Reut Green, Bar-Ilan University
The Eleventh International Conference on Jewish Names, Paper Abstract
A person's name bears paramount significance in most cultures. Each person carries and transmits a cultural message from the name giver. For example, the choice of a child's first name may illustrate his parents' view of history, whether that is of their family, their cultural group, or even a universal message.
Jewish tradition attributes great importance to the name given to the child. Along with the emergence of the Zionist movement and the immigration to Eretz Israel, there have been significant changes in name giving practices. The main reason is the influence of the Zionist ideology on parents. When the immigrants started to use the Hebrew language, it was deemed inappropriate to continue giving names from other languages.
In this lecture I will discuss the changes in the names of children who were born in the settlements during the First and Second Aliya periods. I will examine the factors that led to these changes and present the characteristics of the "new" given names, illustrating the national aspect of children's names. Through children's names, the idealistic new comers living in the settlements aimed to instill in their children Zionist values as well as their own parental and national expectations.