Understanding YHWH

The Name of God in Biblical, Rabbinic, and Medieval Jewish Thought

  • Hillel Ben-Sasson

Part of the Jewish Thought and Philosophy book series (JTP)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xii
  2. Hillel Ben-Sasson
    Pages 1-21
  3. The Name YHWH in the Bible and in Rabbinic Thought

  4. Part II

  5. Back Matter
    Pages 299-304

About this book


This book unlocks the Jewish theology of YHWH in three central stages of Jewish thought: the Hebrew bible, rabbinic literature, and medieval philosophy and mysticism. Providing a single conceptual key adapted from the philosophical debate on proper names, the book paints a dynamic picture of YHWH’s meanings over a spectrum of periods and genres, portraying an evolving interaction between two theological motivations: the wish to speak about God and the wish to speak to Him. Through this investigation, the book shows how Jews interpreted God's name in attempt to map the human-God relation, and to determine the measure of possibility for believers to realize a divine presence in their midst, through language.


adonai biblical philology halakha Hebrew god Ibn Ezra

Authors and affiliations

  • Hillel Ben-Sasson
    • 1
  1. 1.Jewish Theological SeminaryNew YorkUSA

Bibliographic information

  • DOI
  • Copyright Information The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019
  • Publisher Name Palgrave Macmillan, Cham
  • eBook Packages Religion and Philosophy
  • Print ISBN 978-3-030-32311-0
  • Online ISBN 978-3-030-32312-7
  • Buy this book on publisher's site