Now that Israeli elections are over and the public in Israel is almost equally divided in its support and distrust of the newly elected Prime Minister Benjamin Natanyahu, it is the time for people on both sides of the national debate to come together to meet the upcoming challenges.
Today in order to honor the office of prime minister I would like to talk about the Hebrew meaning of the name – Benjamin Netanyahu. It is my hope and dream that he will help to build a more just and equitable society that is secure, free and peaceful for all its citizens.
Benjamin (בנימין) is grammatically speaking a compound word. It means that it consists of several words. Ben means “son” (בן) and yamin (ימין) means “right”. So the basic meaning of the name Benjamin is a son of the right (someone who seats upon the right hand).
Natanyahu (נתניהו) is also a compound word. Natan (נתן) means “he gave”. Yahu (יהו) is a shortened version of YHWH (instead of יהוה only יהו), the covenant name of the God of Israel. So the translation of the current prime minister’s last name means something like “YHWH gave”.