DIVINE NAME, The
In the Kabbalah great importance is attributed to the Divine Name.
Originally it consisted of forty-two letters; not, as Moses Maimoides points out, comprised in one word, but in a phrase of several words, which conveyed the exact concept of the essence of God. Coinciding with the priestly decadence of the final days of the Temple, a name of twelve letters was substituted for the Divine Name, and with the continuance of time even this secondary name was not told to every priest, but only to a few.
Occasionally the longer name was said to contain forty-five or seventy-two letters. The tenth Sephroth are also supposed, in a mystical sense, to be the names of the Deity (see KABBALLAH). The Divine Name Jahveh is considered greater than "I am that I am," since the latter signifies God as He was before the creation, the Absolute, the Unknowable, and the Hidden One; but the former denotes the Supreme Manifestation, the Immanence of God in the Cosmos.
see also: KABBALLAH; NAMES OF POWER; TETRAGRAMMATON
One of the major problems with 'defining' Paganism and/or its beliefs and practices is that it is an 'organic' movement, in that it is undergoing constant change and re-evaluation from within, and as such any 'one-size-fits-all' approach to understanding Paganism will be found wanting.
Due to the very 'organic' nature of Paganism, and the many differing Paths and Traditions within it, in many cases no one definition may be universally accepted by all Pagans. Therefore, where such cases of possible conflicting and/or contradictory meanings of certain terms occur I have endevoured to give not only the generally accepted meaning, but also any major 'variations' in belief and/or practice.
Christians who believe this difference in meaning of certain key terms, beliefs and practices to be unique to Paganism need to remember that such conflicts also arise within the Body of Christ - the Church. Take for instance the differing practices amongst Christians concerning Baptism and the different attitudes towards women in the clergy.
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