Yesh (Hebrew, יש; pronounced yaysh) is short for Yeshaya (yuh-shy’-uh), my given Hebrew name, and now my legal first name as well. (For the full story on the name change read my blog posting You Can Call Me Yesh!). Isaiah is the English equivalent of Yeshaya, the roots of which mean God is my salvation. The meaning of Yesh is very different than Yeshaya. In Hebrew, yesh means there is. It also connotes something, the opposite of ayn, meaning there is not or nothingness. The Hassidic master, Rabbi Dov Ber of Mezeritch, said that thinking of oneself as Ayn enables one to ascend spiritually. There is a famous Jewish punchline —“look who thinks he’s nothing,” mocking those with a false sense of humility. It’s easier for me to fall prey to thinking that I’m really something. The challenge is developing the self-knowledge that acknowledges strengths and accepts limitations, finding a balance between confidence and humility.
In 2009, I selected Yesh Indeedfor the name of my blog site. It was simply a play on words. Using yeshindeed as a domain name for this new website, however, could be misleading. Indeed could be misinterpreted as an indication of certainty, of a truth that comes from really knowing. I prefer to look at indeed as acknowledgment that, in truth, I am still very much living in the world of some-things and only just beginning the endless journey in search of the divine no-thing.