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

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7
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144 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
106 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: ...
2
votes
1answer
76 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
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2answers
114 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
65 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 ...
0
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2answers
142 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?
21
votes
1answer
404 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
279 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
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1answer
125 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
446 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 ...
-4
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3answers
166 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
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1answer
259 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
151 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
173 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
145 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
120 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?
11
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3answers
230 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!
4
votes
1answer
208 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 ...
5
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2answers
169 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 ...
3
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0answers
55 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
524 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 ...
4
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1answer
230 views

Was Pharoh's daughter named Basya or Bisya?

Was Pharoh's daughter named Basya or Bisya? Sources please!
7
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1answer
152 views

Binyamin spelled with or without a second Yud

In Tanach the name Binyomin appears 150 times as בנימן. It appears 16 times as בנימין. Why the difference? The 16 times it appears with a Yud are as follows. בראשית לה:יח ויהי בצאת נפשה כי מתה ותקרא ...
3
votes
1answer
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?
5
votes
1answer
165 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
123 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
124 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 ...
11
votes
2answers
172 views

David called “hamelech”, “hamelech David”, and “David”

My son noticed in Ⅱ Sh'muel chapters 5–6 that, although David is generally called "David", there are times he's called "hamelech" (="the king") or "hamelech David" (="the king David"). (I'm ...
2
votes
0answers
214 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 ...
7
votes
1answer
358 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
4
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0answers
447 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
votes
1answer
158 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?
11
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1answer
820 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
134 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
150 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 ...
11
votes
2answers
590 views

What is a “Rabbi Meir Bal Hanes” tzedaka?

I have seen several Tzedaka organizations calling themselves something like "Colel Chabad (or Kupas Ha'Ir) Rabbi Meir Baal Haness Charity". What does it mean that it is a "Rabbi Meir Baal Haness" ...
2
votes
2answers
275 views

Why is Eretz Yisrael called “Eretz Tzvi”?

Why is Eretz Yisrael called "Eretz Tzvi"? What does this mean exactly? Why? and Where does it say this?
4
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0answers
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 ...
0
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2answers
594 views

Pronunciation for אלוהים הוא אלוהים שלי

I got this from translating 'G-d is my G-d' on Google Translate. However I don't know how to pronounce the Hebrew. Can somebody give me the pronunciation on this and is there a Hebrew name that means ...
8
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2answers
703 views

Naming your child using a dead relative's initial

Is there a Jewish tradition of naming your child using the first letter of the name of a recently deceased relative?
10
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1answer
217 views

How to call up a ger who converted with his father?

In general a Ger is called up as [name] Ben Avraham. However, what if the Ger converted as a child together with his parents? I would think it is the same but I recently saw someone who is in that ...
11
votes
3answers
375 views

Jarchi = Rashi?

Is Rabbi Solomon Jarchi the same as Rashi? I saw Jarchi on the Internet on a Google search awhile ago, that it was Salomo son of Isaac, a French Biblical commentator and was wondering if it was the ...
9
votes
3answers
273 views

What is the etymology of סמאל?

I've heard that סמאל (Samael, a "bad" angel) is related to the word שמאל (left). Is there any basis for this, and are there any other explanations for his name? The Hebrew Wikipedia claims that it is ...
13
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2answers
216 views

Promised to name son Shimon - now husband is Shimon!?

A woman who desperately wanted to get married traveled to Meron, the burial place of Rebbi Shimon bar Yochai, and vowed that if she found her match, she would name her first son Shimon in his merit. ...
4
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3answers
209 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?
3
votes
2answers
205 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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2answers
76 views

The Names of the Rulers of Sedom

What were the names of the governors of Sedom, and what is the significance of those names?
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1answer
60 views

Why was Rabbi Isaac Luria called “G-dly”?

R' Luria's acronym is the AR"I. The Hebrew of that roughly translates to Godly Rabbi Isaac. Why is he called Godly, and many other great rabbis are not? Related: Why refer to Isaac Luria as the ...
4
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1answer
140 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 ...
6
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2answers
170 views

Changing someone else's name

In parshas Shlach Moshe changes Yehoshua's name. Does this mean his name really changed? IE was he called up to the torah as Yehoshua? Were his kids "ben Yehoshua"? Are there any other examples in ...