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

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9
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3answers
411 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 ...
15
votes
4answers
294 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
votes
1answer
299 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 ...
11
votes
3answers
506 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
124 views

Formulation of name(s) when praying for non-Jews

When praying for non-Jews, how should one formulate the name of the sick individual if he or she has a Hebrew-derived (vernacular) name? Eg., Jack ben Rebecca vs. Ya'akov ben Rivkah?
1
vote
1answer
73 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
votes
1answer
235 views

Why isn't Shimson's mother named?

Why isn't Shimson's mother named in Pesukim that tell the story? She is featured rather prominently, and the angel appears to her before speaking with both her and Manoaḥ. It would stand to reason ...
4
votes
3answers
230 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?
4
votes
2answers
180 views

Parasha named after Balak?

I've heard from Harav Mansour Shelit"a as well as other Hachamim that Yitro was rewarded by getting a Parasha named by him. With that in mind, why did Balak get a Parasha named after him?
12
votes
3answers
269 views

Why name but five creations?

God is described as creating many things in B'reshis chapter 1: animals, people, stars, plants, etc. However, about only five of his creations does it say that he called them by a name: "וַיִּקְרָא ...
8
votes
4answers
439 views

Can a man and woman with the same name marry each other?

Suppose you have a man named Simcha. May he marry a woman named Simcha? (sources)
4
votes
1answer
298 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 ...
10
votes
3answers
241 views

Is there value in gender-adapted names?

There are various Hebrew names in use that are feminizations of pre-existing masculine names. (The opposite case may exist as well, but I can't think of any examples.) Examples: Yaakova Rafaella ...
5
votes
1answer
155 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 ...
12
votes
3answers
348 views

When/where did the practice of “recycling” names begin?

Perhaps this had never bothered anyone in the past, but for someone like myself who delves into genealogy, the fact that there are family naming patterns is a great boon. Of course, we can go only so ...
6
votes
2answers
183 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 ...
9
votes
1answer
240 views

Names of the books of Tanakh

When did the books of Tanakh get their canonical names? I understand that Five Books of the Torah were named after the first words in them, and that most of Navi was named after their authors, but ...
5
votes
1answer
77 views

Was the tana Rebbi Meir blind?

I have heard that the name Meir (lit:enlightening) is actually a "lashon naki" because he was actually blind. Similar to "sagi nahor". Is there any source for this notion that Rebbi Meir was blind?
3
votes
2answers
225 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 ...
4
votes
0answers
94 views

The father's or mother's name in the “Ribbono Shel Olam” (Yom Tov)

In the "Ribonno Shel Olam" prayer which we say on Yom Tov prior to taking out the Torah, there seems to be a major difference of opinion between certain siddurim (prayer books). Some have the ...
2
votes
1answer
281 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 ...
17
votes
2answers
524 views

What was wrong with the word Talmud?

The Wikipedia article on The Talmud says: and Pope Pius IV commanded, in 1565, that the Talmud be deprived of its very name. The convention of referring to the work as "Shas" (shishah sidre ...
5
votes
2answers
146 views

Why didn't they call her Mara?

Naomi returns to Israel and tells people to call her Mara cause God has embittered her life (Ruth 1:20). But no one actually ends up calling her Mara. Is a person allowed to change her name for non-...
3
votes
0answers
36 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?
11
votes
2answers
764 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" ...
15
votes
1answer
244 views

Calling a father Abba, when his name is Abba

May a child call his father Abba - if his name is Abba?
14
votes
1answer
426 views

Time-frame for naming a newborn girl

I have heard many differing Minhagim as to the time-frame for naming a newborn girl. There are those that name at the first possible opportunity and some that wait till the second Shabbos. Many others ...
6
votes
1answer
152 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.
16
votes
2answers
638 views

How do you pray for a sick baby who has not yet been named?

Is it possible to say a Mi SheBerach for a sick baby who has not yet been named? If so, how is it done? And if one cannot say a Mi SheBerach, is there another prayer that can be said? What if there ...
-3
votes
1answer
169 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 ...
10
votes
2answers
704 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
201 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
133 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 ...
7
votes
1answer
153 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
104 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).
0
votes
1answer
242 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
153 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
222 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.
25
votes
2answers
655 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
107 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
228 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 ...
8
votes
2answers
681 views

Why Do Converts Change Their Names?

Rabbi Avigdor Miller said that it used to be that gerim (converts) and baalei teshuvah (repentants) who had been given non-Jewish names did not change their names when they became part of the Jewish ...
19
votes
2answers
406 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 ...
2
votes
0answers
77 views

Was Bar Kochva disemboweled?

The gemarah in Gittin, 57a, details a story of "bar d'roma" who performs miraculous feats in defending the Jews before meeting his demise by being disemboweled by a snake (similar to the end of Bar ...
14
votes
5answers
364 views

Rabba bar bar Chana

There is a rabbi in the Talmud referred to as רבה בר בר חנה. Why is he called that way? It says that Rabba was the grandson of Chana. Who was Chana? Was it(?) a woman? Why wasn't he called after his ...
8
votes
1answer
301 views

Jewish names commonly used in a different form than found in Tanach

Some names are popularly used in a different form than the way they're spelled or pronounced in Tanach. A few that I can think of are: Nochum (נָחוּם) - is written in Tanach (Nah. 1:1) as נַחוּם (...
5
votes
1answer
151 views

Rashi's apparent internal confusion over יתרו/רְעוּאֵל

Per Bamidbar 10:29 (see below), חֹבָב בֶּן רְעוּאֵל was the father-in-law of מֹשֶׁה. There, רש"י asks why רְעוּאֵל is referred to in Shemoth 2:18 as the "father" of בנות יתרו, and he answers that ...
10
votes
1answer
329 views

Why don't we name children Yitro?

Yitro appears to be an overall positive character in the Torah. At least as much as Noah or Saul, yet I do not know of contemporary (or even ancient) Jews named Yitro. Why is that?
4
votes
3answers
448 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 ...
9
votes
1answer
226 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?