Meanings of the names Zelig and Zalman
Home › Forums › Bais Medrash › Minhagim › Meanings of the names Zelig and Zalman
- This topic has 118 replies, 30 voices, and was last updated 9 years, 5 months ago by notasheep.
July 26, 2013 1:52 pm at 1:52 pm #610173ZushyParticipant
Does anyone know the meanings of the names Zelig and Zalman? Is zalman really a variation of Solomon? Why does Yitzchok transalte as Zelig and Yekusiel as Zalman?July 26, 2013 3:16 pm at 3:16 pm #996970
Zalman, I believe IS a variation of Solomon (Shlomo). I don’t know about the others. Was Yekusiel one of Shlomo Hamelech’s names???? I believe he was called Yedidya, but maybe also Yekusiel. If so, that could account for it being Zalman.July 26, 2013 4:54 pm at 4:54 pm #996971
Oomis, wasn’t Yekusiel 1 of Moshe Rabbeinu’s names?
I always wondered how it became Zalman.July 28, 2013 10:38 am at 10:38 am #996972goldersgreenerParticipant
Zelig means to laugh, and therefore often goes with either yitzchok[laughing] or Osher [fortunate]
July 28, 2013 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm #996973
GG, that’s so interesting. I know an Osher Zelig.
I find the name Yitzchak Eizik, interesting.
Golfer, i think you might be right about Yekusiel.November 26, 2013 4:02 am at 4:02 am #996974147Participant
Give Ivrit names and you wouldn’t be grappling with these issues.
If not giving and Iwrit name from the Tenach, might just as well give an English name.November 26, 2013 9:37 am at 9:37 am #996975Geordie613Participant
Shlomo in german is translated as Salamon, and from there became Zalman.December 15, 2013 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm #996976
147, I disagree, yiddish names have been used by gedoimlim over the centuries, and are listed in shulchon oruch and are therefore uncomparable to english names.December 15, 2013 1:30 pm at 1:30 pm #996977
Golders Greener – i think that you are right.
Oomis, why is Yitzchok eisik any different than Shlomo Zalman or even Osher Zelig?December 15, 2013 2:45 pm at 2:45 pm #996978
Oomis, why is Yitzchok eisik any different than Shlomo Zalman or even Osher Zelig?
It’s not really, it’s just that Yitzchak IS Isaac, and sounds like it. The other names might have the same meaning, but do NOT sound like each other.December 15, 2013 8:49 pm at 8:49 pm #996979notasheepMember
And in the same way that Hannah is an English spelling of Channah does not make it an English name. And Susanna is from Shoshanna, and Elizabeth is from Elisheva. So please don’t trot out the ‘just use a Hebrew name’ argument.
Zalman is the Germanic form of Shlomo – same reason, different language.December 15, 2013 9:34 pm at 9:34 pm #996980ChchamMember
What makes Yiddish-Isaac any better than English-Isaac?December 15, 2013 10:32 pm at 10:32 pm #996981
Chcham, that is precisely why I did not give my children Yiddish names (or English, either), but only in Loshon Kodesh. My Rov ZT”L said it was preferable to name the Loshon Kodesh version of a name when giving a name for someone whose actual name was Yiddish. So i.e., if I were naming for a Hershel, I would have called a boy Tzvi. I GET that Yiddish was a great unifier among European Jewry, but so is English today. So should we abandon naming our kids in Hebrew, and call them solely by English names, just because so much Torah is now disseminated uin English?December 16, 2013 1:19 am at 1:19 am #996982YW Moderator-42Moderator
Feterleibel, where in shulchan orach are yiddish names listed?December 16, 2013 3:15 am at 3:15 am #996983bein_hasdorimParticipant
It could mean soulful, just as beinish, means boney, and fishel is well.. fishy.December 16, 2013 9:57 am at 9:57 am #996984
Yiddish names are listed In the beis shmuel at the end of hilchois gittin.December 16, 2013 11:34 am at 11:34 am #996985jewishfeminist02Member
Does anyone know the meaning of the name Pia?
Possibly derived from the Italian ward for pious.December 16, 2013 4:31 pm at 4:31 pm #996986
Yiddish names are listed In the beis shmuel at the end of hilchois gittin. “
When the Gemarah was written down, there was no such thing as Yiddish. Names written in the Beis Shmuel have nothing to do with Gemarah per se. That is not a ra’ayah.
I wonder of Pia is in any way derived from Puah (though the Italian “pious” does make sense also, as many Jews lived in Italy).December 16, 2013 8:52 pm at 8:52 pm #996987ZushyParticipant
Where does Zushy come from?
Why does it often go with alexander?December 16, 2013 11:32 pm at 11:32 pm #996988
Why does it often go with alexander? “
Which brings up another point. Alexander is mamesh the name of a GOY, but it is in common use for Jews. Why? Because he was good to the Jews. So was King Koresh, but you don’t find too many Jewish people by that name.December 17, 2013 7:25 pm at 7:25 pm #996989miritchkaMember
oomis: Yehuda Aryeh Leib – there are a few different combinations of theses names that are used and they all mean the same thing.
IMHO, a yiddish name is really a tone of endearment. If you think about it, when you walk into a chassidishe neighborhood, almost everyone with a yiddish name has “ee” added to the end. Like Faigy, Shprintzy, Yitty, Heshy, Leiby, etc.. While a hebrew name has more meaning behind it.December 19, 2013 3:12 am at 3:12 am #996990
Miritchka, your example is a good one. But in English, Bobby, Susie, Kathy, Davey, also fit your example, but no one frum names their kids those names as their JEWISH name. Hebrew is the Loshon that Am Yisroel received great credit for not changing, both in speaking and in naming their children. I personally feel that is as important today as it was then.
I am not chalilah criticizing anyone who names in Yiddish, but I also never understood why it continues to be done today, especially when the English language has made Torah even more universally accessible than Yiddish ever did. That Yiddish unifying factor, being the language spoken by all Eastern European Jewry, including the Gedolim of those generations, has always been cited to me as the major reason for naming in Yiddish. So how is English today, ANY different from that? No one has satisfactorily ever answered that question for me yet. And if anyone here can enlighten me, I would appreciate it very much (not looking to argue).December 19, 2013 3:45 am at 3:45 am #996991
Oomis, there’s a major difference. Yiddish, as the name implies, is a Jewish language (for those who will insist that it’s German, it’s still a uniquely Jewish dialect).
Why do you think the English language has made Torah more accessible than Yiddish did?December 19, 2013 5:04 am at 5:04 am #996992
I mostly agree with Oomis and not with DaasYochid.
I would point out, though, that it’s Lashon HaKodesh, not, lihavdil, “Hebrew”, that we have not changed.
Yeshivish English, as in English interspersed with “Torah learning” words, is, “limaaseh”, far more unifying than Yiddish.
How many baalei bayis learn with an Artscroll gemara or other English-translated work, some of whom would be unable to do so without these English-language works? How does Yiddish even begin to compare, as Oomis indicated?
If anything, Yiddish, today, outside of Chassidic communities, is more polarizing than unifying as it divides between the speakers and the non-speakers.
As well, making Yiddish a primary language along with its attendant downgrading of English also results in certain Jews having an embarrassingly poor command of the English language, which can be a chilul Hashem, CH”V.
For those who do not speak Yiddish at home yet, for various reasons, attend a Yiddish-teaching school, this nostalgic infatuation with Yiddish makes their schooling unnecessarily harder than it already is and they lose out academically versus had they been taught in English.
On the same topic, Jews in various sefardic countries (before the Zionists persuaded them to come to Israel at which time the Zionists proudly shmaded them) have had their own dialects of the local language yet they continued to use Lashon HaKodesh names. From where did some Ashkenazim get this idea that Yiddish is the new Lashon HaKodesh?
I, too, cannot understand why anyone would give up naming their son after Moshe Rabbeinu, the Avos, malachim, neviim, et al. and instead give them a “Yiddish name”.December 19, 2013 5:23 am at 5:23 am #996993
How many baalei bayis learn with an Artscroll gemara or other English-translated work, some of whom would be unable to do so without these English-language works?
That’s not a credit to the English language, that’s a credit to how Rabbis Sherman and Zlotowitz responded to the fact that many people understand English.December 19, 2013 7:28 am at 7:28 am #996994December 19, 2013 2:20 pm at 2:20 pm #996995
That’s not a credit to the English language, that’s a credit to how Rabbis Sherman and Zlotowitz responded to the fact that many people understand English. ”
And one could that precise argument as regards Yiddish in Europe a long time ago, BEFORE many Jews understood English. there is no difference from that standpoint, between the two languages. One is not holier than the other. It is only perceived that way (for understandable reasons).December 19, 2013 5:07 pm at 5:07 pm #996996
HaKatan, what you said about Sephardic Jews is not correct. Sephardim did not continue to use Lashon Kodesh names, as you stated. Have you ever come across older Sephardic ladies named Estrella, Mercedes, Marcella, Farha or Messody? Or men named Machlouf or Masud? Sephardim often adopted Arabic or Spanish names. The new generation of Sephardim, similar to Ashkenazim now changing Hershel to Tzvi and Raizel to Shoshana, are using Hebrew (and sometimes English) variations of those names for their children.
Are their any Sephardim who want to add (or correct) names to my list?December 19, 2013 5:38 pm at 5:38 pm #996997
I don’t think Yiddish is inherently holy, but part of kedusha, which means separation, is our being distinct from the nations. Yiddish, as a language unique to Jews, keeps us unique. English obviously doesn’t.December 19, 2013 8:33 pm at 8:33 pm #996998
I don’t think Yiddish is inherently holy, but part of kedusha, which means separation, is our being distinct from the nations. Yiddish, as a language unique to Jews, keeps us unique. English obviously doesn’t. “
DY, I accept what you are saying, BUT – Hebrew did that first, and was and is the language of our people since we WERE a people. Yiddish is a relatively modern invention (though the same could be said for modern day Hebrew, to a certain extent), whose roots are in German. And just as not all Hebrew-speaking Jews are frum and holy, sadly, neither all those who speak Yiddish. The separatism of kedusha was not why people began to speak Yiddish. They needed a unifying way to communicate with Jews throughout Europe, and thus evolved this new language. It could have and SHOULD have IMO, been Hebrew all along. It must be that many people spoke some smattering of German in each country, and it thus became a common language after further Jewish refinements.
I have nothing against Yiddish, though I don’t speak it. It is a rich and colorful language, filled with much of our heritage, and replete with expressions that just cannot be translated adequately into English. It is a language that always makes me think of my grandparents with much love. I have a similar bond with my Israeli Mishpacha when I speak to them in Ivrit.December 19, 2013 10:00 pm at 10:00 pm #996999
Yeshivish English is much better-suited to “keeping us together” than is Yiddish, as I mentioned above. Everyone who learns, from any stream of observant Judaism, and including women, knows at least some of these “learning words”. Yiddish does not accomplish this.December 22, 2013 11:34 pm at 11:34 pm #997000ChchamMember
Does this mean that we should start naming children in “Yeshivish”?December 23, 2013 1:15 am at 1:15 am #997001
HaKatan, I didn’t say anything about keeping us together.December 23, 2013 3:04 am at 3:04 am #997002
Of course, chcham. My daughter-in-law’s cousin’s niece, Elisheva Genendel W (the W is to try to maintain privacy) just named her twins Lechoira & Lemaaseh (lech & lemm for short, they’re so cute). She’s hoping she won’t have such a hard time getting them into a top Cheder in Lakewood. Her older twins, Sarah & Bayla are still on a list. But should be accepted any day now. (They just turned 11.)December 23, 2013 6:47 am at 6:47 am #997003
I intended my post for the other people posting as well, and a different poster had mentioned “keeping us together”. But I had intended to address your “unique” comment as well; I inadvertently used the other expression instead. But my point applies to both of the above criteria, including yours, “unique”.
Naming Yiddish names doesn’t make any more sense than naming kids those Yeshivish names you mentioned.December 23, 2013 8:11 am at 8:11 am #997004
Hakatan: Are you for real? Taking random L”K or even Aramaic words used in learning is just as logical as naming after a chosheve ancestor that had a Yiddish name? Please, you may not be infatuated with Yiddish names but you’re taking this a tad too far, IMHO.
And Oomis, we don’t know the original for many Yiddish names. Also, boys’ names are usually given in L” K or in a combination with its Yiddish counterpart, while girls’ Yiddish names usually stand on their own. So Tzvi Hersh was likely named at his Bris as Tzvi, or perhaps Tzvi Hersh; while Feiga was probably named just that. I don’t know why this is so. Many frum people don’t want to change the name of the one after who they are naming a child.December 23, 2013 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm #997005shmoolik 1Participant
when we name our children we must not be original in our choices but choose a name that the child will have to live with it for 120
a name that can be pronounced by most people including grandparents and peers a name that has meaning and shows purpose not one that will be corupted to somthing else a name that reflects the parent’s communityDecember 23, 2013 2:15 pm at 2:15 pm #997006
I don’t know why this is so. Many frum people don’t want to change the name of the one after who they are naming a child. “
I don’t diminish the chashivus of the person for whom a child may have been named. But – why was the ORIGINAL person named in a language that is not L”K (which includes Aramaic, because it is Gemorah Loshon)? Let’s say that someone is a Baal Teshuvah who never had a Jewish name at all and his birth father was a non-Jew. His name is Steven. He became a frum Yid and a great baal middos tovos and outstanding learner. But his name is still Steven (ben Avraham, I guess). Any Jewish name that he may adopt, was not given to him at birth. So should kids be named Steven after the name by which he was always known? I doubt that you will find many such children.
BTW, my Rov ZT”L told me when I was first naming children, that it is ALWAYS a zechus to the person for whom a child is being named, to find the L”K translation of the Yiddish name and use that instead. Thus, a girl might be named Tzipporah, in memory of a Faigah.
It is not necessarily true that a male Jewish name is followed by a Yiddish name (when the Yiddish is used)that reflects that Jewish name, i.e. Tzvi Hersh. I had an Uncle Sholom Mendel. Isn’t Mendel typically preceeded by Menachem? But he was named for a Sholom and a Mendel. How is Mendel any more “heilige” than Mark? The Mendel for whom he was named might have been a a very nice poshuteh Yid. But there are a LOT of poshuteh Yidden who have secular names, who are wonderful people. No one is giving their children those names at the Omud.
I know it is difficult for some people to see this point, because we have been conditioned to think of Yiddish as extremely holy, our Mama Loshon (though Sephardic Jews might argue that point). But if we are truly objective, Yiddish TODAY is really no more holy in the sense that it may have once been, than English is. Torah is disseminated in English in numbers far greater than Yiddish ever was. Most Jews speak English, even those who speak Yiddish in this country, so English is the real unifier today. I am not putting down Yiddish. I simply do not understand how it came to be revered to the point that people stopped using L”K for naming their children, and started using Jewish vernacular instead.December 23, 2013 2:25 pm at 2:25 pm #997007LevAryehMember
I will say with a clear conscience that if I had the choice between naming my child after an ancestor with an embarrassing name or angering my wife’s family (my family wouldn’t get angry), I still wouldn’t name my child after the ancestor. Giving a child an embarrassing name can literally kill the child’s self-esteem for the rest of their life.
Even burying “silly” names behind a cavalcade of “normal” names is hurtful. There are many occasions where a child (or adult) will have to state their complete name, and will have to hurriedly mumble that last embarrassing bit.
The Kaminetsky family, by the way, uses one name per child, and always Biblical.December 23, 2013 2:38 pm at 2:38 pm #997008🍫Syag LchochmaParticipant
I was told that Yiddish names were given so that the men could have secular names to use for business. Whether that is true or not, giving my kids a yiddish name was not an option.
I read Rabbi Krohn’s Bris Milah book carefully before each bris to guide us. We intended to use only one name for each child but, unfortunately, many of the kids are named after very special neshamos who died young and we needed to add a name.December 23, 2013 2:52 pm at 2:52 pm #997009LevAryehMember
Also, there aren’t that many “embarrassing” names in Lashon Hakodesh. I would say that most of the names with stigmas are Yiddish.December 23, 2013 3:02 pm at 3:02 pm #997010Sam2Participant
LAB: I once met someone named Yedidyah. The nurse wrote Jedidiah on the birth certificate. His parents changed it legally at age 5 or 6 before he started school because they realized it could be quite embarrassing for him.December 23, 2013 3:12 pm at 3:12 pm #997011miritchkaMember
oomis: I agree 100%, or should i say 99% as one of my children’s first name is yiddish, although we did add a hebrew name to it. My point about the “ee” added onto yiddish names was not to say that hebrew or english names dont have the “ee” onto it, rather i was making a point that almost every yiddish name ends in “ee”-which sounds like it might be a tone of endearment rather than real meaning behind the name. Hebrew names are easier to understand by all Jewish people from all over the world, which makes a hebrew name more meaningful, as opposed to yiddish. As an aside, when deciding which school would be best for my girls, a main factor was that understanding hebrew was above understanding yiddish. I dont care if the teacher decides to count in yiddish or they learn a few yiddish words here and there, but to ‘teitch’ chumash/navi into yiddish when most of the families dont speak yiddish, is just not fair. Why should i push another language on my children 1) we dont speak it at home 2) they will learn how to perfect their english and undestand the tenses 3) davening is in hebrew! Shouldnt hebrew take precedence over yiddish?
Thats my opinion, everyone i entitled to their ownDecember 23, 2013 3:18 pm at 3:18 pm #997012
The Kaminetsky family, by the way, uses one name per child, and always Biblical. “
That may be so, but Rabbi Mordechai Kaminetzky was always known (at least as a child) as “Motty.” I know that personally.
SYAG, if what you say is so (and I totally accept that it could be the likely reason), kal v’chomer that Yiddish language names are not really appropriate today (for BUSINESS purposes????!!! Not even TORAH-related???)).
I had a relative with a VERY unfortunate-sounding Jewish name. It was actually a corrupted form of her ENGLISH name which was Bertha (which came fiorst, the chicken or the egg – I do not know). I doubt that any girl was ever named after her. And there is no Hebrew equivalent. The name simply had no real meaning.
If we remove our emotionalism from all this (but that was my Great-GRANDMOTHER, she was a tzadeikes!!! The Rebbie was a GAON!), and look honestly at the naming issue, I think a reasonable thinker could understand the position many of us are expressing here. Very simply – A Jewish name is a name rooted in the Torah Loshon. All else, may reflect an emotional component, a connection to something that should not be minimized in its importance, but is nonetheless NOT in keeping with “lo shinu es shemoseihem.”December 23, 2013 3:25 pm at 3:25 pm #997013
Oomis: You are also ignoring the fact that Yiddish names are written with L”K aleph Beis which we all agree is holy, most have an official accepted spelling and almost all have corresponding Psukim (with the first and last letter of the name matching the first and last letter of a possuk from Tanach) that are easily found to say at the end of Shemona esra. If one starts with English names he’s essentially starting from scratch with no mesorah on spelling and there might be no Posukim that match.December 23, 2013 4:06 pm at 4:06 pm #997014🐵 ⌨ GamanitParticipant
Oomis- There’s a big difference between Mendel and Mark. Mendel is a nickname for Menachem. Mark is a gospel. Although I would not give Mendel without Menachem, Mendel on its own is still better than Mark.December 23, 2013 4:09 pm at 4:09 pm #997015
Oomis: You are also ignoring the fact that Yiddish names are written with L”K aleph Beis which we all agree is holy, most have an official accepted spelling and almost all have corresponding Psukim (with the first and last letter of the name matching the first and last letter of a possuk from Tanach) that are easily found to say at the end of Shemona esra. If one starts with English names he’s essentially starting from scratch with no mesorah on spelling and there might be no Posukim that match.”
I apologize, Mammale but what you said made absolutely no sense to me. So what if they are written with L”K letters? The name Adolph can be written Aleph,Daled,Vov,Lamed, Phey Sofis. THAT makes it a Jewish name??? I would tend to think that the secular words (like feigel or hersh or ber) that were used in lieu of actual Hebrew names Tzipporah, Tzvi Dov), did NOT have “pesukim” attached any more than an English name transliterated to L”K letters might.
You may find pesukim for virtually ANYTHING, if you really want to. One can find “proofs” that fit any theory, given the desire to do so. I am really not certain what point you were making, and that might be my own failing, but I don’t see it.December 23, 2013 5:06 pm at 5:06 pm #997016
What I’m saying is that because these names were already transliterated by those before us, it has gotten some chashivus and uniformity. Spelling of names (especially by Gittin) is no simple matter. I may spell Adolph differently than you, the next guy can have another way of spelling it, and it can lead to a lot of confusion and problems as to which one is “correct”. I am not sure you are right about Psukim as there are names that don’t have a corresponding Posuk. I was assuming, and perhaps I’m wrong, that since English names are different many of them might not have Psukim.
Now, to throw in a monkey wrench, if I am a Bal Tshuva for example and want to give the ” English” name John after my Grandfather, can I spell it Yud Aleph Hei Nun? Nobody ever called him Johnathon nor did he have that on his birth certificate, and I think English names are just as holy as Yiddish/Hebrew ones… I know you didn’t mean that, I’m just trying to point out the difference. Yes, despite names like Yitzchok Eizik in Yiddish, using English now would be a disaster… Yiddish names with all their imperfections are pretty much established.December 23, 2013 5:06 pm at 5:06 pm #997017
Forget it Mammele! (Btw, I like your name!)
We can have a (virtual) coffee together if you like, outside the Coffee Room, but if you continue to express your views here you will be persona non grata, and that’s just the sad reality.
I understand you totally, explaining that you can find all the Yiddish names you love by “p’sukim l”shmos nashim” listed to be said at the end of Shmone Esrei. But apparently nobody else does. Yiddish is a language that kept us distinct from goyim in galus, and became a holy part of “shelo shinu ess lishonam,”- a holy part of our being “metzuyanim” in this long dark galus, which was part of what led to our redemption in Mitzrayim. English does not keep us separate or distinct in any way. Au contraire, it strengthens our bond with foreign culture and society in a way that is perfectly clear to anyone looking. So, no, Mark, is not just as good as Mendel. And to LAB, I don’t feel comfortable naming families, but is “Ettil” a Biblical name?
But my agreeing with you, Mammele, does not make your views acceptable or more palatable to others around here. So from now on I”ll just call you Ima. And you may address me by my own name which is, thankfully, English.December 23, 2013 6:02 pm at 6:02 pm #997018
Thanks Golfer for the laugh and reality check… The funny thing is that Oomis stated she doesn’t want to argue, but was really set in her views. Oh, well, moving on…
- You must be logged in to reply to this topic.