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“The sons of Reuven, of Chanoch, the family of Chanochi.” (26:5)

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Rashi cites Chazal who state that Hashem added two letters of His Name to each Jewish family name.  He added the letter, v hay, as a prefix, and the letter h yud, as a suffix. These letters form a Name of Hashem which attests to the purity of Klal Yisrael. What does it mean to have Hashem’s Name attached to ours?  What responsibilities are evoked as a result of having the Name of the Almighty integrated with ours?

In the Shemoneh Esrai which is recited on Yom Tov, we say ub,rjc v,tw “You have chosen us.” At the end of the tefillah, we sum up our pride in and gratitude to Hashem for His beneficence towards us with the words ,tre ubhkg ausevu kusdv lnau, “and proclaimed Your great and holy Name upon us.” This phrase, suggests Horav Chaim Friedlandler, z.l., is the summit of praise offered to Hashem. We understand our awesome responsibility to be always cognizant of Hashem’s Name upon us. Everywhere we go, every action we do, every endeavor we are involved in, must reflect Kiddush Hashem, sanctification of Hashem’s Name. If we serve Hashem in the correct manner, if we are meticulous that every aspect of mitzvah observance be l’shem Shomayim, for the sake of Hashem, then we fulfill our G-d given mandate.

In the end of Shemoneh Esrai, we entreat Hashem with the words lna ignk vagw “act for the sake of Your Name.” During periods of trial and travail, we ask Hashem to liberate us from harm, so that His Name not be profaned by/amongst the gentile world. We concede that we are not worthy of this deliverance. Since, however, Hashem has “attached” His Name to ours, it “behooves” Him to save us for the sake of His Name.

The Maharal adds that as Hashem’s Name is eternal, so, too, is Klal Yisrael assured of an everlasting relationship with the Almighty — despite the fact that we are not always worthy of it. The concept of our everlasting bond with the Almighty should engender within us a heightened sense of courage, while simultaneously imbuing us with the enormous responsibility incurred with this distinction.