I’ve collected many lists of Jewish names over the years, which you can see on my Names page, but my latest find is a bit different from the books of names from which I’ve published lists. This list is actually a list of names published by an Ultra-Orthodox organization in Israel a little over a decade ago. There are close to a thousand articles (some a sentence or two, some pages long) that provide a unique perspective on Jewish names. In general these articles were written in response to people asking about the names, either because they themselves had the name, or because they were interested in bestowing the name on a child. The question being answered is if, from the ultra-Orthodox perspective, these names are appropriate.
For example, they reject almost all names that are not Hebrew in origin. Some names from Aramaic are accepted, but even Yiddish names are not. It’s not clear to me if that is because it’s an Israeli organization, or because the organization was connected to Rav Shmuel Eliyahu, who is the Sephardi Chief Rabbi of Tzfat (and the son of former Sephardi Chief Rabbi of Israel Mordechai Eliyahu). Other names panned in the articles are those of biblical figures that were considered bad, such as Aviram, who rebelled against Moses, or Omri who was a king that was described in Kings as doing more evil than all preceding kings.
The organization was called Moriah. The web site itself shut down some time in 2009. I collected this list, and the links to the articles, on archived pages from the Internet Archive. You can go to the name list on the site, but it’s quite difficult to navigate, since the sequential pages were captured by the Internet Archive on different dates, so going from one page to the next might either skip a bunch of names, or show names that overlap with the previous page.Continue reading An Ultra-Orthdox view of Jewish Names