Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Rambam Yisodei HaTorah Perek 6 Halacha 9: Which Names of G-D In The Torah are Considered Holy

כל השמות האמורים באברהם קדש אף זה שנאמר אדני אם נא מצאתי חן הרי הוא קדש. כל השמות האמורים בלוט חול חוץ מזה אל נא אדני הנה נא מצא עבדך חן. כל השמות האמורים בגבעת בנימין קדש. כל השמות האמורים במיכה חול. כל השמות האמורים בנבות קדש. כל שלמה האמור בשיר השירים קדש והרי הוא כשאר הכנויין חוץ מזה האלף לך שלמה. כל מלכיא האמור בדניאל חול חוץ מזה אנת מלכא מלך מלכיא והרי הוא כשאר הכנויין: 

All of the names (of G-D) stated in [the stories] of Avraham are considered holy, even this that is said (Bereishis 18:3) "My Lord, if, please, I have found favor," behold this is holy. (In the Kesef Mishnah it says that there are some who hold this "My Lord" is referring to angels and is, therefore, not considered holy. In fact, in the Moreh Nevuchim Section 2 Chapter 42 the Rambam himself writes that this name is not considered holy.) All of the names (of G-D) stated by [the stories] of Lot are not holy except for this (Ibid 19:18-19), "Please, no, My Lord. Behold, please, your servant has found favor." All the names (of G-D) stated by [the incidence] at Gibeah in Binyamin (Shoftim 20) are holy. All of the names of G-D stated [in the stories of] Micha are not holy. All the names (of G-D) stated [in the story] of Navos (Kings I 21) are holy. All Shlomo stated in Shir Hashirim (Song of Songs) is holy, in fact they are like the other nicknames (of G-D) except for for this (Shir Hashirim 8:12) "The thousand are yours Shlomo." (In the allegorical rendering of this verse according to Rashi, Shlomo actual refers to "the one who peace belongs" aka G-D) Every "King" that is stated [in the stories of Daniel] are not holy, except for this (Daniel 2:37), "You King, King of kings." In fact, it is like every other nickname [of G-D].

The reason the Rambam explicitly talks about these names of G-D is because there is an argument in the Gemara or among Rishonim whether or not each one of these names are considered holy or not. Even within these opinions there is an argument about which specific names of G-D in these stories are considered holy or not (e.g. some hold that yud kay vav kay is holy even in these stories). It is important to note that the Rambam seems to be saying that even the seven names stated in the second halacha of this Perek would be considered not holy in these stories where all of G-D's names are considered not holy. Showing that in these stories, none of the names every refer to G-D, but rather to either angels or idols, except for the stated exceptions.           

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