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Why is the Hebrew name "Yissaschar" pronounced Yissachar?

by Rabbi Yossi Marcus

There are a number of explanations. Here are two:

1. Yissachar in general represents the study of Torah. Many of the members of the Sanhedrin, the Jewish supreme court, were of the tribe of Yissaschar. It is said that Zebulun brought in the cash and supported Yissachar in their study. It was a partnership of sorts.

Now the Torah has two parts to it: the revealed and the hidden, or the legalistic and the Kabbalistic. The two s’s in Yissachar’s name correspond to these two levels in Torah, the silent “s” corresponding of course to the “silent” hidden part of Torah (Rabbi Levi Yitzchak Schneerson).

2. Yissachar had a son named Yov, a name he later found out was not good since it was the name of an idol. Yissachar then gave his son a shin from his name and renamed him Yashuv. So now Yissachar’s name is spelled with two s’s but pronounced with only one (Da’at Zekeinim).

Related Categories

Life Cycle » Birth » Jewish names
Life Cycle » Circumcision » Jewish names

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