Saturday, November 01, 2008


I find Barack Hussein Obama's name to be of interest.

First, because of the obvious: Hussein evokes recall of Saddam Hussein, while Obama is but a letter away from Osama, Saddam Hussein and Osama Bin Laden being two of our country's greatest recent enemies.

And Barack? That's the most interesting of all. It's a diminutive of Baraka, which is the Arab word for blessing, understandably very close to Berachah (roughly the same pronunciation), which is the Hebrew word for blessing. (And the name of the first doctrinal church I was a part of.)

Baraka is also the Kiswahili word for blessing, according to this article in Wikipedia. Kiswahili (or Swahili, to the rest of us) derives about 35% of its vocabulary from Arabic.

But back to Islam, whose Koran clearly instructs followers to kill both Christians and Jews whenever they can.

In Islam, baraka is said to be the "divine blessing that is normally associated with holy men or women," and can be transferred from one person to another. Or from an object or place to a person. Baraka hangs out at local shrines, but the strongest baraka is found in Mecca, at the Ka'ba. (That's the curtained, boxlike structure that Muslims march around when they do their pilgrimages at the time of hajj). There's a black stone outside its door that also has great baraka.

Interestingly, though we associate the Ka'ba with Islam, it is not, in fact, an Islamic creation, but predated the arrival of Muhammed by centuries. During those pre Islamic times the site was reverred as a place of worshipping demon gods of the sun, moon and stars. Since demons hang out around such centers of worship, and transfer themselves to the bodies of those people who invite them to do so (not always with conscious intent; another subject) I find this notion of "Baraka" to be very interesting, indeed...

Click HERE for source for information on "baraka."