Recognize the name "Hoshea?"
Probably not. That's because Moshe changes it to "Yehoshua."
Here's the story:
This week's Parsha (and also Devarim 1:23-36) relates how twelve meraglim (spies) were sent to investigate Eretz Yisroel and, with the exception of Yehoshua and Calev, they returned with a disparaging report in an attempt to discourage Klal Yisrael from entering the land.
It was only through prayer and special Divine assistance that Yehoshua and Calev were able to withstand the pressure and influence of their fellow meraglim and resist joining in their sin.
The Talmud Tractate Sotah 34b relates that Moshe Rabbeinu, sensing the meraglim's potential blunder, added the letter "yud" to the front of Yehoshua's original name, changing it from "Hoshea" to "Yehoshua" . Yud represents the name of Hashem. Moshe hopes that Hashem will keep Yehoshua safe from the diabolical plans of the spies. Moshe prayed,
"Hashem Yoshiacha MayAtzat Meraglim -
May Hashem save you from the scheme of the spies. "
Calev, who received no such benediction from Moshe, went to Chevron to the Meorat Hamachpaila - the cave of the Patriarchs - where he prayed for protection from the spies' sinful plans and he beseeched the Avot (Patriarchs) to intercede on his behalf.
The Talmud, Tractate Sanhedrin 107a, explains that the letter "yud" that Moshe added to "Hoshea" to form the name "Yehoshua," was the "yud" that was removed from Sarah's name when her name was changed from - "Sorai" to - "Sarah" (Bereishit 17:15). To mollify the yud, which was opposed to surrendering its position in Sarah's name, it was taken and appended to Yehoshua's name.
The yud that was removed from Sarah's name did not have any nekudot (vowels),, thus begging the question - from where did it acquire the vowel "Sh'va" upon being appended to Yehoshua's name. .
The Ari zal explains that it was taken from the word "ben" in Yehoshua ben Nun's name. Interestingly, the Torah vowelizes the word in Yehoshua's name with a chirik (a single dot - Bin), instead of using the standard Segol vowelization (Ben), which has three dots. Thus, the two dots used for the added Yud were taken from the word "ben," which now reads "bin" - .
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Page last updated - 06/04/2017