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If you converted, how did you choose your name?
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amother




Linen
 

Post  Fri, Oct 26 2018, 1:06 pm
I have a cousin who's converting (some of my cousins are not Jewish). She's starting to think about the Jewish name she's going to pick for herself and feeling a little overwhelmed and asked me to help. I did give her some ideas based on how I chose my kids' names, but I think she'd like to hear from others who have been down this road.

Did you choose based on your given name- ex. your name is Hannah so you picked Chana. Or did you choose based on an inspirational figure ex. Chana because you find biblical Chana deeply inspiring, special connection to the story etc. Or was it based on time of year, ex. Chana because you converted right before Rosh Hashana, when we read her story. Or other reasons? Thank you!

Also, if your dh converted, feel free to share his thought process. I didn't have enough room in the subject line to include that.
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amother




Periwinkle
 

Post  Fri, Oct 26 2018, 1:14 pm
I chose a name I found meaningful to me. Someone in tanakh I wanted to emulate and a name that “felt right”. I could see myself being called that name.

Dh xhose a name similar to his English name. Example he was Steven and chose Shlomo. His name is not biblically based like Hannah, he just chose same letter.
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dankbar




 
 
 
 

Post  Fri, Oct 26 2018, 2:14 pm
Some geirim go by Avrohom & Sarah because they were first geirim & parents of the yidden. They are then called up to Torah as Avrohom ben Avrohom!
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amother




Burgundy
 

Post  Fri, Oct 26 2018, 2:27 pm
My fathers English name is Lawrence and he's called Larry. He chose Eliezer, because Eliezer was Avrohoms Eved. his name is Eliezer Ben Avrohom.

My other family member chose the name Yehudis.
The other chose Moshe, because Moshe was the one that gave the Torah to bnei yosroel.

I know another geyores who's name is Basya and another who's name is Rus.
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sequoia




 
 
 
 

Post  Fri, Oct 26 2018, 2:28 pm
I chose my great-grandmother’s name.
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amother




Slategray
 

Post  Fri, Oct 26 2018, 3:17 pm
I chose my names based on my given names. I’m southern so my parents gave me two first names Smile

One of those names was Mary, so I chose Miriam, which has the same first letter, is also a major female figure in the torah, and I connected with her character and role.

The other name has a similar meaning to my other given name.

In a way I wanted to honor the choices of my parents, who did a wonderful job at raising this Jewish neshama, and have been so loving and supportive of my becoming Jewish. My mom came with me to the mikvah, so she was there with me for both of my “births”.
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amother




Linen
 

Post  Fri, Oct 26 2018, 3:46 pm
Thank you for sharing! And thank you Sequoia, I didn't think of that. My uncle (her father) is Jewish, so she could totally name herself after one of our ancestors.
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amother




Periwinkle
 

Post  Fri, Oct 26 2018, 3:49 pm
As I said above the name I picked was from tanakh , but I added on my great grandmothers name as well. My father was also Jewish .
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grace413




 
 
 
 

Post  Fri, Oct 26 2018, 4:21 pm
amother wrote:
I chose my names based on my given names. I’m southern so my parents gave me two first names Smile

One of those names was Mary, so I chose Miriam, which has the same first letter, is also a major female figure in the torah, and I connected with her character and role.

The other name has a similar meaning to my other given name.

In a way I wanted to honor the choices of my parents, who did a wonderful job at raising this Jewish neshama, and have been so loving and supportive of my becoming Jewish. My mom came with me to the mikvah, so she was there with me for both of my “births”.


Wow! You and your parents are very special people. What a beautiful story.
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OutATowner




 
 
 
 

Post  Fri, Oct 26 2018, 5:04 pm
My close friend looked at a list of names and their meanings and chose one that she felt gave her chizik. I don't want to say the real name, but let's say she was davening for joy, so she picked Aliza etc. I helped her choose her middle name based on how she was feeling and what she wanted to express. She told me the idea/emotion and I told her names that went with it.
As an aside, someone here recommended getting a necklace with her name...I did and she was so touched.
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crust




 
 
 
 

Post  Fri, Oct 26 2018, 5:38 pm
Slategray I was touched to tears by your post.
Thanks for sharing.
Have a Good Shabbos!
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amother




Purple
 

Post  Sat, Oct 27 2018, 12:11 pm
I'm not a convert, but from a non religious family and was not given a Hebrew name. I picked the Hebrew name that sounded the closest to my English name. Not quite as obvious as changing Hannah to Chana but more like changing Sandra to Sarah.

The Hebrew name I picked wasn't my favorite Hebrew name, and I would have never picked it for my daughters, but I just felt like that was the name that was staying true to my name, and that picking another name would have felt "made up".
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amother




Vermilion
 

Post  Sat, Oct 27 2018, 12:37 pm
My situation was weird, in that my parents gave me a Hebrew name, because I grew up reform and always thought I was Jewish based on patrilineal descent. The Hebrew name they gave me was Sarah, and they gave me a slightly similar English name.

I didn't want to be Sarah bas Sarah and have it be obvious I was a convert, especially since that was a sore point with my father's family for awhile, and besides, Sarah was a relative of my mother (with whom I haven't had a relationship in years) and I wanted to honor my father's family. I chose the name of my great-grandmother, who was one of the last people in the family to remain shomer Shabbos, was always an inspiration to me, had two biblical names of women who I look up to, and it happened to be the same initials as my English name!

(Years later, I added a third name at the recommendation of rabbonim when we were having trouble conceiving, and that's the name I introduce myself as. I identify strongly with all three of my names, and even with the original name Sarah, to the extent that I won't name a future child that because it would feel like naming after myself.)

(anon because this is a fairly unusual story and I'm sure people are reading this who know who I am.)
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amother




Chocolate
 

Post  Sat, Oct 27 2018, 4:58 pm
amother wrote:
I chose my names based on my given names. I’m southern so my parents gave me two first names Smile

One of those names was Mary, so I chose Miriam, which has the same first letter, is also a major female figure in the torah, and I connected with her character and role.

The other name has a similar meaning to my other given name.

In a way I wanted to honor the choices of my parents, who did a wonderful job at raising this Jewish neshama, and have been so loving and supportive of my becoming Jewish. My mom came with me to the mikvah, so she was there with me for both of my “births”.


my mom converted and she also was called Mary before and chose Miriam as her hebrew name. I know a lot of gioresses who have the name Ruth.
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amother




Scarlet
 

Post  Sat, Oct 27 2018, 8:39 pm
I’ve had the zchus to attend many conversions due to being a mikvah lady. One woman asked me if I minded if she used my name as her name. It was such an honor.
(Another time when I was 9 months pregnant, a woman froma state over hear about the pregnant mikvah lady - me - and came to dip after me. It was my night off but I came and for her privacy, we never saw eachother. She never asked me for my hebrew name because I go by my english name, so it never came up. She sent me a gift 3 months later, and then 9 months later called to tell me the baby’s name - my hebrew name!! She had no idea!)
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ggdm




 
 
 
 

Post  Mon, Oct 29 2018, 10:50 am
I chose a name that I liked and that expressed my feeling of gratitude for finally being able to make this step. Along the lines of Judah (to give thanks) or Yishmael (Gd has listened), just female of course Wink
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Seas




 
 
 
 

Post  Mon, Oct 29 2018, 11:16 am
ggdm wrote:
I chose a name that I liked and that expressed my feeling of gratitude for finally being able to make this step. Along the lines of Judah (to give thanks) or Yishmael (Gd has listened), just female of course Wink


Imagine converting to a Jewish Yishmael...
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amother




Vermilion
 

Post  Wed, Oct 31 2018, 5:37 am
Me again. My husband is also a ger, and his parents gave him a name that's actually biblical, and he just took the Hebrew version of it without really thinking much, seeking to honor his parents--but he cautions people who go that route to make sure the name isn't super unusual or weird in the frum community.
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ggdm




 
 
 
 

Post  Wed, Oct 31 2018, 6:10 am
Seas wrote:
Imagine converting to a Jewish Yishmael...

It may raise some eyebrows, especially if the convert were from Arabic origin LOL
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chicco




 
 
 
 

Post  Wed, Oct 31 2018, 9:31 am
Just to point out there's a tanna by the name Yishmael in the mishna...
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