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What is the significance of a Jewish name?

by

Circumcision.net

  

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Our Sages tell us that the name of an individual reflects his character and essence. It is what connects him to his spiritual soul, serving as the conduit to his spiritual sustenance and nourishment. Therefore, the giving of a name is a serious undertaking and involves a great responsibility. The Kabbalist Rabbi Yitzchak Luria (known as the An HaKadosh) writes, "When a person is born and his father and mother give him his name...the Holy One puts into their mouth the particular name required for that soul."

The Midrash tells us that one of the reasons why God delivered the Jewish people from their bondage in Egypt, was that they did not alter their Jewish identities, particularly, their Jewish names. Indeed, throughout history, Jews have always taken pride in their Jewish names. Our Sages tell us that in the merit of maintaining our Hebrew names we will help hasten the final redemption in our times.

Reprinted with permission from circumcision.net.


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Life Cycle » Circumcision » Jewish names

Midrash
(Pl. Midrashim). Non-legal material of anecdotal or allegorical nature, designed either to clarify historical material, or to teach a moral point. The Midrashim were compiled by the sages who authored the Mishna and Talmud (200 BCE-500 CE).