Weekly Chasidic Story #1040 (s5778-10/ 24 Cheshvan 5778)

Naming with Divine Inspiration

Their Rabbi advised, "That's a beautiful name, but it's rarely given. Perhaps you should add a second name which is more common."

Connection: Weekly Reading of Toldos ("Offsprings"), which was also the Reading on the Shabbat between the murders and the circumcision.

Naming with Divine Inspiration
by Rabbi David Ashear


The "Ohr Gedalyahu" writes that every person has his own set of strengths and character traits necessary for him to accomplish his task in this world. Every letter of the Hebrew alphabet, which has such deep meaning and hidden secrets, when configured in a certain pattern to comprise a person's name, has an impact on the strengths of that person. The holy Ari of Safed taught that every parent is given Divine Inspiration when naming a child.

Names are decided by G-d Al-Mighty. Just like in every other area of life, we make our effort and afterwards accept that G-d's will came to fruition, so too when it comes to names. We can make suggestions and requests for certain names to be given, but after the name is given, no matter what was decided, we should be happy knowing that it was according to the will of G-d. Nobody should ever fight or argue over naming a newborn. The final call is always His.

A Rabbi told me that his daughter had a baby boy about a month and a half ago. A couple of days before the Brit Milah circumcision ceremony she asked him if he had any good ideas for a name. He told her what the Ari said, that she and her husband will be inspired to give the right name. However, he did mention that his illustrious grandfather's name was David Hai. He told her that name has a lot of meaning and might be a good option.

The next day she told her father, we decided we like the name Natanel, which means a gift from Hashem. The Rabbi said, "That's a beautiful name, but it's not that common. Perhaps you should add a second name which is more common."

At the Brit, the name given was Natanel Yaakov. Right after the name was given, a woman came over to them and said, "That was so beautiful what you just did. I'm so touched."

They asked, "What do you mean?"

This Brit took place on Sunday morning, November 15 (Kislev 3). The woman said, "You didn't hear? Two days ago on Friday afternoon, November 13 (2015 - Rosh Chodesh Kislev,* 5776), just a day and a half ago, a father and son were cruelly murdered in a terrorist attack in Chevron, Rabbi Yaakov and Natanel Lipman. It is so sad. But now you are naming your baby after them, Natanel Yaakov. Surely this will bring the family much joy** when they hear."

The couple was very moved that the Al-mighty had guided them to this name. They also felt honored that their child has the merit to carry the names of these two respected martyrs. They decided to save all the newspaper articles related to their namesake to show their son when he grows up.

That same week, in one of the articles, they noticed that the full names of the two martyrs were "Yaakov David" and "Natanel Hai". Thus, "David Hai" was also in their names, the original name that was suggested for this child!

The Rabbi told me, "The Divine Supervision here was amazing. The boy carries the names of these two holy sacrifices as well as his grandfather's."

Source: Adapted by Yerachmiel Tilles from Lesson #688 of Rabbi David Ashear's Daily Emunah email of January 1, 2015, as reprinted in "Shabbos Stories for Parshat Bo 5776".

Connections: Weekly Reading of Toldos ("Offsprings"), which was also the Reading on the Shabbat between the murders and the circumcision.

Editor's notes:
* The same date as the murders of the Mumbai Chabad House martyrs seven years before.

** The 21-year-old eldest surviving daughter, Sarah Techiyah, was due to be married to Ariel Beigle 4 days after the murder. The wedding was postponed to Nov. 26, one week after Sitting Shivah ended. During that initial week of mourning, Sarah invited the entire world to the wedding. Although the wedding was moved to the largest venue in Jerusalem, the site could not possibly contain the many thousands from across the Jewish spectrum in Israel who showed up to celebrate and comfort, as well as hundreds (!) of representatives from numerous Jewish congregations all around the world. Most had to dance outside while watching the ceremonies inside on closed circuit television screens.
(photo from //totpi.com)


Yerachmiel Tilles is co-founder and associate director of Ascent-of-Safed, and chief editor of this website (and of KabbalaOnline.org). He has hundreds of published stories to his credit, and many have been translated into other languages. He tells them live at Ascent nearly every Saturday night.

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