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

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6
votes
1answer
222 views

Is there a halachic problem with saying “Christ” as a name?

Since (according to the Gra (YD 157:3), cited in this answer), there is no issue in saying the name "Jesus," would there be an issue in saying the name "Christ"? This name might be more problematic ...
6
votes
1answer
172 views

Honorific for a non-Jew

My question is somewhat simple: is there an honorific for particularly righteous, deceased non-Jews? Related: is זכרונו לברכה ever used for non-Jews? I don't recall ever having seen this. EDIT: I ...
6
votes
7answers
2k views

Why isn't “Adam” a traditional Hebrew name?

I can't think of many people who go by the Hebrew name Adam. Any guesses why?
4
votes
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 ...
4
votes
0answers
109 views

Referring to Gentile Priest as “Father”

Is it permissible to either refer to or address a gentile priest as "Father XXXXXXXXX"? What alternatives might there be?
4
votes
2answers
286 views

Spouses in Tanach whose names start with the same letter?

This is one of those parsha sheet trivia questions: There are six couples in Tanach where the names of the spouses start with the same letter. Who are they? I've got five of them, but I can't think ...
2
votes
0answers
152 views

Prayer for changing name for transgender reasons? [closed]

I am a transgender man and I would like to change my Hebrew and English names. Are there any specific prayers to go along with this, or any specific rules that I should be aware of? Thank you.
2
votes
1answer
63 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?
1
vote
1answer
114 views

Saying names of angels

I've heard you shouldn't say the names of angels, except for the four that surround us at night. What's the source and reason for this? Is it halacha or kaballah?
21
votes
2answers
528 views

Why are none of the Pharaohs in the Torah identified by name?

Throughout the Torah, the various Egyptian Pharaohs are always referred to as simply "Pharaoh" or "the king of Egypt" (or both), but never with any other parts of their official titulary. By ...
16
votes
4answers
839 views

Why Yehoshua **Bin** Nun and not Yehoshua **Ben** Nun

The Torah refers to Yehoshua as Yehoshua Bin Nun. (See here for an example). Why Bin Nun and not Ben Nun? Are there any places in Tanach where he is referred to as Ben Nun? Is there anyone else in ...
13
votes
2answers
208 views

Promised to name son Shimon - now husband is Shimon!?

A woman who desperately wanted to get married traveled to Meron, the burial place of Rebbi Shimon bar Yochai, and vowed that if she found her match, she would name her first son Shimon in his merit. ...
11
votes
1answer
749 views

What is a “Sephardic Jew”?

My name is Paul Avila (yea, I know, doesn't sound Jewish at all) I was born in the Azores Portugal and moved to the United States when I was 2. People always ask me if I am Persian. Never ...
11
votes
2answers
527 views

What is a “Rabbi Meir Bal Hanes” tzedaka?

I have seen several Tzedaka organizations calling themselves something like "Colel Chabad (or Kupas Ha'Ir) Rabbi Meir Baal Haness Charity". What does it mean that it is a "Rabbi Meir Baal Haness" ...
11
votes
1answer
470 views

Does one choose one or two pesukim for names?

What posuk does one choose at the end of shmonei esrei if one has two names? do you use two pesukim? or take the posuk that starts with the first initial of the first name and ends with the last ...
10
votes
3answers
216 views

Is there value in gender-adapted names?

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.) Examples: Yaakova Rafaella ...
10
votes
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?
10
votes
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? ...
10
votes
3answers
335 views

Referring to Non-Jews

What's the most diplomatic and politically correct way to refer to non-Jews. Both in conversation, and in terms of this site?
8
votes
1answer
117 views

Process by which one changes their name

Leaving aside the reasons why someone would change their name. Is there a process that a person needs to go through in doing so? At what point does the new name-change comes into effect?
8
votes
4answers
384 views

Can a man and woman with the same name marry each other?

Suppose you have a man named Simcha. May he marry a woman named Simcha? (sources)
8
votes
2answers
478 views

Why can't Ploni Almoni be a real name, in Ruth?

The verse states (Ruth 4:1): וּבֹעַז עָלָה הַשַּׁעַר, וַיֵּשֶׁב שָׁם, וְהִנֵּה הַגֹּאֵל עֹבֵר אֲשֶׁר דִּבֶּר-בֹּעַז, וַיֹּאמֶר סוּרָה שְׁבָה-פֹּה פְּלֹנִי אַלְמֹנִי; וַיָּסַר, וַיֵּשֵׁב Now Boaz ...
8
votes
2answers
2k views

Etymology of the Name Feivel

Where does the Jewish name Feivel (or Feivish) come from? What does it actually mean?
7
votes
1answer
85 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 ...
7
votes
1answer
211 views

What does the title “Hatomim” mean?

I have stumbled upon the title "Hatomim" before people's names in Chabad-oriented documents on the Internet. What is the meaning and significance of this title, in this context? Practically ...
7
votes
1answer
144 views

Change of name in Megillat Esther from Hegeh to Hegai?

In Megillat Esther, the Pasuk (2:3) says that Achashverosh gathered the girls and placed them in the women's house, and the one who guarded them was הגא (ending with an א and with a segol under the ...
7
votes
4answers
478 views

Etymology of the surname “Katz”

Are there sources for the etymology of the surname Katz being an acronym for Kohen Tzedek? Is that simply a backronym?
7
votes
3answers
189 views

Why is “Y'sachar Dov” a popular combination name? [closed]

Why are the names Dov and Ber frequently paired with the name Y'ssachar? Is it because that was the Belzer Rebbe's name or was his name part of a larger phenomenon?
7
votes
3answers
355 views

Are the names Akiva and Ya'akov related?

Are the names Akiva and Ya'akov related?
6
votes
2answers
171 views

How to pronounce the name of the sefer “Bnei Yso(s)cher”

How does one pronounce the name of the sefer בני יששכר ? I've heard people pronounce both sins -- so it is Ysoscher. (There is also a common custom to pronounce the name יששכר with both sins the ...
6
votes
2answers
237 views

Formal Hebrew honorific for one's mother

Many men, when going up for an aliya, tell the gabbai their name as, e.g. "Reuven ben Rav Yaakov", even if "Yaakov," the father, isn't actually a Rabbi." I believe the reason for this practice is to ...
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?
5
votes
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 ...
5
votes
1answer
122 views

Name changed due to illness - Does this necessitate a new Kesuba?

A man or a lady were ill and a name was added to their previous name. Would there be a need to write a new Kesuba? Is the Halacha the same by a man who has an added name as by a woman who has an added ...
5
votes
2answers
86 views

Calling Hoshea 'Yehoshua' before his seeming renaming

Why does the verse (Bamidbar 13:16) mention that Moshe gave Hoshea bin Nun the name Yehoshua, making it seem like this was the first time Hoshea was actually called like that, but instead we see in ...
5
votes
1answer
128 views

Reason why the name Ben Tziyon is a Segula for a long life

I saw in Igros Kodesh 11, page 73 mentioned in the Chida in the name of the Yerushalmi that the name Ben Tziyon is a Segula for a long life and good years. What is the reason that this name has such a ...
5
votes
1answer
72 views

Why didn't Hashem call twice to Yitzchak like he did to other prophets?

Avraham Avraham, Yaakov Yaakov, Moshe Moshe, Shmuel Shmuel - why not Yitzchok Yitzchok? Related to Hashem calls people twice and Hinneni We find in Tanach that Hashem called Avraham Avraham, ...
5
votes
3answers
261 views

Charvona? How many Charvona's were there?

In the Megila twice the name Charvona is mentioned. However there is a difference - Once it is spelled with an Aleph at the end and once it is spelled with an Hai at the end? Were there two Charvona's ...
5
votes
3answers
678 views

Why is it called “Zos Chanukah”

Why is the eighth, and last, day of Chanukah called "Zos Chanukah" and what is it significance?
5
votes
4answers
328 views

What's the origin of the name “Jew”?

Why are we called "the Jews"? Did Hashem pick out this name for us? What does the word "Jew" mean?
4
votes
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 ...
4
votes
0answers
61 views

Where can I find titles/names for the Mizrahi sidrot / triennial pericopes of Torah?

I'm tracking down the "triennial pericopes" (sidrot) from the introduction to Ginsburg's massorah, also listed in the Jewish Encyclopedia, and thus I have the beginning and ending verses, but I'd like ...
4
votes
1answer
119 views

Mi Shebeirach for one that is ill - if you do not know the mother's name

Can one make a Mi Shebeirach for an ill person if they do not know the mother's name?
4
votes
2answers
109 views

Naming a child after two relatives

I once heard Rabbi Shmuel Niman, Mashgiach Ruchani of the Chafeitz Chaim Yeshiva, say that he had "recently learned" that it is improper to give a child parts of the names of two relatives. For ...
4
votes
1answer
508 views

Reciting a Posuk representing your name at end of Shemona Esrei - source?

Many Sidurim mention in the name of the Shela that one should say a Posuk at the end of Shemona Esrei that begins and ends with the same letter as ones name. Does anyone know where in the Shela this ...
4
votes
1answer
191 views

Why isn't Shimson's mother named?

Why isn't Shimson's mother named in Pesukim that tell the story? She is featured rather prominently, and the angel appears to her before speaking with both her and Manoaḥ. It would stand to reason ...
4
votes
1answer
171 views

Meaning of Mappik in יה

One more question about mappik (I don't know what happened to me, but this topic somewhat disturbs me lately :)) What is the meaning of the mappik in the following Hebrew words: יָהּ הַלְלוּיָהּ ...
4
votes
1answer
184 views

Lot's Wife: The Salt Lady

What was the name of Lot's wife?
4
votes
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?
3
votes
1answer
68 views

When did the word challa start being used to mean our Shabbos bread?

In the Torah we seem to only find this word associated with Temple related breads. In Rabbinic writings the word challa was the word referring to the amount of dough separated to be given to a kohen. ...