The Letter Peh (פ)
Similar to the way the letter ע (ayin) represents the body part connected to sight, the letter פ (peh) represents the body part that is connected to speech, since the word פֶּה (peh) means mouth. In fact, it is the peh, which by providing humans with the power of speech, elevates the status of people above that of animals.
However, people need to use this advantage and power in an intelligent and thought out manner. We need to understand when it is appropriate to speak and when it is best to stop speaking and be silent.
Speech is something that can cause a person trouble, but on the other hand it can also give him life. As it says in the Hebrew idiom (based on Proverbs 18:21), “Life and death are in the hands of speech.” If we say wise or correct things at the appropriate times, they give us life (prayer, for example). If we use our words incorrectly or at inappropriate times, they can cause us harm.
The letter פ (peh) comes after the letterע (ayin) to teach us the order of things in life – first the eye (ayin) sees and then the mouth (peh) can start to express what the eye has seen.
This letter also has a final letter form ף.
There are commentators that see the two shapes of the letter peh (פ and ף) to represent the flexibility in which a person can speak. One’s speech can be pleasant and soft, or it can be harsh, damaging, and dangerous.
In addition, the letter פ symbolizes holiness, as it represents prayer which comes from the mouth.
The shape of the letter peh also represents openness.
If we look at the negative space inside the letter פ, we’ll see that it looks like the letter ב (bet) or כ (kaf). This teaches us of the great internality of the letter and the trait it lends to those who have the letter in their name.
The numerical value of the letter פ is 80, and according to the sages this number represents strength. Therefore, someone who has the letter peh in his/her name is a person who is very verbal, with a gentle soul that can see different sides. This person is someone who can help another and heal the sick.
People with this letter in their name also experience surprises in their lives. The Hebrew word for surprise is הַפְתָעָה (hafta’ah) which comes from the root letters פת”ע.
The mouths of these individuals say what they feel and they can’t always control what comes out of it. There are times that they regret what they have said. Fortunately for them, this same mouth makes it possible for them to get out of the uncomfortable situation it has created, by apologizing and speaking eloquently.