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

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2answers
249 views

What exactly does “Lord of Hosts” (צְבָאוֹת) mean?

When I think of the Judaism, I don't think of Angelic armies attacking the armies of evil directly. G-d usually works in far more subtle ways than this, e.g. appearing as a burning bush to motivate ...
10
votes
2answers
477 views

Modern Hebrew/Yiddish Names

I heard recently that Rabbi Chaim Kanievsky Shlita said that one should not name their children with modern hebrew names such as Shira and one should only give names from Tanach. I was also told that ...
10
votes
1answer
127 views

What is the source of Yartzeit tablet?

Who invented the Yahrtzeit tablet (panel)? At first glance, this could not have been common before 150 years ago, as there is no room to place candles where the electric lights go. Who invented ...
10
votes
3answers
219 views

י-ו as a name of Hashem

Sometimes the letters י-ו seem to serve as a name of Hashem. For example, many authors replace י-ו with טז in a numbering system, presumably so as to not write Hashem's name, similar to replacing י-ה ...
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1answer
226 views

Why was Rabbi Yitzchok Alfasi known as the Rif - rather than the Ria? (הרי"ף - רבי יצחק אלפסי)

Rabbi Yitzchok Alfasi was known as the Rif. The Roshei Teivos of his name is רי"א, and as far as I know there is no other historic figure known as the רי"א. Then why was he known as the Rif?
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2answers
256 views

Avram-Avraham; Yaakov-Yisroel; Yitzchok-?

Why from the three Avos, Avraham and Yaakov had their name changed, and not Yitzchok?
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2answers
4k views

Etymology of the Name Feivel

Where does the Jewish name Feivel (or Feivish) come from? What does it actually mean?
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4answers
781 views

A Jew named Christian

I'm a gentile and my name is Christian. Would I face more aversion if I wanted to covert to Judaism than someone whose name is, say, Abraham? Would I be encouraged to legally change my name? Also, ...
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4answers
770 views

“Veadar” as the name of the extra month in leap years?

In older books and other publications that describe the Jewish calendar, it's quite common to see the extra leap month referred to as "Veadar." (One example is here.) But I have yet to hear that ...
9
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1answer
76 views

Why doesn't the king of Belah get a name?

Bereishis 14:2 names the 5 kings who were on Team B in the war between the 4 kings and the 5 kings. Regarding 4 of the 5 kings on Team B, we are told their name and their domain. But by the king of ...
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3answers
411 views

What is the etymology of סמאל?

I've heard that סמאל (Samael, a "bad" angel) is related to the word שמאל (left). Is there any basis for this, and are there any other explanations for his name? The Hebrew Wikipedia claims that it is ...
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2answers
417 views

מרדכי = Mord'chi?

When learning with Jews of the Syrian community, I noticed that they pronounced מרדכי (the name of the halachic commentary on the g'mara) as "mord'chi", as if the final vowel were a chirik. Why is ...
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1answer
240 views

Names of the books of Tanakh

When did the books of Tanakh get their canonical names? I understand that Five Books of the Torah were named after the first words in them, and that most of Navi was named after their authors, but ...
9
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1answer
248 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 ...
9
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1answer
166 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?
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3answers
266 views

Meforshim Nick"names

It has become common practice to refer to most meforshim by acronyms of their name (eg Rashi, Rosh, etc.). When and why did this practice start, and is it proper?
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3answers
451 views

Are the names Akiva and Ya'akov related?

Are the names Akiva and Ya'akov related?
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3answers
2k views

Name two kids the same name?

Is one allowed to name two of his children (of the same sex) by the same name, so that the entire Jewish name of one child is the same as that of the other? I have never heard of any prohibition. On ...
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2answers
171 views

Why is 'Rabbenu Tam' called Rabbenu Tam?

Rabbenu Tam's name was יעקב בן מאיר. Why then is he known as Rabbenu Tam?
8
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3answers
919 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?
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4answers
439 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)
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1answer
1k views

What's wrong with using “Adoshem” for the name of G-d when singing?

If seen it written that many chazzanim use "Adoshem" when singing (if not in the davening) as it has the same number of syllables as what they would be saying, namely Ado-noi, but that this is ...
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1answer
577 views

Naming after the Patriarchs/Matriarchs and Biblical heroes

Nowadays it is very common for Jews to name their children after the Patriarchs, Matriarchs, and Biblical heroes. But it doesn't seem (to me) as though this was very common until well into the period ...
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2answers
679 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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1answer
229 views

Writing the name chaya

In Hebrew, writing "chaya" with all its letters would result in spelling God's name "ya". Is this okay? How should it be spelled? With a ' instead of the hay? With a ' between the yud and the hay? ...
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3answers
335 views

changing one's Hebrew name

Sometimes a sick person changes his Hebrew name or adds to it. Is there a problem (halachically or otherwise) with changing one's Hebrew name, for someone who is not sick? For example, he prefers a ...
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3answers
5k views

What is the original meaning of the word “hevel”?

I am not religious myself, but lately I have found myself somewhat attracted to Ecclesiastes. Reading about it, I am fascinated about what seems to be endless meanings and interpretations of the word ...
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1answer
118 views

Why is it considered respectful to capitalize G-d and its derivatives/pronouns?

I recognize that in English proper nouns are supposed to be capitalized, especially in the case where a proper noun is also a common noun (e.g. the mall vs. the Mall), but only when referring to G-d ...
8
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1answer
408 views

Why do some transliterate “Balaam” when the Hebrew is “Bilaam”?

I've noticed that most translations render the gentile prophet's name Balaam, while the Hebrew is Bilaam (difference in first vowel). JPS does this in its translation, and people even do it here on ...
8
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1answer
169 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
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1answer
104 views

Hamaor Hagadol vs Hakatan (books)

R. Zerachiah ha-Levi composed a comentary on Rif, named "Sefer Hamaor". Why is it split into "Hamaor Hagadol" (on Noshim and Nezikin) and "Hamaor Hakatan" (on Zroim, Mo'ed and Chullin).
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2answers
183 views

“There they buried Yitzchak” — not “my father”?

"What is awe" of a parent? asks Shulchan Aruch Yore Dea 240:2. It includes, SA answers, that one shall not call [his parent] by [the latter's] name, neither during [the parent]'s life, nor in his ...
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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?
8
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1answer
276 views

The spelling of Eliyahu's name

Why is it that is some places in Melachim Eliyahu is spelled with a Vav and sometimes the Vav is missing? I have looked in as many sources as I can think of and can not find an answer. Examples: ...
8
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1answer
153 views

Unique signature of the Chida

The Chida has a very unique signature. What is the significance of this signature (if any)? Is it in any way related to the seven kabbalistic seals? Are there other similarly unusual signatures by ...
8
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1answer
301 views

Jewish names commonly used in a different form than found in Tanach

Some names are popularly used in a different form than the way they're spelled or pronounced in Tanach. A few that I can think of are: Nochum (נָחוּם) - is written in Tanach (Nah. 1:1) as נַחוּם (...
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1answer
771 views

Why “new-mother bat her-father” for a woman who gives birth?

When we pray for the healing (refuah) of a woman or girl, we refer to her as "(patient's name) bat (patient's mother's name)", for example "Shoshana bat Michal" or "Rivka bat Shifra Aviva". This is ...
8
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2answers
181 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
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1answer
121 views

מחני נא — Moshe's real name isn't mentioned

In Shemot 32:32, Moshe tells Hashem: וְעַתָּה אִם תִּשָּׂא חַטָּאתָם וְאִם אַיִן מְחֵנִי נָא מִסִּפְרְךָ אֲשֶׁר כָּתָבְתָּ: And now, if You forgive their sin But if not, erase me now from ...
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6answers
1k views

ALL Names of God

Where can I find an exhaustive list of all of the names of Hashem (preferably שמות and כינוים) in Tanach and elsewhere? Is this too ill-defined a topic to have an exhaustive answer? Do the 70 in the ...
7
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5answers
241 views

Where can I find Prenumeraten/Prenumeranten?

A few years back I found an on-line source for "prenumeraten." Just to enlighten those who don't know, before a sefer was published years ago, it would seem that feelers were sent out to find out who ...
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2answers
85 views

Is it Rabbeinu Bachya or Bechaye?

Whether people are referring to רבינו בחיי בן אשר or רבינו בחיי אבן פקודה, you will always find people who pronounce their names as either Bachya or Bechaye (Even Wikipedia uses both!). Is there any ...
7
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2answers
931 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
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3answers
337 views

Why masechet “Beitza”?

Why do we call it masechet Beitza now, and not masechet Yom Tov, as was apparently once common? Unlike the parshiot, which are named after their first words, masechtot are all named after topics, ...
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2answers
261 views

Which Amora is mentioned most often in the Gemara?

Which Amora is mentioned most often throughout Talmud Bavli?
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2answers
689 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 ...
7
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2answers
245 views

I need people from the Tanakh who represent “curiosity”, “impatience”, and “resignation”

Long story short, my not-quite-seven-year-old son has terminal brain cancer and I never gave him a Hebrew name. I have been searching the texts for the right combination of curiosity (before his ...
7
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3answers
221 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
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6answers
202 views

Shabbos Hagadol

Why is the Shabbos before Pesach called Shabbos HaGadol? Please contribute as many answers as possible.
7
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1answer
282 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,...