Running With the Gimel
The name of the letter Gimel remains a mystery, though language scholars are full of ideas. Some speculate that its name stems from the word gamal which means camel. The letter does resemble a camel. But the Gimel probably draws its name from the word gomel which means benefactor – a person who gives to others.
The design of the Gimel is composed of two distinct Hebrew letters, the Vav and Yud. The Vav represents a man standing upright. Its numeric value is six, the number of man. Yud represents a man's hand giving generously. Its numeric value is ten, the number of fingers on a man’s hands. Thus, the Gimel is a portrait depicting the image of a comfortable man running, through sheer willpower, to bestow charity upon a poor man.
Running is a physical act which expresses the power of free will in motion, especially the freedom to do something charitable in the world. The Hebrew word for running is even related to the word for will. Running is ratz while will is ratzon!
With each passing day, we are running toward the celebration of Purim. It is scheduled for February 28 to March 1 on this year’s calendar. Purim is festival which calls men to run to the poor with gifts of charity. Therefore the letter Gimel is the Hebrew letter associated with Purim.
Charity is more than providing aid and assistance to relieve the burden of neighbors in trouble. Charity is a spiritual act which honors the Almighty Himself. “Pure and undefiled religion before our God and Father is this,” James 1:27 declares, “to care for orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself unstained by the world.” On Purim, those who run with James 1:27 will give generously and bring glory to the King.
Published February 15, 2018