Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Every Person Has a Name

The 10:00 AM Yom Ha'Shoah siren just sounded for 2 minutes across the entire country, bringing most people to a halt to remember the victims of the Holocaust. Driving to work all the "softer" songs were on the radio -- those connected to more thoughtful and poignant themes. One of the songs I heard, "Every Person has a Name" -- is also the official title of the Holocaust memorial ceremony in the Knesset (where the names of victims are read).

The Midrash, in Kohelet Rabba, presents a special perspective on a person’s name:

“A person has three names:
one that he is called by his father and mother;
one that people know him by,
and one that he acquires for himself.”

The poet Zelda Mishkovsky (born in the Ukraine and settled in Palestine in 1926) expanded this midrash, creating the poem - Every Person Has a Name. Here she enumerates the parts of a person’s life and experience that create the name one bears. Following the midrash, Zelda recognizes that the root of a person’s identity is - and remains - the name assigned at birth. She begins her observations that each person has a name that is given by G-d and by his/her parents. Other names will develop...yet the midrash is correct when it states that (hopefully) the best of all names is the one that a person earns alone, for themselves.

Every Person Has a Name

Every person has a name
given to him by God
given to him by his father and mother

Every person has a name
given to him by his height
and shape of his smile
given to him by his fabric

Every person has a name
given to him by the mountains
given to him by his walls.

Every person has a name
given to him by the constellations,
given to him by his neighbours.

Every person has a name
given to him by his sins,
given to him by his longing/yearning.

Every person has a name
given to him by his enemies,
given to him by his love.

Every person has a name
given to him by his holidays,
given to him by his toil.

Every person has a name
given to him by the seasons,
given to him by his blindness.

Every person has a name
given to him by the sea,
given to him by his death.

לכל איש יש שם
שנתן לו אלוקים
ונתנו לו אביו ואימו

לכל איש יש שם
שנתנו לו קומתו ואופן חיוכו
ונתן לו האריג

לכל איש יש שם
שנתנו לו ההרים
ונתנו לו כתליו

לכל איש יש שם
שנתנו לו המזלות
ונתנו לו שכניו

לכל איש יש שם
שנתנו לו חטאיו
ונתנה לו כמיהתו

לכל איש יש שם
שנתנו לו שונאיו
ונתנה לו אהבתו

לכל איש יש שם
שנתנו לו חגיו
ונתנה לו מלאכתו

לכל איש יש שם
שנתנו לו תקופות השנה
ונתן לו עיורונו

לכל איש יש שם
שנתן לו הים
ונתן לו
מותו.

Another name you go by is your blog name. I would appreciate if you do know my name, to please keep it to yourself. Apologies for the previous ranting posting about removing the blog. It was not intended to attract attention, but I was rather angry about an email I received at the time.

If I had just wanted extra hits or extra attention, I could have put up a picture of myself from this past Purim...or called in a favor from any of the big bloggers for a gratuitous link.


Now back to our regular (?) Muqata programming...



Wherever I am, my blog turns towards Eretz Yisrael

12 comments:

~ Sarah ~ said...

again, glad that you've decided to stay and thank for sharing that beautiful poem (it sounds better in hebrew of course!).

:)

Pragmatician said...

Why apologize about a rant? aren’t' you listed a Jrants?

Seriously though, it's a very haunting song I can't believe I didn't know it yet.
Thanks for posting and translating the lyrics.

Jerusalemcop said...

Welcome back to jBlogland Jameel.

Great song...Um I mean meaningful.

J.

rockofgalilee said...

isn't your blog name the name you acquired for yourself?

Also you should never apologize for a rant.

Lastly, the only way to remain anonymous is to not tell anyone who you are.

Jameel @ The Muqata said...

Rock: Yes...I acquired it for myself...but it's the value of my blog that is noteworthy (or not).

Also you should never apologize for a rant. I'll have to ponder that.

Lastly, the only way to remain anonymous is to not tell anyone who you are. Yes, but there's no mitzva for people to go around "outting" others...there are issurim involved. And that's also the reason I almost shut down my blog last night.

Jack's Shack said...

“A person has three names:
one that he is called by his father and mother;
one that people know him by,
and one that he acquires for himself.”


I always liked that.

Chana said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Jameel @ The Muqata said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Jameel @ The Muqata said...

Chana: There were quite a few posts on Yom HaShoah today in the blogworld...Irina, Jack, Olah Chadasha, Rafi G, Jewlicious, Rock of Galilee and many others.

Since Israel is the State of the Jews, its natural to have a siren go off here. I'm not sure about America...or google.

By the way - it's impossible to be in Israel and NOT notice Yom HaShoah...another advantage of a Jewish State (even with all our problems).

Chana said...

Thanks for the clarification. :)

bec said...

who is this again?
;)

daat y said...

Rants ARE O.K..You had a right to be angry.
Beautiful,movingpoem.
I also especially like the three names.-the exact source please?

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