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

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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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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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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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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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147 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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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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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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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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100 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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139 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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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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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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85 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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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 ...
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33 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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Why “בְּנֵי עַמּוֹן”?

Genesis 19:37–38 (JPS): וַתֵּלֶד הַבְּכִירָה בֵּן וַתִּקְרָא שְׁמוֹ מוֹאָב הוּא אֲבִי מוֹאָב עַד הַיּוֹם. וְהַצְּעִירָה גַם הִוא יָלְדָה בֵּן וַתִּקְרָא שְׁמוֹ בֶּן עַמִּי הוּא אֲבִי בְנֵי ...
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4answers
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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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160 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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192 views

Why is the name 'Yerushalayim' absent from the Torah?

Bereishit Rabbah (56:10) tells us that Yerushalayim was named as a unification of Avraham's "Yireh" after the akeidah and Malkhitzedek (who was really Shem) who greeted Avraham after saving Lot who ...
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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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251 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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199 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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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
64 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
228 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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63 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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175 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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513 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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179 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 ...
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170 views

Yarden's River Name

Why is it called ירדן?
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“Lamah zeh tish'al l'shmi” — zeh shmi

Bereishit 32:30 וַיִּשְׁאַל יַעֲקֹב וַיֹּאמֶר הַגִּידָה נָּא שְׁמֶךָ וַיֹּאמֶר לָמָּה זֶּה תִּשְׁאַל לִשְׁמִי וַיְבָרֶךְ אֹתוֹ שָׁם is usually translated as: And Jacob asked and said, "Now ...
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101 views

Secular Names for Days of the Week

Is there a problem using the secular names for the days of the week? If so, is it 1) because they originally come from Polytheistic gods or 2) simply because the people forbidding them are of the ...
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141 views

What Set Oholiab and Bezalel apart?

In Exodus 31, Gd designates Bezalel son of Uri son of Hur the Judite, Oholiab son of Ahisamach the Danite, and 'all the wise-hearted' to construct the tabernacle. Why are Bezalel and Oholiab ...
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248 views

Is the last name Logan Jewish?

My last maiden name is Logan and I want to know if I am of Jewish descent. Logan was my grandmother's last name and she was from New York. I attend synangogue on Saturday having always been drawn to ...
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63 views

How is סדר טהרות properly pronounced or pointed?

The last seder of the Mishnah is טהרות, but I can find no agreement on the vowels for this word. Some variations I have seen: טְהָרוֹת טַהֲרוֹת טָהֳרוֹת There may be others. Which answer makes the ...
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223 views

Who was Naomi's Father?

Inspired by this comment here what information do we have on Naomi's father (from Megillas Rus)? Apparently his name was Avi-Naomi but was that his real name before Naomi was born? Who was his ...
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Why is it called “Eden”?

God planted a garden in Eden (Genesis 2:8). Why is it called Eden? I don't see that any of the commentaries in my mikraos g'dolos discuss this.
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127 views

When an adopted child is called to the torah, how are they named?

When an adopted child is called up for an aliyah, how are they referred to? Are they called ben-(adopted parents' name) or something else? Are there any qualifiers involved? I'm given to understand ...
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1answer
178 views

Feminizing Biblical names?

Masculine names such as Daniel, Joseph, and Michael have feminized forms: Danielle/Daniela, Josephine/Josephina, Michelle/Michaela/Mikayla. I've heard that when choosing a name for a baby, you ...
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chassan/kallah signing the kesubah or tenaaim

I have seen bridegrooms and brides sign their names on their kesuba or tenaaim (prenup) before the chuppah (wedding ceremony). It seems maybe to be a chassidish custom, though I'm not sure. Is there ...
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75 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 ...
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205 views

Who was Nehorai?

Is anything known about the Tanna named Nehorai? He had a son R' Yosei (also a Tanna). There's also a R' Nehorai ben Shemayah (or Shema'yah? I'm not sure). Are they the same person? Is anything known ...
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48 views

Why are 2 Midianites mentioned in the Torah named “bird”?

There are two Midianites mentioned in the Torah that are both named "bird": Tziporah - Moses' wife Tzipor - Balak's father This does not seem coincidental to me. Was it common for Midianites at ...
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84 views

Yaakov asking for the angel's name

After struggling with the angel Yaakov wanted to know what the angel's name was (Bereishit 32:30): וַיִּשְׁאַל יַעֲקֹב, וַיֹּאמֶר הַגִּידָה-נָּא שְׁמֶךָ, וַיֹּאמֶר, לָמָּה זֶּה תִּשְׁאַל ...
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Why name Yitzchak after something that is perhaps negative?

The episode in Bereishit 18:12-25 of Sarah laughing at the news of having a child in a year is often seen as a negative thing. יב וַתִּצְחַק שָׂרָה, בְּקִרְבָּהּ לֵאמֹר: אַחֲרֵי בְלֹתִי ...
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57 views

Number then Names

וְאֵת שְׁנֵי בָנֶיהָ אֲשֶׁר שֵׁם הָאֶחָד גֵּרְשֹׁם כִּי אָמַר גֵּר הָיִיתִי בְּאֶרֶץ נָכְרִיָּה וְשֵׁם הָאֶחָד אֱלִיעֶזֶר כִּי אֱלֹהֵי אָבִי בְּעֶזְרִי וַיַּצִּלֵנִי מֵחֶרֶב פַּרְעֹה Why tell us how ...
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152 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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41 views

Naming children after opposite gender [duplicate]

Are there any issues with naming a boy after a woman, or a girl after a man? We do see many examples of people making male names more feminine e.g. Daniella, Gavriella. I once heard that the latter ...
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47 views

Is there a reference that explains the literal meaning and etymology of the names of the Hebrew months?

Is there a reference that explains the literal meaning and etymology of the names of the Hebrew months? I am looking for something that explains both the common Babylonian names as well as the Tana"ch ...
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81 views

What was the name of Sarah's mother?

Seder Hadoros mentions Avraham's mother, how old Nachor was when Sarah was born, and even a Peshat that Lot was her brother, though no mention of Sarah's mother's name. Any other sources that mention ...