I was hoping someone may have come across the following P'shat, assuming my memory serves me right. Some time ago, I recall seeing an explanation on the famous words of Kaddish which begin "Yehei Shmei Rabbah Mevurach" ("יהא שמיה רבא מברך"). The simple explanation is that the translation is "May His Great Name Be Blessed [Forever And To All Eternity.......]".

However, the explanation I believe I saw was that it instead could be translated as "May His (or the) Name Rabbah be blessed......" In other words, taking the two words "Shemei Rabbah" ("שמיה רבא"), one can either say they mean "Great Name" or "His (or The) Name Rabbah".

On the other hand, I am not 100% sure this is what was being conveyed, since I read it quickly, and now that I'm trying to find it again, I cannot locate it.

Does anyone know of such an explanation?

Thank you!

  • That sounds bizarre. It's the translation of the verse from Psalms -- yehi shem Hashem mevorach me'ata ve'ad olam. Rather than using the actual name, we just say "His great name."
    – Shalom
    Sep 13, 2017 at 23:45
  • @Shalom - That doesn't disqualify a deeper, more kabbalistic meaning.
    – ezra
    Sep 14, 2017 at 1:43
  • @Shalom I had always thought it was a translation of ברוך שם כבוד מלכותו לעולם ועד, but the point stands that Rabbah isn’t a Name.
    – DonielF
    Sep 14, 2017 at 16:39

1 Answer 1


It sounds like you heard the old trick they taught us as kids to know how pronounce the name of the rabbi in the Talmud.

There are two rabbis, one is רבא, pronounced Ravva, and רבה, pronounced Rabbah.

In order to remember which one to pronounce with a hard "B", we were taught to remember יהא שמיה רבה, if it had a "ה", his name is Rabbah.

  • 1
    I don't think this answers the question. You're assuming that OP heard a "joke" or "trick". I don't see any such implication in the question.
    – DanF
    Sep 15, 2017 at 1:19

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