At the time of Abraham’s Bris, God changed Abraham’s name from Avram to Avraham.  In keeping with that tradition, a Jewish boy is given his Hebrew name at the time of his Brit Milah. Judaism places a great deal of significance on a child’s Hebrew name.  It is believed that a child will live up to his name, so you want to give the child a name that you would want him to live up to!

Ashkenazi Jews often name their children after a departed relative, while Sephardic Jews sometimes name their children in honor of living relatives. In case the baby is being named after someone who died at a young age or under tragic circumstances, an additional name is also given. This name can refer to ‘life’ or ‘healing’, or be the name of someone who lived a full and blessed life.

Below you will find a list of biblical names with their Hebrew version, and a summary of the essence of the person’s character.

  • Abraham (Avraham) – First Jew and father of the Jewish nation, considered a leader and a trail blazer
  • Isaac (Yitzchak) – Abraham’s son and considered a very spiritual person
  • Jacob (Yaakov) – Isaac’s son, considered a strong person (in body and in spirit)
  • Joseph (Yosef) – Jacob’s son, considered a leader and a visionary
  • Judah (Yehuda) – Jacob’s son, considered a leader and one who can derive strength from his short comings
  • Reuben (Reuven) – Jacob’s son, considered loyal
  • Levy – Jacob’s son, considered a spiritual leader and teacher
  • Moses (Moshe) – Lead the Jews out of Egypt, considered a leader
  • Aaron (Aharon) – Moses’ brother, considered a spiritual leader and a pursuer of peace among people
  • Saul (Shaul) – First King of Israel, very good looking.
  • Jonathon (Yonatan) – Saul’s son, considered remarkably loyal
  • David – Second King of Israel, considered a fighter and dedicated to God
  • Solomon (Shlomo) – Davis’s son, a man of peace, considered the wisest of all men
  • Daniel – A prophet, considered courageous
  • Gabriel (Gavriel) – An angel, always there when needed
  • Michael (Mi’ch’ael) – An angel, at God’s service

What’s your favorite Hebrew name – and why?  Please tell us in the comment box below.