With increased government involvement in failing industries, we are hearing a lot about companies "reinventing themselves." The ad campaigns tout the redesigned, leaner and meaner corporate model. Many advertise their revamp by boldly adding the word "new" to their familiar corporate name. What, if any, substantive changes have actually been made will only be discovered in the future.

So what does the Torah say about renaming products: Is it remarkable or just marketing?

Perhaps a one-liner uttered by Moses in advance of the debacle of the spies sheds some light.

When the twelve spies are ready to be dispatched in advance of the Children of Israel's entry into the land, Moses senses something is amiss. Eager to protect his protégé, Hoshea, from the spies' harmful designs, Moses blesses him: "May G‑d rescue you [from the plot of your colleagues]." Moses employs a mystical technique to effectuate this blessing. He changes Hoshea's name, adding a yud prefix; his name is now Yehoshua (Joshua).

Chassidic thought is flush with commentary on the indicative aspect of names. What you're named is who you are. So Moses' name change is an effective technique to reconfigure his student's identity. The newly redesigned Joshua is not merely a repackaged Hoshea, he is transformed, a new person, as a result of the name change. He is protected from the seduction of fear that sinks the others.

There seems to be an obvious question: Moses is suspicious, so he blesses Hoshea, changing his name and uplifting him. Why not simply change all the spies' names and thus protect each of them and, by extension, all of the Jewish people? Is Moses playing favorites with his prized student?

But it is because Hoshea has developed an intense relationship with Moses that he is receptive to this name-changing/essence-altering blessing. Would Moses similarly bless all of the spies, it would not make any difference. They have not readied themselves to receptivity. They have not logged the time with Moses that Hoshea has.

Herein lies the key of effective blessing (transformation) via name change. Like rain, a blessing bears fruits on cultivated fields.

The fifth Chabad-Lubavitch Rebbe, Rabbi Shalom DovBer, once denied a chassid a blessing (!). Distraught, the man crumpled in tears. And then the Rebbe blessed him, explaining that the blessing would only have significance after the petitioner had done the introspection that made him eligible for divine assistance.

Simply hearing a blessing is not the same as being blessed, and simply declaring a product improved is not the same as improving it. Titles must reflect change, not be the change.

Simple proclamations such as "I try harder" or "We are the new (fill in the blank) company" that are not predicated on substantive enrichment are catchy yet vapid.

A new name can be a source of a new attitude or fresh start only when it is the result of genuine transformation. Joshua's yud addition is effective because of the hard work he has invested—it is due more to Joshua's efforts than to Moses' sanctity.

We are similarly on the threshold of Israel, waiting to go in, as we were in Joshua's time. We have paid our dues and developed our brand: "The Jewish People." It's time to change one letter to reflect our achievements, adding an aleph to golah ("exile") and transforming it into geulah ("redemption")!