Re: Was Ira Jewish? #general

Stan Goodman <safeqSPAM_FOILER@...>

On Tue, 5 Aug 2003 18:42:08 UTC, iraleviton@... (Ira Leviton)

Dear Group,

Regarding the recent exchange about the name Ira:

<< It was certainly not a common Hebrew/Yiddish name ... it was probably
an 'American' version of some more common Hebrew/Yiddish name made up
for someone who never was in the US. >>

It is not a "Hebrew/Yiddish name" at all, whatever that may be, but a
Hebrew name.


By the way, it dawned on me that one of the reasons that Ira may have a
rare name in Eastern Europe is because it ends with an "a" -- a feminine
ending. When I write to the state Archives in Poland, I always get
addressed as "Mrs." on their return letters (although I have been called
worse...) Of course, it may have been unpopular long before we reached
Eastern Europe (which is my gut feeling).
The gender confusion on the part of 20th century Poles results >from
the fact that they speak an Indo-European language that tends to end
feminine names with "A", and they write in Latin characters.
Polish/Russian Jews in most of the 19th century, and certainly in the
18th, would have thought of the name in its Hebrew spelling: 'Ayin Yod
Resh Alef, which carries no feminine marker at all.

I am not sure how to assess the attitude toward a name as of 500 or
1000 years ago. My gut gives me no clue.

Stan Goodman, Qiryat Tiv'on, Israel

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

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