In a message dated 3/6/2008 8:26:10 P.M. Central Standard Time,
_buckidstein@... (mailto:buckidstein@...) writes:
<< In their dictionary "Etymologisches Lexikon der juedischen
Familiennamen", E. and H. Guggenheimer write about two sources of this name.
When used by Ashkenazic Jews, the forms TOFF (found in Italy) and Touff are
a variation of the name Tov / Tow, which is derived >from Hebrew tov = good.
The Arabic tawwaf
obedient servant (in modern Arabic wanderer, emigrant) became Toaff or Toef
in Sephardic usage. >>
==Heinrich Guggenheimer is an amazing polymath, a past professor at (I think)
Brooklyn Polytech of both mathematics and of Talmud. His onamastic work is,
however, not held in the same regard. The English version of his
Etymological Dictionary can be bought, used, for $283.50 >from a major online
bookstore -- only one copy available. I do not own a copy, I have never seen
a copy, and I don't expect to buy a copy. I have heard, however, that there
are some serious errors in it.
==Toaff is an Italian Jewish name, a long line of rabbis and scholars >from
Livorno, including Chief Rabbi Elio Toaff who greeted the late Pope on his visit to
Rome's major synagogue about 10 years ago. Eli Toaff is a distinguished scholar of
Italian Jewish history and son of the Chief Rabbi, who wrote most of the articles
dealing with Italy in Encyc Jud. He is professor at Bar Ilan University. Recently
got into very hot water bywriting a book in Italy in which he seemed to suggest
that some of the old Catholic claims that Jews killed Christian children to
use their blood for Passover rituals were based on reality [the book was
==Only a relatively small portion of Italian Jews are of Sefardi heritage.
The Toaffs were not Sefardim.
==The Tawaff Arabic oirigin of the Toff name is interesting. I know no Arabic
Michael Bernet, New York mbernet@...