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December 23, 1988 - Image 69

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1988-12-23

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

Each month in this space,
L'Chayim will look back into issues
of The Jewish News to see what
was happening in the local Jewish
community or in the Diaspora 10, 20
and 40 years ago.

TEN YEARS AGO

Israel and the world pay their
respects at the funeral of Golda
Meir. Tens of thousands of people
attended the services in Jerusalem.
Former Israeli Foreign Minister
Yigal Allon met with the Detroit
leadership of the UAW, AFL-CIO

and Teamsters unions for talks
aimed at strengthening the ties
between the American and Israeli
labor movements.

20 YEARS AGO

The government of Spain
publicly rescinded the 476-year-old
edict that expelled Jews from that
country in 1492.
Ground is broken for the
building of Hillel Day School with an
outdoor ceremony and
candlelighting dedication.

40 YEARS AGO

The National Interfraternity
Conference voted to refer to its 58
affiliated national fraternities a
general statement that the
conference believed "the fraternity
system will flourish better if
character and personality of the
individual are regarded as
paramount rather than his race,
color, religion or nationality."
Morris Schaver was elected
honorary chairman of the City
Committee of the Jewish National
Workers Alliance.

t's
yir tioo c ` Jews Of Persia Took Chanukah As Surname

By BETTY PROVIZER STARKMAN

Children born during The Feast
of Lights — Chanukah — were often
named Chanukah or Mattityahu.
These eventually became surnames
and are still in common use among
the Jews of Persian and Bokharan
ancestry.
Jewish families that lost
children hoped to confuse the Angel
of Death, upon the birth or illness of
other children. Subsequently, they
named or renamed them Alt,
Altman, Alter, Alterman (old one),
Zaken (old person), Zaide
(grandfather) or Zaidl (little
grandfather). In Kurdistan, the name
Alvan (dedicated to God) was used.
In Iraq, when a baby died and
another was born soon after, the
child was named
Khaleet/Khalfon/Machluf (substitute
in Arabic). Many family names

Next Month

The January edition of
L'Chayim will focus on Tu
B'Shevat, the New Year of trees
and a symbol of hope for the
rebirth and renewed strength of
the people Israel. There will be
family-oriented activities, games,
stories and the L'Chayim
mainstays, including Du Redst
Yiddish? What's In A Name, New
Editions, Market Bag, Traditions
and more. And mark your
calendars again! The L'Chayim
section of The Jewish News,
Jewish Experiences For Families,
the Jewish National Fund and the
Labor Zionist Alliance, in
cooperation with The Jewish
Community Center of
Metropolitan Detroit, will co-
sponsor a community-wide Tu
B'Shevat seder on Sunday, Jan.
22, at the Maple/Drake Jewish
Center.

originated from these symbolic first
names.
In Germany, the
Fish/Fishman/Fishel families took
their names from an ancestor with
the biblical Hebrew name of
Ephraim. Ephraim was traditionally
associated with a fish in the Bible.
Other family names adopted from
Ephraim or fish are: Karp, Karpf,
Hecht (Pike), Heilbutt (Halibut), Lox,
Lax. Tessler is a name of Ukrainian

Tessler is a name of
Ukrainian origin meaning
'carpenter.'

origin meaning "carpenter." Richter
in German/Yiddish means "rabbinic
judge."
Jitomer/Zhytomir/Zitomer is a
name of geographic origin. The city
of Zhytomir was the source of this
surname. It is located in Volhynia
Province, Ukraine, Russia.
Barac/Barack is a surname
adopted from the abbreviation
formed to honor a famous rabbi —
Ben Rabbi Zadok of Dubno.
Himelhoch is of
German/Yiddish root meaning
literally "high sky" or "tall sky." It
could have been used by a tall
person.
An original form of name giving
was used by the Jews of the Middle
Ages and thereafter. Frequently,
they used names that were
acronyms, formed from the initials
of a person's given and surnames,
profession or birthplace. Katz is one
such name stemming from Kohen
(meaning of priestly origin) anad
Zedek (meaning holy or pious).
Brasch/Brosch is an acronym for
Ben Reb Shimshon. Rambam
means Rabbi Moshe ben Maimon.
Rabbi Shlomo Itzhaki became
Rashi. Rabbis often called the
descendants of martyrs (those killed
in inquisitions or pogroms) "Sera

Kadosh," meaning of "holy
descent." From this origin came the
name Saks/Sachs/Zaks.

Teitelbaum is a typical Yiddish
name. A Tejtelbaum was a wooden
pointer used to show words, letters
or lines to a student or reader in
schools and synagogues. The name
was probably taken by a teacher or
one - versed in Torah who assisted
during prayers. Benzion Kaganoff
has another theory. He described
the source as Psalm 92:12, which
states "the righteous shall flourish
like a palm tree." In German
Teitelbaum is a "date palm."

Wilner indicates that an
ancestor originated in Vilna, Poland.
Since there is no V in the Polish
language W is pronounced as V.
The family Tartak, Tartakov,
Tartakover had an ancestor who
either owned or worked in a saw
mill.

0

0 ,
‘Ar

Dei /°

Betty Provizer Starkman is the past president
and founder of the genealogical branch of
the Jewish Historical Society of Michigan.

El Al Cuts
Kids Fare

New York — El AI Israel
Airlines' "Family Plan" offers
discounts of up to 50 percent for
children traveling with parents.
Now through March 31, when
one parent, (or both) flies to Israel
with one child, the child's fare is
reduced by 25 percent. And for the
first time, there is an additional 50
percent discount for each child
thereafter.
El Al also has introduced a new
Super Apex fare of $679 from New
York or Boston.
El Al's "Sunsational Israel"
packages start at $719.
For information, call a travel
agent or call El Al, 1-800-223-6700.

Jacob's Blessing Queried

In this week's Torah portion,'
Vayechi, we are told about the
blessing that Jacob gave to his
grandchildren Ephraim and
Menasha, and the details of Jacob's
insistence to place his right hand on
Ephraim's head versus Menasha,
who was older. Since superstition is
forbidden by Jewish law, what is the
significance of placing hands on the
head of one who receives a
blessing?
The Jew is known for his
wandering habits, at times forced to
travel and at times, because of an
inner drive to discover the beauty of
G-d's world. The mezuzah, in
addition to the fulfillment of the
Torah's commandment to place it on

every door of every Jewish home,
symbolizes G-d's protection of the
Jewish home. Under which
circumstances would a Jew be
obligated to place a mezuzah on his
or her hotel room door?
If one would be presented with
an equal opportunity of travel plans,
one to Hawaii and one to Israel, is
there, by Jewish law, an obligation
to choose the trip to Israel over the
Hawaiian trip?

—Submitted by
Rabbi Avraham Jacobovitz
Director,
Machon L'Torah,
The Jewish Learning Network
of Michigan

THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS

L-11

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