" . . . arriving at a correct understanding of how to interpret those jots, tittles and spaces between the letters isn't an easy task. For about 4,000 years the Levites and rabbis have been preserving a tradition of interpretation and study that maintains that there is nothing insignificant in scripture."
His comment prompted me to illustrate the concept with an example from Genesis 5.
This is the book of the generations (toledot) of Adam. In the English there is nothing particularly noteworthy about the word 'generations', but in the original Hebrew it is a different story all together. The word toledot is usually spelled with two vavs. Vav is the sixth letter in the Hebrew alphabet and its numerical equivalent is 'six'. This detail will be important later.
There are only two places in all of the Scriptures where toledot is spelled with two vavs: Genesis 2:4 and Ruth 4:18. So, beginning with the first verse of Genesis 5 right up to Ruth 4:18, there are seven more occurrences of the word toledot and all of them are spelled defectively with only one vav. It is not until we reach Ruth 4:18 that toledot is once again spelled fully with two vavs. There is a fascinating tradition recorded in the ancient rabbinic literature known as the Midrash Rabbah which will help shed some interesting light on our discussion:
Genesis Rabbah 12:6 All toledot found in Scripture are defective, except two, viz. These are the toledot (generations) of Perez (Ruth IV, 18), and the present instance. And why are they defective? R. Judan said in R. Abun's name: The six[which they lack corresponds to the six things which were taken away from Adam, viz., his luster, his immortality [lit. ‘life’], his height, the fruit of the earth, the fruit of trees, and the luminaries . . . Though these things were created in their fullness, yet when Adam sinned they were spoiled, and they will not again return to their perfection until the son of Perez [viz. the Messiah] comes; [for in the verse] ’These are the toledot (generations) of Perez ‘, toledot is spelled fully, with a vav.
Ruth 4:18 identifies and pinpoints the lineage of the Messiah, Son of David. It is my contention that the Son of Perez, the Messiah, has indeed come and that through Him, G-d has most assuredly caused death to be swallowed up in life. How was this accomplished and what was His name? For, truly, not one yod or tittle shall by any means pass away from the book of the Law.