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

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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 ...
10
votes
4answers
592 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 ...
12
votes
5answers
354 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?
6
votes
1answer
272 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 ...
10
votes
4answers
340 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.
6
votes
6answers
687 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 ...
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 ...
4
votes
5answers
748 views

ALL Names of God

Where can I find an exhaustive list of all of the names of Hashem (preferably שמות and כינוים) in Tanach and elsewhere? Is this too ill-defined a topic to have an exhaustive answer? Do the 70 in the ...
8
votes
3answers
249 views

Meforshim Nick"names

It has become common practice to refer to most meforshim by acronyms of their name (eg Rashi, Rosh, etc.). When and why did this practice start, and is it proper?
22
votes
4answers
613 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?
9
votes
2answers
350 views

מרדכי = Mord'chi?

When learning with Jews of the Syrian community, I noticed that they pronounced מרדכי (the name of the halachic commentary on the g'mara) as "mord'chi", as if the final vowel were a chirik. Why is ...
7
votes
1answer
487 views

Naming after the Patriarchs/Matriarchs and Biblical heroes

Nowadays it is very common for Jews to name their children after the Patriarchs, Matriarchs, and Biblical heroes. But it doesn't seem (to me) as though this was very common until well into the period ...
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 ...
9
votes
1answer
355 views

Mentioning Yeshu's name?

Is there a source for not verbally (or in writing, for that matter) mentioning the name of Yeshu (the father of Christianity)? If there is such a source, what exactly is forbidden to say? Is it only ...
20
votes
1answer
345 views

Is there any source for not sharing a baby's name before the bris?

For some reason, I have it ingrained in me that a baby boy's name before the bris is a secret and should not be shared. Are there any sources for this, or is it something made up?
14
votes
5answers
598 views

Prayer for Illness - Why use the mothers name?

Why when someone is sick do we say his mothers name not his father's?
11
votes
5answers
388 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 ...
6
votes
2answers
166 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 ...
6
votes
4answers
1k 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?
5
votes
4answers
462 views

Cheshvan or MarCheshvan?

The month of Cheshvan is called by many MarCheshvan. Are both correct or which one is more correct?
4
votes
1answer
129 views

Why refer to Isaac Luria as the Arizal, and not Arizatzal?

One of the common ways to refer to the R' Isaac Luria is "the Arizal". I understand this to mean, The Ari, zecher L'bracha (may he be mentioned/remembered for blessing). However, one usually refers ...
3
votes
1answer
129 views

Grandpa and Grandson together again [closed]

What are the names of TWO distinct grandfathers and their grandsons are mentioned in the weekday Shemoneh Esrei ?
9
votes
3answers
941 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
342 views

What was Avraham Avinu's mother's name?

What was Avraham Avinu's mother's name? Our shul received a paper with questions on Simhat Torah, with this question being one of the harder ones. Is there a midrash on her name?
5
votes
3answers
251 views

What are some examples of Jewish names? [closed]

What are Jewish sounding names that come from various occupations and locations? Please give the "rough" translation and background too.
4
votes
1answer
191 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 ...
1
vote
0answers
158 views

Any famous Jews named Muhammad, Mahmud, Mehmet, etc.?

There is a halacha that one may not name a child after an evildoer, a principle known as shem reshaim yirkav taken from Yoma 38b ("ועל בן קמצר וחביריו נאמר ושם רשעים ירקב", cf. Mishlei 10:7). Later ...
24
votes
2answers
514 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 ...
8
votes
1answer
242 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 ...
8
votes
1answer
867 views

What's wrong with using “Adoshem” for the name of G-d when singing?

If seen it written that many chazzanim use "Adoshem" when singing (if not in the davening) as it has the same number of syllables as what they would be saying, namely Ado-noi, but that this is ...
7
votes
3answers
203 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 ...
7
votes
3answers
223 views

Can a grandparent name a child differently than the parents?

We all know that Moshe Rabeinu had 7 names and was called Moshe which was the name Basya gave him. Recently I was in a Shul and there was a fellow there that had a grandaughter the previous week. The ...
6
votes
0answers
84 views

יהושע too soon [duplicate]

We all know that Moshe did not change הושע to יהושע until the story of the spies. Why in Beshalach, quite a bit before this, was his name written in full?
5
votes
4answers
285 views

Is there a Possuk in Tanach that starts with a Samech ס and ends with a Aleph א?

I have a relative with the name סימא and she has been unable to find a Possuk in Tanach that starts with a Samech ס and ends with a Aleph א. Is there such a Possuk?
2
votes
1answer
165 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
831 views

What does “Baruch shem k'vod malchuso l'olam vaed” mean?

A sentence commonly said during prayer is "בָּרוּךְ שֵׁם כְּבוֹד מַלְכוּתוֹ לְעוֹלָם וָעֶד". How do we interpret it? What does it mean? It sounds like it means: Blessed is/be the name of the ...
19
votes
2answers
357 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 ...
16
votes
6answers
442 views

Silent letter in Yisachar

Why don't we pronounce the second ש in יששכר?
12
votes
2answers
2k views

What is the significance of bears in Judaism? Why has Dov (or Dov Ber) been such a common Jewish name?

I understand, to some extent at least, why lions are an important symbol in Judaism. After all, in the beginning of the Shulchan Aruch we are told we should rise like a lion to serve our Creator, and ...
3
votes
2answers
1k views

How many Maccabees were there and what were their names?

How many Maccabees were there and what were their names?
16
votes
2answers
473 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 ...
15
votes
2answers
445 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 ...
8
votes
2answers
535 views

Naming your child using a dead relative's initial

Is there a Jewish tradition of naming your child using the first letter of the name of a recently deceased relative?
7
votes
2answers
129 views

Why identify personalities in midrash?

As noted previously on this site (quoting Mail-Jewish), there's a general tendency in midrashim to claim two persons in Tanach are the same. This is familiar to anyone who has studied Rashi's ...
7
votes
2answers
346 views

Modern Hebrew/Yiddish Names

I heard recently that Rabbi Chaim Kanievsky Shlita said that one should not name their children with modern hebrew names such as Shira and one should only give names from Tanach. I was also told that ...
7
votes
1answer
321 views

What was the name of Rivka's mother?

Unnamed women in the Torah, so far: Noach's wife-Naama, Yishmoel's wife-Riva, Lot's wife-Iris, any suggestions for Rivka's mother? she is mentioned many times in this weeks sedra but not by name
7
votes
2answers
428 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 ...
7
votes
2answers
215 views

Which Amora is mentioned most often in the Gemara?

Which Amora is mentioned most often throughout Talmud Bavli?
6
votes
1answer
165 views

Honorific for a non-Jew

My question is somewhat simple: is there an honorific for particularly righteous, deceased non-Jews? Related: is זכרונו לברכה ever used for non-Jews? I don't recall ever having seen this. EDIT: I ...
6
votes
7answers
2k views

Why isn't “Adam” a traditional Hebrew name?

I can't think of many people who go by the Hebrew name Adam. Any guesses why?