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Boys' Names

Boys' Names

The origin and meaning of some of the most common Jewish names for boys.

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NOTE: This is not an exhaustive list. Many Hebrew names have slight variations, and other less common names do not appear on this list at all.

See here for Jewish girls' names.

Aharon
Aharon was the first High Priest, and Moses' brother. Aharon was known for "loving peace and pursuing peace." Aharon means "mountain" or "shining." (variation: Aaron)

Abba
Abba means "father." This name first gained popularity in the Talmudic era. The most famous Abba was a 4th-century Babylonian-born scholar who settled in Israel. (Talmud - Brachot 24b)

Avraham
Avraham was the first patriarch of the Jewish people, who dedicated his life to teaching the world about one God. Avraham was a master of kindness. Avraham means "father of many nations." (see Genesis 17:5) (variations: Abraham, Abe, Avram)

Adam
Adam was the first man. Adam means "ground." (see Genesis 2:7)

Akiva
Akiva shares the same letters as Yaakov (Jacob), meaning "held by the heel." The famous Rabbi Akiva lived in Talmudic times. He had been a 40-year-old shepherd who could not even read the Aleph-Bet. One day, he came across a stone that had been holed out by a constant drip of water. He concluded: If something as soft as water can carve a hole in solid rock, how much more so can Torah -- which is fire -- make an indelible impression on my heart. Rabbi Akiva committed himself to Torah study, and went on to become the greatest sage of his generation, with 24,000 students learning under him at one time. (variation: Akiba)

Alexander
This name originated with Alexander the Great, King of Macedonia. The Talmud relates that upon meeting the High Priest of the Temple in Jerusalem, Alexander dismounted and bowed to him. (Alexander rarely, if ever, bowed to anyone.) Alexander explained that he had seen the High Priest in a dream, which he interpreted as a good omen. Alexander thus peacefully absorbed the Land of Israel into his growing empire. In tribute, the Sages decreed that Jewish boys born that year (333 BCE) be named Alexander. It remains a popular Jewish name today. (variation: Sender)

Alon
Alon means "oak tree." The name Alon appears in the Bible as a grandson of Jacob (1-Chronicles 4:37).

Alter
Alter means "old" in Yiddish. Traditionally, if a child was born sickly, he was given the name Alter, as a blessing that he should grow to old age.

Amos
Amos is one of the 12 minor prophets in the Bible. Amos means "loaded" or "crowded," referring to his vast wisdom.

Amram
Amram was the father of Moses, and the leader of the Jewish people in the generation preceding the Exodus from Egypt. Amram means "mighty nation." (see Exodus 6:18)

Ariel
Ariel means "lion of God" (Isaiah 29:1). Ariel is another name for Jerusalem, and specifically the altar in the Holy Temple (Ezekiel 43:15). Ariel is also the name of an angel with a mission of peace (Isaiah 33:7).

Aryeh
Aryeh means "lion," the king of beasts. The lion symbolizes a go-getter, who pounces on the opportunity to do a mitzvah (see Code of Jewish Law O.C. 1). Aryeh is the nickname given to Judah, as a blessing that he will be the tribe of Jewish kings (see Genesis 49:9). (variations: Ari, Arieh)

Asher
Asher means "blessed" or "fortunate." Asher is one of the 12 tribes, the son of Jacob. (see Genesis 30:13) (variation: Osher)

Avi
Avi means "my father." Avi is short for Avraham, the first patriarch of the Jewish people. (see Genesis 17:5)

Avigdor
Avigdor means "the father of the one who established boundaries" for the Jewish people. In this sense, Avigdor is traditionally one of the names of Moses. The name Avigdor is mentioned in the Bible, in 1-Chronicles 4:4.

Avner
Avner means "my father is light." Avner appears in the Bible as King Saul's uncle and army commander (1- Samuel 14:50). (variations: Abner, Aviner)

Azriel
Azriel is the name of an angel, meaning "helper of God." The name Azriel also appears in the Bible as the father of a leader of the tribe of Naftali (1-Chronicles 27:19), and also in Jeremiah 36:26.

Barak
Barak means "lightning." Barak appears in the Bible as the husband of the great prophetess Devorah. (see Judges ch. 4)

Baruch
Baruch means "blessed." The name Baruch appears in the Bible as assistant to the prophet Jeremiah. (see Jeremiah ch. 32)

Betzalel
Betzalel means "shadow of God." Betzalel appears in the Bible as the builder of the Tabernacle, the portable sanctuary which accompanied the Jewish people during their 40 years of wandering in the desert. (Exodus 31:2).

Benyamin
Benyamin means "son of my right hand," connoting strength. Benyamin is one of the 12 tribes of Israel, the youngest of Jacob's sons (Genesis 35:18). (variations: Benjamin, Binyamin)

Ben-Tzion
Ben-Tzion means "son of Zion" or "son of excellence." The name Ben-Tzion appears in the Talmud (Eydiot 8:7). Benzion, Ben-zion, Ben zion, Bentzion, Ben-Tziyon

Berel
Berel is a derivative of the word "bear." It connotes strength, and is a nickname for the Hebrew name Dov (bear). (variation: Beryl)

Boaz
Boaz means "swiftness." Boaz appears in the Bible as Ruth's husband, and King David's great-grandfather. (Ruth 2:1)

Calev
Calev means "like a heart." Calev appears in the Bible as one of the 12 spies sent to scout out the Land of Israel (Numbers 13:6). Calev was the husband of Miriam, Moses' sister. (variations: Caleb, Kalev)

Carmi
Carmi means "my vineyard." The name Carmi appears in the Bible as the grandson of Jacob (Genesis 46:9). (variation: Karmi)

Chagai
Chagai means "my festival." Chagai was one of the 12 minor prophets in the Bible. A variant form of the name appears in the Bible as a grandson of Jacob (Genesis 46:16). (variation: Hagai)

Chaim
Chaim means "life." The name first appears in Jewish writings during the 12th century as one of the Tosafot commentators on the Talmud. Tradition says that the Messiah will be named Chaim. (variations: Chayim, Hyam)

Chanan
Chanan means "He was gracious." The name Chanan appears in the Bible as a leader of the tribe of Benjamin (1-Chronicles 8:23). (variation: Hanan)

Chananya
Chananya means "God bestows charm." The name Chananya appears in the Bible as one of the prophets (Jeremiah 28:1).

Chananel
Chananel means "God is compassionate." The name appears in the Bible, where reference is made to the "tower of Chananel" (Jeremiah 31:37).

Chanoch
Chanoch means "education" or "dedicated." The name Chanoch appears in the Bible as a son of Cain (Genesis 4:17, 5:18). (variation: Henoch)

Chizkiyahu
Chizkiyahu means "God is my strength." Chizkiyahu appears in the Bible as a righteous king of Israel (2-Kings ch. 19-20). (variations: Chizkiya, Chizkia, Hezekiah)

Dan
Dan means "judge." Dan appears in the Bible as one of the 12 tribes, the fifth son of Jacob (Genesis 30:6). (variation: Don)

Daniel
Daniel means "God is my judge," connoting the harmony of God's compassion and justice. Daniel served in the court of Babylonian King Nebuchadnezzar, and was saved from both the lion's den and a fiery furnace, as recorded in the biblical Book of Daniel. (variation: Doniel)

David
David means "beloved." David was the second king of Israel, and is the ancestor of all future kings, including the Messiah. (see 1-Samuel 17:12). (variation: Dovid)

Doron
Doron means "gift."

Dov
Dov means "bear." Dov appears in the Bible as a reference to cunning and strength (Lamentations 3:10). (variations: Dov-Ber, Dubi)

Ephraim
Ephraim means "fruitful." Ephraim appears in the Bible as the second son of Joseph, and grandson of Jacob (Genesis 41:52). (variations: Efrayim, Efraim)

Ehud
Ehud means "beloved." The name Ehud appears in the Bible as one of the Judges of Israel (Judges 3:15).

Eitan
Eitan means "strongly flowing" (see Deut. 21:4). The name Eitan appears in the Bible as a grandson of Judah (1-Chronicles 2:6). The Midrash says that Eitan is also a nickname for Abraham, the first Jew. (variation: Ethan)

Elchanan
Elchanan means "God is gracious." The name Elchanan appears in the Bible as a warrior in King David's army, who won a key battle against the Philistines (2-Samuel 21:19).

Eldad
Eldad means "beloved of God." The name Eldad appears in the Bible as a Jew who prophesied during the time of Moses (Numbers 11:26).

Elazar
Elazar means "God has helped." The name Elazar appears in the Bible as a son of Aaron the high priest (Exodus 6:23).

Eliezer
Eliezer means "my God has helped." Eliezer appears in the Bible as Abraham's servant (Genesis 15:2), and also as the son of Moses (Exodus 18:4). (variations: Lazer, Laser)

Eli
Eli means "ascend" or "uplifted." Eli appears in the Bible as a High Priest, and the last of the judges in the days of Samuel (1-Samuel ch. 1).

Elimelech
Elimelech means "my God is King." Elimelech appears in the Bible as the husband of Naomi (Ruth 1:2).

Elisha
Elisha means "God will help," or "God will listen [to our prayer]." Elisha appears in the Bible as a prophet who was the main disciple of Elijah the Prophet. (see Second Book of Kings)

Eliyahu
Eliyahu means "toward God." Eliyahu appears in the Bible as a prophet who ascended to heaven alive, and revisits the Jewish people at every circumcision and every Passover Seder. (see Book of Kings) (variation: Elijah)

Elyakim
Elyakim means "my God will establish." Elyakim appears in the Bible as the manager of the king's palace (2-Kings 18:18).

Emanuel
Emanuel means "God is with us." Emanuel appears in the Bible as the name of a Jewish savior (Isaiah 7:14), and also refers to the tribe of Judah (Isaiah 8:8). Tradition says that the Messiah will be named Emanuel. (variation: Immanuel)

Ezra
Ezra means "helper." Ezra led the Jewish people's return from Babylonian exile, and spearheaded the rebuilding of the Holy Temple, as recorded in the biblical Book of Ezra.

Fishel
Fishel means "fish" in Yiddish. Fishel is often associated with the name Ephraim, because Ephraim received a biblical blessing to be "fruitful like fish" (Genesis 48:16). (variation: Fischel)

Fivel
Fivel means "suckling" or "nursing" in Yiddish. Fivel also has a connotation of "light" or "candle." (variations: Fivish, Faivish, Feishiv, Feivel, Fayvel)

Gad
Gad means "good luck." Gad appears in the Bible as one of the 12 tribes of Israel, the son of Jacob (Genesis 30:11).

Gamliel
Gamliel means "God is my reward." Gamliel appears in the Bible as a leader of the tribe of Menashe (Numbers 1:10), and in Talmudic times as a revered Jewish leader.

Gavriel
Gavriel means "God is my strength." Gavriel appears in the Bible as the angel who foretold the birth of Isaac (Genesis 18:10), who overturned Sodom (Genesis ch 19), and who appeared to Daniel (Daniel 8:16). Traditionally, this angel stays by our left side as we sleep at night. (variation: Gabriel)

Gedaliah
Gedaliah means "God is great." Gedaliah appears in the Bible as a leader of the Jewish people who was tragically murdered (2-Kings 25:22; Jeremiah chs. 40-43).

Gershom
Gershom means "stranger." Gershom appears in the Bible as the son of Moses. (Exodus 2:22)

Gershon
Gershon means "to chase away." Gershon appears in the Bible as the son of Levi. (Genesis 46:11)

Gidon
Gidon means "mighty warrior." Gidon appears in the Bible as one of the Judges of Israel, and a war hero who defeated the Midianites (Judges 6:11). (variation: Gideon)

Gil
Gil means "joy" in Hebrew.

Hirsh
Hirsch means "deer" in Yiddish. The name is often associated with the biblical Naftali, who is compared to a swift deer (Genesis 49:21). (variations: Herschel, Hersh, Hershel, Heshel)

Hillel
Hillel means "praise." Hillel appears in the Bible as the father of a Jewish leader (Judges 12:13). Hillel is also known in the Talmud as one of the greatest rabbinic sages.

Issur
Issur is the Yiddish nickname for "Israel." (variation: Isser)

Itamar
Itamar means "island of palms." Itamar appears in the Bible as Aaron's youngest son (Exodus 6:23).

Kalman
Kalman, short for Kalonymos, is a Hungarian name meaning "merciful."

Kalonymos
Kalonymos is a Hungarian name meaning "merciful."

Leib
Leib is Yiddish for "lion." The lion is the symbol of Judah, the tribe of Jewish monarchy. (variation: Leibel)

Levi
Levi means "one who accompanies or attends," alluding to the Levites' role as servants in the Holy Temple. Levi appears in the Bible as one of the 12 tribes, the son of Jacob and Leah (Genesis 29:34).

Malkiel
Malkiel means "God is my king." Malkiel appears in the Bible as a grandson of Asher (Genesis 46:17).

Manoach
Manoach means "resting place." Manoach appears in the Bible as the father of Samson (Judges 13:2).

Matitiyahu
Matitiyahu means "gift of God." Matitiyahu is a key figure in the Chanukah story, as the leader of the Maccabees. In kabbalah, Matitiyahu has the same numeric value (861) as Beit HaMikdash, the Holy Temple. (variation: Mattisyahu)

Medad
Medad means "friend." Medad appears in the Bible as a leader and prophet in the time of Moses (Numbers 11:26).

Meir
Meir means "one who gives light." Rabbi Meir appears in the Talmud as a great 2nd century sage. (variation: Meyer)

Menachem
Menachem means "comforter." Menachem appears in the Bible as a Jewish king (2-Kings 15:14). Tradition says that the Messiah will be named Menachem. (variation: Menahem)

Menashe
Menashe means "causing to forget." In kabbalah, Menashe holds the power to chase away evil. Menashe appears in the Bible as the son of Joseph. (Genesis 41:51) (variation: Manasseh)

Mendel
Mendel is a Yiddish form of Menachem, meaning "comforter."

Meshulam
Meshulam means "paid for."

Micha
Micha means "Who is like God?" Micha appears in the Bible as one of the twelve Minor Prophets.

Michael
Michael means "who is like God?" Michael appears in the Bible as a member of the tribe of Asher (Numbers 13:13). Michael is also the name of an angel and messenger of God, whose task is to act as the "defense attorney" for the Jewish people. Michael stays on our right side as we sleep at night; the right side is always associated with mercy and kindness. (variation: Michoel)

Mordechai
Mordechai means "warrior." Mordechai appears in the Bible as a prophet and the husband of Queen Esther, who saved the Jews in the Purim story from Haman's genocidal plot. (variations: Mordecai, Motty, Motti)

Moshe
Moshe was the greatest prophet ever, who led the Jewish people in the Exodus from Egypt, and at the receiving of the Torah at Mount Sinai. Moshe means "drawn out [of the water]" (Exodus 2:10), for in a deeper sense, Moshe's destiny was to draw the Jewish people out of slavery. (variations: Moishe, Moses)

Nachshon
Nachshon means "diviner." Nachshon appears in the Bible as the brother-in-law of Aaron, and the prince of the tribe of Judah, who was the first Jew to enter the Red Sea before it split (Exodus 6:23).

Nachman
Nachman means "comfort." Nachman appears in the Talmud as a great sage who lived in Babylon. In kabbalah, Nachman has the same numeric value (148) as Netzach -- eternity.

Nachum
Nachum means "comfort." Nachum appears in the Bible as one of the twelve Minor Prophets. (variation: Nahum)

Naftali
Naftali means "to wrestle." Naftali appears in the Bible as one of the 12 tribes of Israel, the sixth son of Jacob (Genesis 30:8).

Natan
Natan means "He gave." Natan appears in the Bible as a prophet and contemporary of King David (2-Samuel 5:15). (variations: Noson, Nathan)

Nechemia
Nechemia means "comforted by God." Nechemia was a leader of the Jewish people during the return from Babylonian exile, as documented in the biblical Book of Nechemia.

Netanel
Netanel means "gift of God." Netanel appears in the Bible as a brother of King David (1-Chronicles 2:14). (variation: Nathaniel)

Nissan
Nissan is the name of the Hebrew month of Springtime, when Passover falls each year. Nissan means "banner."

Nissim
Nissim means "miracles."

Noam
Noam means "pleasant."

Noach
Noach means "tranquility" (Genesis 5:29). Noach appears in the Bible as the builder of the Ark, whose family survived the Flood. In kabbalah, Noach is another name for Shabbat, the day of rest and tranquility. (variation: Noah)

Ovadia
Ovadia means "servant of God." Ovadia appears in the Bible as one of the twelve Minor Prophets. (variations: Ovadiah, Obadiah)

Paltiel
Paltiel means "created by God." Paltiel appears in the Bible as a descendant of the tribe of Issachar (Numbers 34:26).

Peretz
Peretz means "burst forth." Peretz appears in the Bible as the son of Judah (Genesis 38:29).

Pesach
Pesach means "to pass over." Pesach is the Hebrew name for Passover, the holiday celebrating the Jewish exodus from Egypt, when God "passed over" the Jewish homes during the plague of the first born.

Pesachya
Pesachya comes from the root "petach" which means opening or door. The biblical Mordechai was also called "Pesachya" because he revealed hidden matters (i.e. “opened the door”) and knew 70 languages. Pesachya is also related to Pesach (Passover), when the Jews put blood on their “doorposts” during the plague of the first born. Pesachya is also mentioned in the Talmud as being in charge of the collection boxes for Temple offerings.

Pinchas
Pinchas appears in the Bible as a High Priest, the grandson of Aaron. Pinchas' bravery stopped a deadly plague, for which God awarded him the Covenant of Peace (see Numbers ch. 25). Tradition says that the soul of Pinchas was reincarnated as Elijah the Prophet. (variation: Phinehas)

Rachamim
Rachamim means "compassion."

Rafael
Rafael means "God heals." Rafael is the angel of healing, who visited Abraham after his circumcision (Genesis ch. 18). Traditionally, Rafael stays behind us as we sleep at night. (variations: Raphael, Rafoel)

Reuven
Reuven means "behold, a son!" Reuven appears in the Bible as one of the 12 tribes, Jacob's firstborn son (Genesis 29:32). Reuben

Selig
Selig means "blessed, happy" in Yiddish. (variation: Zelig)

Seth
Seth means "appointed." Seth appears in the Bible as the son of Adam, born after the death of Abel (Genesis 5:3).

Shabtai
Shabtai is a derivative of "Shabbat." The name Shabtai appears in the Bible as a Levite during the time of Ezra (Ezra 10:15).

Shalom
Shalom means "peace." A derivative form Shalum appears in the Bible as a king of Israel (2-Kings 15:13). Shalom is also traditionally one of the names of God.

Shaul
Shaul appears in the Bible as the first king of Israel (1-Samuel 9:2). Shaul means "borrowed," as in borrowed by God to serve the Jewish people. (variation: Saul)

Shay
Shay means "gift," and is also a nickname for Yishayahu (Isaiah). Yishayahu was a prophet during the First Temple era in Jerusalem (8th century BCE), as documented in the biblical Book of Isaiah.

Shimshon
Shimshom means "powerful as the sun." Shimshom appears in the Bible as a strong and courageous judge, who grew long hair as a Nazerite, and led successful battles against the Philistines (Judges 13:24). (variation: Samson)

Shimon
Shimon means "to hear." Shimon appears in the Bible as one of the 12 tribes, the second son of Jacob (Genesis 29:33). (variation: Simon)

Shlomo
Shlomo means "his peace." Shlomo appears in the Bible as the son of King David and successor to the throne at age 12. Shlomo built the first Holy Temple in Jerusalem, and reigned during a time of unparalleled peace and prosperity. (see First Book of Kings) (variation: Solomon)

Shmuel
Shmuel means "God is His name." In the Bible, a woman named Chana prayed fervently and she was blessed with a baby, Shmuel. Shmuel grew to become a great prophet, who had the honor of anointing the first two kings of Israel, Saul and David, as recorded in the biblical Book of Samuel.

Shmariyahu
Shmariyahu means "God's protection." A variant form, Shmariya, appears in the Bible as one of King David's loyalists (1-Chronicles 12:6).

Shneur
Shneur is a Yiddish name meaning "two lights."

Shraga
Shraga is an Aramaic word that appears in the Talmud, meaning "light" or "candle."

Simcha
Simcha means "joy."

Tanchum
Tanchum means "consolation." The name Tanchum appears in the Talmud as a great sage who lived in Babylon.

Tuvia
Tuvia means "God is good." The name Tuvia appears in the Bible as one who returned to Israel from the Babylonian Exile (Zechariah 6:10). In kabbalah, Tuvia has the same numeric value (32) as Lev, heart, and it is traditionally one of the names of Moses. (variations: Tovia, Tobiah, Tevye)

Tzion
Tzion means "excellence." The name Tzion also appears dozens of times in the Bible as a reference to Jerusalem.

Tzvi
Tzvi means "deer." The name is often associated with the biblical Naftali, who is compared to a swift deer (Genesis 49:21). (variation: Zvi)

Tzadok
Tzadok means "justice." Tzadok appears in the Bible as assisting King David in stopping a rebellion (2-Samuel 15:27). (variation: Zadok)

Tzemach
Tzemach means "plant." Tzemach appears in the Bible in Zechariah's prophecy (Zechariah 3:8).

Tzephania
Tzephania means "protected by God." Tzephania appears in the Bible as one of the twelve Minor Prophets.

Tzuriel
Tzuriel means "God is my rock." Tzuriel appears in the Bible as the leader from the tribe of Levi (Numbers 3:35).

Uri
Uri means "my light." Uri appears in the Bible as a leader of the tribe of Judah (Exodus 31:2).

Uriel
Uriel means "God is my light." Uriel appears in the Bible as a descendent of Levi (1-Chronicles 6:9). Uriel is also is the name of the angel in charge of the element of air, who stays before us as we sleep at night.

Uziel
Uziel means "God is my strength." Uziel appears in the Bible as a grandson of Levi (Exodus 6:18).

Velvel
Velvel means "wolf" in Yiddish. Velvel is often associated with the tribe of Benjamin, who is described in the Bible as a wolf, i.e. a mighty and fearless warrior (Genesis 49:27).

Yair
Yair means "he will shine." Yair appears in the Bible as the grandson of Joseph. (Deut. 3:14) (variation: Jair)

Yaakov
Yaakov means "held by the heel." Yaakov appears in the Bible as the third Patriarch, who fathered the 12 tribes of Israel (Genesis 25:26). In kabbalah, Yaakov represents completion and harmony. (variation: Jacob, Yaacov, Yakov, Yacov, Yankel, Yanki)

Yechezkel
Yechezkel means "God will strengthen." Yechezkel was a prophet who was taken into Babylonian captivity. Yechezkel foretells the rebuilding of Jerusalem, as documented in the biblical Book of Yechezkel (6th century BCE). (variation: Ezekiel, Yehezkel, Chezy, Chatzkel, Haskel)

Yechiel
Yechiel means "may God live." Yechiel appears in the Bible as a Jewish leader during the Babylonian exile (Ezra 8:9).

Yedidya
Yedidya means "beloved of God." Yedidya appears in the Bible as the name that God chose to call King Solomon (2-Samuel 12:25). (variation: Yedidia)

Yehoshua
Yehoshua means "God is salvation." Yehoshua appears in the Bible as Moses' prime disciple, and leader of the Jewish people after Moses' death (Deuteronomy ch. 31). Joshua conquered the Land of Israel from the Canaanites, as documented in the biblical Book of Joshua.

Yehuda
Yehuda means "God will be praised." The English word, Jew, is derived from Yehuda (Judah). Yehuda appears in the Bible as one of the 12 tribes, who is blessed with the role of kingship (Genesis 29:35). The royal line of King David, Solomon and the Messiah all descend from Yehuda. The name Yehuda also appears as a leader in the Chanukah story -- Judah the Maccabee.

Yigal
Yigal means "he will redeem." Yigal appears in the Bible as one of the 12 spies sent to scout out the Land of Israel (Numbers 13:7).

Yerachmiel
Yerachmiel means "God will have mercy." Yerachmiel appears in the Bible as the son of a Jewish king (Jeremiah 36:26).

Yirmiyahu
Yirmiyahu means "God will uplift." Yirmiyahu was a prophet who warned about the destruction of Jerusalem, as documented in the biblical Book of Jeremiah. (variation: Yirmiya, Jeremy)

Yitzhak
Yitzhak means "he will laugh" (Genesis 21:6). Yitzhak appears in the Bible as the second of the three Patriarchs, who was bound on the altar at Mount Moriah (Genesis ch. 22). In kabbalah, the name Yitzhak indicates the ability to transcend and control the physical world. (variation: Yitzchak, Itzik, Itzhak, Isaac)

Yisrael
Yisrael means "wrestled with God." Yisrael appears in the Bible as the new name given to Jacob, the father of the 12 tribes (Genesis 32:28). (variation: Yisroel, Israel)

Yissachar
Yissachar means "there is a reward." Yissachar appears in the Bible as one of the 12 tribes, the son of Jacob and Leah (Genesis 30:18). (variation: Issachar)

Yishayahu
Yishayahu means "God is salvation." Yishayahu was a prophet during the First Temple era in Jerusalem (8th century BCE), as documented in the biblical Book of Isaiah. (variation: Isaiah, Yeshaya)

Yochanan
Yochanan means "God is gracious." Yochanan appears in the Bible as the son of a Jewish king (2-Kings 25:23), and as an army officer (Jeremiah 40:13). Yochanan was also the High Priest during the Chanukah story, who led the Maccabees in rededicating the Holy Temple.

Yoel
Yoel means "God is willing." Yoel appears in the Bible as one of the twelve Minor Prophets. (variation: Joel)

Yom Tov
Yom Tov means "holiday."

Yosef
Yosef means "(God) will increase." Yosef appears in the Bible as one of Jacob's 12 sons, who was sold into slavery and later served as the prime minister to Pharaoh in Egypt (Genesis 30:24). In kabbalah, Yosef represents the power of unification, as he reunited all 12 brothers together in Egypt. (variation: Yoseph, Yossi, Joseph)

Yona
Yona means "dove." Yona appears in the Bible as one of the twelve Minor Prophets, who was swallowed alive by a giant fish. (variation: Jonah)

Yonatan
Yonatan means "God's gift." Yonatan appears in the Bible as King Saul's son and the best friend of King David (1-Samuel chs. 18-20). (variation: Yehonatan, Jonathan, Yoni, Yonason)

Yoram
Yoram means "God will raise him up." Yoram appears in the Bible as the son of a king (2-Samuel 8:10).

Yuval
Yuval means "stream." Yuval appears in the Bible as the son of Lemech (Genesis 4:21).

Zalman
Zalman is the Yiddish form of Solomon. Solomon appears in the Bible as the son of King David and successor to the throne, who built the first Holy Temple.

Zechariah
Zechariah means "remembering God." Zechariah appears in the Bible as one of the twelve Minor Prophets. (variation: Zachariah, Zachary)

Zev
Zev means "wolf" in Hebrew. Zev is often associated with the tribe of Benjamin, who is described in the Bible as a wolf, i.e. a mighty and fearless warrior (Genesis 49:27). (variation: Zeev)

Zerach
Zerach means "shining light." Zerach appears in the Bible as the son of Judah (Genesis 38:30).

Zevulun
Zevulun means "to honor." Zevulun appears in the Bible as one of the 12 tribes, the son of Jacob and Leah (Genesis 30:20).

 

Published: December 31, 2006


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Visitor Comments: 12

(11) Joseph, May 22, 2014 6:17 PM

Name needed

I need a Jewish baby name that means 'God has honored his Word'.

(10) Eli, March 31, 2014 7:39 PM

I am a woman called Eli

I was American born of immigrants who managed to get out of Norway just before the invasion. I was the first born in America and never understood my name. I know the extended family debated for a few weeks before a name was chosen but grew up thinking they made it up. Maybe they wanted a boy!!!!
Eli

just me, June 4, 2014 6:41 PM

About your name Eli

Well, if your parents immigrated from Norway then Eli is just a super normal common women name in Norway. There are so many Elis here!

(9) Anonymous, October 20, 2013 5:54 PM

the name Kalonymos isn't hungarian, "The name, which occurs in Greece, Italy, and Provence, is of Greek origin; Kalonymos (Kαλώνυμος) stands for "good name" in Greek and Wolf correctly pointed that it is a translation of the Hebrew "Shem-Tob": source from wikipedia.
also i would like to know if there's a jewish name benir or something that sounds like that, and if so what it means. thanks in advance

(8) Sara Englander, October 3, 2013 7:39 PM

Very nice! I am now more knowledgable!

Thanks! I now know what Yoel means.
s it possible to please know what Shmaya means? Thanks!

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