JewishGen Discussion Group #JewishGen Re: Rabbi Kolatch's books as a source #general


In a message dated 99-01-07 15:47:38 EST, writes:

<< After a private correspondence with the knowledgeable Michael Bernet
it appears that in at least 2 instances Mr. Bernet believes Kolatch to be
wrong (Kolatch clear that male name Yona/Jonah does mean "dove", Kolatch
clear that Jonina feminine of Yona/Jonah). >>

Two clarifications:
1. I am far >from "knowledgable." I know a few things here and there that
I know how to put together, and I know how to make myself seem convincing.
Heck, I got started in genealogy just six months ago!

2. "Question authority" is a Jewish principle (just watch Abraham and
Moses arguing with God--and winning!). Ninety percent of the Jewish codes
in the last 1800 years are reports of the most learned and most respected
of our rabbis arguing about and differing on a fact, a principle or an

I was not there when the prophet got the name Yonah >from his father or his
mother. Neither, to the best of my knoeledge, was Kolatch <g>. I do not
doubt that there are midrashic interpretations for the name Yona. I
wouldn't be surprised if some of them gave explanations why he should be
called after a bird. I'm pretty sure that for every two who said "dove"
one at least said "no way."

But it doesn't even matter why the prophet Yonah was called Yonah. I was
called Me'ir because my gf was called Me'ir, and he was called after an
ancestor. We'd have to go back 2000 years or so to discover why the first
Me'ir was called "the illuminator" by his parents.

Ury >from Holland suggests that the name Taube or Taibele is probably a
corruption of the Hebrew Tov/Tovah ("good"). (I go along with Ury on this.
Another Yiddish form of good is Gittel). Taube (in the sense of dove) became
Yonah (f) which happens to be spelled exactly like the prophet. But the
Man's name Yonah and the woman's name Yonah are not derived the same
way--whatever Kolatch or any great scholar might say.

As for Yoninah >from Yonah. I am sure there have been parents who said,
"let's call her after gramma Taibele-Yoyne" (or after grandad Yonah
Wallfisch) and decided they neede to fancy it up a little (perhaps so she
wouldn't be thought a tomboy) and decided on Yonina. They have some
justification. Yon is the masculine form for dove (probably 99% of
Israelis are ignorant of that). A diminuitive in Hebrew can be created by
doubling the last letter, so Yonin would be a little male dove, add ah,
and you get the feminine Yoninah. But I think that this is a very recent

The oldest of the three daughters of Job after his fortune was restored
("and there were no women more beautiful in all the land") was called
Yemima (whence Jemimah for pancakes). In Aramaic, that would probably
be rendered Yonina. So, if there is a history to the name Yonina, it's
probably the Aramaic name for one of Job's three beautiful daughter.

Or, as the Bard told us, a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.

Michael Bernet, New York

BERNET, BERNAT, BAERNET, BERNERTH etc >from Frensdorf, Bamberg, Nurnberg
KONIGSHOFER: Welbhausen, Konigshofen, Furth; PODERATZKI: Paris, Nurnberg.
ALTMANN: Kattowitz, Breslau, Poznan, Beuthen--Upper Silesia/Poland
WOLF: Frankfurt (Aron Wolf m. Babette Goldschmidt ca 1860) also in
Wurzburg, also Sali WOLF, Rotterdam

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