To name a thing is to call it into being.
In the beginning were the heavens and the earth. And darkness was on the face of the deep.
“Let there be light.” And there was light, and it was good.
“Let us make man in our image.” And there was man, and he was given the power to name the world around him.
During a brit milah, an eight-day old boy is named. He is brought into the ranks of the Jewish nation; he is made a Jew.
“I just want to kill Jews.” Summoned, death crossed the threshold.
“All these Jews need to die.” And the light flickered, and there was a day of darkness.
To be named is to exist. To be remembered is to be a blessing.
To speak is to create one’s own world, and to be silent is to surrender oneself to a world fashioned by others. Our words can bring light and dark into the world. The choice is ours.