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Visceral Voice

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Rabbi Alt merited to learn under the tutelage of R’ Mordechai Friedlander ztz”l for close to five years. He received Semicha from R’ Zalman Nechemia Goldberg ztz”l. Rabbi Alt has written on numerous topics for various websites and publications and is the author of the books, Fascinating Insights and Incredible Insights. His writings inspire people across the spectrum of Jewish observance to live with the vibrancy and beauty of Torah. He lives with his wife and family in a suburb of Yerushalayim where he studies, writes, and teaches. The author is passionate about teaching Jews of all levels of observance.

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Visceral Voice

The gemara[1] says that Nachum Ish Gam Zu was called so because whatever would happen to him, even a seeming misfortune, he would say גם זו לטובה, this too is for the best. If this is so, then why was his name Nachum Ish Gam Zu and not Nachum Ish Gam Zu L’tova?


Moshe changed Yehoshua’s name from הושע to יהושע. R’ Shamshon Rafael Hirsch[2] comments that the change of name bears an implied message to him and also to his companions as each time they addressed him by his new name they, too, were to remember the message implied by this name and in carrying out their mission they were not to lose sight of this message. This name indicates to him and to them that הושע is יהושע: He who saved us in the past (הושע is past tense) will also save us in the future (יהושע is in the future tense).


With this we can answer the question we began with. Nachum Ish Gam Zu was called so in order to put an emphasis on גם זו. That is to say, just like in the past Hashem was with you and you saw it was for the good, so too He will be with you in the future.

[1] Taanis 21a.

[2] Bamidbar 13:16.

Author of Three Books

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