י יש ישו ישוע
Why does the Rebbe Yeshua Kippah include the word “Yeshu”? Isn’t
this a curse?
Excellent question. Like the Rebbe Nachman of Breslov kippah, which has the name Nachman expanding from the letter Nun (נ נח נחמ נחמן) so too does our Rebbe Yeshua kippah show Yeshua’s name expand from the Yud (י יש ישו ישוע). This has incredible significance.
Historically, there is some debate as to the actual pronunciation of ישוע among linguists, with different opinions of how strong the ע (guttural ‘ah’) was in the first century, leading some to conclude that the pronunciation ‘Yeshu’ would not have been uncommon, and not a curse. Unfortunately, without ancient audio recordings of ancient Israelis speaking, it remains speculative.
With that said, the name “Yeshu” is a necessary step in the expansion of Yeshua’s name:
Step 1 - י (Y) - 10
Step 2 - יש (Yesh) - 310
Step 3 - ישו (Yeshu) - 316
Step 4 - ישוע (Yeshua) - 386
Yet it is a fact that some people do use the name “Yeshu” as a curse, as in Yimach Shmo V’zichro (may his name and memory be erased). One believer suggested the name “Yeshu” could be read Yishtabach Shemo V’zichro (may his name and memory be blessed). Nevertheless, we as believers in Yeshua do not call him Yeshu. We call him Yeshua. Why? Because he is the one to ‘yoshia’ (save) us from our sins, and as you will see below, represents the full fruition of Geulah (Redemption).
To understand this concept, we must understand that the Name of HaShem, the Name of the King, and the Name of Jerusalem (and by extension all Israel) are bound together.
“Rabbi Yehoshua ben Levi said: It is good for a province when its name is like that of its king, and the name of its king is like that of its God. It is good for a province when its name is like that of its king, as it is written: “The name of the city from that day shall be: The Lord is there” (Ezekiel 48:35). The name of its king is like the name of its God, as it is stated: “This is his name that they will call him: The Lord is our righteousness”
Lamentations Rabbah 1:51, Sefaria.org
The Name of the Land
So, first, let us look at the name of the land.
Step 1 - יהודה – Yehuda (Judea)
Step 2 - שמרון – Shomron (Samaria)
Step 3 - ו – V’ (And)
Step 4 - עזא – Aza (Gaza)
The Biblical heartland of Israel is made up of Yehudah, Shomron and Aza. Taken as an acronym, we see it is named Yeshua. For the Jewish people to have Judea was a huge battle in the world, and now “settlements” have become a huge issue in the “Peace Talks”. In the early 2000s, the Jewish people were exiled from Gush Katif in Gaza by the Israeli government the day after Tisha B’av. This caused a huge delay in the Geulah and displaced the Jewish people from their historical birthright. Today, Israel only has “Yeshu” and the land is divided. It is beyond the scope of this answer to elucidate the teachings of Ariel Cohen Alloro, the disciple of R’ Yitzhak Ginsburgh, but the connections are extensive. Suffice to say that the land of Israel is divided, and this is delaying the Geulah (Redemption), and is a huge obstacle to the rebuilding of the Temple.
The Name of the King
As we said above, Yeshu is a necessary stage in the expansion and fruition of Yeshua’s name. It represents where we are right now, with the Jewish people only having Yehuda, Shomron and other parts of Israel except Aza (Gaza). It represents the brink of Redemption. It is well known in Judaism that Redemption comes in two stages: Pekidah and Zechirah (Visitation and Remembrance)1. These stages are triggered by Mashiach ben Yosef and Mashiach ben David.
We as believers know that Yeshua came as Mashiach ben Yosef and will return as Mashiach ben David.
Today, even while not invoking a curse, Yeshua is known to Israelis as “Yeshu”. This has incredible significance being that it is Yeshua’s name while in exile from his people. We have a principle,
In other words, the future is encoded into the past, Jewish history is Jewish prophecy. Historically, one of the most powerful prototypes of Mashiach ben Yosef is Yosef HaTzaddik. To Egyptians, his name was Zaphneath-Paneach. The Baal HaTurim, R’ Yaakov ben Asher, writes of this name,
“Zaphenath-Paneah – The gematria of this name (828) is equal to that of the phrase מגלה מסתרים, revealer of things that have been hidden.”
According to Kol HaTor, written by R’ Hillel Shklover, the phrase “Od Yosef chai” (Joseph is still alive) is specifically connected to Mashiach ben Yosef, “Yosef is still alive.” The basic approach of the Gaon is encapsulated in the principle
“Yosef is still alive, ” meaning that the Mashiach ben Yosef is still alive and will live,
1 See the Midrash Rabbah, Ramchal’s Maamar HaGeulah, R’ Shklover’s Kol HaTor, Chaim Vital’s Arba Meot Shekel Kesef to name a few sources.
because, as it is written, every aspect of the beginning of the Redemption is dependent on him…”
Kol HaTor 1.6, translated by R’ Yechiel bar Lev and K. Skaist, pg. 5
Rabbi Ari Kahn explains,
“There were times that Yaakov thought Yosef was dead – but the epic words uttered by Yaakov “Od Yosef Chai! Yosef lives on!” reverberate through history, and according to the great mystics, apply equally to Mashiach ben Yosef. Just as the rumors of Yosef’s demise were greatly exaggerated, so, it is believed, Mashiach ben Yosefwill ultimately succeed.”R’ Ari Kahn, Vayeshev, Ketz-Bavel-Zerubavel, Aish.com
Like Yeshua, Yosef was also in exile from his brothers and given a new name. Right before he came face to face with his father, the Torah says that when Yaakov was told about Yosef being alive, he did not believe. Then, when he saw the wagons, he exclaimed,
עוֹד־יוֹסֵף בְּנִי חָי
The Torah says that the “spirit of Jacob” revived. Rebbe Nachman says this links to the Spirit of Mashiach, the Spirit of Resurrection, changing Jacob to Israel, a picture of the full redemption. Do you know what the gematria of Od Yosef Bni Chai (Joseph my son is still alive) equals? 316. That’s right, Yeshu = Od Yosef Bni Chai.
R’ Tzadok HaKohen of Lublin (1823 – 1900 CE) writes in his work, Poked Akarim, Letter Hei,
“Messiah Son of Joseph who wipes out all traces of Amalek, the one who will be perfectly clean, dies during the end times at the hands of Gog and Magog…’ They will look upon him whom they pierced’ means literally that Israel pierced him, although legally speaking he did not deserve to die…since his generation was not clean; however, he had to be killed in order to atone for the people of Israel.”
Poked Akarim, Letter Heh – cited in The Concealed Light, “Pierced”, Tsvi Sadan, pg. 49
The Shelah, R’ Yeshayahu Horowitz, writes similarly,
“The Mashiach ben Yosef, when he comes, does not come in order to establish his own dynasty, rather he comes to help re-establish the Davidic dynasty. He will even sacrifice his own life in order to accomplish this. His blood will atone for the sins of the Jewish people. His atonement will take the form of the Davidic dynasty being restored to the Jewish people as an everlasting kingdom.”
Shelah, Shnei Luchot HaBrit, Vayeshev-Miketz-Vayigash, R’ Isaiah Horowitz (1565-1640), translated by Eliyahu Munk, pg. 317
So we have the concept of the death of Mashiach ben Yosef atoning for Israel. Yet, he is alive! The passage of Resurrection, in Ezekiel 37, specifically speaks of Two Sticks, Etz Yosef (The Stick of Joseph) and the Etz Yehudah (Stick of Judah). Kol HaTor says that these two sticks represent Mashiach ben Yosef and Mashiach ben David. It then says that these two will become one.
It is fascinating to see that which is meant for a curse, Yeshu, actually flips over and proves Yeshua as the Mashiach ben Yosef!
The Name of HaShem
Finally, let us examine the Name of HaShem. The book of Zechariah speaks of a glorious day at the dawning of the Messianic Era, that HaShem’s name will be one:
The stunning implication of this passage is that HaShem’s name is not one at the moment. While it is beyond this answer to explain this in detail, the rabbis say that the last Hei of HaShem’s name has been broken off from the other three letters, exactly like the Letter Ayin from Yeshua’s Name. This letter Hei represents the Bride (Israel) who is separated from the Vav (The Bridegroom, the Son). When the Bridegroom and Bride come together, then the Redemption happens. R’ Daniel Krentzman writes
“The need for the mission of Mashiach ben Yosef came about as a result of the sin of Adam. In theory, had Adam not sinned and brought about tremendous spiritual damage to himself and the world, there would not have been a need for the tikun olam efforts of Mashiach ben Yosef, in every subsequent generation. Mashiach ben Yosef thus comes to rectify that damage and return mankind to the state of Adam before the sin.”
Yonah the Navi as Mashiach ben Yosef, Daniel Krentzman, pg. 10
When the name of Yeshua is reunited in the mouths of all Israel, then the Land of Israel will re-unify, the Temple will be rebuilt and the Messianic Era will begin. The 70 nations will go up to the Jewish people and grasp onto the tzitzit of the Jew, and become disciples, seeking HaShem and to learn His ways.
Like a rose that blossoms into its fullness, it is critical that we show the full expansion of Yeshua’s name. If we did not, everything written above would not be revealed. The expansion of Yeshua heals the land, and leads to the unification of the Four Letters of HaShem’s name, as the Bride (Israel) has returned to the Bridegroom. Thus it will be fulfilled what is written in Zechariah,
Amein. May it be so in our days. Od Yeshua Chai.