The Hebrew Letter Mem - The Hebrew Letter Mem

  One Explanation

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By the grace of G-d 
Copyright © 2012-14 Nathaniel Segal 


Almost entirely enclosed —

This quality of the letter Mem describes a fundamental quality of human nature.  We all wish to retain our independence and autonomy.
We tend to treasure our independence.  We already start to see this in toddlers.  They show a preference for doing things themselves.  They are likely to resist being told what to do.
In fact, as we grow older, we still tend to resist and resent being told what to do.  Like physical inertia, we are content to remain at rest – where our mindset is.  But notice how the letter Mem is not entirely enclosed.  This letter has a small entry from the bottom.  So we are, by nature, open to change indeed.  At the same time, this opening is narrow and at the bottom.
We cautiously and carefully change how we live and think.  Ordinarily, we feel as though our changes come from within.  Nonetheless, influence to change the trajectory of our lives comes from the outside in subtle ways.  Sometimes, someone approaches us from an effective direction.  Then we feel safe, not threatened.  We are not resentful either.
The opening at the bottom of the letter Mem is also like a ventilation shaft.  Whatever comes in can also be pushed out – rejected.
In the Book of Formation, this autonomy corresponds to this Hebrew letter Mem, which also corresponds to the principle of inertia.
In the world – creation of the universe seems to us to be a onetime event, and the world continues to exist by inertia.  However this is not true.  If G-d found a reason (chas v'shalom) to stop sending us messages, we would simply cease to exist.  (These ideas are explained at length in the Hasidic book The Gate for Understanding G-d's Unity and the Faith.)