Re: Kinuim for Yechezkeyl #lithuania

Prof. G. L. Esterson <jerry@...>

Alter Solomon posted to LitvakSig Mailing List as follows:

"Looking through the All-Lithuania
Database for my family town (Zagare) I saw the given name Fayvush.
Can this be a kinnui for Yechezkiel?"

The books "Jewish Personal Names" edited by Chaim Freedman (written by Rabbi
Shmuel Gorr) and "A Dictionary of Jewish Surnames >from the Russian Empire"
by Alexander Beider do not include this combination. However Boris
Feldblyum's book "Russian Jewish Given Names" does specifically mention
this association.

In traditional circles in the shtetl were kinnuim fairly loosely associated
in the way that secular names and their Hebrew equivalents are used nowadays,
or were there more rigid naming conventions and if so how do we determine
what applied at that time?"

Names in the Fayvush family of Yiddish names were kinuim for the Hebrew
name Yechezkeyl in only the following countries: Austria, Germany, and
Holland. To my knowledge, Fayvush was not a kinui for Yechezkeyl in

One of the reasons for these variations >from region to region in Europe for
where kinuim were used with specific Hebrew names, was that the Yiddish
dialects were different across Europe. Thus in Western Europe, the Yiddish
dialect was the Western European dialect (including Germany and Holland),
in a transitional region (which included Bohemia, Moravia, parts of
Hungary, and other regions) transitional dialects between Western and the
Eastern European dialects were used, the Litivsh dialect was spoken in
Lithuania, Belarus, Latvia, NE Ukraine and NE Poland, while in most of
Poland and Galicia the Polish/Galician dialect was spoken, and in most of
Ukraine, parts of Eastern Galicia, Romania, and SE Poland the Ukrainian
dialect was spoken.

This topic of Hebrew name/Kinui relationship was the subject of intense
research by rabbis throughout Europe for a number of centuries, as the
Yiddish dialects slowly changed and moved around. Their research results
were compiled in Jewish law books for Divorce procedures, such as the
"Aruch Hashulchan" which applied to the regions where the Litvish dialect
was spoken, and the "Get Mesudar" which was mainly applicable to the
regions of Germany, with additions for Hungary, and Poland.

For their region and time period, the rabbis' research consisted of
gathering name data >from Divorce Rabbis (those who wrote the Get for a
couple who were divorcing) and analyzing these data statistically for names
which must be written in the Gitin. The results of their data analysis
showed clearly what were the Hebrew-name/Kinui relationships which were
chosen by Jews on a statistical basis. The rabbis summarized these results
in their books of Hilchot Gitin (Laws of Divorce) and these books were
guidebooks for the Divorce Rabbis.

One must not be rigid in using these regionalized Hilchot Gitin books, for
Jews moved around >from region to region for a wide variety of reasons,
including finding a marriage partner, and also forced migrations as a
result of persecution. So, it is possible to find exceptions to the rules
listed in one region's book. Still, this exception only allows
genealogists to adopt a trial hypothesis which much be proven by further

One can obtain more information by reading the discussions included in the
JewishGen Given Names Data Bases web site at this address:

< > .

A new update is due in the next few months.

Professor G. L. Esterson, Ra'anana, Israel

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