Re: Can "Abel" be "Avraham?" #general

Dick Plotz

Arthur Feinberg asked if "Abel" and "Abraham" could refer to the same
person >from Marijampole.

Indeed, "Abel" often appears in civil records >from Suwalki Gubernia, where
Marijampole was, referring to persons whose proper Hebrew name was Abraham.
It rarely refers to an actual Hebrew name of Abel, although that is of
course a real Hebrew name in its own right.

A search of the JewishGen Discussion Group Archives at

will lead you to a post by Prof. Esterson, who has made a study of
alternate names of Lithuanian Jews, referring to this link.

Each geographical area of Europe had its own peculiar constellation of
nicknames, or kinnuim, that were associated with standard Hebrew names,
and these constellations varied >from place to place. I have never heard
of "Abel" being used for "Abraham" outside Suwalki Gubernia and its
immediate vicinity. That doesn't mean it never happened, but the fact
that Arthur's uncle lived in Marijampole is a neat fit with the use of
this particular nickname.

Dick Plotz
Providence RI USA

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