Re: Given names: Girsh/Hirsh, Gershon #general

Stan Goodman <sheol@...>

On Thu, 25 Jan 2001 03:38:45, chaikin@... (Udi Cain)

I know that the Yiddish given name Hirsh/Girsh is a kinui for the
Hebrew name Tzvi. Does anyone know whether the given name "Gershon" is
derived >from the same name Girsh/Hirsh, or has some other root?

I have seen one reference that indicates that the meaning of Gershon is
"a stranger there", which would mean that it has a completely different
root than Girsh/Hirsh.
The Hebrew word GER, means proselyted, joined to the religion, and since
such step, makes him a stranger within his new community, than Ger means
also stranger.
The first time that the name Gershon appears in the bible, in Genesis
chapter 46 : 11. "And the sons of Levi; Gershon, Kohath, and Merari."

RISHON in Hebrew, means first.It seems like Gershon is the combination of
the two words. So does it mean that the son of Levi, got the name to
commemorate the entrance to the new religion?
The above is very imaginative, but unlikely to be very close to
historical, or even mythical, truth. Indeed, it is dangerous to
attempt to derive names of Biblical characters of the Egyptian period
from Semitic linguistic roots. Not a few of these are, in fact,
Egyptian names to which phonetic similarity has made it possible for
folk-etymology to ascribe Hebrew meanings, sometimes far-fetched.
Examples are Moshe, Miriam, Amos, and Jonah, none of which, with all
due respect to the Tanakh, is an original Hebrew name. Detailed
explanation of that sentence would drag this even further off-topic.
But my point is that nothing is served by attempts to hang spurious
exegetical derivations on names to which they don't belong.

Stan Goodman, Qiryat Tiv'on, Israel

ISMACH: >from Lomza Gubernia, Galicia, and Ukraina
HERTANU, ABRAMOVICI, LAUER: >from Dorohoi District, Romania
GRISARU, VATARU: >from Iasi, Romania

See my interactive family tree (requires Java 1.1.6 or better):

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