Choosing Jewish baby names is a complicated process. Naming any child is a statement of character and something that will stay with the child forever. It's possibly the only thing that you will ever truly control with your child - unless of course he or she becomes hugely famous and decides to opt for their own choice – perhaps something like Elton….It can also be really difficult to reach consensus with your partner.
When my wife and I were choosing a name for our son we found that working from a book full of names was the surest way of not reaching agreement. We therefore came up with these general guidelines:
- We wanted the name of our baby to be both a statement of what we hope he will become as well as where he came from
- As Ashkenazi Jews we decided to name our baby after a deceased relative. As mentioned in an earlier post Sephardi Jews often name after the living. I also know of many people that name their babies based on a Jewish holiday coinciding with the birth or the Torah portion corresponding to the week of the birth
- We gave a lot of thought to the meaning of the name so that it might have a positive effect on his future. You might want to check out this site dedicated to Jewish baby names as it gives the meanings to a lot of names
- We wanted our son to have a Hebrew name that could be used in English too
- We wanted the name to be unusual but not too unusual!