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

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11
votes
2answers
189 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
36 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 ...
-1
votes
1answer
22 views

What is the meaning of surnames that number-related? [on hold]

I deal a lot with names, whether given names or family names, especially as I collect genealogical information. So recently I'm puzzled about some Germanic-Jewish names that are related to numbers. ...
10
votes
4answers
566 views

Is it permissible to name one's child with a name from the opposite gender?

Is a person allowed to name a boy with a girl's name and vice versa? I remember seeing that one musn't, although in Nach one finds these things a lot. I understand it is not best practice for ...
0
votes
1answer
54 views

Sigmund Freud's Jewish Name

What was the eminent Psychologist, and father of Psychoanalysis' Jewish Name (as when they called him up to the Torah)?
1
vote
0answers
21 views

From where do we know that Yaakov has the spirit of prophecy when referred to as Yisroel?

The Torah frequently shifts in references to Yaakov. I have heard that it refers to him as Yisroel when he is experiencing prophecy, and as Yaakov when his prophetic abilities are lacking, as they ...
5
votes
0answers
49 views

What is the proper hebrew pronunciation of Rav Hirsch's first name?

Among the Modern Orthodox I hear Rav Hirsch's name only said in its English form ("Samson"). Amongst the Yeshivish I hear the form "Shamshon." My question is, was his Hebrew name Shamshon or Shimshon? ...
7
votes
2answers
1k views

What is the original meaning of the world “hevel”?

I am not religious myself, but lately I have found myself somewhat attracted to Ecclesiastes. Reading about it, I am fascinated about what seems to be endless meanings and interpretations of the word ...
5
votes
1answer
62 views

Can a Jew name a child after a (deceased) non-Jew (non-relative)?

Can a Jew name a child after a (deceased) non-Jew (non-relative)? Is there any prohibition against it?
1
vote
0answers
56 views

How does “Jezebel” translate into English? [closed]

I've heard some Christian ministries preach that the name-word "Jezebel" can be translated into modern English as: "One with whom there is no cohabitation" They then later expound that the "women's ...
4
votes
0answers
61 views

Does a Kohen have to be concerned about the surname of a potential mate?

In this question various surnames are explored that are strongly associated with being a Kohein. Some of them are rather unambiguously chosen simply because the chooser wanted to indicate their ...
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 ...
6
votes
4answers
867 views

What was the name of Rachel and Leah's mother?

What was the name of Lavan's wife, the mother of Rachel and Leah?
3
votes
0answers
103 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
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 ...
9
votes
3answers
882 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 ...
21
votes
4answers
582 views

Am I allowed to give my kid a non-Hebrew (non-Jewish?) name?

I'd seen some poster that said it's horribly wrong to ever give your kid a non-Jewish/non-Hebrew name. Is that the norm?
0
votes
2answers
51 views

Naming Kids Similar to Living Relative

In Ashkenazik circles, can a child be named similar to a living grandparent? How close is too close? Examples: David & Davida Mira & Meira Chana & Chanan Gila & Gilaad Misha & ...
7
votes
0answers
77 views

Why are the names of some Masechtot in Aramaic while others are in Hebrew?

I noticed that the names of some Masechtot have an Aramaic plural ending - nun - such as "Gittin", while others have a Hebrew ending - mem - such as "Bikurim". Was there some pattern or logic in ...
1
vote
2answers
43 views

Who or what was Gilaad?

In parshas pinchas ch 26 vs 29 we find Menasheh had a son Machir who had a son Gilaad (גלעד). In fact this family group was called "Gilaadi" (גלעדי). At the end of parshas Matos ch 32 vs 39 - 40 we ...
3
votes
0answers
20 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 ...
5
votes
0answers
63 views

I forget his name. Now what?

If someone was given the name of a sick person to daven for them, and when they get to refa'enu (blessing for healing) they can only remember the person's name but not their mother's name, how should ...
0
votes
1answer
30 views

The Priest-King's name

In Kings II ch. 15, עזריה, Azariah son of Amaziah is said to reign over Judah. During his reign he is stricken with leprosy and lives out his days in this state, while his son Jotham rules in his ...
1
vote
2answers
34 views

The Tyrian Smith's Name

Kings I ch. 7 tells of Solomon enlisting a Tyrian smith named חירם, Hiram to fashion many implements that were used in the Temple. Chronicles II ch. 2 speaks of the King of Tyre sending a smith named ...
22
votes
2answers
2k views

Abbreviations before/after names

What are the more common abbreviations one might see printed before or after a person's name, and what do they mean? Please include honorifics (R'=Rabbi) as well as memorial - or prayerful - suffixes ...
2
votes
2answers
87 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 ...
7
votes
2answers
64 views

Given name of Rabbi Yose

What was the given name of Rabbi Yose? Was it Yosef or Yose? If it was Yose, is that a derivative of Yosef, or a totally different name with some other meaning or significance?
5
votes
2answers
612 views

What's the source for naming children after Alexander the Great?

I know many Jews whose actual bris-given name is Alexander, and this has been a popular name even among great tzaddikim of the past (such as R. Alexander Ziskind). I've heard a legend (mentioned on ...
1
vote
0answers
30 views

Source for multiple names [duplicate]

What is the source of giving multiple names? Who is the earliest person who had two given names? Any Tannah Amorah or Rishon? Note that I am aware that people in tanach (Moshe Avraham etc.) as well ...
6
votes
0answers
63 views

Children's Names

I noticed a lot of times in the TaNaKh, how children were given specific names for a specific reason. Take Binyamin for example, his original name at birth was "Benoni" (son of my sorrow) but his ...
2
votes
0answers
68 views

Names of Tanaim and Amoraim

A friend mentioned to me that there are no Tanaim or Amoraim named Avraham, Moshe or Dovid and that there was "some torah" on this fact, but he couldn't remember what it was. Is there any source for ...
0
votes
1answer
68 views

Sources for Mashiach's Name

I know that Mashiach's name is mentioned in several sources, perhaps the majority of these sources are Midrashim (correct me if I'm wrong). But anyone know where I can find this subject commented ...
4
votes
2answers
113 views

Niqqud of the name of the מהר"ץ חיות

What is the correct niqqud to put on the name of the מהר"ץ חיות? Wikipedia claims that his last name is spelled Chajes in English, and that Chayes or Hayot may also be seen. This seems to imply that ...
1
vote
1answer
84 views

Jebediah​​​ (?)

Some claim that Jebediah is a Hebrew name. Is it a Jewish name? Either way; what does/would it mean, and how is it/would it be spelled and pronounced in Hebrew?
12
votes
5answers
348 views

Naming after bad people

Why have there been famous(ly righteous) Jewish people named after Yishma'el, who, Chaza"l tell us, was evil and an enemy of Jews? Has anything similar happened with Esav? Korach? Others?
2
votes
1answer
58 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 ...
16
votes
8answers
1k views

Phrasing of refuah prayer when praying for a non-Jew

How would you phrase a refuah (recovery from illness) tefillah (prayer) for a sick gentile? "Thomas ben [=son of] Mary"? "Thomas Smith"? Is it appropriate to include the name during the ...
4
votes
1answer
87 views

Why were some Jews called Yishmael? [duplicate]

Why is it that we find Jews (and even sages) by the name Yishmael? It seems rather strange that we would choose to name our children after someone who was the progenitor of a nation seen to be an ...
1
vote
1answer
770 views

Complete list of verses corresponding to people's names?

There is a custom to say a verse corresponding to ones name at the end of the Amidah, as a Segulah not to forget his name on the day of Judgement. There are several sources for this practice, ...
1
vote
1answer
75 views

Giving a child the same name as a living distant relative

The Ashkenazi custom is not to give one's child a name shared by another living close relative. How close is too close? Can you give a child a name possessed by his/her (living) cousin? Second cousin? ...
2
votes
0answers
39 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 ...
1
vote
0answers
48 views

Titles and prefixes for calling people up to the Torah

When people are called up to the Torah by name, often there is a title that goes with them, such as "ha-bachur" for a young man, "ha-rav" for a rabbi (and/or someone with semicha), and other such ...
7
votes
3answers
195 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 ...
3
votes
0answers
39 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
83 views

What type of name should an androgynous be given?

An androgynous that has both signs of a male and female, should they be given a female name, a male name, or a "neutral" name (like "simcha" or "yona".) Is there any makor for this? (I realize this ...
2
votes
0answers
34 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 ...
6
votes
2answers
118 views

Is there a limit to the number of names you can give someone?

I have two Hebrew names. One of my sons has 3. Many people I know have 3; someone I called to the Torah had 4. At 3, people who have to address you often, (rebbes, teachers) seem to get confused. ...
3
votes
0answers
118 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 ...
4
votes
0answers
58 views

Are there any name combinations that may not be used?

Are there any combinations of names that may not be given? There are many names which aren't commonly paired together but is there any reason not to or just common practice and preference?
1
vote
1answer
29 views

Is there any reason why some people's names in Tana"ch include their grandfather (or beyond)?

In most cases, when peole's names are mentioned in Tana"ch only their and their father's names are mentioned (e.g. - Yehoshu'a bin Nun). In some cases, the grandfather is also mentioned (e.g. - ...