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

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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?
14
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1answer
2k views

What meaning do the names of the ten sons of Haman have?

Is there a meaning behind the names of the ten sons of Haman who were killed and hung (Esther 9:7-9)? They are: פַּרְשַׁנְדָּתָא Parshandasa דַּלְפוֹן Dalphon אַסְפָּתָא Aspasa ...
4
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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?
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1answer
544 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 ...
4
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1answer
271 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 ...
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1answer
192 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 ...
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0answers
65 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?
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1answer
602 views

Can a man marry a woman with the same name as his mother? (Or vice-versa?) How?

Rabbi Yehudah Hechassid wrote in his testament (Testament of R. Yehudah Hechassid, sec. 23) that a man should not marry a woman whose name is the same as his mother’s, and a woman should not marry a ...
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2answers
149 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 ...
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1answer
116 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 ...
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1answer
124 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 ...
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0answers
44 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 ...
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0answers
88 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 ...
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1answer
80 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 ...
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1answer
66 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 ...
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2answers
153 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?
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2answers
406 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 ...
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2answers
2k views

Origin of the term Yoshke?

I have often heard Jews refer to Jesus as "Yoshke". Is the origin of that appellation based on halachic issues regarding mentioning names of foreign deities, or some other Jewish law or custom? When ...
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2answers
439 views

Is the angel named uriel or oriel

There is a significant difference, where one means: my fire is of god's and the other means: my light is of god's. Since the spelling is the same in Hebrew, it is not apparent from some sources what ...
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4answers
636 views

Names of Angels in Judaism

What are the names of angels mentioned in Jewish scriptures ?
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0answers
108 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: ...
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1answer
132 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?
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3answers
170 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?
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1answer
525 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 ...
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1answer
153 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 ...
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1answer
182 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 ...
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2answers
146 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 / ...
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1answer
141 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?
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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 ...
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1answer
478 views

Mentioning Yeshu's name?

Is there a source for not verbally (or in writing, for that matter) mentioning the name of Yeshu (the father of Christianity)? If there is such a source, what exactly is forbidden to say? Is it only ...
3
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0answers
58 views

Why do we use the Babylonian month names? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Why use Babylonian calendar instead of our own? The Torah refers to the months of the near numerically, the names we employ for things like contracts, birkat hachodesh ...
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3answers
759 views

Why does Esther change her name?

Esther is initially called Hadassah (Esther 2:7). Why does she change her name, ostensibly even before she is brought to the king's harem?
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1answer
616 views

How could a man named Philip in USA have Hebrew name Yehoshua Falk?

My great-uncle from Eastern Europe had given name of Philip in America (came in 1880s), is shown in 1889 directory as Philip plus his surname. His gravestone gives his name as Yehoshua Falk [then ...
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2answers
127 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 ...
3
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1answer
90 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?
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2answers
147 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). ...
3
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1answer
127 views

Moshe being called Moshe Rabbeinu

We refer to Moshe as "Moshe Rabbeinu". (It's interesting about the avos as well that we say, for example, Avraham Avinu; however, I'll keep that for a separate question.) When was the first time (and ...
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1answer
130 views

Naming after non religious relatives

Is it appropriate to name your children after relatives who were not Frum? Assuming that the relatives were good people and would fall under the category of "tinok sh'nishba". Would it be better to ...
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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 ...
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0answers
231 views

Does the name Daniel really mean: 'G-d is my judge'?

Most people pronounce the Hebrew name דניאל as Dani-el. Surprisingly enough, when the name Daniel is mentioned in Tanach (in the book of Daniel) it is written with a Tzeirei under the Yud with no ...
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1answer
247 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 ...
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1answer
369 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
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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 ...
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2answers
173 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 ...
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0answers
558 views

Origin/meaning of common surname Naiman (or similar)

What is the origin and/or meaning of the common Jewish surname Naiman (or Neiman, Najman, etc.)? According to this site the common Jewish name is of Germanic origin, meaning "Newcomer". However, ...
5
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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
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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 ...
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1answer
618 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 ...
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1answer
875 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 ...
4
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1answer
156 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 ...