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Quoting from Chabad's articles on Sha'ar Gilgulim:

God created a corresponding reality with respect to this as well. Therefore just as there is for a person a pre-determined name from the side of holiness, given to him by his father and mother at the time of his brit milah [ritual circumcision], likewise there is an established name from the side of the kelipot - the yetzer hara that enters the person at birth.6

My question is for all figures whose written name in Tanakh is their name from the side of holiness, what were their names from the side of the kelipot? For example if Jesse was Jesse's holy name, who I use as the example just because he makes a good example of someone purely holy, what was his name from the kelipot? Meaning even though it never attached to him, what was it in the kelipot? And some figures their unholy name attached to sometimes in their low moments but they overcame it. What was theirs?

And same question for every person in Tanakh, but if not the name for every person can't be found, since that's a long list, then just the most prominent people. And then for the wicked (or mostly wicked) in Tanakh whose name written there may have already been their "kelipot-name" so to speak, what were their holy names (even if they never attained them)? For most figures we're only told one name in Tanakh, so what is the "other" one? And for some figures they have many aliases in the midrash but most seem to be aliases of their name from one side or the other, which still doesn't tell us their name from the other side.

To those answering who have an entire list, of course please post it, but to those answering who do not, I still appreciate just answering whichever ones you know. If no one replies with a full list, maybe we will learn some from one response and some from others.

Source of quote: https://www.chabad.org/kabbalah/article_cdo/aid/1449556/jewish/Two-Names-For-Each-Person-234.htm. Please post sources if answering, at least to the best of your knowledge/recollection.

Edit 1: only response so far was unsure they are actually names, so here is an excerpt to clarify that.

"Hence, every person possesses two names, one from the side of holiness and one from the side of kelipa. If a person while living in this world is able to ascertain and know the name of the kelipa within him, he can thereby know from which level within Adam Bliya’al it was taken. In this way, he can understand his defect and the tikun [rectification process] he requires. This would then make rectification simpler and separation from the kelipa possible during his lifetime, as opposed to after death..."

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    You appear to assume that such a list does exist somewhere out there. Perhaps your first question should be: "Is there such a list?"?
    – Harel13
    Feb 28 at 21:20
  • I didn't mean it that way. I meant there may be a list in one of those texts, or they may be spread out in many texts. The intent of writing that blurb was, more than anything else, to signal to the rare users who have read all thousands of kabbalah texts out there, for example, that "this question may require someone such as yourself to answer." It's not that most users lack the wisdom to answer it, it's that they may not have come across texts with the names, just as I haven't. The existence of the names can only be ruled out by someone who has read every single text and not found them.But.. Feb 28 at 21:27
  • ... the sages are very thorough, and I have never come across any reference before to a concept in Tanakh where the details relating to it were not expounded on by at least one sage, so I think the likelihood is close to 100% that the names are detailed somewhere. AriZal made specific mention to the names existing, so likely they would be listed in a text or various texts. I don't make any assumptions though. Feb 28 at 21:31

2 Answers 2

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  1. that part is a mostly direct translation from shar hagilgulim and he nothing to do with chabad.

  2. I don’t think it means a name. This is one of the problems with learning kabbalah without an understanding of how it works. Very often metaphors are used and you have to “translate”.

And so 3) a name is how you interact with the outside world. You yourself don’t need a name. It’s only there for others to call you. When you are born you have your “klipah name” your body and animal soul with which you interact with the mundane world. Your “holy name” the g-dly soul comes at 8 days old by the bris through which you do mitzvos.

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  • If we had complete knowledge how it works, none of us would need to keep learning about it! If you have a different interpretation, that is wonderful, but do you have to criticize my understanding? I am here asking questions to learn, not here teaching. And I think you are incorrect here, it is an actual name on a spiritual level. Aleph Bet.... "Just as there is for a person a pre-determined name from the side of holiness, given to him by his father and mother at the time of his brit milah [ritual circumcision], likewise there is an established name from the side of the kelipot" Feb 25 at 4:53
  • I dont think u meant anything bad tho so I appreciate your answer. But I do think they are names and that's the question, if someone responding knows them. As for Chabad, I said it's from their articles on Sha'ar Gilgulim. They don't have the full translation up there and they may have some commentary there of their own. I haven't compared side by side so I mentioned both of them. You can pick apart anything but we will both learn more from someone posting the names asked about than picking apart the wording of the question. But again I stress I know u didnt mean anything bad, its all good :) Feb 25 at 4:59
  • Also note I can't quote it from Sefaria because it's only in Hebrew there. Or so it appears. sefaria.org/…. In truth I remembered reading it on the Chabad website, which is a great resource to learn from regardless how you feel about Chabad, so thats where I quoted from. If anyone has an issue with Chabad, please don't interpret my using their website as a great resource as an implicit promotion of Chabad over other denominations. I was just trying to provide the quote in my question. I'm new here.. Really trying my best guys! Feb 25 at 5:09
  • @Mbloch Here it is from Arizal that they are real names that can be known. Same link. "Hence, every person possesses two names, one from the side of holiness and one from the side of kelipa. If a person while living in this world is able to ascertain and know the name of the kelipa within him, he can thereby know from which level within Adam Bliya’al it was taken. In this way, he can understand his defect and the tikun [rectification process] he requires. This would then make rectification simpler and separation from the kelipa possible during his lifetime, as opposed to after death..." Feb 25 at 5:36
  • A lot of people have issues with chabad that’s why I wanted to clarify that it’s not from chabad (although I agree any translation is necessarily a commentary)
    – mroll
    Feb 25 at 16:47
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It seems to me that the text intends that the righteous, through the toil of introspection, attempt to discern this name in the course of their life (and thereby overcome it).

The text also seems to imply that this is a name known only to the righteous person himself, and that when the righteous are about to pass away, it is improper to ask them what their qelipah name was:

כשנפטר האדם הצדיק אינם שואלים ממנו מה שמו מסט"א כי כיון שבחייהם טרחו וסבלו היסורין להפריד מעליהם הקליפה ההיא כנז"ל ובקלות גדול נגמרת להפרד ע"י חבוט הקבר.

When a righteous person dies, do not ask him his name from the sitra ahra, since during his lifetime he worked hard and withstood suffering to separate the qelipa from himself. This makes the separation through hibut haqever easier.

Within this system of thought, I see no reason to assume that the righteous that were successful in uncovering this name would have shared it with anyone. It would also have been improper of others to ask. Accordingly there would be no list of such names collated by any party as the names were not publicly known or disseminated.

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  • Thanks a lot for your answer. I don't read this conclusion into the quoted excerpt. I think it's absolutely correct that the excerpt is saying it is of benefit for a tzadik to learn their "kelipot name" so to speak in their lifetime, so that they can know what tikkun they need to do, but nowhere do I recall reading that only the person in question can know that name, or that once they learn it they can't tell anyone else, or that a sage would not be able to know other peoples' kelipt-names as well as his own. The AriZal could determine the prior incarnations and soul roots of his disciples. Mar 3 at 4:53
  • So it's likely the AriZal and other sages wouldve been able to determine Jacob's kelipot name, Moshe Rabbeinu, David ha-Melech's, Samuel's, Joseph ha-Tzadik's, anyone else from Tanakh, especially with all the codes in Tanakh. Would they be able to tell yours or mine's just by talking to us? Well, heh, probably, but for argument's sake, maybe not. But people covered extensively in Tanakh by name? They could probably figure it out just from gematria and letter permutations, let alone AriZal communicating with Eliyahu ha-Navi. But it may be weeks before someone can answer such a niche question. Mar 3 at 4:58
  • There is too much speculation built upon speculation in your assumptions. You've got proposed possibilities, stacked on top of could haves, on top of argument's sakes, and so on... it is just rank speculation, without any firm foundation beneath. I don't say this to be hurtful, just to point out what I perceive as an error in this epistemology. I do not understand it to be the case that the question is too niche, but rather that it is unanswerable. All the best. Mar 3 at 15:18
  • Appreciate how you respectfully shared your opinion. Where I differ is I can't assume the question is unanswerable, and the names are not written anywhere, without having read every single text myself, or asked people who has and would remember. Barring that, I have no basis for ruling out either way with certainty if they are written somewhere or not, but I put up the question so that if they are and any other poster(s) have found them, they can share them here. Mar 3 at 23:53

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