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

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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 ...
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3answers
939 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 ...
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4answers
612 views

Am I allowed to give my kid a non-Hebrew (non-Jewish?) name?

I'd seen some poster that said it's horribly wrong to ever give your kid a non-Jewish/non-Hebrew name. Is that the norm?
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2answers
54 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 & ...
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2answers
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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 ...
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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 ...
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I forget his name. Now what?

If someone was given the name of a sick person to daven for them, and when they get to refa'enu (blessing for healing) they can only remember the person's name but not their mother's name, how should ...
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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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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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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 ...
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2answers
96 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 ...
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2answers
67 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?
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2answers
621 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 ...
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0answers
30 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 ...
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0answers
72 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 ...
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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 ...
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1answer
73 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 ...
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2answers
118 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 ...
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1answer
90 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?
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5answers
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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?
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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 ...
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8answers
1k 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 ...
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1answer
88 views

Why were some Jews called Yishmael? [duplicate]

Why is it that we find Jews (and even sages) by the name Yishmael? It seems rather strange that we would choose to name our children after someone who was the progenitor of a nation seen to be an ...
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1answer
98 views

Giving a child the same name as a living distant relative

The Ashkenazi custom is not to give one's child a name shared by another living close relative. How close is too close? Can you give a child a name possessed by his/her (living) cousin? Second cousin? ...
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0answers
40 views

Naming children after opposite gender [duplicate]

Are there any issues with naming a boy after a woman, or a girl after a man? We do see many examples of people making male names more feminine e.g. Daniella, Gavriella. I once heard that the latter ...
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0answers
54 views

Titles and prefixes for calling people up to the Torah

When people are called up to the Torah by name, often there is a title that goes with them, such as "ha-bachur" for a young man, "ha-rav" for a rabbi (and/or someone with semicha), and other such ...
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3answers
203 views

Must readers be called to the Torah by name?

"I was in one place recently where they are very strict about calling people's names before they approach the Torah and another place where the people just came up one-by-one, having arranged ...
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0answers
53 views

Why do we call people up to the Torah by name?

In shul, if a guest is honored with an aliyah, I watch as the gabbai walks over (or sends someone) to get the guest's name, then call that same person up by that name. Once the guest has been told ...
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1answer
92 views

What type of name should an androgynous be given?

An androgynous that has both signs of a male and female, should they be given a female name, a male name, or a "neutral" name (like "simcha" or "yona".) Is there any makor for this? (I realize this ...
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Is there a reference that explains the literal meaning and etymology of the names of the Hebrew months?

Is there a reference that explains the literal meaning and etymology of the names of the Hebrew months? I am looking for something that explains both the common Babylonian names as well as the Tana"ch ...
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2answers
124 views

Is there a limit to the number of names you can give someone?

I have two Hebrew names. One of my sons has 3. Many people I know have 3; someone I called to the Torah had 4. At 3, people who have to address you often, (rebbes, teachers) seem to get confused. ...
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0answers
136 views

Non-Jew who takes a Jewish name

Let's say someone goes through an invalid conversion, and now they incorrectly think they are Jewish. They pick a Jewish name for themselves, and they are called up to the Torah by that name and use ...
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0answers
62 views

Are there any name combinations that may not be used?

Are there any combinations of names that may not be given? There are many names which aren't commonly paired together but is there any reason not to or just common practice and preference?
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1answer
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Is there any reason why some people's names in Tana"ch include their grandfather (or beyond)?

In most cases, when peole's names are mentioned in Tana"ch only their and their father's names are mentioned (e.g. - Yehoshu'a bin Nun). In some cases, the grandfather is also mentioned (e.g. - ...
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1answer
96 views

What is the source for not using honorifics like “rav” or “hacohen” when reciting names for mishaberachs?

I understand that when praying for a sick person, whether privately or in a mishaberach following the Torah reading, one should omit honorifics; e.g. not to use "HaRav" when praying for a rabbi, or ...
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0answers
77 views

What was the name of Sarah's mother?

Seder Hadoros mentions Avraham's mother, how old Nachor was when Sarah was born, and even a Peshat that Lot was her brother, though no mention of Sarah's mother's name. Any other sources that mention ...
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2answers
1k views

Origin of the term Yoshke?

I have often heard Jews refer to Jesus as "Yoshke". Is the origin of that appellation based on halachic issues regarding mentioning names of foreign deities, or some other Jewish law or custom? When ...
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1answer
104 views

Formulation of name(s) when praying for non-Jews

When praying for non-Jews, how should one formulate the name of the sick individual if he or she has a Hebrew-derived (vernacular) name? Eg., Jack ben Rebecca vs. Ya'akov ben Rivkah?
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2answers
427 views

Why Do Converts Change Their Names?

Rabbi Avigdor Miller said that it used to be that gerim (converts) and baalei teshuvah (repentants) who had been given non-Jewish names did not change their names when they became part of the Jewish ...
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2answers
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Why didn't they call her Mara?

Naomi returns to Israel and tells people to call her Mara cause God has embittered her life (Ruth 1:20). But no one actually ends up calling her Mara. Is a person allowed to change her name for ...
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Names in kesuba and gittin

The name a person is given at birth has no real relevance, it all depends on what he is called at the moment. One can change ones name as often as one likes (but not one's fathers). Today when women ...
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1answer
63 views

Does the verse in Tehillim 147:4 imply that one cannot name a star after a person?

Usually, around Mother's Day and Valentines Day, I hear a radio commercial suggesting that, as a gift to your loved one, you can name a star after him / her. (Amazing gimmick - no inventory!!) In ...
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1answer
60 views

Source of the name Achira - What did עינן have against his brother?

The nasi of Shevet Naftali's name was Achira (אחירע), which translates to "my brother is evil." What did Enan (his father) have against his brother, that he should give his son such a name?
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2answers
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Is there any attestation to the name “יעל” spelled with an Aleph?

Larry Gonick's Cartoon History of the Universe includes the story of Yael killing Sisera. The author renders the name with the common "Y" to "J" substitution as "Jael" and, in an aside, mentions that ...
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1answer
70 views

שאול - Sha-ul vs She-ol

Ignoring vowelization, Sha-ul and She-ol is spelled the same way שאול We know that Shaul's name was derived from the root radical שאל = to question. However, She-ol is pronounced like ש - אול ...
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1answer
77 views

Calling female baby by name before official naming

Is there any objection, halachic or otherwise, to calling a baby girl by the name the parents plan on giving it before the mi sheberach prayer is recited at the torah reading following the birth? What ...
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2answers
56 views

Why do we refer to it as the Well of Miriam?

From what I understand the Well of Miriam in the dessert was actually a rock which miraculously brought forth water. As such why do we refer to it as the well of Miriam and not the Rock of Miriam?
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1answer
60 views

Does anyone hold that בֵּית לָחֶם is also a person's name?

In Divrei Hayamim I 4:4 Hur is listed as the father of בֵּית לָחֶם. אֵלֶּה בְנֵי-חוּר בְּכוֹר אֶפְרָתָה, אֲבִי בֵּית לָחֶם The commentaries I have seen read this as he fathered people who lived ...
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1answer
62 views

What is my Hebrew name verse?

What are the name verses for a name starting with a tes ט and ending with a hey ה and not the verse from tehilim ( the one in the Artscroll siddur)?