Win Friends and Influence People

[First posted on The Times of Israel:]

Ibn Ezra Exodus: Ki Tisah

Win Friends and Influence People

“Remember that a man’s name is to him the sweetest and most important sound in any language.” -Dale Carnegie, How to Win Friends and Influence People

Dale Carnegie, in his bestselling book quoted above, posits the importance of calling a person by their name. Ibn Ezra (on Exodus 31:2), many hundreds of years earlier, makes the same point and takes it a step further.

When choosing the Master Architect for the Tabernacle, God says: “See, I have called by name, Bezalel…” Ibn Ezra explains that God’s “calling by name” is a supreme honor, one that elevates and gives distinction to the one being named. Bezalel, due to his talents, was uniquely qualified for the role of Master Architect and was therefore worthy of “being called by name.”

May we be worthy, and may we likewise find all those around us worthy of being called by name.

Shabbat Shalom,



To my cousins, Ronnen and Iris Rosenthal, on the birth of the first grandchild! The girl has been named Naomi by her parents, Batya and Aharon Castle. Mazal Tov to the entire family!

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