Forty-Two Letter Name

Question

Shalom Rabbi!
I want to ask for an explanation about the source of the letters ABG YTZ etc. in the 42 letters that start the 42 words of the ANA BEKOACH we recite in the Korbanot following Birkot HaShachar.
I know about the Holy Name of 42, being derived from the letters of Havayah, their Milui and the milui of the milui, but I don’t know at all what is the source, origin, of the letters ABG YTZ etc. used in ANA BEKOACH.

Please explain to me,
Thank you in adavance,
Moshe

3 months

Answers

  1. Ana b’Koach is an astonishingly powerful prayer. As you write, it contains the forty two letters that comprise one of Hashem’s Names. The Tefillah contains forty two words (excluding that last line of Baruch Shem which was added later on) and the first letter of each word comprises those forty-two letters just not in the same order. The Forty-Two Letter Name of Hashem is so holy that it is beyond our comprehension and, due to its intense holiness, it can only be said with the correct intentions. That is why we recite it within Ana B’Koach and we do not recite it as it is written. It was composed by Rabbi Nehunia Ben Hakannah approximately nineteen hundred years ago.

    What are the origins of the Forty-Two Letter Name of Hashem? According to the Kabbalists its origins precede the creation of the world. Tosfos, Chagiga 11b, write that it is connected to the first two verses in the Torah. The Ramak, Rabbi Moshe Cardovero Pardes Rimonim, writes that the Name corresponds to the first forty-two letters of the Torah. However, his understanding is difficult to understand as it is extremely esoteric and uses different kinds of gematria, for example At-Bash, A’Y’K and others.

    Best wishes from the AskTheRabbi.org Team