Believing in The Something

Janis Hunt Johnson
6 min readJun 18, 2022
David Brooke Martin — Unsplash

Made in God’s “image and likeness.”

We define God in so many ways. A multifaceted word for God is the Hebrew word יהוה — also called the tetragrammaton — the four-letter Name of God. For fun, I like to use this illustration of the letters stacked up to make a human stick figure.

The Name is sometimes written as YHVH, indicating the letters yud, hey, vav, hey ( יהוה ) — Hebrew reads right to left — and it’s unpronounceable and indescribable. It’s simply The Name we give to The Something that cannot be defined. The ancients declared that those “who can rightly pronounce it, causeth heaven and earth to tremble, for it is the NAME which rusheth through the universe.”

In the Bible (Genesis 1:26) when God decides to create man in the Divine “image and likeness,” the word for “image” is tzelem ( צלם ), a masculine noun; and the word for “likeness,” demoot ( דמות ), is a feminine noun. The ancient scribes were making doubly sure that we’d get the message of the male and female aspects of God.

Both words mean pretty much the same thing: Tzelem (“image”) means “form,” “resemblance” and “representative”; while demoot (“likeness”) means “figure,” “appearance,” “pattern” and “similitude.”

The letter hey ( ה ), repeated twice in The Name, signifies universal life. That’s you and me.

So let’s look at the Hebrew words for our pronouns in English, “he” (pronounced hoo, הוא ) and “she” (pronounced he, היא ). Notice how the aleph ( א ) — often a symbol for God — is contained in each, and how the vav ( ו ) and the yud ( י ) from The Name are included.

We can see the spiritual truth, right there in the language: Both he and she, you and me, male and female, are the image of the All-Powerful YHVH. We are, each of us, full reflections of God.

Male and female and All That.

When I say “male” and “female,” “he” and “she,” I’m talking about what we commonly think of as masculine and feminine qualities. God is All That, and so much more. God can’t possibly be circumscribed into what we think of as only two genders, on one minuscule planet Earth in a vast expanding universe.

--

--

Janis Hunt Johnson

Author, 5 Smooth Stones: Our Power to Heal Without Medicine through the Science of Prayer. Transformational Editor. From Chicago to L.A., now in Pacific NW.