Thursday, May 1, 2014
Check Out What Rabbi Lazer Brody Blogged About The Importance Of Having A Name!
What Does My Name Mean? Revealing the Secrets of Names goes back thousands of years......[in gematria/numerology] This email from a Noahide student, shows how one simple question can reveal ancient secrets of the Torah: revealing the light of the Gaon.
Dear Rabbi Katz: Another question, a little off the subject. When HaShem spoke to Moses and told him to count the names and numbers of the Children of Israel... was HaShem not asking for Moses to actually COUNT them, or to give them the Gematria of their names... the number of their names? To empower them to do the job He had already equipped them to do, by them learning the Gematria of their names, this would have let them know the direction they were already going and.... the direction TO go???? I heard a shiur this morning about this and was wondering if it actually meant the Gematria of their names instead of counting how many Jews [Gerim apply to names as well] there were.
Answer: The science and process of reading a name, and discovering the true mission and path of the owner of that name, goes back to the very beginning. At the start of the fourth book of the Torah, Bamidbar, when G-d tells Moses to take a census of the Bnei Yisrael, the method used for taking this census was the same as that used in the process of ''Soul Mazal." Below are the relevant verses in the Torah, and the various commentaries by Chazal on these verses, which reveal the secret of the census and the method by which it was to be performed... i.e. gematria of the names.
Bamidbar 1:1-3 ''And the Lord said to Moses in the wilderness of Sinai in the tent of meeting, on the first day of the second month, which is Rosh Chodesh Iyar in the second year of the going out from Egypt, saying the following: Take a census of klal Yisrael for their families, each house of their father with ''b'mispar shemot'' [a counting of names to their heads]. A person who is 20 years of age and up, everyone who goes out to the legion [army] in Israel you shall count them according to their legions, you and Aharon.''
''count them'' תִּפְקְדוּ - which is spelt as in "tafkid" - [mission] - and that is the whole purpose of the name reading: to reveal your place and your mission.
Baal HaTurim on the words b'mispar shemot It is written here these words and in Parshas Pinchas it is not written, this type of counting of ''the number of names'', rather they wrote it here to inform that they didn't change their names in Egypt and therefore it is written '' לְבֵית אֲבֹתָם '' - the house of their father - to say to you that they are called in the names of their fathers. [This wasn't their name, this was their full Aliyah name, and in the shita of the Gra this is the basic format of learning one's name].
The Ramban says on the word תִּפְקְדוּ that it is the inyan [matter] of ''pekida'' which is zichron - [as a rememberance], and hashgacha pratis [Divine providence] on a matter. So when it says that you should count it, it's talking about Divine providence and zicaron; this terminlogy of pekida is the level of the concealed part of the Geula. Like the language in ''Hashem remembered Sarah'' - פקד - ''remembered'' - and just like Hashem commanded to count Israel it says tifkedu otam - תִּפְקְדוּ - to hint that they should only be counted as an atonement to their soul of a half a shekel and with that they will govern and know the "number" of the nation.
Ibn Ezra Note that the Ibn Ezra suggests that the census is to the exclusion, and with the power to exclude, the Erev Rav.
Kli Yakar Hashem gave to them a number. Just like the stars as it says in Isaiah 40:26 - to bring out with a number of legions to all of them - he calls to each by name. Thus you should say in this location in the midbar with a counting of names to teach that from the multitudes of righteousness like the stars to the world, and as it says in Daniel 12:3 ''everyone there is to him hashgacha pratit [Divine providence]''. And the basic premise is that Avraham was told ''you should count the stars of the heavens'' - so too will be your seed - the connection is in the gematria and name.
Radak on Isaiah 40:26 - ''Lift up your eyes on high, and see: who hath created these? He that bringeth out their host by number, He calleth them all by name; by the greatness of His might, and for that He is strong in power, not one faileth.''
The stars are many in their image and not their creation - beis- reish vav alef yud mem - beis can represent barah [created] or ''with'' vision, and this is different from the word beis vav reish alef yud mem [creations]
And we see also in their knowledge of bringing out a number of legions which is not able to be done with men to count them, and what we say is there are a number of stars and there are one thousand and ninety eight, that is big stars that give light on the land, but it is known from the ways of wisdom that the stars are many without number to them by man, too many to count. But whoever created them knows their number. And the explanation to all of them is in the name that they are called. Just like King David counted the number of stars, all of them were by names he called them. And that means that each one of them he gave a beautiful name to it according to the manner of its creation.....and in all of this a man is obligated, to learn the numbers of wisdom and to understand with his da''as of the creations whether above or whether below, and from that he will recognise the Creator. and behold a Navi warns man with this and says after all you should know, hear, and understand, and say count the multitudes with your eyes and see that you see just like explained in the seeing of the heart and all who are not considering tkufot and mazalot [times and constellations] the work of Hashem [stars are a mashal [analogy] for mankind below] - it says of the person who does not consider all that, the work of G-d he did not gaze at and the work of G-d's hands he didn't see, and they say the counting that was commanded to man, why is a man to count? to consider the tkufot and mazalot.
Wisdom and understanding to the eyes of the nations, this is to consider tkufot and mazalot. As they say all that know to consider tkufot and mazal and it is not considered forbidden to count from it.
Further Explanation: Why does Hashem do a census? To consider the tkufot and mazalot.... to get people to know their names. We have a census to make us familiar with counting the stars in their tkufot and mazalot [travels and constellations], which is the signal that will make us great amongst the nations as a display of wisdom and understanding. And it will bring out our wisdom and understanding. This is the reason for the Jewish calendar which has influenced all calendars in the world. And the connection is when we take a census it accustoms us to counting above, and when we compare the Jews to the stars in the heavens, as promised to Abraham, then we will accustom ourselves to our counting.
Ibn Ezra on Yeshayahu The creations that they are there, and who brings out each day with a number of legions, this is corresponding to seeing - briya with creation and beriya with seeing - it is also a remez [hint] to the stars, to classify that there is a number to each one of them. But the name is only by people, and all the wisdom of the constellations until today was not able to stand on the faith of the number going out on each one, or the number of stars, that they are the heads and souls above, as explained in the Zohar, meaning the census goes on the stars above, but you can't just count them, because you're not able with wisdom to know their number.
...When the stars cease to have a number, you give them a name, and likewise the Jew compared to a star - when you are confronted with the Jew, and he understood the number inherent with the name.
Vilna Gaon on Isaiah 40:26 This is what is meant by the verse “Who brings out their hosts by number” [Isa. 40:26], i.e., each legion has its special number. [Isa.40:26] “He calls each of them by name [by all that is included in the name of the creature].” Happy is the man who achieves, and reaches [that goal] by the might of his hand and his good deeds. The purpose of “deed and numerology” as explained by the Gaon, is so that a person will not fall into Sheol, i.e., another gilgul, God forbid. Happy is he who achieves by the might of his deeds - the level of his mission that is hidden in the gematria of his name. All this will be revealed to him in the World of Truth, but it is preferable for one to achieve this knowledge in his lifetime, so that he will be stronger in his special mission in this world, because one who is commanded and fulfills the commandment stands high. A word to the wise is sufficient. [Kol HaTor]
***Soul Mazal is not only an innovative Torah source for the Noahide/Ger throughout the World; As always, Soul Mazal explores Mazal [the knowledge of investigating our relationship with Hashem through our daily lives via Humanity - only now articulated!], Names, and all spiritual issues that arise from the constant effort in staying within the Light of Hashem's Grace. Life goes through both phases of Light and Darkness, and both are natural and normal...the goal of Soul Mazal is to understand both, and Mazal and Names Knowledge [among others] is a great way to grasp the Divine Hand in our lives!