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33 votes
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Hebrew document found in grandfather's attic—what does it state?

As Danny Schoemann says, it's a ketubah. A Ketubah is a Jewish marriage contract. The text in this form matches the standard text presented and translated on this Chabad.org page. People Groom: ...
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23 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 ...
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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.
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  • 239
17 votes

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

This is an old question so I doubt I'll get too many upvotes, but I figured that I should weigh in anyway considering my own name :-) Early Sources First, historical examples: on the one hand, there'...
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17 votes
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What was Avraham Avinu's mother's name?

Her name was אמתלאי בת כרנבו. ואמר רב חנן בר רבא אמר רב אמיה דאברהם אמתלאי בת כרנבו אמיה דהמן אמתלאי בת עורבתי וסימניך טמא טמא טהור טהור Bava Basra 91a (I knew it existed, but will admit to ...
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  • 18.7k
16 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 ...
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14 votes
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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 (...
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  • 34.9k
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). ...
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13 votes

Hebrew document found in grandfather's attic—what does it state?

The religious implication of this ketubah is that it may be possible to use it to establish, in a Jewish court, certain facts about the listed bride and groom: That they were Jewish. On this basis, ...
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  • 46.9k
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, ...
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  • 11.8k
12 votes

Why is it called Even HaEzer?

Even Ha'Ezer contains halachot about "דיני אישות", so it would seem that the name is a play on words from "אעשה לו עזר כנגדו" which describes Hashem's creation of Chava (and women in general). The ...
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  • 3,784
12 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 ...
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  • 48.1k
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 ...
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  • 11.8k
11 votes
Accepted

Why doesn't the king of Belah get a name?

The Ramban says the reason why his name is not mentioned is due to the fact that the city was small with few people living there, he was not famous. The Shaarei Aharon (from whom I am quoting all ...
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  • 32.3k
11 votes
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Charbonah related to destruction?

Medrash Esther Raba 3 says Charvona was called Charvona as he was responsible for the Churban Bais Hamikdash. חרבונא מופיע פעמיים במגילה - בתחילת המגילה הוא מופיע כאחד משבעת הסריסים המשרתים את ...
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11 votes
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Name two kids the same name?

Pischei Teshuva Y.D. 116:6 quotes Adnei Paz as permitting it, but then quotes the Adnei Paz's corrigenda as indicating that it should not be done for reasons of Ein HaRah (if both are alive) or ...
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  • 31.4k
11 votes

Is it Rabbeinu Bachya or Bechaye?

In the introduction of the Chovot Halevavot published by Mosad Harav Kook, he brings that it is not known how to pronounce the name. He says that Ashkenazim pronounce it Bechaye, and Sefardim ...
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  • 42.9k
11 votes
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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 (...
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  • 6,394
10 votes

Why does the Gemara sometimes use the word Ben and sometimes use the word Bar?

"Ben" is Hebrew, whereas "Bar" is Aramaic. Thus, a mishnah or braisa discussing RSB"Y will usually use "Ben" and a statement made by an amorah will usually use "Bar".
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  • 8,183
10 votes
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Writing the name chaya

Excerpt from this The use of words and names like “Shmuel,” “Yeshaya,” and “Daniel” are permitted, even though two of their letters represent Hashem’s name, since the intended use is for a ...
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10 votes

Name two kids the same name?

Rashi Kesuvos 89b - Mar Keshisha Umar Yenika says that Rav Chisda had two sons and both had the same name.
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10 votes

Is it Rabbeinu Bachya or Bechaye?

R. Reuven Margalios in his פנינים ומרגליות has a note on this name. His theory is that it is not an actual name, but a nickname which means "may he live long," like the (Yiddish) name "Alter." He ...
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  • 13.8k
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) ...
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  • 33.5k
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 ...
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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 ...
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  • 6,394
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....
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10 votes
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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 ...
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  • 48.1k
9 votes

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

I believe that the earliest source is in the Book of Yossipon (top of this page): ויאמר הכהן אל המלך הזהב אשר נדבו שפתיך תנהו למחית כהני אלהינו לעניי הכהנים אשר יולדו בשנה הזאת בכל יהודה ובכל ...
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9 votes
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The hebrew meaning of the name Laila

In modern Hebrew "Laila" (hebrew לילה) translates directly to "night". It is very common in the old testament for names to carry meanings. The name Laila (לילה) is special in the regard it appears in ...
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