"Each of Us Has a Name"

(Le’chol Ish Yesh Shem, לְכָל אִישׁ יֵשׁ שָׁם)

The poet Zelda (1914-1984), a devout Hasidic Jew, was well-versed in ancient sacred and traditional Jewi/sh texts. In 1926, she emigrated to Israel from her native Ukraine. Israelis have embraced her poem “Each of Us Has a Name” as an expression of their collective and personal experiences with trauma and loss.

Music by Hanan Yovel, Performed by Chava Alberstein  

לְכָל אִישׁ יֵשׁ שֵׁם

שֶׁנָּתַן לוֹ אֱלֹהִים

וְנָתְנוּ לוֹ אָבִיו וְאִמּוֹ

 

לְכָל אִישׁ יֵשׁ שָׁם

שֶׁנָּתְנוּ לוֹ קוֹמָתוֹ וְאֹפֶן חִיּוּכוֹ

וְנָתַן לוֹ הָאָרִיג

 

לְכָל אִישׁ יֵשׁ שָׁם

שֶׁנָּתְנוּ לוֹ הֶהָרִים

וְנָתְנוּ לוֹ כְּתָלָיו

 

לְכָל אִישׁ יֵשׁ שָׁם

שֶׁנָּתְנוּ לוֹ הַמַּזָּלוֹת

וְנָתְנוּ לוֹ שְׁכֵנָיו

 

לְכָל אִישׁ יֵשׁ שָׁם

שֶׁנָּתְנוּ לוֹ חֲטָאָיו

וְנָתְנָה לוֹ כְּמִיהָתוֹ

 

לְכָל אִישׁ יֵשׁ שָׁם

שֶׁנָּתְנוּ לוֹ שׂוֹנְאָיו

וְנָתְנָה לוֹ אַהֲבָתוֹ

 

לְכָל אִישׁ יֵשׁ שָׁם

שֶׁנָּתְנוּ לוֹ חַגָּיו

וְנָתְנָה לוֹ מְלַאכְתּוֹ

 

לְכָל אִישׁ יֵשׁ שָׁם

שֶׁנָּתְנוּ לוֹ תְּקוּפוֹת הַשָּׁנָה

וְנָתַן לוֹ עִוְרוֹנוֹ

 

לְכָל אִישׁ יֵשׁ שֵׁם

שֶׁנָּתַן לוֹ הַיָּם

.וְנָתַן לוֹ מוֹתוֹ

   

Each of us has a name

given by God

and given by our parents

 

Each of us has a name

given by our stature and our smile

and given by what we wear

 

Each of us has a name

given by the mountains

and given by our walls

 

Each of us has a name

given by the stars

and given by our neighbors

 

Each of us has a name

given by our sins

and given by our longing

 

Each of us has a name

given by our enemies

and given by our love

 

Each of us has a name

given by our celebrations

and given by our work

 

Each of us has a name

given by the seasons

and given by our blindness

 

Each of us has a name

given by the sea

and given by our death.

Our Six Million

This Israel-based organization keeps the memory of the Holocaust alive. Just as we gather each year to light a Menorah on Chanukkah and read the Haggadah on Passover, families can carry on the tradition of lighting personal memorial candles on Yom Hashoah.

On the site, you may enter onto a candle label the information of someone you wish to remember, or select from the Names Remembered, searchable by gender, year of birth, year of death, place of birth, or occupation.