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The Book of all Books Dr. Azila (Tzili) Talit Reisenberger Head of Hebrew University of Cape Town.

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Presentation on theme: "The Book of all Books Dr. Azila (Tzili) Talit Reisenberger Head of Hebrew University of Cape Town."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Book of all Books Dr. Azila (Tzili) Talit Reisenberger Head of Hebrew University of Cape Town

2 Lecture 2: What’s in the name?

3 Short recap: The Name of The Book Bible – Bibliotheca (bibliothèque) – library Hebrew Bible (in French? German?) Old Testament (passé?) TaNaK(Torah/ Nevi’im/Ketuvim) The Bible

4 Names of the individual books The authors of the book, prophets, main hero/heroine etc Main theme: Kings, Psalms, Proverbs In some cases: English names adhere to above (logic), while Hebrew names of books are words from 1 st verse in the book (Shemot, Vayikra etc)

5 The significance of names “A boy named Sue” (part of essence) “The great Escape” (power of knowing) Oscar Wilde (treat with care & respect) …..

6 Creation by words Creating something / someone by naming it The creation of the world by God – was by a word (Michelangelo's error)


8 Adam as a partner of creation Naming the animals Naming the woman

9 man woman wo-man

10 איש אשה אש יה

11 Eve – חוה Hava Mother of all living in English it has no special meaning In Hebrew LIFE (Le’Haim)

12 Adam - אדם Adama (Earth) Adam(human) dam (blood) Adom (red)

13 The “namers” The creators: Father, Mother, God

14 Yizhak יצחק Laughter

15 Jacob’s children Mothers name the sons: Lea: Reu-ben Shim-e’n Levi Yehu-da Is-sachar Zavulun

16 Lea gives birth to a daughter, and names her (no explanation) Dina

17 Rachel names her 2 sons Joseph Ben-oni - - - Ben-jamin

18 Naming children as a parental discretion: Father or Mother Judah had a Canaanite wife (the daughter of Shua) Gen 38:2 They had three sons: Judah named the first one: Er She named the following 2: Onan Shela

19 Names which are turned into ‘Terms’ Sometimes names of Biblical characters are immortalized by turning into ‘terms’ which are used even now, thousands years later: For example: Onan Sodom (and Joseph.. which we will see in a minute)

20 We saw examples of parents naming their children; what about the 3 rd partner in creating life: God ? The prophet Hosea and Gomer’s children (Hosea 1:3) They had 3 children and God commanded him to call them: – Yisrael (like the valley of Yisrael) – Lo Ruhama – Lo Ami

21 another child’s name as a prophecy, as commanded by God: Maher Shalal Hash Buzz Which means: ‘the looters are coming faster than you can imagine’ (Isa 8:4)

22 A situation ‘names’ the baby Tamar’s and Judah’s twins: (Gen. 38:29-30) Peretz (the one who bursts out) Zerach (shiny marker) Ben-oni (Gen. 25:18 - son of my sorrow) I-Kavod (1Sam 4:21 - no-respect)

23 Name is part of personality As the name is the signifier of the person and always stays with her/him, sometimes one needs to change it As Jacob changed his son’s name: Ben-Oni to Ben-Jamin (Benjamin) Jacob’s name was changed to Isra’el Hosea’s children

24 Change or addition of names Change of name can be induced by 1.The need to record a change of status 2.A wishful thinking (for change of status)

25 Change of names due to change of status Abram אברם Abraham אברהם

26 Saray שרי Sarah שרה

27 Record of a change of status Joseph’s name was changed to: Zaphnat Pa’a’ne’ach This gave rise to two Hebrew terms Zaphnat Pa’a’ne’ach Zophan–code Pa’ane’ach-Decipher

28 Another example of a change of name to mark a change in status Naomi to Mara (Ruth 1:20)

29 If there is no change of name, there can be an addition of a name Sometimes instead of changing the name, another name is added, as the circumstances dictate or as the needs arise: Solomon – Yedidya, Kohelet Gideon - Yerubaal

30 Surname???? Surnames are a modern innovation. People were known by their : first name Their father’s name (or mother’s name) The clan The tribe or city (Laban ben Betuel, Yoav ben Tzeruya Elimelech of Beit-Lechem Yehuda…)

31 Fictitious names symbols / signifiers The book of Ruth is a didactic narrative: i.e. main Characters who carry historical significance have “real” names. But secondary characters are ‘called’ by their contribution to the story: i.e. Naomi Elimelech Machlon Kilyon Orpah

32 Names of God God has many ‘titles’ El Elyon El Kano El Shadday and many many more BUT

33 The name of God י ה ו הי ה ו ה

34 Name of God י ה ו הי ה ו ה ה י הה י ה ה ו הה ו ה י ה י הי ה י ה

35 Amazing isn’t it? Thank you I would like to thank Jutta Schoof for editing these notes.

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