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A guide to Jewish baby names

Choosing a name for your baby is an important decision. In many cases, the name helps to define the child, giving him or a her a sense of belonging in the world and revealing to others that they are part of a culture or religion. Choosing a strong Jewish baby name will allow a child to understand his roots in this ancient religion. This article provides you with a guide to Jewish baby names.

Traditional names for boys

Most Jewish or Hebrew names have a biblical influence and have been passed from generation to generation. Bible-influenced names for boys include: Abraham - This name means "Father of a multitude." The name is a biblical one and Abraham was the very first Old Testament patriarch and father of the Hebrew nation. Jacob - Again a biblical name with a the literal meaning supplanter or one who wrongfully seizes and holds the place of another.

Modern popular choices

Biblical names need not necessarily seem old fashioned. Benjamin - Jacob's youngest and best-beloved son is a very popular choice. The literal meaning is son of the right hand. Also shortened to Ben, the name is consistently one of the most popular names in the UK. Joshua - The popular name means God is salvation. Shortened to Josh, the name is chosen by people of all faiths. Samuel - This name can be shortened to Sam, and again, is a very popular choice. Its literal meaning is "asked of god."

Traditional names for girls

Names for Jewish girls include: Abigail - Also abbreviated to Abbie or Abbey, the name translates as "My father rejoices and gives joy". The name comes from the Bible. It was the name of King David's third wife who was beautiful in form and good in discretion. Elizabeth - One of the most popular names in the UK, Elizabeth means God of plenty. A biblical name, Elizabeth was John the Baptist's mother.

Modern names for girls

Josephine or Yosaphina - This name translates as God will multiply and is the feminine form of Joseph. Maia- The name in Hebrew means close to God and is a lovely name that still sound contemporary. Sarah - The Hebrew name for princess is popular and pretty.

How to choose

Contemporary parents may choose a family name such as a grandparent or parent's name, but a look through a book of baby names and understanding the definitions of names, may result in choosing a name for a completely different reason.

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