Friday, March 24, 2006

About "Choshvei Shemo" - What's Behind the Name!

Many readers may wonder why I chose "Choshvei Shemo" as the name of my website.

"חשבי שמו" - "Choshvei Shemo" comes from the last sefer (book) of nevi'im (Prophets) and means "those who think of His Name". It refers to those individuals who remain steadfast in their belief of HaShem, in spite of all the hardships of their times and in spite of the predominance of the evil in society.

The last sefer of nevi'im is Sefer Malachi. "מלאכי" - "Malachi" means "My Messenger". This is a reference to the prophet who relates the prophecies in this final Sefer of Nevi'im. According to RaDa"K, among other meforshim (commentators), the prophecies of Malachi were said during the time of the Second Beis HaMikdash. The RaDa"K explains that he is likely the last prophet (of those recorded in Nevi'im). In Sefer Malachi, musar (moral rebuke) is given to the people to not intermarry and to keep the Shabbos. Sefer Malachi concludes with the (prophecy) of the Complete Redemption and the coming of Eliyahu the Prophet to herald the day Jews look forward to - the coming of our holy Mashiach to redeem us from this exile of 1,936 years.

Now, to understand the reason behind the name of the website, it is essential to have an understanding of the pasuk it is based on.

The pasuk reads as follows:

(פסוק טז) אז נדברו יראי י-ה-ו-ה, איש אל רעהו; ויקשב י-ה-ו-ה, וישמע, ויכתב ספר זכרון לפניו ליראי י-ה-ו-ה, ולחשבי שמו.

"Then those who fear HaShem spoke, one man to his fellow; And HaShem Heard and He Wrote a Book of Remembrance before Him, to those who fear HaShem and those who think of His Name." (Malachi; 3, 16)

Alternatively, one could read the above as "calculate His Name". The Torah is "His Name", and, as we learn in the Zohar - "He Looked in the Torah and Created the world" - the Torah is a blueprint for the universe. "Thinking His Name" could not only refer to thinking HaShem's Name, but being involved in the learning of Torah - That is His Name.

The purpose for creating this "blog" is to help spread the word of Torah to Jews the world over. It includes entries about how current events do (or could) play into what the Torah has been telling the Jew for thousands of years. It also includes discussion about various Torah-related issues. I hope to write short divrei Torah (Torah teachings) on various sections of the Torah (hopefully on a daily basis, or at least frequently). These teachings would include teachings from the Nevi'im (Prophets), the Torah (based on the weekly parsha), and halacha (Jewish law), among others.

What the meforshim said about this pasuk:

תרגום: "Then those that fear HaShem speak, one man with his friend, and it is heard before HaShem and revealed before Him and a Book of Remembrance is written before Him to those that fear HaShem and those that think to honor His Name."

רש"י: "Then they spoke, etc." I answer regarding their words; Then, when the wicked do wickedness and the good go around [in a state of] darkness because those that fear HaShem speak against clinging to the evil actions [of the wicked], I will not forget their words before Me. Even though I will not act quickly to reward [those who fear Me, know] that I have Listened Attentively, and Heard, and Commanded that there be written for them a Book of Remembrance, and these words [expressing fear of HaShem's Awesomeness] will be everlasting to Me."

מצודת דוד: Though the wicked will raise doubts and complaints against HaShem, those that fear HaShem will discuss these words of the wicked and show that HaShem is Just and all His Ways are correct. These individuals will be rewarded by HaShem.

רד"ק: For this saying [by the evildoers questioning HaShem] are sayings of people who do not understand the Ways of HaShem and His Justice. When those who fear HaShem will hear the words from these individuals [who question HaShem and] deny (הכופרים) the [complete] Providence of HaShem below [in this world], they will speak [those that fear HaShem] to their fellow and show that all His ways are Just, He is The G-D of Truth, with no wrong.

"And HaShem Listened Attentively" - HaShem pays close attention to their words and gives them their reward.

The אבן עזרא, of blessed memory, wrote that "those who fear HaShem" (יראי ה) are the righteous, and "those who mention His Name" - "Choshvei Shemo" (ולחשבי שמו) are those who are wise at heart and know the secrets of HaShem...

מלבים: What we can learn from the MaLBi"M is that it is important for us to hold steadfast in our belief in HaShem and follow the Torah. This applies also to times of hardship, chas v'shalom. When these times come, hold steadfast to the Torah and HaShem will record your actions to your merit, as He Does all your actions.


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