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25 votes

What is the most-shared name in the Torah? In Tanach?

It turns out the most common name in the Tanach is Zecharayahu: A Kohen in the time of David (Divrei Hayamim 1:15:24) A Levite in the time of David (Divrei Hayamim 1:15:18) A gate-keeper in Ohel ...
Harel13's user avatar
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18 votes

What is the process called to become a Rabbi?

Semikhah is the name of the process through which a rabbi is ordained in Rabbinic Judaism.
veAnx's user avatar
  • 239
17 votes

What is the source for: One shouldn't name a baby using names from before Abraham

Pitchei Teshuva YD 265:6 עיין בשו"ת תשובה מאהבה ח"א סימן ל"ה שאין להקפיד מלקרות שמות כשמות שהיה קודם אברהם אבינו ע"ה דלא כהמבי"ט ח"א סי' רע"ו שכתב דאין ראוי לקרוא ...
Double AA's user avatar
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14 votes
Accepted

First use of modern names for books of Torah

Sefer B'Reshit: the Yerushalmi (Sotah 1:10) already refers to it as Sefer B'reshit. This is also found in the Zohar (Raya Mehemna Vol. II Parashat Mishpatim 119b). Sefer Sh'mot: The Midrash Lekah Tov (...
mevaqesh's user avatar
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14 votes

Using the name Allah

Having grown up in Egypt and knowing Arabic, I can tell you that Jews (like Muslims) freely use "Allah" in conversation to refer to God, although it is frequently replaced by "Rabbena" (Our Master). ...
Maurice Mizrahi's user avatar
13 votes

In the Talmud, who is Plimo?

The Sefer Yuchasin mentions Plimo as someone in the times of Rebbe. This is echoed in the Seder Hadoros, and R. Reuven Margoliot in his investigation into Talmudic names and nicknames (לחקר שמות ...
Alex's user avatar
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12 votes

Is there any attestation to the name “יעל” spelled with an Aleph?

A Midrash in Vayikra Rabba (23:10) teaches: שְׁלשָׁה הֵם שֶׁבָּרְחוּ מִן הָעֲבֵרָה וְשִׁתֵּף הַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא שְׁמוֹ עִמָּהֶם, וְאֵלּוּ הֵן: יוֹסֵף וְיָעֵל וּפַלְטִי. יוֹסֵף מִנַּיִן, ...
Oliver's user avatar
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12 votes

If I want to be a Jew, can I take any name from the Tanakh?

There is no law (halacha) requiring a convert to choose a certain name. So it would appear as well from a responsum of one of our great authorities, R. Asher b. Jehiel (§15:4). Examples of converts ...
Oliver's user avatar
  • 12k
12 votes
Accepted

Why did Esav nickname his wife Yehudis?

The Gemarah (Megillah 13a) states that the term Yehudi refers to one who rejects idolatry: רבי יוחנן אמר לעולם מבנימן קאתי ואמאי קרי ליה יהודי על שום שכפר בע"ז שכל הכופר בע"ז נקרא יהודי כדכתיב (...
Jay's user avatar
  • 6,507
10 votes

In what language did Adam name the animals?

Biblical Hebrew. The verse says that Adam named Eve a "woman" (ishah) because she was created from man (ish). Noting the fact that the two words, in Hebrew, actually are related, Rashi (to that verse) ...
DonielF's user avatar
  • 34.4k
10 votes

Is the title: "New" Testament offensive to Jews? Alternative neutral name?

Thank you for your sensitivity. The issue with "old" and "new" isn't just what you said about "old and outdated, new and shiny". It's also that, to us, the latter isn't a "testament" at all. God ...
Monica Cellio's user avatar
10 votes

Why is the day after yom tov referred to as isru chag?

It's based on the Gemara Sukkah top of 45b: א"ר ירמיה משום ר"ש בן יוחי ור' יוחנן משום ר"ש המחוזי משום ר' יוחנן המכותי כל העושה איסור לחג באכילה ושתיה מעלה עליו הכתוב כאילו בנה מזבח והקריב עליו קרבן ...
Jay's user avatar
  • 6,507
10 votes
Accepted

How Come Noah's wife's name is not recorded in the Bible

The Midrash Genesis Rabbah (ed. Albeck: B'reshit 23) quotes R. Abba bar Kahana stating that Na'amah, the sister of Tuval-Kayin (see Genesis 4:22), was the wife of Noah, and she was called Na'amah (lit....
mevaqesh's user avatar
  • 35.7k
10 votes

Using the name Allah

Rambam calls God Allah, for example in Sefer Hamitzvos, Negative Commandment 5 (Kapach, p. 183), “Worshiping any other than Allah”. כל מא יעבד מן דון אללה כל מה שנעבד מבלעדי ה׳ Parenthetically, God ...
Dr. Shmuel's user avatar
10 votes
Accepted

Why does the Pasuk say אִיּ֣וֹב שְׁמ֑וֹ?

R. Isaac Ben Judah Halevi asks this about a different case, and uses the case of Job as a proof in his answer. Pa'aneach Raza Parshat Vayeira וי"ל דלא אמרו כי אם בסתמא לא במקום שהענין מוכיח שהרי ...
Alex's user avatar
  • 49.6k
9 votes
Accepted

What was the name of Yiftach's (Jephthah's) daughter?

She has no name in the Biblical text, nor (as far as I can tell) in any 'canonical' ancient midrashic or Talmudic texts (see Tamar Kadari's article here). The only pre-modern source to name her is, as ...
Noam Sienna's user avatar
  • 3,650
9 votes

Posuk for the name Golda

Here is a Posuk that starts with a Gimel and ends with an Aleph איוב פרק-יג-ט"ז גַּם הוּא לִי לִישׁוּעָה כִּי לֹא לְפָנָיו חָנֵף יָבוֹא Here is a nifty website where you can look up Pesukim that ...
Gershon Gold's user avatar
9 votes

Why Prushim were the ones who "separated"?

Bartenura to Mishnah Yadayim 4:6 explains the name as follows: פרושים. לחכמי ישראל היו קורין פרושים, לפי שאוכלין חוליהן בטהרה ופרושים ממגע עם הארץ, דתנן בגדי עם הארץ מדרס לפרושים: To the Sages ...
DonielF's user avatar
  • 34.4k
9 votes
Accepted

Why are we called 'Jews'?

The earliest reference to the term Jew (יהודי in Hebrew is found in Esther 2:5 where it has Mordechai האִ֣ישׁ יְהוּדִ֔י הָיָ֖ה בְּשׁוּשַׁ֣ן הַבִּירָ֑ה וּשְׁמ֣וֹ מָרְדֳּכַ֗י בֶּ֣ן יָאִ֧יר בֶּן־...
sabbahillel's user avatar
  • 43.2k
8 votes
Accepted

Ben Drosai - what was his Zechus?

The Yerushalmi in question is in Avodah Zarah 4:4. Prof. Shamma Friedman has written about the historical Ben D'rsai (who based on the Yerushalmi was not a Jew). According to this article, Rashi ...
Ari Kahn's user avatar
  • 246
8 votes

Pronunciation of חשמונאי

Josephus transliterates the name as Ἀσαμωναίος. The transliterated form ω corresponds to long o (see Brønno, "Some nominal types in the Septuagint" in Classica et Mediaevalia 3 and Studien über ...
Argon's user avatar
  • 3,847
8 votes
Accepted

Earliest Sources To Avoid Pronouncing the Name 'Samael'

Rav Shmuel Vital (17th century) in the siddur חמדת ישראל says this. גם צריך להזהר מאד שלא להזכיר בפיו שם סמא"ל וזהו סוד מש"ה אלהים אחרים לא תזכירו וכו' ובפרט בלילה שאז היא שליטתו וממשלתו.ולא עוד ...
Y K's user avatar
  • 1,723
8 votes
Accepted

Why is it called "טלטול מן הצד"?

1. Ba'al HaMaor (Shabbat, Perek Kirah) שכל איסור והתר שמטלטל האיסור מצד ההיתר נקרא טלטול מן הצד Every case of something forbidden [to move] and something permitted where he moves the forbidden ...
Joel K's user avatar
  • 43.8k
8 votes

How would the new "Moses" nation be called?

According to the Talmud God's statement to Moses actually came true, so we just have to check what they are actually called. Berachot 7a וא"ר יוחנן משום ר' יוסי כל דבור ודבור שיצא מפי הקב"ה לטובה ...
Alex's user avatar
  • 49.6k
8 votes

Elkanah as a given name

@JoelK already pointed to Rav Avraham Elkana Kahana-Shapira who served as a previous Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi in Israel. There is also the Dayan and Yardonov Rov - Rav Elkana Zoberman (1903-1959, ...
Dov's user avatar
  • 33.5k
8 votes

Where are the 24 places that Kohanim are called Leviim?

I could not find any mainstream commentary which listed them. Based on a search, I found 14 cases where they are explicitly referred to as Kohanim Haleviyim, with a couple more questionable (unlikely) ...
רבות מחשבות's user avatar
8 votes

Rabbi Yishmael - why such a name?

Ritva to Yoma 38b offers two explanations: Yishmael repented and died a righteous man. The name is special because it came from Hashem.
shmosel's user avatar
  • 3,927
7 votes

How could Yaakov name his children Gad and Dan?

In my newest book, God versus Gods: Judaism in the Age of Idolatry (Mosaica Press, 2018) on pg. 322, I address this question: R. Chaim Palagi (1788–1868) asks why Jacob allowed his son to be called ...
Reb Chaim HaQoton's user avatar
7 votes

Did Prof. Rabbi Umberto Cassuto have any insight behind the biblical character Yehudah?

Nechama Leibowitz used Rabbi Cassuto as a source for his view of the story of Yehudah and Tamar as a punishment for the sale of Yoseph. 3) Measure for Measure Cassuto also believes that ...
sabbahillel's user avatar
  • 43.2k

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