Blog: For Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Jews... Or, Much A-Blog About Nothing...

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Hebrew Names...Or, I stole this from Elie

The following is a comment I left on Elie's site. I'd link to it but blogger is not letting me put in links at the moment. Pfft!

Very interesting topic, indeed. As a ger (in the process) I don't have parents or grandparents or anyone to name me. I go by Hila because my dear friend from Israel, Keren, said that I should have it as my Hebrew name because it means "halo" like an angel's halo--and that it fits me not only because my "real" name starts with an H, but also I am very blonde much like the gold of the halo of an angel, and that also my personality is very sweet. I'd say she was just sweet-talking me but I don't know what that would have gotten her ;-)

This past Shabbos I was having a chat with some friends and somehow my Hebrew name came up. All the rest of my friends said, no no we should give you a different name. So now the new rabbi (Ed. Note: by new rabbi I mean the potential replacement rabbi for our Hillel) and everyone is all about finding me a Hebrew name.

Addition: The rabbi asked me what kind of name I was wanting, if it mattered if it started with the same letter as my "real" name, etc. I said I wanted something with meaning, something representative of my personality and my own journey to Judaism. He suggested several lovely names, as did some of my close friends, including Noa, Ora, Hadassah, Nediva, and Zahavah. What do you all think? Please post opinions/ideas/suggestions for potential names in the comments section or e-mail me :-)

When my conversion is complete, I am not sure whether I want to take the traditional ____ bat Avraham Avienu v' Sarah Imenu. It's not that I don't want to be known as a convert/ger/ Jew-by-choice, but because I think I would feel a deeper connection if I could have "adoptive" Jewish parents. Maybe the rabbi and my tutor. Just a thought.

What are your opinions on that bit as well? I know it is a somewhat new and "controversial" thing but I read about it in Anita Diamant's book "Choosing a Jewish Life" and it struck me. I don't want to offend anyone, and of course I would be beyond honored to have Abraham and Sarah as my spiritual parents, but part of me also feels like I would have a deeper connection to everything if I could "adopt" Jewish parents. Let me know what you think, I value all of your opinions and insight!

-Hila (or ???)


Revel With A Cause Productions said...

All of the names you mentioned sound pretty and fun to say out loud. But if you're already calling yourself Hila, you might want to stick with it. It's also a nice name.

Maybe this doesn't mean much coming from a Baha'i (a group of people who are notorious for being incredibly pluralistic), but I think the very essence of faith is something that cannot be proved. So, naturally, everyone believes that they know just how to worship, what to believe, etc. That means that everyone's views and traditions are correct, giving no one the right to say that their views aren't "right" or are better than others. So if you'd like to go a more traditional route, that's a good thing and something cool about you. But if you like the name Hila, you should keep it. It doesn't make you any better or worse. It's just an outward name for yourself. You're still the same person with the same beliefs no matter what you call yourself. So definitely keep doing the research and talking to people until you decide on a name you feel fits you the best.
Hopefully that helps. Sorry if I'm off the mark here. I'm not as familiar with the whole naming process, so bear with me.

RaggedyMom said...

I like the name Hila. I had an Israeli camp counselor with the same name. But you can try on the others for size . . .
A word of caution - RaggedyDad added a middle name at his own bris (later in life) that he later regretted giving himself, as it is not really ever used and he would have loved to use it for one of our own kids! So don't take a name that you want to name one of your daughters, G-d willing!

Elie said...

Thanks for the link nd the topic contuinuation!

If you want a Hebrew name that's similar to Hila, how about Huldah? She was one of the seven prophetesses along with Sarah, Miriam, Devorah, etc. She's mentioned in II Kings 22:14-20 if you want to look her up.

RaggedyMom said...

Or there's always Tehila - like a take on Tehillim (Psalms) - very popular these days with new babies in our neighborhood.

Hila said...

Thank you all for your input and suggestions. I apologize for not having responded sooner--I am back at home and have been helping my mom with all the preparations for my brother's high school graduation party, so I have been running around like crazy! I hope to get to update soon!

RM: I like Hila, too, I just guess I want to make sure that I pick a name that "fits" me. Tehila is pretty too, though :-)

Elie: Huldah sounds interesting--I actually have a Swedish aunt with that name, I always thought it was Scandinavian because a lot of Swedish women have that name! Ha ha you learn something new every day :-)

Shabbat Shalom everyone!

cool yiddishe mama said...


Sorry it's taking me so long to chime in. (I, too, have been taking long blog breaks which have unfortunately taken me off of some people's blog lists). +sniff, sniff, tears rolling down my cheek+

Unlike a born Jew, you have a wonderful opportunity to select a name that has a special meaning for you. Perhaps I am sounding too much like the crowd, but Hila seems to personify you so much more: its unique like you.

Bli neder, I will get better with blogging. My two month long fog has lifted as my house is sold and I am out of the miserable job situation.