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B”H

Shalom and Bracha!

This Shabbat we bless the month of Cheshvan and read the portion of Breishit, the narrative of creation. Being that this is the first regular Shabbat of the year, the manner in which we conduct ourselves this Shabbat sets the tone for the entire year.

After creating Adam and placing him in the Garden of Eden, Hashem brought him all of the animals to give them names. The Midrash relates that when Hashem created Adam, the angels asked Him “what is his nature?” Hashem responded that Adam’s wisdom surpasses theirs. Hashem then showed them all of the animals and they didn’t know their names. When He brought them to Adam, Adam named them. He called himself Adam, because he was created from the earth (Adamah means earth in Hebrew).

What was the great wisdom in giving names? The Baal Shem Tov explains that a Hebrew name relates to the divine force that connects the soul and the body. This is true not only of humans, but of all creatures and objects. Creation was through Hashem’s speech: G-d said “Let there be light” and there was light. The letters of the Hebrew alphabet are the building blocks of creation. The letters Aleph, Vav and Reish that form the Hebrew word Ohr (light) were the tools of creating light. Adam had the wisdom to see in each creature its connection to the Divine energy that enlivens it.

What was the purpose of Adam naming them? Surely it was more than just to demonstrate his wisdom to the angels. Hashem created the world in a manner that His presence is concealed. The purpose of Adam’s creation and of mankind as a whole was to reveal the divine light in every aspect of the creation. This began through Adam calling names to all of the creatures. By calling them with their Hebrew names, he began the process of revealing their divine source. The continuation of the process is when the creation is used for a divine purpose, a Mitzvah. Every time we use an object for a Mitzvah, the divine nature of the object is revealed. The completion will be when Moshiach will come and the physical world will be illuminated with Hashem’s presence.

From this we also see the great significance of using our Hebrew names. The very use of our Hebrew name facilitates the revelation of our soul. One of the merits that brought about the Exodus from Egypt was use of our Hebrew names. As we prepare for the coming of Moshiach using our Hebrew names will hasten the process.

The Midrash concludes that Hashem asked Adam His name and he responded it is fit to call You A-do-nai (from the Hebrew Adon which means master) because You are the master of all of Your creations. May we soon witness the entire creation accepting Hashem’s kingship with the coming of Moshiach.

Shabbat Shalom and Chodesh Tov,

Rabbi Biggs

Dedicated to Mazal Bat Rachel for a full and speedy recovery

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