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The Divine Name

There are many different ways in which the Judaic tradition views the idea of the Name of the Divine. On one level, the Divine has no name because the Divine is that which is beyond naming. On another level, the Divine has a name but it is a name not to be spoken; this is called the Tetragrammaton or the four-letter (YHVH) name of the Divine. When this name appears in prayer or in the sacred texts another divine name (Adonai or HaShem) is spoken in its place.

On still another level, there are many names of the Divine; names which seek to comprehend the Divine by naming its attributes, qualities, and the ways in which it relates to humanity and all of creation.

There are Kabbalistic meditative practices for all of these levels of divine naming. Kabbalists have also discovered and constructed additional names of the Divine that are mystical combinations of Hebrew letters related to the Divine. These "Lettered Names" are used in advanced Kabbalistic practices to help the individual practitioner unite with the Divine (see below).


Here is a list of some of the Judaic Names of the Divine and a mystical interpretation of the divine attributes, qualities, and ways of relating they represent. It is said that the reading and speaking of these Divine names can be a powerful spiritual practice in and of itself.


Abir: Strong One.
Adonai: Guardian; Keeper.
Avinu Malkeinu: Patron; Wise Counselor.
Boreh: Creator.
Ehyeh-Asher-Ehyeh: I Am That I Am (Exodus 3:14).
E'in Sof: The Endless; The Infinite (Kabbalistic name of God).
El: The Source; That Which Calls; That Which Invokes.
El De'ot: Source of Knowledge (1 Samuel 2:3).
El Echad: Source of Oneness (Malachi 2:10).
El Elyon: Source Most High (Genesis 14:18).
El Emet: Source of Truth: (Psalm 31:6).
El HaGadol: Source of Greatness (Deuteronomy 10:17).
El HaGibbor: Source of Courage and Strength.
El HaKadosh: Source of Holiness (Isaiah 5:16).
El HaNe'eman: Source of Faithfulness (Deuteronomy 7:9).
El HaShamayim: Source of the Heavens: (Psalm 136:26).
El Olam: Source of Eternity (Genesis 21:33).
El Yeshuati: Source of Salvation (Isaiah 12:2).
El Yisrael: Source of Awakening (Psalm 68:35).
Elah Sh'maya: The Source and Calling of Heaven (Ezra 7:23).
Elah Sh'maya V'Arah: The Source and Calling of Heaven and Earth (Ezra 5:11).
Elah Yerush'lem: The Source of the Vision of Peace (Ezra 7:19).
Elah Yisrael: The Source and Calling of the Awakening Self (Ezra 5:1).
Elohay (or Elohim): Honored One; That which is to be revered.
Elohay Avraham, Elohay Yitzchak ve Elohay Ya`aqov: Honored One of the father of great multitudes, the one who brings laughter, and the one who prevails.
Elohay Kedem: Honored One of the Beginning (Deuteronomy 33:27).
Elohay Mishpat: Honored One of Justice (Isaiah 30:18).
Elohay Selichot: Honored One of Forgiveness: (Nehemiah 9:17).
Elohay Marom: Honored One of Heights: (Micah 6:6).
Elohay Mikarov: The Honored One Who Is Near (Jeremiah 23:23).
Elohay Mauzi: Honored One of Strength (Psalm 43:2).
Elohay Tehilati: Honored One of Praise (Psalm 109:1).
Elohay Yishi: Honored One of Salvation (Psalm 18:47, 25:5).
Elohay Elohim: Honored One of Calling (Deuteronomy 10:17).
Elohim (or Elohay): Honored One; That which is to be revered.
Elohim Kedoshim: Holy Honored One (Leviticus 19:2, Joshua 24:19).
Elohim Chaiyim: Living Honored One (Jeremiah 10:10).
Emet: Truth.
Elyon: The One that is Most High.
HaKaddosh, Baruch Hu: The Holy One, Blessed be.
HaShem: The Name.
Immanu El: The Source who is with us (Isaiah 7:14).
Kaddosh Israel: Holy One of the Awakening Self.
Magen Avraham: Protector of the father of great multitudes.
Makom: The Omnipresent One.
Melech ha-Melachim: Counselor of Counselors.
Ro'eh Yisrael: Guide of the Awakening Self.
Shaddai: Almighty Source of Blessing.
Shekhinah: Divine Presence.
Tzur Israel: Rock of the Awakening Self.
YHVH (Yud-Hey-Vav-Hey): That Which Is and Will be; the Source and Author of Life.
YHVH-Elohim: That Which Is and Will Be Honored (Genesis 2:4).
YHVH-M'kadesh: That Which Makes Holy (Ezekiel 37:28).
YHVH-Nissi: That Which Is and Will Be Our Banner (Exodus 17:8-15).
YHVH-O'saynu: That Which Is and Always Will Be Our Maker (Psalm 95:6).
YHVH-Ra-ah: That Which Is and Will Be My Shepherd (Psalms 23:1).
YHVH-Rapha: That Which Healeth (Exodus 15:26).
YHVH-Shalom: That Which Is and Always Will Be Our Peace (Judges 6:24).
YHVH-Shammah: That Which Is and Always Will Be Present (Ezekiel 48:35).
YHVH-Tsidkenu: That Which Is the Source of Righteousness (Jeremiah 23:6).
YHVH Tzva'ot: That Which Brings All Things Together.
YHVH-Yireh: That Which Will Provide (Genesis 22:13, 14).


And here are some of the Kabbalistic Lettered Names of the Divine used in Judaic mystical practices. These practices include gazing at the Hebrew letters of the Name, repeating the letter sounds or the letter Names like a mantra, and meditating on the hidden patterns of meaning within and between each letter of the Name. (Note that Hebrew is read from right to left)

 

The Four-Letter Name:
The Tetragrammaton or the Name of that which is Nameless.

Y-H-V-H

(Yud-Hey-Vav-Hey)

 

The Eight-Letter Name:
The Tetragrammaton interspersed with the word Adonai.

Y-A-H-D-V-N-H-Y

(Yud-Aleph-Hey-Dalit-Vav-Nun-Hey-Yud)

 

The Ten-Letter Name:
Derived from the first three Sefirot of the Tree of Life; Keter (Crown), Hokhmah (Wisdom), and Binah (Understanding).

K-T-R-Ch-Kh-M-B-Y-N-H

(Kuf-Tav-Resh-Chet-Khaf-Mem-Bet-Yud-Nun-Hey)

 

The Forteen-Letter Name:
Derived through the transposition of letters of the phrase "Adonai Elohainu Adonai" from the Shema prayer.

Kh-V-Z-V-B-M-V-Kh-S-Z-Kh-V-Z-V

(Khaf-Vav-Zayin-Vav-Bet-Mem-Vav-Khaf-Samech-Zayin-Khaf-Vav-Zayin-Vav)

 

The Twenty-Two-Letter Name:
Derived from the Priestly Blessing.

A-N-K-T-S-P-S-T-S-P-S-P-S-Y-S-D-Y-V-N-S-Y-S

(Aleph-Nun-Kuf-Tav-Samech-Peh-Samech-Tav-Samech-Peh-Samech-Peh-Samech-Yud-Samech-Dalet-Yud-Vav-Nun-Samech-Yud-Samech)

 

The Forty-Two-Lettered Name:
Derived from the first 42 letters of the Torah.

A-B-N-Y-T-Ts-K-D-Ay-S-T-N-N-G-D-Y-Kh-S-B-T-D-Ts-T-G-Ch-K-D-T-N-Ay-Y-G-L-P-Z-K-S-K-N-Ts-Y-T

(Aleph-Bet-Nun-Yud-Tav-Tsadi-Kuf-Dalet-Ayin-Shin-Tet-Nun-Nun-Gimmel-Dalet-Yud-Khaf-Shin-Bet-Tet-Dalet-Tsadi-Tav-Gimmel-Chet-Kuf-Dalet-Tet-Nun-Ayin-Yud-Gimmel-Lamed-Peh-Zayin-Kuf-Shin-Kuf-Nun-Tsadi-Yud-Tav)

 

The Seventy-Two Lettered Name:
Derived from three verses in Exodus (14:19-21); each of the verses contains 72 letters, and when combined they form 72 names.

 

Index
Welcome
Introduction
In Beginning
In The Beginning
Before The Beginning
Endlessness
Eternal Light
Darkness
The Divine Orchard
The Awakening Self
The Divine Name
Season of Liberation
The Ten Lessons
Kabbalah Q&A

 

 

 

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All images and text on these pages Mark Allan Kaplan.
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