What's a "Jewish" name and what isn't and why "Jewish" genealogy #general
In a message dated 2/6/2003 8:35:22 AM Eastern Standard Time,
email@example.com responded to my posting:
<< > When we discuss Jewish names, we should limit ourselves to names that
> have a predominantly Jewish origin, >from the Hebrew Bible, >from the
> Hebrew language, >from the Talmud (but even here there are many non-
> Jewish nonce names), or direct translations there>from (e.g. Belinfante
> and Bonfils >from BenTov and ElemTov, Wolff or Hirsch >from Binyamin or
> Naftali, Bondi or Guttentag >from YomTov), or specifically Jewish
> Yiddish names.
Why should we?
During Russian rule, and many of the Genners ancestors that have
originated >from the Pale territory (this include Poland, Ukraine and
Baltics) have been specifically _forbidden_ to use Biblical names and an
artificial name like Movsha or Ovsey have been created by the Tsar
administration. How can we trace those names to The Bible or Talmud? >>
==I'm sorry, I obviously did not make myself clear. Jewish children were
given all sorts of names: Vladislaw and Ernestine, Constantinos and
I even know of one Salvatore Menuchin. And I would hardly say that the
name under which my name was registered, Manfred, was a Jewish name, nor
even that of my father, named Julius---who certainly was not an
Those who are familiar with my interests--and my postings here and
elsewhere--must know that I am not in any way suggesting we should not
discuss the various civil names that Jews may have been given or may use.
What I am saying is that we should use the label "Jewish" for names that
have strong links to Hebrew, the Jewish scriptures and the Talmud or their
kinnuyim, or their Yiddish adaptations, and not confuse this specific
meaning with the non-"Jewish" names that many/most of us (also) have.
The rules relating to "Jewish" names are quite different >from those of
names in other languages and we can't simply lump them all together if we
are studying Jewish names specifically.
Perhaps we should change the name of this forum to generalgenealogy
[gengen?]. After all, most of our records were issued by non-Jews and have
nothing to do with being Jewish
Jeff Malka <malkajef@...>
==Again, I have the impression that my suggestion that we define aI apologize. I came in late into the discussion. Obviously we need to
differentiate between civil names and religious Jewish names. I was just
commenting that in the past, the two were sometimes the same even when not
of Jewish origin and that among secular Jews it is sometime very difficult
to determine the Jewish name. There were long periods of our history when
Jews were not strictly religious and yet are our genealogical ancestors -
but as I said, I came in late to this discussion.
Jeff Malka <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Jeff Malka <malkajef@...>
Subject: What's a "Jewish" name and what isn't and why "Jewish" genealogy
When we discuss Jewish names, we should limit ourselves to namesthat have a predominantly Jewish origin, >from the Hebrew Bible, >from the
Hebrew language, >from the Talmud (but even here there are many non-
Jewish nonce names), or direct translations there>from (e.g. Belinfante
and Bonfils >from BenTov and ElemTov, Wolff or Hirsch >from Binyamin or
Naftali, Bondi or Guttentag >from YomTov), or specifically Jewish
What about Esther (Babylonian name of Hadassah derived >from the Babylonian
goddess Ishtar)or Mordochai (similarly derived >from the Babylonian god
Mordok)or the returnees >from Babylon who named their sons "Cyrus" in
gratitude to the Persian emperor who defeated the Babylonians and
permitted their return to Judea or the Jews who named their children Roman
names like Caius during the Roman era,and we could go on.
Jeff Malka < email@example.com >