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How To Pick a Hebrew Baby Name

Choosing a Hebrew name carries great parental responsibility. Jewish custom dictates that a baby's name will chart the path of both their body and soul; thus a name with strong, positive traits is a must.


  • Step 1: Look at strong, positive traits when considering Hebrew boys' names. Popular names include Aaron, meaning "high mountain"; Shalom, meaning "peace"; Levi meaning "joined in harmony"; Samuel, meaning "His name is God"; and David, meaning "beloved."
  • Step 2: Pick Hebrew girls' names that glorifiy God or signify goodness or grace. Popular options include Rebecca, meaning "captivating"; Ruth, meaning "friendship"; Naomi, meaning "beautiful"; Elizabeth, meaning "God is my oath"; and Sarah, meaning "princess."
  • FACT: Esther, who saved the Jewish people from oppression, was about 14 years old when she became queen of Persia.
  • TIP: Ashkenazi Jews generally name a child after a deceased relative, and Sephardic Jews name the baby after a living relative.
  • Step 3: Select a name based on the Jewish holiday closest to the baby's birthdate. A baby born near Purim could be named Esther or Mordechai; a girl born near Shavuot might be named Ruth.
  • TIP: Jewish parents will traditionally give a baby a secular name as well as a Hebrew name.
  • Step 4: Choose Hebrew and English names that correspond with each other. The names may sound alike or start with the same letter, or be diminutives of the same name or have the same meaning.
  • Step 5: Look through your family history to find the name of a beloved relative. Passing along the name keeps the memory of the loved one alive, honors the deceased, and creates a bond between the baby and that particular relative.

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