What Does Your Name Mean in the Bible?

November 27, 2014

Every name is rooted somewhere in the holy words of the Bible.

“Give us your name and we will give you a Hebrew one,” said the Outreach Coordinator of Israel365, Aliza Abrahamovitz, in conversation with Breaking Israel News. “We find the Hebrew name for everyone who requests it,” Abrahamovitz said, while talking about the newest service that the organization provides.

Connecting to the Bible via a Hebrew name is becoming increasingly popular among avid Bible lovers. There is no better way to personally connect to the ancient, holy words of the Bible.

For example, some benefactors have expressed a new-found connection to the Biblical characters whose names they share, much to their surprise.

“I was always drawn to that character, and now I know why,” said one individual who shares his newfound Hebrew name with one of the major figures in the Bible. “Finding out that I share my Hebrew name with my favorite Biblical character has an empowering effect on me and has given me someone to emulate.”

Finding someone’s Hebrew name, when they have a name given in a different language often involves quite a lot of research and intense work.

“Sometimes there are exact equivalents,” says Abrahamovitz. “In the cases where there is no exact equivalent we research the meaning of the given name and then find a Hebrew name with a corresponding meaning, and in the cases where there is no corresponding Hebrew name we will give the name of the character in the Bible who most adequately represents the characteristic of the given name.”

In cases where the Biblical roots of the name are unknown, the Hebrew letters of the original given name are used to find a Hebrew name that closely sounds like the original name. For example, Diana can be Dina.

In addition to helping people discover their Hebrew names, Israel365 sends each person a certificate in either an electronic or hard-copy format. On the certificate a passage from the Bible that is associated with the name is inscribed, and laid it out on a beautiful setting.

The given English name is printed on the top, followed by the newly attributed Hebrew name spelled both in Hebrew and transliterated into English as well. Just below the names appears the explanation of the name and the passage.

“We have found that the Hebrew Name Certificate is really growing in popularity. It makes a great gift idea, and we provide the service for babies as well. We have a specially adapted certificate for children that can be hung in a child’s room,” says Abrahamovitz.

“One of the most rewarding moments I have is whenever I get surprised by finding out that a seemingly unconnected name is actually rooted in Hebrew,” she explained. “And it is always rewarding to help someone reconnect to where their name came from, reconnect to their roots.”

The Hebrew Name Certificate project is aimed at doing just that, reconnecting to one’s roots.

“Often people name their children without knowing what the name really means, just because they like the sound of the name. When we find out the corresponding Hebrew name it can become even more inspirational,” she said.

Abrahamovitz also used as an example the name Ivan, which she claims means ‘Archer’. In Hebrew the corresponding name would be Keshet, which is another term for Rainbow in Hebrew.

Here a seemingly meaningless name pointing to perhaps an old family trade or skill takes on an entirely different meaning with a biblical outlook, pointing towards the symbol that God used to express his covenant of peace and prosperity to Noah, after he left the ark.

“When we trace the name back to its Hebrew and Biblical roots, it gives a whole new level of relevance and meaning for people and that can help inspire them in their everyday lives,” said Abrahamovitz.

Kalman Labovitz


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