Giving Names


b”h

What I’ve observed lately is, that many people surprisingly carry very similiar names. Not that I haven’t known this before, it’s just that now I pay more attention to the importance of names. And what do I see?

People are being randomly named. The criteria for namig one’s babies are often quite trivial. Very often the most persuading reason for a mum or a dad to name their childern XYZ is cause they themselves like the name.

Now, it’s not that one should feel uncomfortable with his child’s name, never!

The question is whether this should be the only criteria.

Haven’t this occured to you at least once in your life that a person’s name seemed unfitting or even senseless to you? Lately, my friend who’d been named the same as hundreds of thousands of other girls in the same city and having as at least 5 of her friends being called the same, told me that this name (Anya) is not a name but rather a collective term.

Which is a remarkable statement – remarkably sad.

I feel there is an inflation of  names taking place, hand in hand with an inflation of meaning. Names, for example in Judaism, are supposed to be reflections of a person’s being, “summarising” the personality of someone in a word. Hebrew, the Jewish language, is a very compressed and accurate language. If you name a person in Hebrew, it doesn’t go after how lovely or strong the syllables sound. The name says its meaning out loud without compromise. And since its meaning is compressed in it, you can have various persons with the same name and still they would all be individual.

In an “inflation of names”, the individuality and importance of the person carrying the name becomes absolete. A carelessly given name implifies the carelessness for a person’s being. 

It happens when parents, giving names to their children, rather focus on their own taste, therefore “directing” their intentions towards themselves and not towards the child and its future being.

No doubt, this also happens with Hebrew names in our time when a certain name trend overthrows traditional ways of name-giving. Shortcuts,  senseless variations and unisex names all diminish the meaningfulness of a name. Yet still, in the most cases, Hebrew names more than others have retained their original meanings while names in other languages and cultures have often lost  or forgotten theirs by now.

Isralike

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: