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I find it interesting the first letter in the Hebrew alphabet is "Aleph", which shares the letters and is pronounced nearly identically to the word for one thousand - "Eleph".

Why might this be?

Where does the root A-L-F (אלף) really come from? What meaning is ascribed to this in Judaism?

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There is somthing to it ,from aleph to eleph,Rav Munk explains the gemara in Sotah 8b a brick by brick a house is built ,penny by penny a fortune is amassed,from small beg come great thing that is the lesson of aleph to eleph,also Aluph means Master,this is a reasonable question which has a reasonable answer –  sam May 22 at 0:36
    
I agree the gemara in Shabbas darshans the aleph bais ,like Osios Rabbi Akiva –  sam May 22 at 0:42

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