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Jewish Chaplaincy

The Jewish Chaplaincy Institute International mission is to provide a warm, non-judgmental, vibrant, inclusive and inspiring Jewish environment. 

THE MEANING OF THE WORD "CHAI" חי

Eighteen is the numerical value of the Hebrew word “chai” which means “life.” It’s a deceptively simple two letter word made up of the Hebrew letters “chet” and “yud.” It is a Jewish custom to give monetary gifts in increments of 18, thus symbolically blessing the recipient of the gift with a good long life. is the reason for the Jews to give money gifts and donations in multiples of 18 — 18, 36, 54,180, 1800 etc. 

When giving charity, the number 18 has another significance. It expresses our prayer that the merit of the charity given stand in our good stead, that we blessed with life and prosperity. For all the many commandments in the Torah, Jews are reminded these are the laws “v’chai bahem,” that you will live through them. It’s also a reminder of how a person should live, in accordance with the commandments and as ethical, moral beings. 

According to the Rabbi “Sefer Yetzirah”, the letters of the Hebrew Alphabet are the building blocks of the universe. He explains that there is a connection between objects and ideas that have the same Gematria (numerical equivilant), or other letter connections. Thus in some way, anything that equals 18 has a connection to Chai/Life. There are both positive and negative words that equal 18.

Ohavi – my beloved = 18

Aivah – a type of hatred = 18

Cheit – sin = 18

Perhaps, this teaches us that we can transform hatred into love, and that through Teshuvah (Repentance) we can transform sin (which is deadly) into life.

CHAPLAINCY - BIKUR CHOLIM 

$18.00/month | 180.00/year 

Mon, August 26 2019 25 Av 5779