Get the best of content every week!
Find answers to fascinating Jewish questions, enjoy holiday tips and guides, read real-life stories and more!

Questions and Answers on Jewish Names

Answers to many questions that people may have about Jewish names, their significance, and the naming ceremony.

Why Do I Need a
It functions as a conduit, channeling spiritual energy from G‑d into your soul and your body. That’s why a critically ill person is sometimes given an additional Hebrew name—sort of like a spiritual bypass operation.
Why the Rush to Name Our Girl?
We just had a daughter, and my rabbi told us that we should name her at the first possible opportunity. Why?
What Is a Jewish Name?
The Jewish name is a keystone of Jewish identity for all Jews. It is customary to give a Jewish name when the baby is born.
I Was Never Given a Jewish Name
How do I choose a name? Do I need to confirm it with a rabbi or something?
My Fiancé Has the Same Name As My Parent!
The practice of not marrying someone with the same name as one’s own parent is a tradition mentioned in the Testament of Rabbi Yehudah HeChassid.
Naming After One Who Recently Died
My daughter was pregnant when her father-in-law passed away. Is it okay for them to name the baby after his grandfather?
Can a Child Be Named After a Living Person?
Ashkenazi Jews do not name their children after someone who is alive at the time.
Naming a Child After One Who Died Young
I’ve heard that one should not name a baby after an individual who passed away young. Is this true? And what if that person was killed during the Holocaust?
Why Use the Mother's Name When Praying for Someone?
A Jew’s spiritual essence is inherited via his or her mother. When praying for another, we want to emphasize their essential and eternal link to G‑d, as derived from their mother’s side.
What Name Should We Choose?
The art of baby naming
Choosing a name is a big deal. A person’s name is not a mere label; it expresses the essence of its bearer . . .
When Did We Start Naming After Ancestors?
The sages of the Midrash wondered the same, and here are their answers . . .
Can a Change of Name Create a Change of Destiny?
What influence does your name have on you--on your personality, on your behavioral patterns and on your life choices? Or does it?
Why Is There (Sometimes) a Silent
There are four general customs regarding how to pronounce this name.
Why Did Non-Kosher Animals Become Jewish Names?
This seems strange, since the sages place great significance on a person’s name.
Why Were There Famous Rabbis Called Ishmael?
Is Ishmael (Yishmael) a Jewish Name?
Don't we have a custom not to name a child after a wicked person?
Why Mother’s Name for Prayers and Father’s Name for Aliyah?
You may have noticed that when we call someone by his or her Hebrew name, there are two variations. Why?
Related Topics