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

learn more… | top users | synonyms (2)

16
votes
2answers
458 views

What was wrong with the word Talmud?

The Wikipedia article on The Talmud says: and Pope Pius IV commanded, in 1565, that the Talmud be deprived of its very name. The convention of referring to the work as "Shas" (shishah sidre ...
3
votes
1answer
136 views

Why is Shlomo Hamelech called Koheles in the book of the same name?

What does the word "Koheles" mean and why is Shlomo called that?
3
votes
0answers
106 views

Origin of Yisha'yahu (Isaiah/יְשַׁעְיָהוּ)'s name

Does Jewish tradition teach us anything that might explain the origin of the name Yisha'yahu/Isaiah/יְשַׁעְיָהוּ? I am referring to the prophet who bore the name. If his name means, as it seems to, ...
4
votes
1answer
409 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 ...
5
votes
4answers
268 views

Is there a Possuk in Tanach that starts with a Samech ס and ends with a Aleph א?

I have a relative with the name סימא and she has been unable to find a Possuk in Tanach that starts with a Samech ס and ends with a Aleph א. Is there such a Possuk?
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?
7
votes
1answer
230 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
155 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 ...
12
votes
2answers
2k 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 ...
7
votes
3answers
177 views

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

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?
6
votes
2answers
312 views

Meaning of yiddish girls name “charnah”

What's the meaning of the yiddish girls name "Charnah" (most likely spelled, טשרנא)? (There was a girl who is not frum that said this is her name and feels it's important to her to know the meaning ...
1
vote
0answers
350 views

Additional names for refuah shlema

When praying for someone's refuah shlema (fully recovered health), is it halakhically required to use their additional names on top of their first names? Is it simply custom? If someone is named ...
5
votes
2answers
80 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 ...
3
votes
3answers
82 views

Why is Korach's rebellion referred to as בְּנֵי לֵוִי?

In Bamidbar 16:7, Moshe chastises Korach and his congregation saying, רַב לָכֶם בְּנֵי לֵוִי. However, other than Korach himself being from Levi, the rest of the co-conspiritors seemed to be mainly ...
4
votes
1answer
74 views

Should ones name be put on a mitsva?

If someone does a mitsva like writing a sefer or providing a building for Jewish activities like a shul or school. Should he put his name on it and have it called after him? I am not referring to ...
1
vote
1answer
50 views

Witness signing on a get “ben ish ploni”

It says in the Mishnah in Gitten (See here Daf 87b) That if an eid (witness) signs on the Get "ben ish ploni eid" then it's kosher. Meaning instead of writing for example his full name "Moshe ben ...
1
vote
1answer
204 views

Who was Naomi's Father?

Inspired by this comment here what information do we have on Naomi's father (from Megillas Rus)? Apparently his name was Avi-Naomi but was that his real name before Naomi was born? Who was his ...
2
votes
1answer
80 views

chassan/kallah signing the kesubah or tenaaim

I have seen bridegrooms and brides sign their names on their kesuba or tenaaim (prenup) before the chuppah (wedding ceremony). It seems maybe to be a chassidish custom, though I'm not sure. Is there ...
3
votes
1answer
159 views

All but every 6th letter begins the name of a misechte

For each letter in the aleph beis, there is at least one misechte in shas whose name starts with it — besides for every 6th letter (vuv, lamed and tzadi). Did anyone ever hear any explanation ...
11
votes
2answers
159 views

“Avram” for when he was young?

The Gemara in Brachot 13a teaches us that we should only refer to Avraham as Avraham and not as Avram. תני בר קפרא כל הקורא לאברהם אברם עובר בעשה שנאמר (בראשית יז) והיה שמך אברהם רבי אליעזר אומר ...
4
votes
2answers
123 views

Yerushalayim City of Gold

What is the origin of the concept of Yerushalayim being a "City of Gold"? It is the name and theme of a famous Israeli song from the 1960s, and I always assumed it was either from that song, or that ...
1
vote
0answers
69 views

HaKohen, HaLevi - source and reason

What is the source, earliest recorded record, and reason many who are Kohanim and Leviyim write after their name HaKohen or HaLevi?
4
votes
1answer
107 views

Why are few names the same in Tanakh?

Nowadays we name our children after characters in Tanakh and/or great tzaddikim. In Tanakh why weren't people named after the Avot, the Shevatim, Moshe Rabbeinu, etc?
1
vote
1answer
112 views

Rabbeinu Asher ben Yeḥiel's nickname(s)

Rabbi Asher ben Yeḥiel, is usually called "Rabbeinu Asher" or "The רא"ש" (pronounced by most Israelis as "Rosh"; often in North America it is pronounced like the English word "rush"*). However, today ...
2
votes
1answer
207 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
147 views

What's the Hebrew idiom for “what's his name” or “What's his face”

I vaguely remember some phrase used in Torah discussions such as "moni palomy" or "moni plamoni" that means "John Doe" or "What's his name" or "John Q Public". Seems like it was used in Ester, but I ...
7
votes
2answers
328 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 ...
3
votes
0answers
55 views

Why are rabbonim referred to by the names of their seforim?

Many rabbonim who published important seforim are coloquially referred to by the names of one of the seforim. Why is this? When did it start?
12
votes
2answers
415 views

Why are the descendants of Rav Pappah mentioned in the text of the Siyum for a tractate of Talmud?

Who are the descendants of Rav Pappah mentioned in the text of the Siyum for a tractate of Talmud, and why are they so important that we mention them all by name? Why don't we mention any other great ...
0
votes
2answers
135 views

Who was the first person to be referred to by acronym? [duplicate]

Rashi, Rambam, the Maharal, the Rosh, the Rema, etc. are all usually referred to by their acronyms. This custom makes sense in a culture that is mostly transmitted through the written word where ink ...
7
votes
2answers
135 views

Most children in sefer B'reishit are named by women or God; why does Yehudah name Er?

I noticed in B'reishit 38 that Yehudah names his first son Er, but his wife bat Shua names the other two. Yaakov's wives name all of their children (except that Yaakov changes Ben-oni to Binyanim). ...
6
votes
0answers
101 views

Naming after someone with added names

If someone R'L is sick at some point in their life and a name such as Refael is added should that name be included as well if one is naming their child after that person? Additional Question: ...
7
votes
5answers
172 views

Shabbos Hagadol

Why is the Shabbos before Pesach called Shabbos HaGadol? Please contribute as many answers as possible.
2
votes
1answer
70 views

Mishebeirach for someone who doesn't want their mother's name used

Suppose someone really dislikes his mother and does not want to be known as (for example) "יוסף בן רחל". He's sick, and people wish to pray for him in a Mishebeirach. Do his wishes have to be ...
4
votes
2answers
100 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 ...
1
vote
0answers
67 views

MiSheBerach for someone who doesn't like his/her own name

Another question asked about a case in which someone does not want to use his/her mother's name in a MiSheBerach. What if someone dislikes his/her own given name and goes by a different name? What ...
1
vote
0answers
31 views

Using someone's mother/father's disliked name for ritual purposes

Closely related to this question, what happens if someone's mother or father doesn't/didn't like her or his name, and the child now either needs a MiSheBerach or is called to the Torah? What name ...
2
votes
1answer
61 views

Naming an orphan

In light of the recent story in the news of a baby born an orphan. :( Who names him (and performs the bris)? I assume the grandparents, but is there any tradition of which side has priority? (I am ...
-1
votes
2answers
129 views

Etymology/origin of the name “Ishmael”

What is the etymology of the Biblical name "Ishmael"? Was this name ever used for any of the Biblical characters before Ishmael, the son of Abraham?
20
votes
1answer
323 views

Is there any source for not sharing a baby's name before the bris?

For some reason, I have it ingrained in me that a baby boy's name before the bris is a secret and should not be shared. Are there any sources for this, or is it something made up?
5
votes
3answers
230 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
102 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?
1
vote
1answer
327 views

Why can we not say the names of certain angels aloud?

I have found in certain kabbalistic documents that contain names of angels there is an instruction not to say the names of those angels aloud - example with names in parenthesis. I realize we are not ...
-3
votes
3answers
132 views

Eved Ivri? Why is a Jewish slave called an Eved Ivri? [closed]

Why does the Posuk - Shemos 21:2 call a Jewish slave an Eved Ivri כִּי תִקְנֶה עֶבֶד עִבְרִי? Why does it not call him an Eved Yisroel?
4
votes
1answer
231 views

Does 'Levi-' as half of a surname indicate a family of Levites?

I've come across a number of surnames of the form Levi-[Something]: Tullio Levi-Civita was from an Italian Jewish family. Claude Lévi-Strauss was from an Alsatian Jewish family. Rita Levi-Montalcini ...
7
votes
1answer
139 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
150 views

Why is misusing God's name so bad?

One is not allowed to take God's name in vain, and certainly not allowed to curse the name of God (chas v'shalom). I'd like to understand conceptually why these things are considered such grievous ...
2
votes
2answers
142 views

Magicians of Egypt (sometimes referred to as Jannes and Jambres)

Exodus 7:11 ESV Then Pharaoh summoned the wise men and the sorcerers, and they, the magicians of Egypt, also did the same by their secret arts. Exodus 7:11 Hebrew Study Bible (Apostolic / ...
1
vote
1answer
105 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?
10
votes
3answers
201 views

Why “Moshe Moshe”?

When Hashem appeared to Moshe at the burning bush in parshot shamot perek gimil why did he call Moshe's name twice? He could have just said "moshe" ONCE!