Scanned image of the page. Keyboard directions: use + to zoom in, - to zoom out, arrow keys to pan inside the viewer.

Page Options


Something wrong?

Something wrong with this page? Report problem.

Rights / Permissions

The University of Michigan Library provides access to these materials for educational and research purposes. These materials may be under copyright. If you decide to use any of these materials, you are responsible for making your own legal assessment and securing any necessary permission. If you have questions about the collection, please contact the Bentley Historical Library at bentley.ref@umich.edu

September 11, 1981 - Image 80

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1981-09-11

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

80 Friday, September 11, 1981



10,000 First Names: Their Origin and Meanings

Alfred J. Kolatch has
emerged as an authority on
first names. In "These Are
the Names," "The Name
Dictionary" and "Names for
Boys and Girls" he has
created guides for parents
choosing names for their
children, and has aroused a
great interest in the origin
of names in the growing fol-
lowing he had created as a
readership seeking and ac-
quiring information on the
subject of names.
"Dictionary of First
Names" (Perigee Books, a
division of Putnam), the
newest of his books, issued
as a 500-page paperback, is
a reprint of the hard-cover
volume- first produced, a
year earlier, by Jonathan
David Publishers.
"A Dictionary of First
Names" traces the origin
and background of names in
all eras, the Celtic and
Roman-Saxon influences,
and specifically the Jewish
Old Testament and Chris-
tian names.

Kolatch explains that
Old Testament names
can be broken down into
the following six

"1. Names describing a
characteristic of the person
or a peculiarity of the body.
For example, Laban means
'white'; Korah means 'bald';
Harim means 'flat-nosed.'
"2. Names inspired by
experiences in the life of the
parents or newborn child.
For example, Moses was so
named by Pharaoh's daugh-
ter because she 'drew him
out of the water' (Exodus
2:10). Eve was so named 'be-
cause she was the mother of
all living beings' (Genesis
"3. Names of animals.
For example, the name De-
borah literally means 'a
bee'; Jonah means 'a dove';
Hulda means 'a weasel.'
These names may have
been adopted because the
child's appearance resem-
bled the animal, or perhaps
the parents loved the ani-
mal, or the child may have
been born in a locality
where the animal was

"4. Names of plants
and flowers. For exam-
ple, the name Susan
means 'rose'; Tamar
means 'palm.' We can
speculate that in biblical
times parents named
their children after
plants and flowers for
reasons similar to those
used for choosing animal

"5. Theophoric names, in
which part of the name is
the name of God used as a
prefix or suffix. Jehoiakim,
for example, means 'God
will establish.' Isaiah
means 'salvation of the

. .
"6. Names which express
hope for the future or for a
desired condition. For
example, Joseph means 'to
add' or 'increase.' When the
biblical Joseph was born,
his mother Rachel said,
'May the Lord add to me an-
other son' Genesis 30:24."
"Old Testament Names"
are described in the intro-
duction to his book in the
following noteworthy ex,

"The earliest personal
names on record are
found in the Bible. Many
are still in use in their
original form. For the
most part, biblical names
are easy to understand
because their roots are
easily traced': usually to
the Hebrew; in fact, many
are explained in the Bible

to a loved one? There are
seven possibilities for
William, and 10 for Barbara
and Dorothy.

"Have a big family?
How about Octavia? It's
from the Latin octava,
meaning 'the eighth: The
eighth child (if a female)
in a Roman family was
often named Octavia (Pet
forms: Tavi, Tavia). Per-
haps you craved pas-
trami and pickles during
your pregnancy? Name
your newborn Deli —
from the Greek name De-
los, a small island in the
Aegean, the legendary
birthplace of Artemis
and Apollo. Deli is a var-
iant for Delos."

In Kolatch's book names
are easy to locate in their
alphabetical listings. They
are grouped separately for
"The Hebrew root of the
males and females.
name Cain, for example, is
Here are a few names,
kanoh, meaning 'to acquire,
at random, as listed
to buy.' The verse in Genesis
by Kolatch in the "Dictio-
(4:1) explains it: 'And she
First Names":
(Eve) conceived and bore
Cain, and said, 'I have ac-
Carmeli From the He-
quired a man (Cain) with brew, meaning "my vine-
the help of the Lord.' yard." Akin to Carmi.
"Adam and Eve's third
Carmelo A variant
son was named Seth. In
Genesis (4:25), Eve says,
"For God has given me an-
other seed (child) instead of
Abel; for Cain slew him."
The name of this child, Seth
(Shes), in Hebrew, has the
meaning 'to give, to put, to
The first synagogue for
"Abraham and Sarah Jews from the town of
named their son Isaac. Ab- Mashad in Iran, who came
raham was 100 years old at to the United States after
the time, and when Sarah the Ayatollah Ruhollah
was told she was to bear a Khomeini took power in
child, she said, 'Everyone 1979, is under construction
who hears about it will in the Kew Gardens section
laugh." The Hebrew root of of Queens.
the name Isaac, tzakhok,
Pending completion of
means 'laughter.'
their own synagogue, the
"Jacob and Leah were 400 Iranian families had
excited over the birth of been using, until a few
their first son, so they weeks ago, the facilities of
named him Reuben. The Cong. Adath Yeshuran in
Hebrew form of Reuben the same area. Its rabbi is
is re'u ben, meaning 'Be- Bernard Rosensweig, who
hold, a sonl'
was ordained by the Rabbi
"Scores of such examples Isaac Elchanan Theological
can be found in the pages of Seminary of Yeshiva Uni-
the Bible. Clearly, names versity.
given to offspring were usu-
Details on the synagogue
ally derived directly from construction plans were
the personal lives and ex- provided to the Jewish
periences of parents."
Telegraphic Agency by a
Kolatch devoted 35 years Yeshiva
of research and anthological spokesman: He said the
labors to gathering the Iranian Jews of Cong.
10,000 names in the "Dic- Shaare Tovah recently re-
tionary of First Names." In nted a building near the
the process he assembled Adath Yeshuran synagogue
the origins of all names, and and now worship in Hebrew
his latest work guides those but that their congrega-
who would choose names tional communications,
from the Bible. Here are such as their bulletins, are
some guidelines suggested in Farsi.
by author and publisher.
The spokesman said
"Need a name for a new- that the new synagogue,
born male beginning with
which is being erected
an 'H,' and Harry or Henry across the street from
just won't do? Choose one of Adath Yeshuran, is ex-
the dictionary's 237 other pected to be ready for use
Hs. Looking for a dimuni- early next year, and will
tive or pet name to whisper cost around $1 million.

form of Cannel. See Carmel.
EXAMPLE: Carmelo
Ayala, Amenia, New York.
Carmen The Spanish
form of Carmel. Used also as
a feminine form. See Car-
men (feminine section).
EXAMPLES: Carmen Fan-
zone, baseball player; Car-
men Marcantonio, soccer
Carmi From the He-
brew, meaning "my vine-
yard." Used also as a
feminine name. Akin to
Carmiel From the He-
brew, meaning "the Lord is
my vineyard."
Carmine The Italian
form of Carmen. See Car-
mel. Used also as a feminine
EXAMPLE: Carmine De-
Sapio, New York political
leader. PLACE-NAME
USAGE: Carmine, Texas.
Feibush A variant
form of Feivel. See Feivel.
Feivel, Feiwel The
Yiddish form of Phoebus,
from the Latin and Greek,
meaning "bright one."

Felipe The Spanish
form of Philip. See Philip.
Luciano, television news
Felix From the Latin
felix, meaning "happy, for-
tunate, prosperous." The
name of four popes and a
number of saints. Felicia is
a femine form.
Fell From the Old
Danish, meaning "a field"
or "a hill.
Heidi Probably a var-
iant form of Hester and its
pet form Hettie, both de-
rivatives of Esther.
Heiki The Hawaiian
form of Heidi.
Hel In Norse mythol-
ogy, Loki's daughter, god-
dess of death. See also Helgi
in masculine section.
Helaine A variant form
of Helen, meaning "light" in
the Greek.
Joycelyn A
created by combining Joyce
and Lynne. CONTEM-
Joycelyn R. Donway, Map-
ple Valley, Washington.
Juana The Spanish

form of Johanna and Jane.
Juanita A Spanish pet
form of Juana (Jane).
Judith From the He-
brew, meaning "praise."
The femine form of Judah.
In the Bible, Esau's wife,
and the beautiful heroine in
the Book of Judith (in the
Apocrypha). VARIANT
FORMS: Eudice, Yehudit,
Yudit, Yuta. PET FORMS:
Judi, Judy.
Judi, Judie Pet forms
of Judith.
Judy A pet form of
Shaina, Shaine From
the Yiddish, meaning
"beautiful." Also, variant
Irish forms of Sean, mean-
ing "gracious." See Sean
(masculine section).
Shalgia From the He-
brew, meaning "snow„
snow-white." In Israel, the
name of a plant with white
flowers. •
Not only is this book in-
formative: its contents pro-
vide lots of fun tracing the
meaning of names. There is
knowledge and entertain-
ment in this splendidly re-
searched book.

400 Families of Iranian Jewish Refugees
Are Building a Synagogue in Queens

Rosensweig said that, as
the Iranian Jews, build
their own synagogue and
as newer members adjust
to American society, they
are getting help from
other Jews in Queens.

Rosensweig said some
Iranian Jews came to Kew
Gardens more than 40 years
age and joined Adath
Yeshuran. Over the years
the number of Iranian Jews
settling in Kew Gardens
grew. When the Shah fell
and the Khomeini govern-
ment came to power, more
than half of the Iranian
Jews now comprising Cong.
Shaare Tovah were among
those migrating to the
United States.
He said it was then that
the Iranian Jews started
their own congregation and
began to collect funds for a
synagogue building. He
said that the Iraniin Jewish
newcomers will be able to
give their children a better
Jewish education than they
could get in Iran where they
could not send their chil-
dren to yeshivot and He-
brew schools. Rosensweig
said the fact was that "there
were restrictions on Jews in
Iran, even under the Shah."
Some of the most recent
Iranian immigrants must
adjust to other changes in
life and in style of worship,
according to Meir Kadosh.
As a third-year rabbinical
student at the Isaac Elcha-
nan Seminary, Kadosh has
worked with the Iranian
Jews as part of the Shimush
in-service training program
at the seminary.

He said one of the dif-
ferences is in the role of
the rabbi, explaining that
"the rabbi in Iran worked
with the congregation
and read the Torah. He
was the authority on

elaborate systems in Iran so
that they could study
Jewish law and pray with-
out being found out.

problems of (Jewish reli-
gious) law, but he was not
an administrator. He was
a volunteer and he did
not have to deal with
management problems at
the synagogue."

Kadosh, who is himself
from Morocco, said rabbis in
countries such as Iran did
not speak to their congreg-
ants about the social prob-
lems of the society. They
presented "more tradi-
tional, almost classic" lec-
tures to their congregants.
He added that Iranian Jews
are considered "second-
class citizens" — dhimmis
— by the Moslems of Iran,
as are Christians, a tradi-
tion dating back to the days
of Mohammed.
Rosensweig said the Ira-
nian Jews who came from
the town of Mashad in Iran
knew about hardship and
discrimination long before
Khomeini took power. He
said that in 1839, when Iran
was still called Persia, the
Jews in Mashad were forced
to convert to Islam.
He said that for genera-
tions, the Jews of Mashad
practiced Judaism in secret.
When they made pilgrim-
ages to Mecca as supposed
Moslems, Rosensweig de-
clared, they stopped in
Jerusalem, too. They set up


He said each group of
Jews had its own warn-
ing system: a woman
posted in the courtyard,
supposedly sweeping
and, doing her laundry.
She would make a loud
clatter when she saw an
or suspicious
. .
visitor approaching.

Rosensweig said the Jews
in Mashad kept their stores
open on the Sabbath but
quoted outrageous prices or
told their Moslem custom-
ers that they were out of cer-
tain items. By such means,
Rosensweig said, they man-
aged to do very little busi-
ness on their Sabbath.
The Mashad Jews were .
not allowed to practice
Judaism openly for 80 years
until the Shah's family took
power in 1920s, and then
under restriction. The uni-
versity spokesman said the
Shaare Tovah Syagogue
will not be the first Iranian
synagogue in the United
States, explaining that an
earlier wave of Iranian
Jews built an Iranian He-
brew Congregation in
Chicago about 60 years ago.
That congregation still

JWB Calendar S et for Military •

NEW YORK — The and festivals for 5742 and
5742 (1981-1982) Jewish 5743, provides brief expla-
calendar for the members of - nations of major and minor
the military community has holy days, lists Yizkor dates
been published and will be
and provides space for indi-
distributed by the Jewish
vidual Yahrzeit records,
Welfare Board to Jewish
contains prayers for times of
military personnel
illness, after experiencing
throughout the United
danger and for loved ones
States and bases overseas in
back home, and gives Sab-
time for the High Holy
bath candlelighting times
and weekly Torah portions.
The calendar-diary lists
There are spaces for wr-
the major Jewish holy days
sonaL notations.

Back to Top

© 2020 Regents of the University of Michigan