Practical and Embodied Judaism – Parasha Beresheet

“And Adonai formed out of the earth all the wild beasts and all the birds of the sky, and brought them to Adam to see what he would call them; and whatever Adam called each living creature, that would be its name.” – Genesis 2:19

Welcome to the new season of the ‘Raising Holy Sparks’ podcast. This year, we will be focusing on the ideas of Judaism and will strive to take them out of the theoretical and instead turn them into the practical.

This week, for parasha beresheet (Genesis), we look at the idea of Adam naming the animals of the world.

Judaism is famous for our God not really having a name. Adonai simply means ‘my lord’ and Hashem means ‘the name’. Instead, the real and secret name was only to be said by the high priest once a year during yom Kippur in the holy of holies.

In academic world, the four letter Hebrew name of God is referred to as ‘the tetragrammaton’ and in some Christian circles these letters are pronounced as Jehovah.

Yet in truth we do not know how to pronounce it and it was meant to be this way! Why? Because once you name something then you have some power over it. In other religious circles God’s Hebrew name is referred to as the ineffable name – the unpronounceable name!

In psychology, Dr. Dan Siegel taught ‘name it to tame it’. The idea was for people to label emotions to reduce stress and anxiety. If you know what you are going through then you have a fighting chance to deal with it. The same could apply to a health condition when it is finally diagnosed. Phew- what a relief! It’s a real thing that I can wrestle with!

An intention that I offer you all:
What is a blessing or a challenge that you are going through this week?

Name it!

If it is a blessing – acknowledge it and give thanks. If it is a challenge – name it and be in relationship with it rather than trying to run from it.

See you next time!

Thanks for listening and looking forward to being on this journey through the books of the Torah with you!


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