The illustration explained:
The eye ‘Ayin’ is looking towards hashamayim superimposed over the clouds ‘anavim’ relate to Tehillim 119:18:
“Unveil my eyes that I may understand the wonders of your Torah”
The inset drawing showing the shape the letter ayin with the eyes and optic nerves connecting towards the heart -relating to the Midrash Tachuma: “The eye sees the heart desires and the body commits the averos”. 2 This is also true with choosing to internalize the Torah.
Some meanings of the number 70
The letter Ayin in the Aleph Bais is numerical value of 70. There are many examples of how the number seventy is relevant in the Torah in connection with this letter.
- 7 days of the week/ creation
- Every 7th year is a Shmitah year
- 49 days of Yovel
- 49 days of Sefirah
- 70 original nations of the world
- 70 people that descended to Egypt
- 70 members of the Sanhedrin
- 70 names of Hashem
The underlying significance of 7, 49, and 70 are connected with purpose and completion, many mitzvos in the Torah, and rising higher spiritual levels. (Additionally, some wisdom is hidden -the word SOD (hidden also has the value of 70).
The letters that form the Ayin
The letters that form the Ayin may be composed from different letter combinations: Nun Vav Zayin,
The letters that form the Ayin can also be composed of the letter Vav and Zayin
-The use of all four letters: Yud, Vav, Zayin, Nun can spell G’Noz meaning the hidden light of creation1 (also note the word ‘sod’ as stated above is the value of 70).
1 Dovid Leitner, Understanding the Aleph Beis (Feldheim Publishers, 2007) 293
2 ibid 294