Giving Names


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.



Chanukkah and more….


<<Zur Mishelo – Eshet Chayil  – soundddddddd…>>>

It’s Chanukkah time and Chanukkah reminds me again of the fact that Jewish holidays will soon return to us.. in a couple of months after this 8-day-long festivity…

Yemenite Chanukkah

So what’s so special about holidays?

Well, I thought yesterday, the special thing is mainly that the meaning of this or other holiday  is discovered at its very end and not, as one might think,at its start… This so far as my observation is concerned. I doubt I’d “feel” any holiday

date approaching if I’d not

think about it and what this means to me. The same is with any date, symbol, place, event or word. Just as things becom

e within reach and memorizable only after you know their name or at least have any idea of them in mind –  same

with meaning. Same with holiness.

Things become meaningful, valuable, holy if you grant them such attributes. To realize why something is meaningful, valuable, holy you have to enter the perspective of the one who gave them these attributes. ….

Well, anyways, back from philosophy to Chanukkah,

my Chanukkah feeling will probably be only fully developed at the time when I light the last candles and sing the last songs. Is it something to complain about?

Don’t think so. I suggest holidays are made to teach you certain things, to make you think of them & their impact on you (if you allow it to be unfolded). Some holidays, if you le

arn enough about them, might even change some character traces or sometimes even your view on life. Those should then be called the “grand holidays“. Perhaps that’s why the Jewish New Year and the Day of Atonement are called “Yamim Noraim” (more or less to be translated as the Days of Awe).

I suppose this happens because during the special days, one becomes familiar with them while celebrating. And I think this might very much be the real purpose of each holiday. As one of my friends and teachers once said, it’s not the dates we celebrate, we celebrate dates because of the thing

s happened and their significance for us.


Wish you an enlightened, joyful and warm Chanukkah!


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