אָלּף Aleph is the first letter of the Hebrew alphabet, or Aleph-Bet. It is pronounced AH-lef, and is silent.
Like Israel herself, Aleph has a unique story, as do all the letters of the Aleph-bet. This letter symbolizes the One-ness and the timelessness of G-d. Even its name, Aleph, which is derived from the Hebrew word Aluph, (master) alludes to the Divine attributes of G-d.
The Aleph has the numerical value (gematria) of One. The Midrash tells us that one day, G-d Himself had spoken to the Aleph and appointed it king of the Aleph-Bet: “You are one, I am One, and the Torah is one.” G-d then promised that Aleph would be the first letter of the first word of the Ten Commandments. (Exodus 20:2)
א is the first letter of םדא Adam; Human Beings, G-d’s masterpiece. When G-d created Adam, the angels were certain he was a divine being because Adam embodied every aspect of Creation. His intellect was even more acute than that of the angels, as it was Adam, not they, who had the capability to provide the animals with names. It was also Adam, and later Abraham who, per His request, gave G-d His Name: ‘For You it is fitting to be called Adonai, [My Master] since You are the Master of All (Tanchuma Bereishit).’
Each of the letters in the Aleph-Bet has a lesson for us. Aleph’s is that we shouldn’t hesitate to take on seemingly monumental tasks, as small accomplishments eventually lead to major achievements.