Saturday, December 15, 2007



As if my life weren't complicated enough already - we're now having a big kerfuffle in my family over what Hebrew name to use for my new grand-niece. Emails are flying fast and furiously across the Atlantic and we're all involved.

My brother - my two nieces - my nephew - my ex-sister-in-law - me - and it goes on. And just why is her Hebrew name so important? In our family it's the Hebrew name that's important. Babies are always named in memory of someone close who has died in order to carry the name on.

My niece and her husband, on the other hand, simply chose an English name they liked and we're now all busy sticking our noses into their business trying to come up with a Hebrew name.

When the baby was born they sent me an email telling me her name was Aidan/Aiden/Aidyn - they hadn't yet decided how to spell it! I voted for Aidan as I liked the way it looked. Aiden was my second choice and - as far as I was concerned - Aidyn looked like the name of a generic drug.

So her name is Aidan Rebecca. OK - Rebecca equals Rivka - which is in memory of my Mom - whose English name was Ruth and whose Hebrew name was Rivka - who would have been Aidan's great-grandmother. Also in memory of her other great-grandmother whose name was Regina - also beginning with an "R". Rivka covers two great-grandmothers - two "R's" with only one name one is left out.

But - although I don't know Regina's Hebrew name - I would bet it was Malka - Hebrew for Queen. Regina also means Queen. So that throws a spanner into the works - nowhere does an "M" fit into the equation. However, we'll go with the "R" for the sake of simplicity.

Be that as it may - Rivka takes care of her middle name. How about the first name? This morning I received an email from my niece asking for a Hebrew name for Aidan - which means "little fire" - in I don't know what language - Irish? Maybe. Little Fire in Hebrew translates into esh katan - I don't think so.

Here's my solution - which I sent on to my niece. Eden - which is pronounced just like Aidan - is a Hebrew word - as in Gan Eden - Garden of Eden. Just use Eden - sounds like Aidan - a Hebrew name by all means - and call her Eden Rivka in Hebrew. How's that for a solution? A name in memory of her two grandmothers plus a name my niece and her husband both like - done!!

And you thought life was simple?


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