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

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3
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1answer
102 views

“פְּנִיאֵל” and “פְּנוּאֵל”

Is the פְּנִיאֵל of BeReishis 32:31 the same as the פְּנוּאֵל of 32:32? If so, why the change in term used to refer to it? If not, is there a story behind the two places with such similar names?
2
votes
2answers
129 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
209 views

When an adopted child is called to the torah, how are they named?

When an adopted child is called up for an aliyah, how are they referred to? Are they called ben-(adopted parents' name) or something else? Are there any qualifiers involved? I'm given to understand ...
2
votes
1answer
385 views

Is Rami a legitimate Jewish name?

It seems like it is only used as a nickname for Avraham or Rakhamim, but can the name Rami be given to a Jewish male? I've seen the name given to rabbis in the gemarah (Rami Bar Hama and Rami Bar ...
2
votes
1answer
509 views

Is the last name Logan Jewish?

My last maiden name is Logan and I want to know if I am of Jewish descent. Logan was my grandmother's last name and she was from New York. I attend synangogue on Saturday having always been drawn to ...
15
votes
4answers
386 views

Why did Avraham name his son before the Bris (circumcision)?

Why does the Torah seem to imply that Avraham named his son before the bris? First: וַיִּקְרָא אַבְרָהָם אֶת שֶׁם בְּנוֹ הַנּוֹלַד לוֹ אֲשֶׁר יָלְדָה לּוֹ שָׂרָה יִצְחָק And Abraham called ...
13
votes
2answers
5k views

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 ...
17
votes
6answers
615 views

Silent letter in Yisachar

Why don't we pronounce the second ש in יששכר?
3
votes
2answers
2k views

How many Maccabees were there and what were their names?

How many Maccabees were there and what were their names?
2
votes
0answers
234 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.
24
votes
3answers
5k views

Hebrew document found in grandfather's attic—what does it state?

I found this document in my grandfather's attic and would be thankful if someone could tell me (a) what this document is, (b) whether there are any names written, and (c) which, if any, religious ...
16
votes
2answers
646 views

How do you pray for a sick baby who has not yet been named?

Is it possible to say a Mi SheBerach for a sick baby who has not yet been named? If so, how is it done? And if one cannot say a Mi SheBerach, is there another prayer that can be said? What if there ...
15
votes
4answers
298 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. ...
10
votes
4answers
355 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
1answer
284 views

naming convention for a Jew with a non-Jewish father?

If a Jew has a non-Jewish father and a Jewish mother, how is he or she: Called up to the Torah, Mentioned in legal documents, such as ketubot, and Mentioned for healing in mi shebeirach? Does any ...
8
votes
4answers
441 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
3answers
459 views

Are the names Akiva and Ya'akov related?

Are the names Akiva and Ya'akov related?
8
votes
2answers
703 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 ...
8
votes
2answers
185 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. (can'...
8
votes
2answers
1k views

Naming your child using a dead relative's initial

Is there a Jewish tradition of naming your child using the first letter of the name of a recently deceased relative?
7
votes
2answers
146 views

Why identify personalities in midrash?

As noted previously on this site (quoting Mail-Jewish), there's a general tendency in midrashim to claim two persons in Tanach are the same. This is familiar to anyone who has studied Rashi's ...
7
votes
2answers
268 views

Which Amora is mentioned most often in the Gemara?

Which Amora is mentioned most often throughout Talmud Bavli?
7
votes
1answer
477 views

What was the name of Rivka's mother?

Unnamed women in the Torah, so far: Noach's wife-Naama, Yishmoel's wife-Riva, Lot's wife-Iris, any suggestions for Rivka's mother? she is mentioned many times in this weeks sedra but not by name
7
votes
1answer
274 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
1answer
355 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
7answers
3k 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?
5
votes
3answers
159 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 ...
5
votes
2answers
432 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 ...
5
votes
0answers
130 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?
5
votes
1answer
199 views

Lot's Wife: The Salt Lady

What was the name of Lot's wife?
5
votes
3answers
255 views

From the Torah itself how do we know that various names of God points to the same God?

Jews believe that God, while having many names, is actually one. So the idea is that El Elyon, Elohim, El Shadai, YHWH, Adonai, El, are just names mostly referring to the same being. Is there any ...
2
votes
0answers
57 views

Name of Pharaoh that we were enslaved to in Mitzrayim

Do we know what the name of Pharaoh (i.e. king or president) whom we were enslaved to when we were in Mitzrayim was?
2
votes
1answer
76 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?
0
votes
1answer
425 views

Any famous Jews named Muhammad, Mahmud, Mehmet, etc.?

There is a halacha that one may not name a child after an evildoer, a principle known as shem reshaim yirkav taken from Yoma 38b ("ועל בן קמצר וחביריו נאמר ושם רשעים ירקב", cf. Mishlei 10:7). Later ...
17
votes
4answers
1k 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 ...
11
votes
1answer
524 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 ...
11
votes
3answers
767 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 ...
11
votes
1answer
1k 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
775 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" ...
10
votes
3answers
248 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
332 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
3answers
408 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?
9
votes
2answers
4k views

Etymology of the Name Feivel

Where does the Jewish name Feivel (or Feivish) come from? What does it actually mean?
9
votes
2answers
256 views

Avram-Avraham; Yaakov-Yisroel; Yitzchok-?

Why from the three Avos, Avraham and Yaakov had their name changed, and not Yitzchok?
8
votes
1answer
170 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 ג)....
8
votes
3answers
928 views

Why do we comfort a mourner with Hamakom Yenachem Eschem?

Why, when comforting a mourner at the completion of a Shiva visit, do we refer to G-d as Hamakom? We say Hamakom Yanachem Eschem - why not Hashem Yenachem or Elokim Yenachem?
7
votes
1answer
125 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
348 views

Responding to “that's not a Jewish name”

My ancestry is not eastern-European, and sometimes when I meet people in a Jewish setting and we introduce ourselves, I'm met with "that's not a Jewish name" (referring to my last name, mostly). I ...
7
votes
2answers
945 views

Hebrew letters Hey-Yud-Dalet after a name

I'd seen some stuff written about a man, with the Hebrew הי"ד (Hey-Yud-quotes-Dalet) after his name. What does that mean?
7
votes
1answer
287 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 speaking,...