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

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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 ...
3
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1answer
72 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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1answer
601 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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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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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 ...
3
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3answers
213 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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1answer
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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78 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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100 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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75 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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43 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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3answers
88 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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136 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
81 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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1answer
76 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
89 views

Naming a baby after a living non-relative

As an Ashkenazi Jew, can I name my child after someone who is alive if they are not a relative or are you not supposed to name a child after the living, regardless of your relationship with them or ...
3
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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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1answer
78 views

Margaliyos family tree

Many famous rabbanim have had the last name מרגליות. A couple that come to mind are ר' ראובן מרגליות and ר' אפרים מרגליות. Are they related? Where could I find genealogical information on such people? ...
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52 views

Celebrate 5 Iyar; not “Yom HaAtzmaut”?

Do any religious-zionist figures (or anyone else for that matter) advocate the commemoration of 5 Iyar but reject the adoption by the religious community of the name "Yom HaAtzma'ut" - "Independence ...
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52 views

Is the name Rami mentioned in the gemarah the full version?

I am trying to ascertain if the name "Rami" is a Jewish one. If rabbis in the Babylonian Talmud are named Rami then that would be a good indication. There are at least 3 Ramis found in the gemarah: ...
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192 views

Prayer for changing name for transgender reasons? [closed]

I am a transgender man and I would like to change my Hebrew and English names. Are there any specific prayers to go along with this, or any specific rules that I should be aware of? Thank you.
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49 views

Confused on Nahor and Haran

In Genesis 11, we are shown that Abram, Nahor, and Haran are brothers. Haran dies in Ur. Then, Abram and other family members travel now to a city called Haran (a bit confusing, but okay. Did they ...
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112 views

Jacob's Dual Names and Wives

The third Patriarch's birth name was Jacob. He is given another name, Israel, in Genesis 32. Jacob had two primary wives; Leah and Rachel. I have heard the idea that the Rachel was the betrothed ...
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28 views

Expounding a student's name

The Gemara in Berachos 39a has the following account: תני תנא קמיה דרב נחמן בר יצחק מניח הפרוסה בתוך השלמה ובוצע ומברך אמר ליה מה שמך א"ל שלמן א"ל שלום אתה ושלמה משנתך ששמת שלום בין התלמידים ...
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70 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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167 views

Non-Jew who takes a Jewish name

Let's say someone goes through an invalid conversion, and now they incorrectly think they are Jewish. They pick a Jewish name for themselves, and they are called up to the Torah by that name and use ...
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34 views

Grammatical origins of names in Tanach

Almost all nouns in Hebrew fit into one of several standard "templates". For example, מִבְחָן comes from the root בחנ combined with the pattern מִפְעָל (already used by many other words). There would ...
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80 views

Why don't Ramaniote Jews use the hei in names?

I am named after my grandfather and great grandfather on my mother's side, both of whom were Ramaniote. My name, therefore, is "Avram Mosh" (אברם מוש) instead of "Avraham Moshe" (אברהם משה). I've been ...
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0answers
50 views

saying the word “Jesus” [duplicate]

The standard practice seems to be avoiding saying the word "Jesus" due to the halacha of שם רשעים ירקב, but some people seem to be willing to say it. Is there a heter for this? (Also, would this heter ...
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104 views

Anywhere in Tanach where brothers-in-law have the same name?

Is there anywhere in Tanach where brothers-in-law have the same name? Either two sisters married men with the same name, or a woman married someone with the same name as her brother. There is a ...
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0answers
180 views

Origin of Yisha'yahu (Isaiah/יְשַׁעְיָהוּ)'s name

Does Jewish tradition teach us anything that might explain the origin of the name Yisha'yahu/Isaiah/יְשַׁעְיָהוּ? I am referring to the prophet who bore the name. If his name means, as it seems to, ...
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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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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
87 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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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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0answers
34 views

What are the halachot of identity theft or misrepresentation online? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: False portrayal on an anonymous Q&A site Is using a misleading name or avatar online halachically permissible?
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4answers
224 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"
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2answers
188 views

Christmas and Ex-mas

Why do some Jews refer to Christmas as Ex-mas? Is there anything wrong in Jews saying Christmas?
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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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2answers
311 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?
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2answers
209 views

Is IshBoshet, Saul's son, his real original name?

Boshet means shameful or abomination. Did his parents name him that? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ish-bosheth In short, the question is whether that's his original name.
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3answers
85 views

Is the name Kadesh a verb, and is Kodesh the proper way of spelling it?

My name is Kadesh, and I just finished getting my name trashed by some people saying my name is not a valid Jewish name because it is a verb...is that actually a problem with a Jewish name, and should ...
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1answer
246 views

The male name Yona

It is most common for the name Yona to be used for males. There are many female Yona's too. In Parshas Noach the Pasuk says V'Hayona Lo Motzo Monoach which is a Loshon Nekeiva (female dialect). How ...
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1answer
138 views

Why is the Mountain Sinai called Chorev as well?

I was studying today parashat ha shavua (Devorim) and it is written there that Jews went from the Mountain of Chorev. Why is not called Sinai? What significance lies behind this name?
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1answer
72 views

Why does the Gemara sometimes use the word Ben and sometimes use the word Bar?

Why does the Talmud sometimes refer to someone as Ploni ben Ploni, and other times as Ploni bar Ploni? Classic example: In Bava Batra 14b the gemara says Rabbi Shimon ben Yocahi In Bar Ilan's ...
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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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1answer
68 views

Source of the name Achira - What did עינן have against his brother?

The nasi of Shevet Naftali's name was Achira (אחירע), which translates to "my brother is evil." What did Enan (his father) have against his brother, that he should give his son such a name?
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1answer
269 views

Is Rami a legitimate Jewish name?

It seems like it is only used as a nickname for Avraham or Rakhamim, but can the name Rami be given to a Jewish male? I've seen the name given to rabbis in the gemarah (Rami Bar Hama and Rami Bar ...
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3answers
755 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
184 views

Pronunciation of Esther's cousin's name.

I have seen a couple of places where Mordechai’s name is spelled with a kamatz katan under the daled. Has anyone else seen this and do you know which is more accurate: Mordechai/ Mordachai/ Mordochai ...