Through the ages, people became very creative in the ways they altered their names. Many non-Jewish names managed to become popular Jewish names but Rabbis were strict about which names a child could use. They were concerned over the practice of naming Jewish babies gentile names and set up creative ways for Jews to have both a sacred Jewish name and a name that fit within the local culture. This sacred name was what descendants could use to recognize that their ancestors were Jewish. It’s unfortunate that too often, these sacred names became lost or abandoned.
Suellen Ocean is the author of Secret Genealogy – A How-to for Tracing Ancient Jewish Ancestry, Secret Genealogy II – Uncovering the Jewish Roots of Our Christian Ancestors and Secret Genealogy III – From Jewish Anglo-Saxon Tribes to New France Acadians. Available here:
Secret Genealogy: https://www.createspace.com/4234160
Secret Genealogy II: https://www.createspace.com/4235650
Secret Genealogy III: https://www.createspace.com/4239009
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