Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Sefer Kushiot: Why Avraham and Yaakov received new names from G - d

Photos: Miriam Woelke


I love those questions asked and answered in SEFER KUSHIOT. Basically the entire book consists of Q & A. Here is a short example:

Why did Avraham and Yaakov receive new names from G - d whereas Yitzchak's name was never changed (by G - d) ?

Anyone has an answer ?
If not, look into the book.:-)


  1. B"H

    The answer to the question why G - d didn't provide Yitzchak with a new name is as follows:

    G - d gave new names to Avraham when He added the Hebrew letter HEH to his name. This happened after Avraham's Brit Milah (circumcision).

    Later, G - d provided Yaakov with the name ISRAEL after Yaakov successfully fought with his own Yetzer HaRah (symbolically: the Angel).

    Why did Yitzchak not receive a new name ?

    Because G - d already gave him the name Yitzchak when the angels announced to Sarah that she will have a son. See PARASHAT VAYERA !

  2. It was too simple! :-)

    Here is another one:

    Who are the two men in the Torah whose names, if they are spelled backwards, are used to describe them?

    Do you want a clue? Both are mentionned in Sefer Bereshis.

  3. B"H

    The backwards spelling is a problem. Otherwise I would have said Noach and Adam, as their names describe them. Uhhh, but backwards ... I need to think and try out some names.:-))))

  4. The first one is Noach, as it is written that he found Chen (favor) in G-d's eyes 'see in Parshas Noach). Noach is writen Nun Chet, and "Chen" is writen Chet Nun.

    And there is second name, still in Sefer Bereshis.

  5. בס״ד

    The first name is נח “Noach.” About him, it is written in the Torah: וְנֹחַ, מָצָא חֵן בְּעֵינֵי ה׳ “But Noah found grace (חֵן) in the eyes of Hashem.” As you can see, when you reverse the letters of the name נח, it gives you חן, the word used to describe him.

    The second name is ער “Er”, the eldest son of Yehudah. About him, it is written in the Torah: וַיְהִי, עֵר בְּכוֹר יְהוּדָה--רַע, בְּעֵינֵי ה׳ “And Er, Yehudah's first-born, was wicked (רַע) in the eyes of Hashem.” Once again, read in its reverse order, Er's name (ער) spells the word used to describe him (רַע).

    The sources are Bereshis 6:8 and Bereshis 38:7.

  6. B"H

    I was concentrating too much on Noach and Grace but overlooked Chen !

    ER is a very good example and I once somewhere read the commentary on the name.