Usually, around Mother's Day and Valentines Day, I hear a radio commercial suggesting that, as a gift to your loved one, you can name a star after him / her. (Amazing gimmick - no inventory!!)

In reading Torah Temimah's explanation on this verse "G-d counts the number of the stars and calls each by name",

שהקב"ה קורא לכולם בדבור אחד ולכל אחד  ואחד בשמו המיוחד לו, וכל השמות כוללם בדבור אחד, וכל כוכב וכוכב שומע שמו כשקורא אותם הקב"ה

(Loose translation) - "G-d calls out to all of them in one calling and to each one in its specified name..."

it seems to imply that God has already assigned a name to each star. The ad implies that the star has never been named, previously. So, if I have my name registered with the notion that the star has never been previously named, am I not denyong what God has already done?

  • 3
    God calls it a סוס but I call it a horse. What's the problem?
    – Double AA
    Commented May 15, 2014 at 18:48
  • 1
    Do you know all of God's names for the stars? Maybe the name you give it happens to be the name God calls it. ; Why don't you consider your name to be a nickname? ; God created light. Does that mean that everytime I turn on my lamp I am somehow impinging on God? ; Finally, the Gemara clearly refers to stars by their Greek names. if they can do it, so can you.
    – Shmuel
    Commented May 15, 2014 at 20:15
  • 1
    @Shmu'el - place an answer, please. Your reasoning sounds credible. Please include location of the Gemarrah ref.
    – DanF
    Commented May 15, 2014 at 21:10
  • Berachot 58b, Pesachim 94, Shabbat 156a, ERUVIN 56. This article lists more places, but those are the one's I've checked and confirmed.
    – Shmuel
    Commented May 16, 2014 at 4:59
  • See also Job 38:31-32
    – Shmuel
    Commented May 16, 2014 at 5:07

1 Answer 1


I may expand on this answer later, but the short version is: No, the verse does not imply that, and no, you are not denying anything God has done.

  • We don't learn halacha from poetry in Tehillim.
  • That verse isn't implying anything about the stars or their names, other than God is so great that He can name all the stars.
  • Names are subjective, not objective.
  • Just because God does something doesn't mean you can't do it also.
  • A person's actions cannot impinge on God's glory or ability.

citation needed

  • And, from a hashkafic perspective, maybe we should stop looking in Torah for things we can't do and start looking for positive things that we can do.
    – Shmuel
    Commented May 19, 2014 at 0:27
  • 1
    The first point isn't completely true. The Gemara often leans halachos from random pesukim in Nach.
    – Ypnypn
    Commented May 19, 2014 at 1:10

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