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There are various Hebrew names in use that are feminizations of pre-existing masculine names. (The opposite case may exist as well, but I can't think of any examples.)


  • Yaakova
  • Rafaella
  • Aharona

Do these names have the same intrinsic value (whatever that is) as the original forms of the names? Are there any sources that endorse or discourage this practice?

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My mother once taught a Shmuela. ♫ "Shmuela de-Ville .. Shmuela de-Ville ...♫" – Shalom Jun 25 '12 at 20:11
I know a Yaakova, a Davida, and a few people named M'ira (although that might be taking the feminine verb rather than feminizing the men's name). I've never heard of Titzchak, Taakov, Mosha, or Emraham. – msh210 Jun 25 '12 at 21:12
@DoubleAA: Doesn't "Sar" stand on its own, meaning "minister"? – Menachem Jun 25 '12 at 21:34
@Menachem How many people do you know named "Minister"? – Double AA Jun 25 '12 at 23:03
I'm still wondering what "intrinsic value" means. If it's just that these new names are not found in Tanach, then we can ask the same question on a whole genre of Yiddish names such as Hirsh, Wolf, Sheyna, Mushka, and so forth. (And, no, I've never met anyone named So Forth.) [Someone had to say it...] – Shemmy Jun 27 '12 at 0:34

Per Rabbi Shmuel Eliyahu it is not proper to give names such as Rephaela, Daniela, etc.

כמו כן ראוי לא לקרוא לבת בשם הדומה בשורשו לשם של בן, כמו: רפאלה, דניאלה, שרונה, יוספה וכדומה. שזה עלול להפריע לילדה כשתגדל להיזכר תמיד על שם פלוני שעל שמו היא קרויה.‏

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+1. I wonder whether "להיזכר" was meant as a pun. – msh210 Jun 27 '12 at 21:49
+1 for the great source. – Hacham Gabriel Jun 28 '12 at 2:14
So no Daniella, but what about Danielle? That is more commonplace, isn't it? – Adam Mosheh Jun 28 '12 at 3:54
@AdamMosheh ( sorry for the late response! ) Do you see a reason why the above logic shouldn't also apply to Danielle? – Shokhet Oct 1 '14 at 14:50
Yes. You don't? – Adam Mosheh Oct 3 '14 at 19:15

We see in the Torah that לאה named her daughter דינה - yet דינה's half brother was called דן!

So there seems to be no general issue with it.

That said - if there is some spiritual value in naming after a person, then that value is probably lost when morphing the name into something similar-sounding.

But if the reason for the name is to simply remember somebody - then why not?

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A growing multitude of Jewish people seem to be advancing this phenomenon, so it can't be a bad thing. After all - Minhag Yisrael Torah Hee!

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Isn't it ''Hu''? – Double AA Jun 28 '12 at 4:38
@DoubleAA, that's why this is such a confusing topic! – Seth J Jul 2 '12 at 13:59

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