Questions about the purpose, meaning, halachos (rules), etc. of names.

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3answers
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“Lamah zeh tish'al l'shmi” — zeh shmi

Bereishit 32:30 וַיִּשְׁאַל יַעֲקֹב וַיֹּאמֶר הַגִּידָה נָּא שְׁמֶךָ וַיֹּאמֶר לָמָּה זֶּה תִּשְׁאַל לִשְׁמִי וַיְבָרֶךְ אֹתוֹ שָׁם is usually translated as: And Jacob asked and said, "Now ...
3
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1answer
41 views

Why “בְּנֵי עַמּוֹן”?

Genesis 19:37–38 (JPS): וַתֵּלֶד הַבְּכִירָה בֵּן וַתִּקְרָא שְׁמוֹ מוֹאָב הוּא אֲבִי מוֹאָב עַד הַיּוֹם. וְהַצְּעִירָה גַם הִוא יָלְדָה בֵּן וַתִּקְרָא שְׁמוֹ בֶּן עַמִּי הוּא אֲבִי בְנֵי ...
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3answers
129 views

Why is it called parshas Chayei Sarah

2 Weeks ago was Parshas Chayei Sarah, and in the beginning for the first Alia (portion) it spoke about how Abraham buried Sarah.And then for the next 6 Alia's it speaks about Yitzchok and the whole ...
4
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3answers
219 views

What is the source of my father's Hebrew name? It is כלאוונא

I am going getting a GET from my wife and the Rabbi asked for my father's Hebrew name. I told him it was כלאוונא, the same as my great-grandfather. The rabbi said he had never heard of the name. ...
4
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2answers
61 views

Why is the name of Eliezer often missing?

Very often in the torah Eliezer's proper name is omitted when he is discussed. Examples include the story of finding a wife for Yitzhak where he is referred to as Eved or Ish, his accompanying Avraham ...
3
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1answer
404 views

Who is Shmuel’s father? & Why is he called by his son’s name?

Many times throughout the Gemara we come across the term אבוה דשמואל "the father of Shmuel". I was wondering if we know what his real name was? And why he is referred to by his son’s name?
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1answer
76 views

Who was Haman's mother?

Is there any mention of Haman's mother in rabbinic literature (Gemara, Midrash, etc.)? If she was discussed in the Gemara or other sources, what was her name?
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2answers
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What is the significance of bears in Judaism? Why has Dov (or Dov Ber) been such a common Jewish name?

I understand, to some extent at least, why lions are an important symbol in Judaism. After all, in the beginning of the Shulchan Aruch we are told we should rise like a lion to serve our Creator, and ...
10
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5answers
4k views

Etymology/connection between Ari, Aryeh, Yehudah, Leib, and Leibel

What is the relationship between the following names that often go together is some combination? Ari/Aryeh Yehudah Leib/Leibel I've encountered many men, young and old, with the following first ...
10
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1answer
288 views

Why don't we name children Yitro?

Yitro appears to be an overall positive character in the Torah. At least as much as Noah or Saul, yet I do not know of contemporary (or even ancient) Jews named Yitro. Why is that?
4
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6answers
171 views

Why was the letter “Hai” added to Avraham's name?

Avarham Avinu was originally Avram - and Hashem added the letter Hai to his name and changed it to Avraham. Why from all letters was the letter Hai added?
7
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1answer
39 views

The name change of the Divrei Chamudos

The shaar blatt (page with the brief list of what's in the book) of my Shas (and this Shas) says that the Divrei Chamudos was originally called the Lechem Chamudos and the Maadanei Yom Tov was ...
4
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2answers
282 views

The hebrew meaning of the name Laila

My wife and I just had a beautiful little girl and we named her Laila Grace. I was curious of the meaning of Laila and decided to search the web. I came to an interesting comment that I am hoping ...
6
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1answer
364 views

What was Avraham Avinu's mother's name?

What was Avraham Avinu's mother's name? Our shul received a paper with questions on Simhat Torah, with this question being one of the harder ones. Is there a midrash on her name?
4
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0answers
38 views

Naming after two people

Can one person be given one name (as opposed to a double name) which is meant to "correspond" to two different deceased individuals? I.e. Chaim and Shprintza have a daughter. Chaim's grandmother was ...
10
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4answers
280 views

What's the origin of having more than one name?

I suppose this is more of a history question: as in when did Jewish people start naming their children with more than one name? But I would also be interested in knowing the circumstances behind it? ...
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0answers
50 views

Avram to Avraham [closed]

Could the name Avraham אברהם gramatically in any way be rendered or explained as Av Ha'am אב העם (beside the verse of Bereshit 17:5)? While the explaination for the name change from that of Avram ...
12
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2answers
261 views

Why is Yitzchak spelled with a “sin” in Tehillim 105:9?

I just came across this strange variant spelling this morning. I've been in the habit of reciting Tikkun HaKlali recently and saw this in Artscroll's Tehillim this past Shabbat. Thinking it was a ...
3
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1answer
41 views

Are we precise in which name of God we use outside of Chumash?

In the chumash, there is a distinction between the use of Elokim (midat hadin, the characteristic of justice/law) and the four letter name (midat harachamim, the attribute of mercy). Rashi on 1:1 ...
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1answer
41 views

What is the meaning of surnames that number-related? [closed]

I deal a lot with names, whether given names or family names, especially as I collect genealogical information. So recently I'm puzzled about some Germanic-Jewish names that are related to numbers. ...
10
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4answers
612 views

Is it permissible to name one's child with a name from the opposite gender?

Is a person allowed to name a boy with a girl's name and vice versa? I remember seeing that one musn't, although in Nach one finds these things a lot. I understand it is not best practice for ...
0
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1answer
68 views

Sigmund Freud's Jewish Name [on hold]

What was the eminent Psychologist, and father of Psychoanalysis' Jewish Name (as when they called him up to the Torah)?
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0answers
23 views

From where do we know that Yaakov has the spirit of prophecy when referred to as Yisroel?

The Torah frequently shifts in references to Yaakov. I have heard that it refers to him as Yisroel when he is experiencing prophecy, and as Yaakov when his prophetic abilities are lacking, as they ...
5
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0answers
68 views

What is the proper hebrew pronunciation of Rav Hirsch's first name?

Among the Modern Orthodox I hear Rav Hirsch's name only said in its English form ("Samson"). Amongst the Yeshivish I hear the form "Shamshon." My question is, was his Hebrew name Shamshon or Shimshon? ...
5
votes
1answer
95 views

Can a Jew name a child after a (deceased) non-Jew (non-relative)?

Can a Jew name a child after a (deceased) non-Jew (non-relative)? Is there any prohibition against it?
1
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0answers
64 views

How does “Jezebel” translate into English? [closed]

I've heard some Christian ministries preach that the name-word "Jezebel" can be translated into modern English as: "One with whom there is no cohabitation" They then later expound that the "women's ...
4
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0answers
70 views

Does a Kohen have to be concerned about the surname of a potential mate?

In this question various surnames are explored that are strongly associated with being a Kohein. Some of them are rather unambiguously chosen simply because the chooser wanted to indicate their ...
5
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7answers
2k views

Which surnames are exclusively Kohanim's and why?

It is well known that is a person has a certain surname (last name) they are more likely to be a Kohen. Examples: Cohen - for obvious reasons Kahn Katz - stands for "Kohen Tzedek" What are some ...
6
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4answers
1k views
3
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0answers
109 views

Jacob's Dual Names and Wives

The third Patriarch's birth name was Jacob. He is given another name, Israel, in Genesis 32. Jacob had two primary wives; Leah and Rachel. I have heard the idea that the Rachel was the betrothed ...
2
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1answer
63 views

How is סדר טהרות properly pronounced or pointed?

The last seder of the Mishnah is טהרות, but I can find no agreement on the vowels for this word. Some variations I have seen: טְהָרוֹת טַהֲרוֹת טָהֳרוֹת There may be others. Which answer makes the ...
9
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3answers
990 views

What is the correct pronunciation of the Tetragrammaton?

I come from Christianity.SE, where I asked almost the same question. Isaac Moses assured me that the question would not be disrespectful and could be asked here. God's name is written as the ...
0
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2answers
59 views

Naming Kids Similar to Living Relative

In Ashkenazik circles, can a child be named similar to a living grandparent? How close is too close? Examples: David & Davida Mira & Meira Chana & Chanan Gila & Gilaad Misha & ...
1
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2answers
46 views

Who or what was Gilaad?

In parshas pinchas ch 26 vs 29 we find Menasheh had a son Machir who had a son Gilaad (גלעד). In fact this family group was called "Gilaadi" (גלעדי). At the end of parshas Matos ch 32 vs 39 - 40 we ...
3
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0answers
24 views

Expounding a student's name

The Gemara in Berachos 39a has the following account: תני תנא קמיה דרב נחמן בר יצחק מניח הפרוסה בתוך השלמה ובוצע ומברך אמר ליה מה שמך א"ל שלמן א"ל שלום אתה ושלמה משנתך ששמת שלום בין התלמידים ...
0
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1answer
32 views

The Priest-King's name

In Kings II ch. 15, עזריה, Azariah son of Amaziah is said to reign over Judah. During his reign he is stricken with leprosy and lives out his days in this state, while his son Jotham rules in his ...
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2answers
36 views

The Tyrian Smith's Name

Kings I ch. 7 tells of Solomon enlisting a Tyrian smith named חירם, Hiram to fashion many implements that were used in the Temple. Chronicles II ch. 2 speaks of the King of Tyre sending a smith named ...
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2answers
2k views

Abbreviations before/after names

What are the more common abbreviations one might see printed before or after a person's name, and what do they mean? Please include honorifics (R'=Rabbi) as well as memorial - or prayerful - suffixes ...
2
votes
2answers
101 views

Secular Names for Days of the Week

Is there a problem using the secular names for the days of the week? If so, is it 1) because they originally come from Polytheistic gods or 2) simply because the people forbidding them are of the ...
7
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1answer
74 views

Given name of Rabbi Yose

What was the given name of Rabbi Yose? Was it Yosef or Yose? If it was Yose, is that a derivative of Yosef, or a totally different name with some other meaning or significance?
5
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2answers
626 views

What's the source for naming children after Alexander the Great?

I know many Jews whose actual bris-given name is Alexander, and this has been a popular name even among great tzaddikim of the past (such as R. Alexander Ziskind). I've heard a legend (mentioned on ...
1
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0answers
31 views

Source for multiple names [duplicate]

What is the source of giving multiple names? Who is the earliest person who had two given names? Any Tannah Amorah or Rishon? Note that I am aware that people in tanach (Moshe Avraham etc.) as well ...
6
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0answers
75 views

Children's Names

I noticed a lot of times in the TaNaKh, how children were given specific names for a specific reason. Take Binyamin for example, his original name at birth was "Benoni" (son of my sorrow) but his ...
2
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0answers
72 views

Names of Tanaim and Amoraim

A friend mentioned to me that there are no Tanaim or Amoraim named Avraham, Moshe or Dovid and that there was "some torah" on this fact, but he couldn't remember what it was. Is there any source for ...
0
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1answer
76 views

Sources for Mashiach's Name

I know that Mashiach's name is mentioned in several sources, perhaps the majority of these sources are Midrashim (correct me if I'm wrong). But anyone know where I can find this subject commented ...
4
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2answers
120 views

Niqqud of the name of the מהר"ץ חיות

What is the correct niqqud to put on the name of the מהר"ץ חיות? Wikipedia claims that his last name is spelled Chajes in English, and that Chayes or Hayot may also be seen. This seems to imply that ...
1
vote
1answer
92 views

Jebediah​​​ (?)

Some claim that Jebediah is a Hebrew name. Is it a Jewish name? Either way; what does/would it mean, and how is it/would it be spelled and pronounced in Hebrew?
12
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5answers
358 views

Naming after bad people

Why have there been famous(ly righteous) Jewish people named after Yishma'el, who, Chaza"l tell us, was evil and an enemy of Jews? Has anything similar happened with Esav? Korach? Others?
2
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1answer
64 views

Why does the Gemara sometimes use the word Ben and sometimes use the word Bar?

Why does the Talmud sometimes refer to someone as Ploni ben Ploni, and other times as Ploni bar Ploni? Classic example: In Bava Batra 14b the gemara says Rabbi Shimon ben Yocahi In Bar Ilan's ...
16
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8answers
2k views

Phrasing of refuah prayer when praying for a non-Jew

How would you phrase a refuah (recovery from illness) tefillah (prayer) for a sick gentile? "Thomas ben [=son of] Mary"? "Thomas Smith"? Is it appropriate to include the name during the ...