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Taking on a Hebrew name? - Sebastian- - 10-05-2008

Is it OK for a bnai noach to chose a hebrew name, for spiritual reasons, or is this a strictly jewish custom?


RE: Hebrew name? - Director Michael - 10-05-2008

A Noahide is free to choose a name that he or she wants, in any language, subject to any rules instituted by the ruling government on what can be used as a legal name. (For example, in France, people's legal names need to have official approval, and we hear occasionally of proposed names being rejected.) There is an exception within the Noahide Code, that a person should not be named or called by a name of G-d. (However, it is OK for a person to have the name Sha-lom, since that word also means "peace.")

RE: Hebrew name? - Sebastian- - 10-05-2008

Thanks for your reply.

Lets pose that a noahide likes the story of Moshe and wants to change his name to Moses, would this be considered as a transgression since the person is obviously influenced by the parts of the Torah a noahide should not study for any other reason than an interest in what it says?

RE: Hebrew name? - Director Michael - 10-06-2008

On the contrary, a Noahide SHOULD study the simple meaning of the entire 24 Books of the Hebrew Bible, for the purpose of taking to heart very practical spiritual and moral lessons for his/her Divine service.

For example, there are spiritual lessons about: awe of G-d, love of G-d, fear of G-d, accepting the Unity and the Kingship of G-d, belief in Divine miracles, belief in a Divinely created universe, belief in Divine Providence, belief in Divine reward and punishment, belief in prophecy and specifically in the Hebrew prophets, belief in the righteousness of tzaddikim, belief in the coming of the Messiah, respect for the Jewish people, respect for the Land of Israel, etc.

Likewise, there are moral lessons about honesty, humility, charity, forgiveness, repentance, patience, respect for others, respect for parents, Torah-based education, rightousness in judgment, giving benefit of the doubt, honest business dealings, avoiding gossip and slander, dedication, work ethic, responsibility, suppressing lustful desires, etc.

And if you happen to be inspired by a particular person in the Hebrew Bible, there is no prohibition against changing your name to the name of that person, in order to give yourself inspiration and motivation. And you can choose Biblical names for your children.

RE: Hebrew name? - sodergard - 05-03-2009

I want to have a "Noahide"/Hebrew name. Is Daniela OK for a Noahide girl, or is it too Jewish (it is from the name Daniel). Are there especially suitable names for a Noahide girl? I also wonder if Rut (Hebrew for Ruth) is a good name for a Noahide, or if it is too Jewish.

RE: Hebrew name? - Director Michael - 05-03-2009

The names you mentioned are OK. Most of the names of persons mentioned in the Hebrew Bible became accepted names for people in western societies. Please see Post #2 above which gives a few boundaries for choosing a name.

RE: Hebrew name? - sodergard - 05-05-2009

I do not understand post #2 above. Is it allowed for a Noahide to have a name with "E-l" (blessed may G-D be) in it?

RE: Hebrew name? - Director Michael - 05-08-2009

Any name in the Hebrew Bible that appears as the name of a righteous person (or those angels' names that are also commonly used for people or places) is certainly OK for any person to use, Jewish or non-Jewish, for example:

For boys:
Daniel, Emanuel, Gabriel, Israel, Joel, Michael, etc.

For girls:
Daniella, Elisheva, Emanuella, Gavriella, Yael, etc.

Of course there are many more.

But it would NOT be OK for anyone to use just G-d's Name "E-l" (blessed is He) for a personal name.

RE: Hebrew name? - Mattityahu ben Noach - 11-11-2009

So a Noahide could take the name Iyob ben Noach, or some such?

RE: Hebrew name? - Director Michael - 11-12-2009

Yes, a Noahide may do that if he/she wishes. Although a Noahide would normally retain his/her father's name, e.g. Iyov ben [son of] [his father's given names], unless there is a particular reason that the Noahide doesn't want to do so.