Passing by "the frowning face" of a Salvation Army establishment in Lombard Street, Bloom recalls the rudiments of Hebrew that he learned from his father to decipher the significance of its name: "Bethel. El, yes: house of: Aleph, Beth." As Bloom observes, "Beth" is both the second letter of the Hebrew alphabet (Aleph, Beth, Gimel, Daleth) and a word meaning house or (as he thinks) "house of." Bloom seems to recognize the meaning of "El"—God—but he does not articulate it.

JH 2014


The Dream of Jacob, oil painting by José de Ribera (1639), held in the Museo del Prado, Madrid. Source: Wikimedia Commons.