Let My People Know

"Every child has his own true name"

“It is said that when parents give their child a name, thinking that they know exactly why they are doing so, the truth is that they don’t know why they are choosing it.

And if they make a mistake and give a wrong name, the child will afterward change it because the name is not his correct one.

This attempt to define who one is spills over into the identity of every soul, which also has an appropriate name, a specific formula.

It is so for every star in the sky, too, each one with its name: ‘He counts the number of the stars; He calls them all by their names . . .’ (Psalm 147:4).


Every child has his own true name, which the parents try to hit upon when the child is born.

But if they fail, then the child will keep on searching and changing his name until the true name is discovered.

Incidentally, it is written in some books that every person has two names—the name of the sanctified self and the name of the outer shell — and that the name of the outer shell should not be known by any man, it being the name of one’s other side, the unholy aspect of personality.”

–Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz

In The Sustaining Utterance by Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz