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What is the meaning of G-d's name, Shadai?

by Rabbi N. Silberberg


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According to Jewish tradition the name Shadai comes from the word "dai" which means "enough." The "Sh" beforehand is a prefix which means "the one who." G-d is called Shadai because "He told the world 'enough!'" He set boundaries to this world, causing that it should be finite and limited unlike many of the spiritual worlds.1


  • 1. Talmud tractate Chagigah 12a and Midrash Breishit Rabbah 5:8
TAGS: Shadai


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El Shadai

Posted by: Zhannasmommy on Jan 29, 2005

I thought El Shadai meant "God of more than enough"? please clarify...thanks!

Editor's Comment

There are different interpretations of this name -- all of them true.


Posted by: Eric on Aug 14, 2005

I always thought Shaddai meant "my breasts" referring to the motherly, nurturing aspect of HaShem.

El Shaddai

Posted by: Hannah, Hollywood, Florida on Nov 11, 2005

I have my own Jewish Study Bible, and in the notes it said that El Shaddai meant "G-d Almighty." Is this true as well?

Editor's Comment

This is also an accurate translation. The Iben Ezra maintains that the name "Shaddai" is derived from the Hebrew word "shoded" -- which means "destroyer." This name describes G-d's ability to destroy the Laws of Nature (which He Himself created) at will. Thus, "Almighty" would be a correct translation of "Shaddai."

There's another meaning

Posted by: Dan on Jan 15, 2007

Shadai also means Shomer Dlatot Israel ( Protecting Israel's gates)
It is forbidden to erase or deface the name of G-d. It is therefore customary to insert a dash in middle of G-d's name, allowing us to erase or discard the paper it is written on if necessary.