Shemot 5761

Tora - Torah

Parshat Shemot 25 Tevet, 5761 January 20, 2001

Something Old:
To review last year’s Tora-Torah for Shemot, just click
Something New:

Last year (and on several occasions) I have written about the importance of Shemot, names. While a secular name serves as a “label” for your physical self, a Hebrew name defines your soul. The deeper you look, the more you discover in a name. For example, check the Gematria (number-letter equivalent) for your Hebrew name and see if there are words or phrases in the Torah that have the same Gematria. The messages you can get from this can be quite startling and insightful. (Look for Rabbi Blech’s new book, Your Name is Your Blessing, for a whole list of these for most Jewish names.)

Here is another exercise in self-awareness you can do If you had to select a Black Belt name for yourself in Tora Dojo, what would you chose? What name would reflect where you are and where you want to go in your life? What quality or metaphor (a tree, a river, a home, etc.) would help define the next few years of the path you are on?

Take some time with this exercise. I think you’ll find it spiritually educational.

Let me quote from a D’var Torah I just read based on Growth Through Torah by Rabbi Zelig Pliskin.

The Torah relates, “And the King of Egypt spoke to the Hebrew midwives, one was Shifrah and the name of the second was Pu’ah.” (Ex. 115) What do we learn from their names?

Rashi, the 13th century French commentator, informs us that Shifrah was a second name for Yocheved, Moshe’s mother. She was called Shifrah (from the Hebrew root “L’shahper” — to make better) because she did things for the betterment of the infants in her care. Pu’ah was another name for Miriam, Moshe’s sister. She was called Pu’ah because of the comforting sounds (“poo poo”) she would make to the infants as others do to calm a crying baby.

Rabbi Yeruchem Levovitz of the Mir Yeshiva comments that when the Torah calls someone by a certain name it is because that name represents the essence of the person.

That is the key. The name represents the essence of the person.

Dig a little.

"Tora-Torah" is a weekly column on Parshat Hashavua with insights into the inner aspects of the Jewish martial arts as founded and taught by Grand Master H. I. Sober in the International Tora Dojo Martial Arts Association. The copyrighted 'Tora tiger' logo is used with permission of Prof. H. I. Sober.
"Tora-Torah" is written or edited by Michael Andron, PhD. Lao Shih, a Seventh Degree Black Belt in the Tora Dojo Association. He has been teaching Grand Master Sober's system for over 30 years.
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