Ish, Ishah, & Esh

Why does the Torah spell man (Ish) with a Yud? If one removes the Yud from Ish one has the word Esh (fire): Just as fire is beneficial or destructive, if one removes godliness, represented by the Yud (for the HaVaYah) from the relationship one has the destructive, all consuming force of fire! Both the positive, godlike, masculine and feminine qualities are consumed and all that remains is the negative, destructive force – Esh!

B’rashith 2.23 And the man said: ‘This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.’

כג  וַיֹּאמֶר, הָאָדָם, זֹאת הַפַּעַם עֶצֶם מֵעֲצָמַי, וּבָשָׂר מִבְּשָׂרִי; לְזֹאת יִקָּרֵא אִשָּׁה, כִּי מֵאִישׁ לֻקְחָה-זֹּאת.

If one removes the ruler-ship (man’s reshut authority over woman), represented by the Aleph for Eloh-m, from the word Ish (man) one has yesh, the world of appearances!

The world of godliness (Gan Eden) requires a balanced perspective where positive gender roles are appreciated. Naming a thing is the same as having authority over the thing: “And the man said: […] she shall be called Woman, [….]”

Then, according to B’rashith (Genesis), God gave Man the right to name all the animals and, at the same time, the right of dominion over them. Here again the act of naming carries with it a sense of power, of hegemony.




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