Posts tagged bible
Posts tagged bible
The Samaritan Arabic PentateuchThe Samaritans have a Pentateuch different (ġayr) from that of the rest of the Jews. They claim that it was sent down [from heaven] to Moses and assert confidently that the one the rest of the Jews have is corrupted and altered (muḥarrafa mubaddala).
[Ibn Ḥazm’s Al-Fiṣal]
Fathers and Sons: A Special Blessing
Each year, as Fathers Day approaches on the secular calendar, I find myself thinking about the traditional Jewish blessing fathers bestow on their sons. This tradition has its roots in a scene towards the end of the book of Genesis, in which Jacob says from his deathbed:
By you shall Israel invoke blessings, saying: “May God make you like Ephraim and Manasseh.” (Genesis 48:20)
Every Shabbat evening, Jews around the world bless their sons with the words “May God make you like Ephraim and Manasseh,” fulfilling Jacob’s deathbed pronouncement from the end of the book of Genesis. I did not grow up with this particular tradition in my family, so when I learned about it, a question immediately sprang to mind: what’s so special about Ephraim and Manasseh that we pray to make our children like them? [Read more at JewishBoston.com]
Names are considered very significant in Judaism. The sages of the Midrash recommend that “one should name one’s child after a righteous person, for sometimes the name influences the person’s behavior and destiny.” As such, Jewish parents have always searched for positive names to give their children, often naming after deceased relatives and righteous scholars.
Over the generations there have been several types of Jewish names: 1) Biblical names, 2) Talmudic names, 3) Names from the animal world, 4) Names from nature, 5) Names that include G‑d’s name, 6) Names of angels. Then there are the many derivatives and nicknames based on these names.
These days, we are encouraged to choose meaningful names that have been passed down for generations. But even if a name is not particularly meaningful, there is no reason to change it unless a person was named after someone wicked.
Jewish boys are named during the ritual circumcision (brit milah), and Jewish girls are named at the first synagogue Torah reading following their birth. The Jewish name given at that time remains with the person for the rest of his or her life. And while one may also have a secular name, it is preferable to use one’s Jewish name whenever possible.
Jewish names come from many languages—Hebrew, Yiddish, German, Latin, Greek, Russian, etc. It is not necessary to translate the name into Hebrew for it to be considered a Jewish name.