What’s In a Name?

The Sabbath Torah Portion – Vayetze (And He Departed)
The entire portion is Genesis 28:10—32:3

The Bible Through the Seasons follows those Jewish traditions that divide the portion into thirds. This year, we read Part 2. Genesis 30:14—31:16

Nick reads the one-minute introduction.

The narrative continues with the births of more of Jacob’s sons and one daughter. Names of children in Hebrew are derived from some circumstance surrounding their births.

Naming is important. If you are a parent, you will recall the careful thought you gave to the naming of your children, perhaps to remember your own parent or grandparent. Jewish people never use the name of God directly, because naming gives power over whom or what is named. Naming God, we have “power” over God, which would be blasphemous in the Hebrew mind.

If you were to give names to the members of your family associated with divine intervention and blessing in their lives, what would those names be? Such names could be the focal point for prayer for each family member.


Saturdays are dedicated to the Sabbath Torah portions
read in synagogues throughout the world.


Daily Bible Breaths


Version for Children and Families

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