Friday, November 5, 2010

What's In a Name

The Hebrew word for soul is "Neshama" - נשׁמה
The middle letters of נשׁמה spell "shem" - which means "name".
This shows us the importance of your name - it is the centre of the soul.

Your Hebrew name functions as a conduit, channeling spiritual energy from G-d into your soul and your body.

This is why, say the Chassidic masters, an unconscious person will often respond and be revived when his or her name is called. To wake someone up, all you need to do is whisper their Hebrew name into their ear.

Your Hebrew name is your spiritual call sign, embodying your unique character traits and G-d-given gifts. Ideally, you should use it 24 hours a day, not just when you're called to the Torah or when prayers are offered on your behalf.

According to Jewish custom, a critically ill person is sometimes given an additional Hebrew name -- somewhat like a spiritual bypass operation to funnel fresh spirituality around their existing name and into their bodies; with the influx of spirituality, the body is given renewed vigor to heal itself.

The book of Genesis teaches that G-d created the world with "speech" ("And G-d said, 'Let there be light!', and there was light" ).

In the Kabbalah it is explained that the 22 sacred letters of the Hebrew alef-bet are the spiritual "building blocks" of all created reality, and that the name of a thing in the Holy Tongue represents the combination of sacred letters that reflects its distinct characteristics and the purpose and role towards which it was created.

If you are not using your Hebrew name, you are not tapping into your G-d given powers. If you're feeling tired and rundown, this could be the solution to your inertia.

Usually, your Hebrew name is given to you soon after birth. Jewish boys are named at their brit (circumcision), and girls at a Torah reading shortly after their birth. Your name is selected by your parents who usually name you after a dear departed loved one, most often an ancestor. Or, if they don’t have anyone to memorialize, you just might end up with a Hebrew name of their own preference. Either way, however, our sages have declared that your parents' choice of a name constitutes a "minor prophecy", since the name they choose conforms with the inborn nature of your soul.

If your parents didn't give you a brit or didn't name you at a Torah reading -- or if you're a non-Jew who's converting to Judaism -- you can select any Hebrew name that resonates with you.
There are people who complete the mission associated with their name in the middle of their lifetime.

They are then given a new mission, and hence, a new name. This concept contains many deep and awesome secrets.

It is customary to give a new name to a dangerously sick person. The sick person has already fulfilled his destiny according to his original name, and is therefore ready to die. We then give him a new name, thereby also giving him a new mission. The sick person can now continue to live and complete the mission associated with his new name.

Our Rabbis teach us that Moses had many names. Moses had many missions in life; he therefore required a different name for each one of his great tasks.

Source: Rebbe Nachman's Wisdom

Naming A Baby After Someone Who Recently Died
by Rav Menashe Klein

Rav Menashe Klein (Mishneh Halachos 4:152) was asked if it is permissible to name a baby after someone who died but was not yet buried. Although reluctant to answer a question not found in Shas or Poskim, he said that people are noheg to do so.
However he did see in the Zohar that it may not be effective. The Zohar says that until a person is buried, his Neshama cannot enter another a person in the form of a Gilgul. Since one of the reasons we name after a niftar is to enable the neshama to enter the child as a gilgul, it would be pointless until after the burial. This is also the opinion of the Shu"t Tshuras Shai and the Recanti.

What if the child was born while the person was still alive but the name will be given after the burial? In this case he says that even though the child already received a neshama at birth, nevertheless the neshama of the gilgul can enter at the time the name is given. We see this from Pinchas who received the neshamos of Nadav and Avihu even though he was alive at the time of their death.

This is the same logic as giving a sick person a new name. The hope is that the neshama of a person with the same name will enter into him and extend his life. For this reason changing the name of a Choleh should be handled only by someone who is well versed in these matters.

Source: Revach L'Neshama

3 comments:

Choni said...

If I remeber correctly I think the souls of Nadav and Avihu who entered Pinchas were "Iburim" rather than "Gilgulim". So if your using the terms "Gilgul" and "Ibur" interchangebly, when a soul enters a child whose named after her/him, is it an "Ibur" or a "Gilgul"?

Devorah said...

Good question Choni. From my limited knowledge of all of this, I would say that it is a Gilgul.

The term "ibbur" refers to an extra soul which comes down into a body to assist someone for a certain period of time. The person doesn't know it is there, although the person may feel extra strength to go through whatever trial he/she is facing.

Neal said...

I have a strong theory, but I am way too undereducated to research this. Here is my question: If the Hebrew letters are the spiritual building blocks of the world...and the periodic table (chemistry) are the physical building blocks of the physical world...my hypothesis is that there has to be a connection where you can turn a chemical equation into a Hebrew sentence or a pusuk from the Torah into a chemical equation. with this connection, I believe, we may find out the answers to many unsolved scientific challenges such as the cure for cancer, aids, dementia, etc. Is there ANYONE in the world who can take this hypothesis and see if there is that connection that can bridge the Hebrew alphabet to the periodic table (like the Torah codes that have been a recent discovery with the advent of computers???)