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

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Why are the names of some mitzvos changed to from “al” or “lo” to “bal”

For example, אַל תְּשַׁקְּצוּ אֶת נַפְשֹׁתֵיכֶם בְּכָל הַשֶּׁרֶץ הַשֹּׁרֵץ וְלֹא תִטַּמְּאוּ בָּהֶם וְנִטְמֵתֶם בָּם (al t'shaq'tzu...) is commonly called בל תשקצו (bal t'shaq'tzu), אֵת ...
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76 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 ...
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253 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 ...
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113 views

Why is the name Yehoshua spelled with an extra vav?

In this past weeks Parshas Devarim 3:21 and in Shoftim 2:7 Yehoshua is spelled with an additional Vav. דברים: ג. כא. ואת יהושוע צויתי בעת ההוא לאמר עיניך הראת את כל אשר עשה יהוה אלהיכם לשני המלכים ...
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45 views

Why hiss for Zeresh?

In every community in which I have heard Megillah, it seems customary to hiss whenever Zeresh is mentioned (in fact I have a mesorah from my father to do so). Are there any sources which mention ...
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62 views

Why is the name of Eliezer often missing?

Very often in the torah Eliezer's proper name is omitted when he is discussed. Examples include the story of finding a wife for Yitzhak where he is referred to as Eved or Ish, his accompanying Avraham ...
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40 views

Naming after two people

Can one person be given one name (as opposed to a double name) which is meant to "correspond" to two different deceased individuals? I.e. Chaim and Shprintza have a daughter. Chaim's grandmother was ...
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73 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 ...
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64 views

Are there any name combinations that may not be used?

Are there any combinations of names that may not be given? There are many names which aren't commonly paired together but is there any reason not to or just common practice and preference?
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62 views

Where can I find titles/names for the Mizrahi sidrot / triennial pericopes of Torah?

I'm tracking down the "triennial pericopes" (sidrot) from the introduction to Ginsburg's massorah, also listed in the Jewish Encyclopedia, and thus I have the beginning and ending verses, but I'd like ...
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44 views

Pharaoh or King of Egypt?

In parashat shemot, how come pharoah is sometimes called the "king of Egypt" and sometimes called "Pharaoh"?
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115 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?
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185 views

Knowledge of meanings of Hebrew names in Daniel

I have being doing a study on Daniel and the meanings of the names of Daniel and his friends and wondered how these would be understood between the friends. For example my name is Stephen, meaning ...
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415 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, ...
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54 views

Different names for Dovid in regular Selichos vs Yom Kippur Selichos

Why do we refer to Dovid Hamelech as "Mashiach Tzidkecha" in Selichos (towards the end, paragraph begins with those words) except on Yom Kippur when we refer to him as "Dovid Avdecha" (in the same ...
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1k views

How many Maccabees were there and what were their names?

How many Maccabees were there and what were their names?
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203 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 ...
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167 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 ...
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402 views

Hillel ben Shahar on gravestone

A follow up question to this one about my ancestor's gravestone. The bottom two lines of the inscription have a mysterious (to me) reference to Hillel ben Shahar, and unfortunately are partially cut ...
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422 views

Who is Shmuel’s father? & Why is he called by his son’s name?

Many times throughout the Gemara we come across the term אבוה דשמואל "the father of Shmuel". I was wondering if we know what his real name was? And why he is referred to by his son’s name?
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Why is Parshas Beshalach called Shabbos Shira?

Most people know that we read Az Yashir on Shabbos Shira and we put out bread for the birds. However this is the only Shabbos that has a special name simply because of what we read in the Parsha. ...
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180 views

Named a male by mistake with a female name

Suppose a person's wife goes to the hospital to give birth and the husband remained home with the rest of the children. They made up that the nurse will call and let the phone ring once if it is a boy ...
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cities that start with ה־

There are a good number of cities referred to in Y'hoshua, of course, and a sizable percentage (I'm guesstimating about 5%) of them start with ה־‏‎ (most famously הָעַי‎, I think).What ...
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67 views

Chol-Kreisch Ceremony

Danny Schoemmann mentions a ceremony called a chol-kreisch in this answer for giving the secular name of a child. Is this custom still observed, and if so, how is it practiced?
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524 views

Why are we allowed to refer to “Yisra'el” as “Ya'akov”?

The Torah states (Bereshis 35:10) that when G-d blessed Ya'akov, he says, "Your name shall no longer be called Ya'akov, but Yisra'el shall be your name". If so, why does God, and we are allowed to ...
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233 views

Megilah Chumash Riddle [closed]

Which four people’s names from the Chumash also come up as names in Megillas Esther?
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779 views

Changing a name for a sick person

Sometimes people add a name for a sick person. Can you just change it to an entirely different name? I know of a case where they kept the first name and changed the second name - originally the name ...
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162 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?
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293 views

Are there analogs to “Abba” & “Ima” for in-laws? [closed]

I know that “אבא” and “אמא” are originally Aramaic translations of the Hebrew “אבי” and “אמי” which have become adapted to Hebrew, especially in the accusative case. Are there similar forms in ...
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46 views

Why are mincha gedola and ketana named that?

What is big about the earlier mincha time and what is small about the later mincha time? Also, why does the term plag mincha make sense? It would seem to be a term that refers to the point midway ...
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1k views

Complete list of verses corresponding to people's names?

There is a custom to say a verse corresponding to ones name at the end of the Amidah, as a Segulah not to forget his name on the day of Judgement. There are several sources for this practice, ...
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365 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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228 views

“B'shem Hashem” for 11 Tishre

Some call the eleventh of Tishre "b'shem Hashem" ("בשם ה׳"). (I assume this is a hasidic term, since, according to what I've heard, the name comes from the Baal Shem Tov.) Why is it called that?
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133 views

Grandpa and Grandson together again [closed]

What are the names of TWO distinct grandfathers and their grandsons are mentioned in the weekday Shemoneh Esrei ?
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77 views

Is there any attestation to the name “יעל” spelled with an Aleph?

Larry Gonick's Cartoon History of the Universe includes the story of Yael killing Sisera. The author renders the name with the common "Y" to "J" substitution as "Jael" and, in an aside, mentions that ...
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67 views

Why is it called Berachah Me'Ein Shalosh, and not Arba'?

Why is the blessing recited after eating the 7 Species of Israel called Berachah Me'Ein Shalosh, (one that is equivalent to three) and not Berachah Me'Ein Arba' (one that is equivalent to four)? The ...
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517 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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85 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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122 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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200 views

Conventions for derivation of Hebrew names

How is a Hebrew name chosen for a person whose legal name is English (or other vernacular)? Is the name chosen based on phonetic resemblance to one's English name, a resemblance in meaning, or mere ...
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106 views

“Ramba”m“ or ”The Ramba“m”?

I often hear the Hebrew abbreviation for Maimonides appended to a definite article but don't quite understand why it should be there when the unabbreviated name would (I think) never warrant such an ...
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55 views

When did the original names of the months change?

The Haftorah this past week mentions the second month using the name Ziv. The orignal names of the months are discussed here: First-Temple-Era names of the Hebrew months? When did the original names ...
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66 views

Is there a heter for mentioning the names of the Greek gods?

At the end of Rambam Hilchot Avodah Zara 5 (halacha 14 by some counts, 10 by others), he says ‫ ואפילו להזכיר שם עבודה זרה שלא דרך שבועה--אסור, שנאמר "לא תזכירו". לא יאמר אדם לחברו, שמור לי ...
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81 views

When did the word challa start being used to mean our Shabbos bread?

In the Torah we seem to only find this word associated with Temple related breads. In Rabbinic writings the word challa was the word referring to the amount of dough separated to be given to a kohen. ...
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250 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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42 views

Are we precise in which name of God we use outside of Chumash?

In the chumash, there is a distinction between the use of Elokim (midat hadin, the characteristic of justice/law) and the four letter name (midat harachamim, the attribute of mercy). Rashi on 1:1 ...
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85 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 ...
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91 views

Can a Zerah Yisrael that converts use his father's Hebrew name for aliyot?

If boy was born to a Jewish father and a non-Jewish mother and later converted in his life, would he obliged to call himself "ben Avraham" when called up for an aliyah, or would he be allowed to take ...
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61 views

Why is Avigayil still called “Naval's wife” after she marries David?

In Shmuel Alef 25:39, David finds out that Naval is dead, and marries Naval's wife Avigayil. Okay, good. Then, in 27:3, it says: וַיֵּשֶׁב֩ דָּוִ֨ד עִם־אָכִ֥ישׁ בְּגַ֛ת ה֥וּא וַאֲנָשָׁ֖יו אִ֣ישׁ ...
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75 views

What's “מיי׳” short for?

The En Mishpat Ner Mitzva on the Bavli (in the standard edition, anyway) refers to the Mishne Tora (Yad Hachazaka) as "מיי׳". What is this an abbreviation of? (I have an ...