"Don't tell God how big your storm is; tell your storm how big your God is."

I believe in God.

Monday, February 29, 2016

What's in a Name?

I find that names have power (no idea what I mean by that...something weird and mystical), and it really matters what I call God in each letter.  To aid me in this endeavor, I have a not-so-secret list, which used to be a secret list, and is now REALLY not a secret list, of possible names for God.  (Where I keep the list is secret, however; again, names have power, and I do not want it falling into the wrong hands.)  Some of the names are Hebrew, some English; some conventional Jewish ways of referring to God, others ways I came up with myself.  Beside each name, I also wrote the gender I associate with it--masculine, feminine, or neuter.  That way, if I need God to "be" a certain gender for the duration of a letter (God is always every gender, but sometimes I need to feel God's presence as, say, feminine), I can see at a glance what my options are.

Until this morning, I had been referring to God in recent letters as מגן אבות.  (Boy do I love having a computer/keyboard that can switch languages like that!) For those who don't read Hebrew, which is probably most of my readers, that says Magen Avot, which translates to Shield/Defender of Our Forefathers/Ancestors.  To me, that is  a masculine name for God, because the word Magen is a masculine word in terms of grammatical structure.

Well, this morning I needed a non-masculine name.  If you ask me point blank how I think of God, I will honestly tell you, "feminine."  (This blog uses the masculine in the title because: I named it after my favorite psalm [#91], which uses the masculine; in 2009, when I started it, I still thought of God as masculine and now I don't know how to change it; and I don't want to alienate my Christian readers who all think of God as masculine.  Besides, as I said a couple paragraphs ago, God is really every gender, so it doesn't really matter.)  I don't mind using masculine names sometimes, but I had written three or four addressing God as Magen Avot; I needed a new name.

The name I settled on for the letter I just finished writing is הקול.  For those who can't read Hebrew, that says HaKol, which means The Voice.  This is a name I consider neuter.  I had intended to go with a feminine name, but when I was scanning my list, my eyes hit this name and I got the warm-all-over feeling that told me I should use it.

When I wrote the actual letter, I ended up spending the entire page exploring the consequences and ramifications of this name.  It is a play on words because the Hebrew for "The Voice" (הקול) and "Everything" (הכל) sound exactly alike.  Furthermore, God is a Voice for the voiceless, keeping faith with orphans, widows, those whose life is just plain dark, and anyone else who may need God.  It is my honor and privilege to call upon God when I need God, too.

And now, a Reece's Rainbow child.  Today I would like to share a girl from my "Jacob's" country, "PATIENCE," who is aging out in OCTOBER.  She is diagnosed with cerebral palsy.
Patience 8

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I am a bipolar, Jewish young adult (had my Hebrew birthday, the one I count, and turned 23 this past January) who also suffers from Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy. I love life and I live for my best friends: they are my purpose and my reason for trying so hard. I remain passionately devoted to those I love; I will not let my disorders make me totally self-centered. I like to read, write, and sew. My Rabbinical school plans did not work out, and I am now hoping to go into the field of Early Childhood Education. Please note: I am currently maintaining only Carried in His Hands. Enjoy!