Re: Given Names Khaya-Mura & Ekha #general

Judith Romney Wegner

At 10:25 AM -0700 8/3/06, Steve Orlen wrote:

In Kiev, a relative of mine appears on a document as Khaya-Mura
(Russian spelling). I know the name Chaya, of course, but I couldn't
find Mura in the Given Names Database or in Beider's book. It sounds
like a variation on Miriam. Has anyone ever seen it before?

I also find an Elka, which I recognize. But another is named Ekha,
which I couldn't find. It might simply be a misspelling, but if
anyone recognizes it, please let me know.
Dear Steve,

My best guess is that both of the above are probably mis-readings or
mis-copyings of originally handwritten consonants

The combination Khaya-Sura (Haya -Sara, Hayyah-Sarah) is very
common indeed. Both Haya and Sarah are girl''s names, and one of the
weekly Torah portions is called "Hayyei-Sarah" ("the life of Sarah")
because that phrase happens to occur in the first verse of the
portion. (The combination Hayyah Sarah is a nice sound-alike for the
biblical phrase.) As for Mura, I have never heard of that as a
variant of Miryam or in any other context, though the name Miriam
itself is sometimes abbreviated to Miri, (especially in modern

As for Ekha, again I think this is almost certainly a misreading of
Elka (or possibly of some other name that does not spring readily to
mind). By an odd coincidence, Ekha (or Eikha) is the traditional
name for the biblical book known in English as The Lamentations of
Jeremiah, which we read last night and today in observance of Tish'ah
b'Av. "Eikha" is the first word of the Hebrew text of Lamentations
and means "How?" -- in context asking "How did the destruction of
the temple and the city of Jerusalem come to pass?" (Not exactly
the name one would expect parents to choose for their newborn
daughter! )

Judith Romney Wegner

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