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From: Russell Hendel <rhendel@mcs.drexel.edu> Date: Subject: RE: The Beautiful Method of Extracting Meaning From Names Jay Schacter [Vol 28, #2], among other things, raises the issue of the meaning of NAMES IN THE BIBLE. There is a beautiful and rich literature on this! The Talmud relates that it was Rabbi Meir who introduced the idea of learning from the meaning of names. In our own times, the Master of Nuances, Rav Samson Raphael Hirsch, has beautifully shown how what appear to be dry lists of genealogies are in reality deep and dynamic portrayals of historic trends. The most elegant example comes in Gen 5--which lists the 10 generations from Adam to Noach. Let me just deal with 4 of the ancestors: KNN -- CHANOCH KayNaN: ------- Everyone can see KN/KNH--the root meaning POSSESION. Rav Hirsch suggests that his generation was noted for its wealth/POSSESIONS. MaHaLaLayL ----------Everyone can see HLL--praise. The idea that the PRAISE generation (MaHaLaLayL) follows the POSSESION generation (KayNaN) seems clear enough---wealth and possesion lead to gratitude and praise. YeReD -----But PRAISE(MaHaLLayL) only by itself leads to a feeling of being down (YeReD); depression; a feeling of emptiness. ChaNoCh -------The background of POSSESION, followed by PRAISE, which lead, like many euphorias, to feeling DOWN/DEPRESSED, suggested a new solution---EDUCATION (ChaNoCH). And we see that Chanoch symbolizing his educated generation found favor in Gods eyes. Four words/names---KayNaN, MaHaLaLayL, YeReD, ChaNoCH--and a history of 4 generations--possesion, praise, emptiness, education--is revealed. This is a typical Hirshian technique--the derivation of broad philosophical trends from minor nuances. Praise be Him Who Chose them and their Learning Russell Jay Hendel; Phd ASA Rhendel @ mcs drexel edu