAV is coming from Him then He is in the process of committing Himself to the action – it is a comforting confirmation to us that He is committed to seeing the creation to its fulfilment … in preparation of the coming eternity.
This can be explained another way by the next use of the character VAV. And that is VAV represents the Yasher light (this is a traditional Jewish description of the light of righteousness – the purest light that can only come from our Lord). This light is committed to all creation – once it began in Genesis 1:3 it has never stopped since, pouring down wisdom, understanding, love, insight, and revelation!
This leads us to an enigma – because the Yasher light is not simply something heavenly falling on us like manna (although it sometimes appears to be just like that – blessings upon blessings … no, it is more than that!). It has a kind of hidden mechanism attached to it that is a trigger for a compelling response … which you will discover within the next character …