Jul 21, 2008

G-d: He is she is he.

Wow. Firstly, I have to thank Cesar for bringing this article to my attention ... but talk about an interesting and fascinating breakthrough in biblical scholarship. The entire article, "Rabbi unveils a secret of G-d" (hyphen inserted by me) can be found by clicking here. I will have to write more about this later (since I am at work) but I have to get this out into the big bad world of the interwebs and my blog-o-community becuase I think this is a brilliant undertaking academically.

The tradition-bound Western image of a he-man, masculine God may already be thousands of years out of date, says a Westchester rabbi who believes he has unlocked the secret to God's name and androgynous nature.
Rabbi Mark Sameth contends in a soon-to-be-published article that the four-letter Hebrew name for God - held by Jewish tradition to be unpronounceable since the year 70 - should actually be read in reverse. When the four letters are flipped, he says, the new name makes the sounds of the Hebrew words for "he" and "she."
And here is a video with the rabbi discussing his thoughts on this. Brilliant!


Daniel Saunders said...

Interesting, but I'm not sure it's as revolutionary as it sounds.

The idea of reading the name backwards is original, but it is well-known that some of the Hebrew names of God are grammatically masculine and others are feminine (the tetragrammaton is feminine), because the infinite God transcends gender.

This nuance is lost when Hebrew is translated into a language where nouns do not automatically have gender, such as English.

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