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

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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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1answer
80 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. ...
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6answers
205 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?
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4answers
744 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.
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2answers
93 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?
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1answer
188 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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3answers
392 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?
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3answers
7k 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 ...
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4answers
280 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 ...
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1answer
125 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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2answers
133 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 ...
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181 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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2answers
199 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?
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3answers
459 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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1answer
152 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 ...
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1answer
172 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 '...
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1answer
301 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 ...
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1answer
77 views

Haman's daughter's name

Masechet Megilah says that Haman's daughter threw the garbage on him. Does the gemoro mention her name anywhere? I looked in Gemora Megilla 16a where the story is but it does not mention a name. Does ...
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1answer
82 views

Bnei Akiva and zionism

Why is Rabbi Akiva the symbol of the world's largest religious Zionist youth organization ("Bnei Akiva")? (maybe even the world's largest zionist organization period.)
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3answers
264 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
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1answer
128 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?
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1answer
967 views

What do the names Pesil, Pesa, and Pesha mean?

What is the meaning and source of the name Pesil or Pesa or Pesha?
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1answer
318 views

Was Pharoh's daughter named Basya or Bisya?

Was Pharoh's daughter named Basya or Bisya? Sources please!
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1answer
63 views

Why is “An'im Zemirot” called “Shir Hakavod”?

In most Siddurim (Nusach Ashkenaz and Sefard) the hymn that starts with the words "An'im Zemirot" is denoted in the Siddur as "Shir Hakavod" - sometimes translated in English in the Siddur (such as ...
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3answers
232 views

The essence of a thing is in its Hebrew name?

Based on this comment here. According to Kabbalah, how do physical objects derive their life-force from their Hebrew name, if Hebrew doesn't have names for everything?
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1answer
50 views

In Bemidbar 2.14 , it says רעואל is the father of Eliasaph. Isn't the father of Eliasaph דעואל?

דעואל is known as the father of Eliasaph in bemidbar 1.14, and 3 other places, the resh and the Dalet are very similar, is that the reason ? , this is the only instance I know of that רעואל is known ...
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1answer
50 views

Why doesn't Yitchak have his name changed? [duplicate]

Avram's name was changed to Avraham; Ya'akov's name was changed to Yisra'el. Yitzchak's name was not changed. In the case of Ya'akov, we see that his name was changed in association with a specific ...
4
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1answer
238 views

Why isn't Shimson's mother named?

Why isn't Shimson's mother named in Pesukim that tell the story? She is featured rather prominently, and the angel appears to her before speaking with both her and Manoaḥ. It would stand to reason ...
4
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1answer
127 views

List of titles before different Rabbis

It is customary to put many honorific titles before most modern day Rabbis (I've even seen seforim that write Harav Hagaon etc. etc. So-And-So). Many times one sees long lines of adjactives praising ...
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1answer
221 views

Meaning of Mappik in יה

One more question about mappik (I don't know what happened to me, but this topic somewhat disturbs me lately :)) What is the meaning of the mappik in the following Hebrew words: יָהּ הַלְלוּיָהּ ...
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1answer
31 views

Why did Naphtali name his first son Yachtzeal (יַחֲצִיאֵל)?

Why did Naphtali name his first son Yachtzeal (יַחֲצִיאֵל)? The name is mentioned (as יַחְצְאֵל) in Bereishis 46:24 and Bamidbar 26:48, and (as יַחֲצִיאֵל) in Divrei Hayomim I 7:13, but is there any ...
4
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2answers
175 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. ...
4
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1answer
133 views

Why were some Jews called Yishmael? [duplicate]

Why is it that we find Jews (and even sages) by the name Yishmael? It seems rather strange that we would choose to name our children after someone who was the progenitor of a nation seen to be an ...
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1answer
161 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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1answer
166 views

Tetragrammaton homophone

If someone has a name in a foreign language which sounds like the pronunciation of the Tetragrammaton (YKVK), is there any problem calling the person by name?
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1answer
84 views

Why is Sefer Tehillim called Tehillim and not Tehillos?

Tehillim is plural of Tehilla (תהלה). Tehilla looks like a feminine noun, which is why there's a word called תהלות. So why is the sefer called Sefer Tehillim?
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1answer
219 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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1answer
72 views

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 כָּל־...
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1answer
81 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 ...
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1answer
77 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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1answer
299 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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1answer
146 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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53 views

Who is Rav Tzvi HaLevi?

Below is a ketuba for a bride name Chaya bat Yehuda, and Yehuda's father is shown as Rav Tzvi HaLevy. I know for a fact from people who knew him and from multiple original source documents including ...
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62 views

Why is it called “Kiddush Lavana”

Every month we make a bracha on the new moon. In many siddurim where the bracha and nusach is featured it's called "Kiddush Lavana". If one looks in the poskim (See Rema Orach Chaim SIman 426 Sif 1, 2,...
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65 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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0answers
35 views

What was Moshe's original name? [duplicate]

Did Moshe's parents ever give him a name? If so, what was it? We know him as Moshe, but that is the name that Pharaoh's daughter gave him. Presumably, over the several months that Moshe was with his ...
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68 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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84 views

Why do we call people up to the Torah by name?

In shul, if a guest is honored with an aliyah, I watch as the gabbai walks over (or sends someone) to get the guest's name, then call that same person up by that name. Once the guest has been told ...
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73 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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73 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 ...