How to Pick a Hebrew Name

Posted on April 30th, 2017
By Anita Diamant for MyJewishLearning.com


One of the joys of being "like a newborn baby" after the conversion is that you get to pick a Hebrew name--which is easier than you may think. 

 

Converts have always selected Hebrew names that speak to them personally; Ruth has long been a favorite for obvious reasons. [Ruth, the grandmother of King David, is perhaps the Bible’s best-known convert.] Most converts choose a biblical name. There are 2,800 personal names in the Hebrew Bible, and although fewer than 5 percent of those are in current use, all of them are yours to consider.

Many of the names in the Bible are theophoric, meaning that they exalt God. Names with the prefixes or suffixes el, eli, ya, and yahu all refer to the Holy One: Elisha–God is my salvation; Raphael–God has healed; Gamliel–God is my reward.

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