In a message dated 8/4/2005 12:23:00 A.M. Eastern Standard Time,
< If I recall correctly, several years ago a similar thread occupied both
Michael and myself on the names Bunim and Simcha.
< The juxtaposition of Bunim/Bonim with Simcha is rather constant, and
although Simcha appears sometimes as a solitary name, the name of Bunim
alone is uncommon and I know only of a 19th century commentator of the Torah
and a theatre director in Israel (that Bunim is his family name).
< On the other hand the "double name" Simche Bunim has deep rabbinical
roots: Reb Simcha Bunim of Pshischa, the ADMO"R >from Goor Rabbi Simche
Bunim Alter, . . . and many more. My great-uncle used to explain that this
double name comes >from the biblical quote "Em habanim smecha" (The mother of
sons is happy) and ment to be given originally to a male born after several
==Thank you, Shimon for reminding me. I'm getting scatterbrained in my old
==And thank you for giving your great-uncle's explanation (I don't recall
hearing that >from you)--which explains much more. If I'm going a little off
standard genealogy, I beg indulgence, because what we have here is so typical of
how both Jewish stories and Jewish names are derived, changed or connected.
=="Em habanim smecha, Halleluyah!" (The mother of sons is happy), is the
second half of the last verse of Psalm 113; the first half is "Moshivi `akeret
habayit" (He provides seating for the barren woman of the house). The entire
verse is taken to mean that God will provide for the barren woman, i.e. the
socially isolated, or not valued enough. It is seen symbolically as referring
to the Israelites as a group and to Jacob's wife, Rachel, in particular, she
who was so desolate because she had no children. Ultimately she gave birth
to Joseph, and later to Benjamin "the son at my right side," Jacob's youngest.
==Which gives us a graphic explanation why, aside >from the similar
pronunciation, Bunem and Binyumen (Benjamin) are paired, and also Bunem and
Simcha, (The Bunem-Simcha pairing is to be found more in Eastern Europe--which
is why it escaped my mind.)
==and, I might add, that I find a parallel delight in coupling genealogy and
Jewish lore: they work in similar ways and each discovery gives so much warm
excitement, "it fits!".
Michael Bernet, New York