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

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7
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4answers
181 views

Where can I find Prenumeraten/Prenumeranten?

A few years back I found an on-line source for "prenumeraten." Just to enlighten those who don't know, before a sefer was published years ago, it would seem that feelers were sent out to find out who ...
5
votes
7answers
2k views

Which surnames are exclusively Kohanim's and why?

It is well known that is a person has a certain surname (last name) they are more likely to be a Kohen. Examples: Cohen - for obvious reasons Kahn Katz - stands for "Kohen Tzedek" What are some ...
5
votes
1answer
71 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, ...
4
votes
3answers
124 views

Pronunciation of חשמונאי

A friend today told me that the word חשמונאי traditionally pronounced "Chashmonai" should really be pronounced "Chashmunai" with the vav being read as a shuruk vowel instead of a cholom. Is this ...
4
votes
1answer
129 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
280 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 ...
5
votes
2answers
446 views

Meaning of the name Sivan

I recently met a young lady with the name of Sivan. She did not know the meaning of it, other than it is a name of a month. I was wondering if there is a meaning to this name and what it is?
7
votes
1answer
582 views

Why “new-mother bat her-father” for a woman who gives birth?

When we pray for the healing (refuah) of a woman or girl, we refer to her as "(patient's name) bat (patient's mother's name)", for example "Shoshana bat Michal" or "Rivka bat Shifra Aviva". This is ...
8
votes
1answer
214 views

The spelling of Eliyahu's name

Why is it that is some places in Melachim Eliyahu is spelled with a Vav and sometimes the Vav is missing? I have looked in as many sources as I can think of and can not find an answer. Examples: ...
12
votes
2answers
427 views

Why are the descendants of Rav Pappah mentioned in the text of the Siyum for a tractate of Talmud?

Who are the descendants of Rav Pappah mentioned in the text of the Siyum for a tractate of Talmud, and why are they so important that we mention them all by name? Why don't we mention any other great ...
10
votes
3answers
211 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!
15
votes
4answers
289 views

Why did Avraham name his son before the Bris (circumcision)?

Why does the Torah seem to imply that Avraham named his son before the bris? First: וַיִּקְרָא אַבְרָהָם אֶת שֶׁם בְּנוֹ הַנּוֹלַד לוֹ אֲשֶׁר יָלְדָה לּוֹ שָׂרָה יִצְחָק And Abraham called ...
9
votes
2answers
199 views

Avram-Avraham; Yaakov-Yisroel; Yitzchok-?

Why from the three Avos, Avraham and Yaakov had their name changed, and not Yitzchok?
2
votes
4answers
208 views

Is it idolatry to use the english word “God” to refer to Hashem?

Shabbos 67b says "Gad" (גד) was the name of an Amorite idol, and we shouldn't use it. Shouldn't this apply to the name "God" as well? eg. "God forbid"
5
votes
1answer
122 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
272 views

Where are the rules for naming parshiyot explained?

Here I asked about the naming of parshat Noach and parshat Toldot. Is there someplace where parsha-naming questions like this are addressed in general, or are answers to individual questions ...
11
votes
5answers
387 views

Why are parshat Noach and parshat Toldot named that way?

I was taught that the parshiyot are named for the first significant word (or, rarely, phrase) in the parsha, and obviously names have to be unique. This week's parsha begins "eileh toldot Noach" and ...
4
votes
1answer
647 views

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

What is the meaning and source of the name Pesil or Pesa or Pesha?
6
votes
2answers
168 views

How to pronounce the name of the sefer “Bnei Yso(s)cher”

How does one pronounce the name of the sefer בני יששכר ? I've heard people pronounce both sins -- so it is Ysoscher. (There is also a common custom to pronounce the name יששכר with both sins the ...
3
votes
1answer
205 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?
4
votes
4answers
469 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.
8
votes
1answer
98 views

Why is it considered respectful to capitalize G-d and its derivatives/pronouns?

I recognize that in English proper nouns are supposed to be capitalized, especially in the case where a proper noun is also a common noun (e.g. the mall vs. the Mall), but only when referring to G-d ...
10
votes
4answers
271 views

What's the origin of having more than one name?

I suppose this is more of a history question: as in when did Jewish people start naming their children with more than one name? But I would also be interested in knowing the circumstances behind it? ...
11
votes
1answer
464 views

Does one choose one or two pesukim for names?

What posuk does one choose at the end of shmonei esrei if one has two names? do you use two pesukim? or take the posuk that starts with the first initial of the first name and ends with the last ...
5
votes
4answers
285 views

Is there a Possuk in Tanach that starts with a Samech ס and ends with a Aleph א?

I have a relative with the name סימא and she has been unable to find a Possuk in Tanach that starts with a Samech ס and ends with a Aleph א. Is there such a Possuk?
20
votes
1answer
344 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?
4
votes
1answer
167 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 ...
9
votes
3answers
938 views

What is the correct pronunciation of the Tetragrammaton?

I come from Christianity.SE, where I asked almost the same question. Isaac Moses assured me that the question would not be disrespectful and could be asked here. God's name is written as the ...
6
votes
2answers
266 views

Obliterating the names and memories of evil people

Theoretically the names and the very memories of evil people (rasha'im) should be obliterated. Is this aim seriously pursued? For example, saying ימח שמו after a name doesn't really help obliterate ...
4
votes
1answer
109 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 ...
7
votes
1answer
144 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 ...
10
votes
5answers
4k views

Etymology/connection between Ari, Aryeh, Yehudah, Leib, and Leibel

What is the relationship between the following names that often go together is some combination? Ari/Aryeh Yehudah Leib/Leibel I've encountered many men, young and old, with the following first ...
6
votes
6answers
685 views

Why is the word for G-d in Genesis plural?

The word for G-d in Genesis 1:1 is plural in all the manuscripts, there's no debating that it's plural. So really it should read "In the Beginning Gods created the heavens and the earth". Why is this ...
7
votes
3answers
203 views

Must readers be called to the Torah by name?

"I was in one place recently where they are very strict about calling people's names before they approach the Torah and another place where the people just came up one-by-one, having arranged ...
6
votes
2answers
87 views

Why do the Destruction-related Fasts not have names?

There are three Fasts on our calendar that commemorate stages in the destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple: 17 Tammuz 9 Av 10 Tevet (I realize that we could consider Tzom Gedaliah a partial ...
5
votes
2answers
406 views

The spelling of the name פינחס Pinchas in Tanach

In the entire Tanach the name Pinchas פינחס is spelled with a Yud. The only place the Yud is missing is שמואל א: א. ג. ועלה האיש ההוא מעירו מימים ימימה להשתחות ולזבח ליהוה צבאות בשלה ושם שני בני עלי ...
8
votes
3answers
742 views

Why do we comfort a mourner with Hamakom Yenachem Eschem?

Why, when comforting a mourner at the completion of a Shiva visit, do we refer to G-d as Hamakom? We say Hamakom Yanachem Eschem - why not Hashem Yenachem or Elokim Yenachem?
15
votes
3answers
781 views

Why Yehoshua **Bin** Nun and not Yehoshua **Ben** Nun

The Torah refers to Yehoshua as Yehoshua Bin Nun. (See here for an example). Why Bin Nun and not Ben Nun? Are there any places in Tanach where he is referred to as Ben Nun? Is there anyone else in ...
3
votes
3answers
374 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 ...
10
votes
3answers
324 views

Referring to Non-Jews

What's the most diplomatic and politically correct way to refer to non-Jews. Both in conversation, and in terms of this site?
12
votes
2answers
251 views

Why is Yitzchak spelled with a “sin” in Tehillim 105:9?

I just came across this strange variant spelling this morning. I've been in the habit of reciting Tikkun HaKlali recently and saw this in Artscroll's Tehillim this past Shabbat. Thinking it was a ...
8
votes
2answers
138 views

Why is 'Rabbenu Tam' called Rabbenu Tam?

Rabbenu Tam's name was יעקב בן מאיר. Why then is he known as Rabbenu Tam?
8
votes
2answers
2k views

Etymology of the Name Feivel

Where does the Jewish name Feivel (or Feivish) come from? What does it actually mean?
6
votes
1answer
75 views

Identification of Rishon

Tosafos Rebbeinu Peretz (in Pesachim 38a) refers to הר"ר דיילקרויישא מאורליינש. Does anyone know who this is, or at least how his name is pronounced? (It looks like it could be "R' Delacroix of ...
7
votes
4answers
460 views

Etymology of the surname “Katz”

Are there sources for the etymology of the surname Katz being an acronym for Kohen Tzedek? Is that simply a backronym?
6
votes
2answers
229 views

Formal Hebrew honorific for one's mother

Many men, when going up for an aliya, tell the gabbai their name as, e.g. "Reuven ben Rav Yaakov", even if "Yaakov," the father, isn't actually a Rabbi." I believe the reason for this practice is to ...
4
votes
3answers
314 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?
6
votes
7answers
2k views

Why isn't “Adam” a traditional Hebrew name?

I can't think of many people who go by the Hebrew name Adam. Any guesses why?
3
votes
1answer
105 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 ...
5
votes
3answers
232 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 ...