ARTICLES

THE NAME GAME

RABBI AVI HILL

Nov 17, 2006
Did you know that your name is highly important with regards to understanding your potential?
 
Naming somebody shouldn't be an opportunity for parents to play a practical joke on their kids. Like the poor chap whose parents named him Ben Din-Rode, or other classics like Rhoda Hoarse, Mal Adjusted and my favourite Eli Kopter. In truth our sources explain that one's name is a spiritual link to one's soul. The legendary Maharal of Prague writes that when a parent names a child it is 1/60th of prophecy. The name is a window into the essential character of the child and the path he will take in his life. This sheds new light on the ancient custom to name one's baby after a member of the family who has passed away.
 
The Hebrew name is especially powerful and one can introduce a Hebrew name at any stage in life. Ask your local Rabbi for details. A classic example is Sarah, whose name embodies a spiritual strength. The root of the word is Sar which means officer which teaches us that Sarah has the strength to do what is right more easily than others. This is one of the reasons why Avraham, whose name denotes kindness and fatherly love, understood that he needed Sarah's strength to complement him. Now we can start to understand that classical phrase - living up to your name.

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