JewishGen Discussion Group #JewishGen Re: The name Paltiel #general

tom klein <bossman@...>

It's really hard to make any conclusions >from given names. Someone named David
isn't necessarily descended >from the biblical king of Israel, nor are there
any "reserved" given names as far as I know. (observant Jews may hesitate to
give their children certain biblical names, like Korach or Izabel, because of
the connotations those names carry, but for no other reason.) Some surnames
were derived >from "Kohen" or "Levi" (or "Katz" or "Segal", etc., which are
acronyms used for Kohanim and Leviim), but even so, there is no rule
guaranteeing that it's anything more than a name. I know of COHENs who are
Levites, and others who are neither, despite their surname. (EPSTEIN is a name
commonly associated with Levites, for example, but at least one EPSTEIN whom I
have met, says that his family adopted the name after immigrating, because they
felt it sounded "more American".)

Given names are more usually "in honour" of an ancestor, so a single,
distinguished "Schneur" or "Yerachmiel" could give rise to a whole bunch of
similarly-named young ones.

For an overview of historical Paltiels, you can look up
<>, which
has the text of the 1906 Jewish Encyclopedia online.

As for being named after the ship, on the face of it, this seems unlikely. I
couldn't find references online to any ship named Paltiel. (not a definitive
result, but certainly a good indication, since so many other ships *are* to be
found online.) There are, however, plenty of ships' names containing "Philip"
or "Phillip", so I would guess that the story was originally that he was named
Phillip after the ship they arrived on (and Paltiel being a nice biblical
sound-alike for Phillip, showing a definite knowledge of the bible, which was
probably a result of the yeshiva connection), and it got a little mixed up in
the retelling. Or at least that's one possibility.

....... tom klein, Toronto

"Roberta Sheps" <> wrote:
My maternal grand-father's family was not known (at least in my mother's
generation) for being particularly religious, despite being Kohanim.
Indeed, the only time I recollect seeing either of my maternal grandparents
in shul was for my wedding. However, I have just come across a small fact
that suggests that my maternal great-grandfather's family may have been more
devout that I thought.

My grandfather had a brother named, in English, Phillip. The family came
from Talno, which was the site of an important Yeshiva. An account by a
woman who I always thought was embroidering the story, said that the family
were among the "highest of rabbis". Some years ago my mother told me that
she thought Phillip had been named Paltiel, after the ship on which the
family travelled to Canada. However, I have just learned that Paltiel is a
name that occurs in Numbers. And someone who knows a lot more about ships
than I do, said that he couldn't think of any ship called "The Paltiel".

My questions are, was Paltiel a name that was reserved to Kohanim, and if
not, how common a name was it?

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