When recalling someone who has passed (in a shi'ur or Devar Torah), I have heard many say "Ruaḥ HaShem teniḥenu/ah beGan 'Eden" (רוח ה' תניחנו/ה בגן עדן).

1) What is "Ruaḥ HaShem" (literally, the wind/spirit of G-d)?

2) When and how did this wording originate?

1 Answer 1


The term apears in three places (that I have found in the Tanach):

Bereishis (1, 2) "וְרוּחַ אֱלֹקים מְרַחֶפֶת עַל פְּנֵי הַמָּיִם" where the Even Ezra (and some others) clarify that the meaning here "a courier of Hashem" to dry the water. Rashi on the other hand says it is "Kisse HaKavod"

In Isaiah (63, 14) "כַּבְּהֵמָה בַּבִּקְעָה תֵרֵד רוּחַ יְקוָק תְּנִיחֶנּוּ" where most mefarshim relate to an act of miracle leveling the abyss, straightening the path before Israel to pass amd making if comfortable go travel.

In Isaiah (11, 2) "וְנָחָה עָלָיו רוּחַ יְקוָק" where all mefarshim explain it as prophetic capabilities that are bestowed on a person.

The meaning in Hashkava which is where you have heard it is that we ask the lord to guide this Neshama to paradise, so I would say it is probably closest to the meaning in Bereishis or as a more accurate phrase in Isaiah (63, 14) that once the Neshama is done with it's purification over there, it will be guided safely to it's right place in Heaven.

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