Here comes the second part of my series on the highest Name of G-d “Yud Heh Vav Heh (the Tetragrammaton)”.
Please find the first part HERE!
A Gemara (rabbinic discussion in the Talmud) in Kiddushin 71a teaches:
Rabbah bar bar Chanah said in the name of Rabbi Yochanan: The four-letter Name of G-d is transmitted by the Sages to their students-once every seven years. And some say twice every seven years.
The Rambam (Maimonides, Rabbi Moshe ben Maimon, 1135-1204) writes in his Mishna Thora-Hilchot Tefillah 14:10:
Outside the Temple, the four-letter Name “Yud Heh Vav Heh” is pronounced “A-do-nai” ausgesprochen. Inside the Temple, when the Cohanim gave the Priestly Blessing, they pronounced it as it is written.
The same Gemara continues discussing the fact that no one really knows G-ds Name. I am asking myself whether G-d actually has a real Name and if He does need a Name at all. The Name “Yud Heh Vav Heh” is mentioned in the Torah many times because we humans need something we can grasp. At least a name. And how should we approach and pray to G-d without a name? We cannot just say “Hey You!”
Afterwards, the Gemara discusses another Name of G-d consisting of twelve letters. A Name which was used in the Temple but we do not know anymore today. It simply got lost after the last destruction of the Temple. The same with a further holy Name of G-d: The forty-two-letter Name.
Years ago I learned at a Shiur (religious lecture) that Rabbi Nachman von Breslov apparently knew a story where the forty-two-letter Name of G-d was mentioned. The Breslover Rabbi giving the Shiur even gave us this Name and I wrote it down on a piece of paper. It is still laying in my drawer and that’s about it. I am not this type of person sitting over Hebrew letters messing around with G-d’s Names. And I suppose that no one knows anyway if Rabbi Nachman’s suggestion is right or wrong.
Well, we have to wait for Meshiach then. 🙂