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

learn more… | top users | synonyms (2)

5
votes
3answers
290 views

Why masechet “Beitza”?

Why do we call it masechet Beitza now, and not masechet Yom Tov, as was apparently once common? Unlike the parshiot, which are named after their first words, masechtot are all named after topics, ...
6
votes
1answer
135 views

Root of the name Aharon

What is the etymology of the name Aharon? The only serious site I've found that proposes an etymology is this, but I'm hoping for a more classical source, i.e. Chazal or Rishonim.
-3
votes
1answer
145 views

Founders of Jewish movements [closed]

The Baal Shem Tov was the founder of the Hasidic Movement, Rabbi Israel Salanter was the founder of the Musar Movement, and Theodor Herzl was the founder of the Zionist Movement. What are other ...
8
votes
2answers
478 views

Why can't Ploni Almoni be a real name, in Ruth?

The verse states (Ruth 4:1): וּבֹעַז עָלָה הַשַּׁעַר, וַיֵּשֶׁב שָׁם, וְהִנֵּה הַגֹּאֵל עֹבֵר אֲשֶׁר דִּבֶּר-בֹּעַז, וַיֹּאמֶר סוּרָה שְׁבָה-פֹּה פְּלֹנִי אַלְמֹנִי; וַיָּסַר, וַיֵּשֵׁב Now Boaz ...
2
votes
1answer
176 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
127 views

Bible inerrancy and the Ashbaal→Ishboshet change

In another answer, someone said that Rashi thinks Ashbaal is changed to Ishboshet (sorry for spelling) as derogatory to the baal. So Ishboshet's real name is Ashbaal but then some scribes changed ...
11
votes
5answers
394 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 ...
7
votes
1answer
141 views

Plural vs Singular masechtot names

Why are some masechtot names plural (e.g. gitin, kidushin) while others are singular (e.g. tomid, nida and shabos)?
8
votes
1answer
84 views

Hamaor Hagadol vs Hakatan (books)

R. Zerachiah ha-Levi composed a comentary on Rif, named "Sefer Hamaor". Why is it split into "Hamaor Hagadol" (on Noshim and Nezikin) and "Hamaor Hakatan" (on Zroim, Mo'ed and Chullin).
8
votes
1answer
144 views

Unique signature of the Chida

The Chida has a very unique signature. What is the significance of this signature (if any)? Is it in any way related to the seven kabbalistic seals? Are there other similarly unusual signatures by ...
0
votes
1answer
129 views

Extra yud in Yerushalaim

Why and by whom was there a yud added to make "ירושלים" instead of the original "ירושלם"?
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 ...
4
votes
1answer
151 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?
2
votes
2answers
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.
23
votes
2answers
533 views

How does a son call up his father for an Aliyah?

Suppose a son is the Gabbai in a Shul and needs to call up his father for an aliyah (or his brother who is the son of his father). Does the son say his father's name? Does he say something else ...
5
votes
1answer
99 views

Midlife Name Crisis

If someone lives their entire life under the assumption that their name is X, and suddenly finds out that their name is Y, are there serious halachic ramifications that can result? More specifically, ...
3
votes
3answers
198 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
184 views

Lot's Wife: The Salt Lady

What was the name of Lot's wife?
19
votes
2answers
368 views

Naming after the living. Why is it considered bad?

This is a fairly straight forward question. I am under the impression that this is bad. This is why you don't see many Moishe Abromowitz, III. Why is this bad, and why isn't that practice carried ...
11
votes
5answers
240 views

Males named מיכל?

Where does the male name מיכל (as in יחיאל מיכל) come from? Is it a diminutive/corruption/translation/elision of מיכאל, derived therefrom in some other way, or simply a false cognate?
3
votes
2answers
1k views
5
votes
2answers
208 views

What is the greatest number of pages (daf) you can go in the Babylonian Talmud without encountering Abayei or Rava?

What is the greatest number of pages (daf) you can go in the Babylonian Talmud without encountering Abayei or Rava? I've heard it was 3?
3
votes
3answers
275 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 ...
3
votes
3answers
289 views

Why is Parshas Beshalach called Shabbos Shira?

Most people know that we read Az Yashir on Shabbos Shira and we put out bread for the birds. However this is the only Shabbos that has a special name simply because of what we read in the Parsha. ...
10
votes
4answers
349 views

Jewish names that are not common

Why is it that many names of Tanoim and Amoroim are not commonly used? These were big Tzadikkim yet their names are almost unheard of. For example Tarfon, Chisda, Pupa, Avtalion, etc.
9
votes
1answer
207 views

Why was Rabbi Yitzchok Alfasi known as the Rif - rather than the Ria? (הרי"ף - רבי יצחק אלפסי)

Rabbi Yitzchok Alfasi was known as the Rif. The Roshei Teivos of his name is רי"א, and as far as I know there is no other historic figure known as the רי"א. Then why was he known as the Rif?
7
votes
1answer
136 views

“There they buried Yitzchak” — not “my father”?

"What is awe" of a parent? asks Shulchan Aruch Yore Dea 240:2. It includes, SA answers, that one shall not call [his parent] by [the latter's] name, neither during [the parent]'s life, nor in his ...
4
votes
1answer
107 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 ...
13
votes
4answers
999 views

Did Moshe have an earlier name?

Moshe was given his name by Pharaoh's daughter after she drew him from the water. However, Moshe was already three months old when this happened. Did he have a name before Pharaoh's daughter found ...
6
votes
2answers
171 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
693 views

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

What is the meaning and source of the name Pesil or Pesa or Pesha?
2
votes
4answers
213 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"
4
votes
3answers
126 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
72 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, ...
6
votes
1answer
290 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 ...
7
votes
1answer
617 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 ...
6
votes
2answers
288 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 ...
6
votes
2answers
484 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?
8
votes
1answer
220 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: ...
11
votes
1answer
470 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
113 views

cities that start with ה־

There are a good number of cities referred to in Y'hoshua, of course, and a sizable percentage (I'm guesstimating about 5%) of them start with ה־‏‎ (most famously הָעַי‎, I think).What ...
5
votes
1answer
127 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 ...
7
votes
3answers
355 views

Are the names Akiva and Ya'akov related?

Are the names Akiva and Ya'akov related?
3
votes
1answer
223 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
500 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.
4
votes
1answer
171 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
111 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 ...
6
votes
6answers
761 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 ...
6
votes
2answers
89 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
425 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 ...