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First Blessing 6: Blessings: God’s Names

With respect to the idea of a blessing to God, we are obviously not referring to the Being of God, God-forbid, God is above any blessing. But the idea is introduced in the Zohar, that there are parts of God that are hidden away from us, and there are parts of God that are revealed. The very existence of God, the Ein-Sof, the One Who has no Limitation, is hidden from all that is hidden. To delve into the most inner parts of God is the most hidden of all secrets.

Therefore, don’t think that your ‘nicknames’ of God refer to the realities of God. They refer only to perceptions of God; even the name YHVH…What we can understand is a little bit. We have many different names for God, and many different names for the attributes of God, as we find in the Torah and in the text of the prayers. All of them are simply a gift from God to the world, and the strengths of God used to create the world, to keep the world functioning.

By the way, that’s why in Baruch She’amar, the last ‘baruch’, Baruch Sh’mo – “Blessed is His Name.” His Name, by itself, is a gift. The Name is the tool with which we relate to God. That’s why when the Torah begins, “B’reishit bara Elokim”, the literal translation is “In the beginning, God created the name of Elokim”. Until there was a name, none of the creations could relate. There is such a different level of existence, they would not have been able to relate. This is what you must keep in mind when saying this phrase in Baruch She’amar. ‘Thank You for creating a Name we can use to relate to You. Thank You for creating a way for us to relate to You, based on our comprehension of You. This is all included the approach of the Nefesh Ha’Chaim.

This is what a blessing is. This means that you bless someone’s orchard; you are blessing it that it should be productive. The word baruch means that something should expand or grow. When you bless your children, you are empowering them to grow. That’s why the most famous blessing in the Torah, such as the ones that Jacob gave to his children before he died, or the blessings Moses gave to the Jewish people before he died, are filled with rebuke. That’s a blessing? – Absolutely. If it will cause the person to acknowledge his or her weaknesses, fight them and rise above them, it empowers the person.


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