Judaism places a great deal of significance on a child’s Hebrew name. It is believed that a child will live up to his/her name, so you want to give the child a name that you would want him/her to live up to!
Ashkenazi Jews often name their children after a departed relative, while Sephardic Jews sometimes name their children in honour of living relatives. In the case of someone who died at a young age, another name referring to life, or the name of a person who lived a full life is added.
Below you will find a list of biblical names with their Hebrew version, and a summary of the essence of the person’s character.
- Sarah (Sara) – First Jewess, wife of Abraham, mother of the Jewish nation, considered a leader and had superior insight
- Rebecca (Rivkah) – Wife of Isaac, considered very insightful, and was well known for her kindness towards others
- Rachel (Rachel) – Wife of Jacob, was known for her beauty, her kindness to her sister, considered one whose prayers for her children are answered.
- Leah (Leah) – Wife of Jacob, considered very spiritual, her prayers were answered.
- Miriam (Miriam) – Sister of Moses, a prophetess and leader, considered very creative and connected to music
- Esther (Ester) – Jewish queen of Persia, saved the lives of the Jewish people through her bravery.
- Deborah (Devorah) – Prophetess, men and women turned to her for guidance, she was very wise and brave.
- Judith (Yehudit) – Daughter of a High Priest, considered a heroine, would not compromise on her Jewish identity.
- Yael (Ya’el) – Was a heroine of a battle against a wicked enemy
- Michal (Michal) – Kings David’s wife, acted with bravery and courage to save her husband.
- Abigail (Aviga’il) – King david’s wife, demonstrated bravery, courage and leadership skills
- Eve (Chava) – The first woman, considered the mother of all life.
- Hannah (Chana) – Mother of the prophet Samuel, considered a very spiritual person, her prayers were answered
- Naomi (Ne’omi) – Mother in law of Ruth, considered a righteous women
- Ruth (Rut) – Moabite princess who converted to Judaism, considered very loyal, and was rewarded by becoming the mother of the house of Jewish kings.