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

learn more… | top users | synonyms (2)

5
votes
4answers
671 views

Did Rav Moshe Feinstein pronounce his last name “Feinstain” or “Feinsteen”? [closed]

And, as a follow-up, does having the answer to this question dictate how we should say it?
5
votes
1answer
164 views

The (female) name Freeda amongst Sefardim

I am under the impression that the name Freeda is a female Yiddish name. For some reason it seems to be very popular amongst the Sephardim. How did this happen?
5
votes
2answers
213 views

What is the greatest number of pages (daf) you can go in the Babylonian Talmud without encountering Abayei or Rava?

What is the greatest number of pages (daf) you can go in the Babylonian Talmud without encountering Abayei or Rava? I've heard it was 3?
5
votes
3answers
308 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, ...
5
votes
1answer
78 views

Who is the החזו"א

I saw the roshei teivos החזו"א in the Dirshu notes to Mishna Berura in Hilchos Rosh Hodesh. Can you tell me who it is? Is there a general resource to figure this out?
5
votes
2answers
648 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
3answers
684 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
352 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?
5
votes
2answers
199 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?
5
votes
2answers
173 views

Why would anyone name their daughter Yehudis? The first one vexed Isaac and Rebecca

The first Yehudis is mentioned in this week’s sedrah 26 (34–35). “And Esau was forty years old, and he married Judith, the daughter of Beeri the Hittite, and Basemath, the daughter of ...
5
votes
2answers
118 views

Are “Kosher Salts” Kosher?

Is "Kosher salt" supposed to be understood as certain salts that adhere to the Jewish religions dietary restrictions? I'm curious if this is so what about salt can make it kosher or non kosher?
5
votes
1answer
132 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
1answer
76 views

Was the tana Rebbi Meir blind?

I have heard that the name Meir (lit:enlightening) is actually a "lashon naki" because he was actually blind. Similar to "sagi nahor". Is there any source for this notion that Rebbi Meir was blind?
5
votes
1answer
134 views

How could Yaakov name his children Gad and Dan?

Shabbos 67b says Gad was the name of an idol of the Amorites, and Dan was an idol of Samaria. If we're not supposed to even say the name of idols, how could Yaakov name his sons after them? (or is it ...
5
votes
2answers
169 views

The name of Adam, and his descendants

I've heard it said that Adam and his descendants all have names with very specific meanings, and that when the meanings are strung together they form a message in and of themselves. Is there any ...
5
votes
1answer
136 views

Rashi's apparent internal confusion over יתרו/רְעוּאֵל

Per Bamidbar 10:29 (see below), חֹבָב בֶּן רְעוּאֵל was the father-in-law of מֹשֶׁה. There, רש"י asks why רְעוּאֵל is referred to in Shemoth 2:18 as the "father" of בנות יתרו, and he answers that ...
5
votes
1answer
146 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
2answers
128 views

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 ...
5
votes
1answer
76 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
1answer
177 views

Ben Drosai - what was his Zechus?

Gemara Shabbos 20a and in other locations mentions כמאכל בן דרוסאי Rashi explains that Ben Drosai was a thief who ate his food when it was only cooked 1/3. Did Ben Drosai have some sort of Zechus ...
5
votes
1answer
153 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
160 views

the land from which you brought us out = Egypt?

Dvarim 9:28 reads: פֶּן יֹאמְרוּ הָאָרֶץ אֲשֶׁר הוֹצֵאתָנוּ מִשָּׁם מִבְּלִי יְכֹלֶת יְהֹוָה לַהֲבִיאָם אֶל הָאָרֶץ אֲשֶׁר דִּבֶּר לָהֶם וּמִשִּׂנְאָתוֹ אוֹתָם הוֹצִיאָם לַהֲמִתָם ...
5
votes
1answer
105 views

Midlife Name Crisis

If someone lives their entire life under the assumption that their name is X, and suddenly finds out that their name is Y, are there serious halachic ramifications that can result? More specifically, ...
5
votes
0answers
39 views

Why are there only 8 Martyrs in the Tisha b'av kinnos

The kinna on Tisha b'av says there are 10 Martyrs, but only 8 are named. In the Yom Kippur version, however, all 10 are mentioned. Why are 2 missing from Tisha b'av?
5
votes
2answers
83 views

Does Judaism have anything on maiden names?

A recent NY Times article describes a rising trend in women's choices in keeping their maiden names, instead of (more traditionally) taking their husband's last name. I've wondered what opinions ...
5
votes
0answers
43 views

Rava and Rabbah? Differentiating between two (?) amoraim

Inspired by this question, I have often heard people pronounce the name רבא as Rava and the name רבה as Rabbah. Is there a basis for this differentiation? Does anybody know where it comes from?
5
votes
2answers
74 views

Why “בְּנֵי עַמּוֹן”?

Genesis 19:37–38 (JPS): וַתֵּלֶד הַבְּכִירָה בֵּן וַתִּקְרָא שְׁמוֹ מוֹאָב הוּא אֲבִי מוֹאָב עַד הַיּוֹם. וְהַצְּעִירָה גַם הִוא יָלְדָה בֵּן וַתִּקְרָא שְׁמוֹ בֶּן עַמִּי הוּא אֲבִי בְנֵי ...
5
votes
0answers
85 views

What is the proper hebrew pronunciation of Rav Hirsch's first name?

Among the Modern Orthodox I hear Rav Hirsch's name only said in its English form ("Samson"). Amongst the Yeshivish I hear the form "Shamshon." My question is, was his Hebrew name Shamshon or Shimshon? ...
5
votes
0answers
89 views

Does a Kohen have to be concerned about the surname of a potential mate?

In this question various surnames are explored that are strongly associated with being a Kohein. Some of them are rather unambiguously chosen simply because the chooser wanted to indicate their ...
5
votes
0answers
68 views

Writing the woman's name in a kasubah or get: Plonis *ben* Ploni

Instead of writing the name of the kallah (bride) Rivka bat Chaim (for example) it was written Rivka ben Chaim. In such a case what's the halacha? By a kasubah is it valid? Does it have to be written ...
5
votes
1answer
68 views

Why are Masekhtot referred to by content while Humashim by their first word(s)?

Hamishah Humshe'i Torah (i.e. The Five Books of Moses) are most commonly referred to by the first word(s) in each (e.g. "Bereshit bara", "We'eleh HaDevarim"), though I'm aware of commentators (e.g. ...
4
votes
2answers
303 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 ...
4
votes
6answers
183 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?
4
votes
4answers
591 views

What is the correct spelling of Akiva?

Is Akiva spelled with an Aleph at the end עקיבא or is it spelled with an Hai at the end עקיבה? Please answer only with a source.
4
votes
2answers
90 views

Why is Yosef sometimes spelled with an extra Hai?

עֵדוּת | בִּֽיהוֹסֵף שָׂמוֹ בְּצֵאתוֹ עַל־ אֶרֶץ מִצְרָיִם In Tehilim 81 we see Yosef spelled with an extra Hai? What is the reason for this?
4
votes
3answers
342 views

Tzlach - source of name?

The Noda BiYehuda has a commentary on Shas known as Tzlach - can someone help me by explaining what that stands for?
4
votes
2answers
339 views

Is “Yarden” a Hebrew name that was used?

Is the name "Yarden" ("Jordan" in English) a name that was ever used as a (Hebrew) name by Orthodox Jews? Is there any evidence of this? The reason this is being asked is for 2 reasons. Someone died ...
4
votes
4answers
224 views

Naming a baby boy before a deferred bris

The typical practice when a baby boy is born is to refrain from calling him by any name until he is given a name at his bris. In cases where the bris is deferred (e.g. for health reasons) for an ...
4
votes
3answers
2k views

The hebrew meaning of the name Laila

My wife and I just had a beautiful little girl and we named her Laila Grace. I was curious of the meaning of Laila and decided to search the web. I came to an interesting comment that I am hoping ...
4
votes
1answer
120 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?
4
votes
2answers
126 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
616 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
2answers
126 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
2answers
167 views

Parasha named after Balak?

I've heard from Harav Mansour Shelit"a as well as other Hachamim that Yitro was rewarded by getting a Parasha named by him. With that in mind, why did Balak get a Parasha named after him?
4
votes
1answer
142 views

Why refer to Isaac Luria as the Arizal, and not Arizatzal?

One of the common ways to refer to the R' Isaac Luria is "the Arizal". I understand this to mean, The Ari, zecher L'bracha (may he be mentioned/remembered for blessing). However, one usually refers ...
4
votes
1answer
155 views

Can an adopted child call birth parents by first name?

Consider someone adopted by Jewish parents, whom he grew up calling 'mom' and 'dad'. After he reaches adulthood, he meets his biological parents. Can he call them by their first names, if 'mom' and ...
4
votes
1answer
228 views

May one use the name of an avodah zara?

What is the source for not using the proper name of an avodah zara? How far does this halacha extend? For instance if thousands of years ago people worshipped an avodah zara named "XYZ" but no longer ...
4
votes
1answer
188 views

Lot's Wife: The Salt Lady

What was the name of Lot's wife?
4
votes
3answers
239 views

What is the source of my father's Hebrew name? It is כלאוונא

I am going getting a GET from my wife and the Rabbi asked for my father's Hebrew name. I told him it was כלאוונא, the same as my great-grandfather. The rabbi said he had never heard of the name. ...
4
votes
1answer
116 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?