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Barak & Mubarak

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Topic: Barak, Name, Meaning

[email protected] wrote:

Dear Rabbi,

It is interesting that the head of the Egyptian state is named Mubarak and the head of the Jewish state is named Barak. Is it "all in the family" in the Middle East?

Dear Al Pachman,

Many names sound similar even though the people aren't related. (For example, you're not related to Al Pacino or to Pac Man, are you?)

"Mubarak" is Arabic for "blessed" (like the Hebrew "mevurach"). "Barak" is Hebrew for "lightning."

But I think your observation is astute. It's interesting to note that Israel's chief justice is also named Barak. Note that when George Washington was president of the United States, England's king was also George. And Israel recently had two prime ministers one after the other, both named Yitzchak: Yitzchak Shamir and Yitzchak Rabin. And today in the US, both the president and defense secretary are named William. Perhaps people with certain names are just destined to rule at certain times!

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