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FAQ: Hebrew Language and Names

FAQ: Hebrew Language and Names

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FAQ: Hebrew Language and Names

QUESTION: "I have always been interested in the Torah and the Kabbala. But I do not speak or read Hebrew. Can you help me in getting the right teachings that I may begin to fully understand the secret holy teachings of these books."

ANSWER: Start on our Home page. Click on the large "Beginners Start Here" button and follow the guidelines, including "Recommended Books".

QUESTION: "I'd like to pray, but I don't understand Hebrew that well?"

ANSWER: You may wish to use the Metzudah Siddur, which translates phrase by phrase rather than facing pages. I would suggest maybe setting aside ten minutes a day before prayer, and studying a piece at a time, perhaps blessing by blessing in Standing Prayer, staying with the same piece until you understand it when you read it in Hebrew and then going on to the next. Another potential resource is to ask the Rabbi (or in your specific case, as a women) or his wife to help you with the siddur; either she'll say she is too busy or else she'll be thrilled; I've never heard of anything in between.

QUESTION: "Do you have Kabbalaonline in Hebrew or any other languages?"

ANSWER: Not yet. Hebrew, Spanish and Russian are on the agenda.

QUESTION: "If you name a newborn in memory of a deceased relative, does a spark of that particular relative's soul become part of the soul of the baby?"

ANSWER: There is a connection, although it is not always necessarily that strong. It works in the other direction too. We are taught that the parents experience "minor prophecy" so as to be inspired to give a name that is appropriate for the soul.

QUESTION: "Can you tell me the meaning or prophecy that pertains to my name?"

ANSWER: You may order a "Personal Torah Codes" package from the Ascent staff for $36. Click here for further details. (This service is offered free to participants in Ascent seminars in Safed.)

QUESTION: "Has any of the Kabbalistic Masters made references to the Torah Codes... If so, what did they teach?"

ANSWER: Not really. There may be instances of codes presented, but not as a topic of discussion in and of itself. There have also been a few individual sages that dabbled in it, amazingly, long before computers.

QUESTION: "Why are Hebrew letters so important?"

ANSWER: They represent the channels/forces of Creation. They are the language in which G‑d spoke to Man.

QUESTION: "Torah study is divided into four general levels of understanding: peshat, remez, derash, and sod [pardes]. Do these words mean:

Peshat = simple meanings
Remez = understanding
Derash = ?
Sod = secret level

ANSWER: Peshat and Sod you have correctly. Although I prefer "surface" or "straightforward" to simple, but I won't quibble.
Remez means "hints." This refers to meanings derived from spelling variations, numerical values, verse proximity and so forth.
Derash is officially translated as "homiletics" but I presume you don't know that word since almost no one does. Therefore it is an inadequate translation for our purposes. You can use "interpretations." The idea is: drawing out moral-ethical-practical lessons from the verse. Are you familiar with the Midrash? Midrash and derash share the same root.

QUESTION: "I need kabbalah books in Spanish. Can you help me please?"

ANSWER: I know that Tanya exists in Spanish. It was translated in Argentina a few decades ago. Ask at the nearest Chabad center (click here to search on and choose - in the center of the page: "Languages: Spanish"). has translation into Spanish. They may also have a booklist, although they may be only Rabbi Ginsburgh's books.

QUESTION: "Is it possible to get a listing of the Hebrew letters numerology and its equivalent for the English letters so I may figure out different name values for myself?"

ANSWER: What would correspond to Jewish numerology is called Gematria. There is no equivalent for this in English, although there may be people who will mislead you into thinking that there is. Be careful.

QUESTION: "Is it possible to receive the correspondences for all 22 letters to the tarot cards? I found the spiritual meaning for the letter Aleph very interesting in your article Aleph Meditation."

ANSWER: Thank you for your letter. We hope to do articles on the other letters. We have no intention to get involved in Taro, as that is irrelevant to authentic Kabbalah.

For an analysis of your Hebrew name and Personal Torah Codes, click here.

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Discussion (1)
April 8, 2015
Baby Naming and Gematria
We are expecting a child and although we will be waiting to meet it before deciding on the name, we are aware that there are some gematria codes that exist in connection with the names of the parents. Beyond the meaning and meaningfulness of baby's name we'd like to consider the laws of Gematria before finalising a name.
Eliah Goldfink
New Zealand

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