The given name "Gur Aryeh" (cub of the lion) is quite rare, and it is
family lore that anyone with that name is related to me via my
Horenstein ancestry. That turns out to be generally true - with rare
In tracing that lineage to the first Gur Aryeh, the earliest I have
found was born in 1792 (1851 Aleksandriya, Rovno uezd census).
When I try to find an earlier origin to that name, the obvious candidate
is his grandfather, R. Aryeh Yehudah Leib, AB"D of Ludmir, born in 1741.
However, according to Biber (Mazkeret LeGedolei Ostroha), Aryeh Yehdudah
Leib signed a document in 5567 = between 1806 and 1807; thus he was
alive when Gur Aryeh was born in 1792.
Both names are derived >from the Book of Genesis (Genesis 49:9): The
patriarch Jacob blesses his son Judah, referring to him as a lion's cub,
with the words: "Gur aryeh Yehuda." ("Judah [is] [the] cub of [the]
Would an Ashkenazic Jewish family have named a child after a living
ancestor by changing the name (i.e. >from Aryeh Yehuda Leib to Gur Aryeh)
so that his name was *different* than that of the ancestor?
I don't think we have any way of knowing the answer with certainty, but
would appreciate any thoughts.
VERBUKH, HORENSTEIN, KANFER, KOMISAR, KORENBLIT >from Volhynia, Podolia
and Kiev guberniyas, Ukraine; AUZENBERG, RUBINSKI, LEWINOWSKI/
LUDWINOWSKI, ABRAMSKI, BRODOWICZ, SEJNENSKI >from Suwalki guberniya,
Poland; MISHURSKI, GOLDBERG, MENDELSON >from Kovne guberniya, Lithuania