Posts tagged chabad
Posts tagged chabad
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.
I often hear rabbis complain that the Jewish people are shrinking due to intermarriage and assimilation. But it is you rabbis who are the major obstacle to Judaism growing! If you would make conversion a bit easier, many more non-Jews would join us. Why do you stubbornly insist on a long and difficult conversion process, when you are closing the door to many potential converts?
I would like to nominate you to be the next prime-minister. You have come up with a brilliant formula that could greatly benefit the world.
You argue that the Jewish people would grow if only it were easier to become Jewish. If we apply your logic to some other scenarios, most of society’s problems could easily be solved. We could reduce the number of people living below the poverty line by simply making the poverty line lower. And we could have many more millionaires around if you didn’t need so much money to be one! The crime rates would drop dramatically if we just legalize criminal activity. And if we dropped the average life-expectancy people would live so much longer!
Either Judaism is truth, or it is not. If it is truth, then truth can’t be saved by diluting it. And if it isn’t, why bother saving it at all?
The road to conversion is a challenging one. I have seen the hard work sincere converts put in to become Jewish. They inspire me and I am proud to know them. And I have seen the sad consequences of “quickie” conversions too. To paraphrase Groucho Marx, how could someone respect a religion that bent the rules to let them in?
Perhaps the conversion system isn’t perfect. That is something that the rabbis should indeed be working to improve. But we can only fight assimilation by presenting pure, unadulterated Judaism in an accessible and relevant way. That is a Judaism that can be respected - by Jew and non-Jew alike.
I’ve been hesitant to post this song (not that anyone will listen to it anyway), because it thoroughly disappointed me when it first came out (February 29th). I had high expectations for the song which was the title of the album “Keep Climbing”. The message is wonderful, Avremel’s voice, as always, is spectacular, but the song just didn’t feel right.
However, the song grew on me, and I figured I’d post it. It is a huge accomplishment being the first ENGLISH song which he himself composed and wrote the lyrics for, in 32 years in the music scene.
(I know, “Don’t let nothing” is bad English. I’m not sure whether this was him utilizing poetic license, or just the fact that he didn’t have the standard American child’s English education being from Crown Heights and all :)