In which I can make a poll

Ok, so I evidently can’t make a poll.  The question was:

Is picking a Hebrew name mostly because of a children’s picture book a 

— Good idea?

— Bad idea?

Background: The book in question is A Prayer for the Earth.  I’m definitely keeping Sarah, because I like it and I like the idea of adding additional meaning onto the name that I already have.  But I also like the idea of getting to pick a name, so I’m adding a middle name.  I’m also contemplating Ilana (or Alona or one of the other related names-that-mean-tree) or Shira.  And I’m somehow tempted to pick Mehitabel, just because I can and we were always amused by that name when doing genealogy.  And it even means “God rejoices” or “rejoice in God” or something along those lines, which is a lovely meaning for such an awkward-sounding name.

Actually, now I’m really liking Zimriya.  That’s clicking somehow.  It buzzes and is about singing.

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5 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    Elementalmom said,

    I have to say, my (terribly biased) favorite Hebrew girl name is now Tikvah. And this is why: http://growinginside.blogspot.com/
    Warning; it’s a tough blog to read, but it will fundamentally change how you approach, oh, a lot of things.

  2. 2

    James said,

    I think it would be very odd if you had the same name as my tarantula. Even if she’s your ancestor just as much as mine, I took it first.

    -Brother

  3. 3

    debka_notion said,

    I think that adding a name is a lovely plan- especially since otherwise you would be Sarah bat Avraham veSarah, and therefore in any context where you would go only by the mother’s name (mi sheberachs, mostly) you’d be Sarah bat Sarah, without an additional name… (Just thinking practically.)

    But on a more meaning-related note: Naamah has a lovely meaning- pleasant. I haven’t read the book in question- but there’s a rabbinic tradition about Naamah, and you could look into more about her, if that name is the way you’re leaning. (And my mother is named for Alice in Wonderland, so it has certainly been done before.)

    I’d try saying the names together with Sarah, and seeing which one sounds best and feels most like yourself, I think. But then, I’ve never actually picked a name, and am fairly indifferent about my own Hebrew name (Miriam).

  4. 4

    limesarah said,

    “Sarah bat Sarah” would somehow amuse me :-) Do you have any suggestions for searching talmudic commentary? I’m rather failing my reference check here.

  5. 5

    debka_notion said,

    One source of choice would be Midrash Rabbah, for which I think there is an index, but I’ve never actually done the looking up in there, so I don’t quite know how that works, although I could for sure find out for you.

    Another would be Ginzberg’s Legends of the Jews, which is conveniently both in English and online (just found out the latter). I looked through a little bit- there are some small bits about Naamah in there.

    Another good choice would be The Book of Legends, which is a translation of Sefer HaAggada.

    All of these should be available if you go to the Brandeis library, or their Beit Midrash.

    Those are where I’d start. After that, I’d have to get some help or at least think a little harder. I suppose my next move would be the Bar Ilan CD (contains tons of rabbinic texts in searchable form, if with a truly annoying font), but that isn’t available in English…


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