My Jewish Name


Dear Rabbi, I didn’t know my Hebrew name, so I asked my parents and they told me they never gave me one. Does this mean I can’t have a Hebrew name?




  1. No, certainly you can have one and it’s a wonderful idea to have one just like every proud Jew/ess. Just choose one that you like, preferably after reading the rest of my reply, and just use it.

    Naming is taken very seriously in Judaism. We find that the names of all the important and central figures of the Torah were significant and given for a reason. This is because a name is bound with, and has an effect on, the spiritual character of a person. It is therefore of utmost importance to choose a name which fits this lofty purpose.

    Choosing a name is a very personal thing, which makes it somewhat difficult for me to make a suggestion without knowing you. Personally, I would suggest that you look at the Biblical names to see if one or more of them contains the ideas that you would like to encapsulate. Many names in the Tanach contain lessons and messages that might very well be what you are looking for. For a similar reason, I suggest that you consider a name of a person whose character traits you admire and is a role model to you.

    Many people just choose any Hebrew name that sounds similar to their English name. This is a widespread practice and is perfectly acceptable.

    Another point to keep in mind is that we are taught to choose names that are “normal” and acceptable in each generation. One should not choose a name that will likely lead to embarrassment.

    I wish you much happiness and success. And enjoy your new Hebrew name, whatever you choose!

    Best wishes from the Team