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What's in a Name: Farbrengen 14 Iyar 5747

A Sicha in honor of the 32nd yahrzeit of the Rebbe’s brother, Reb Yisrael Aryeh Leib, on the 14th of Iyar 5747.

In Jewish law, if someone has both a Jewish and secular name, the Jewish name comes first in legal documents. Similarly, if parents wish to give their child a Hebrew name together with its Yiddish equivalent, the Hebrew name customarily comes first.

The mystical reason behind this law and custom: the name of a person draws down strength from his soul-root into his soul as it is enclothed within the body, giving him the fortitude to overcome all spiritual challenges presented by life in this world.

The first name Yisrael expresses the G-dly soul’s pristine root-power to “contend with angels and men” – as the angel said of Jacob when his name was changed to Yisrael. Aryeh, Hebrew for “lion,” expresses the soul’s lionheartedness as it descends into the earthly realm, ready to stand proudly and strongly for G-dliness. And Leib, Yiddish for “lion,” signifies the actual manifestation of this indomitable spirit in all areas of human life, even in the non-Jewish domain.