Most Popular Hebrew Names for Boys

its a boyFor Jewish parents, the birth of a boy is a joyous time during which their baby is welcomed into the Jewish people through a time-honored, sacred ceremony called the Brit Milah. Performed on the eighth day, this beautiful rite includes the ritual circumcision which is performed as commanded in the Torah. (Leviticus 12:2) The brit serves as an enduring symbol of a Jewish male’s eternal partnership with G-d.

 One of the most important moments in the ceremony is the point at which parents give their children his Hebrew name. Since naming a Jewish child has a deep spiritual significance, parents should learn about the meanings and significance of names in preparation for the Brit Milah. 

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What is the Deeper Significance of a Hebrew Name? 

Unlike names in other languages, a Hebrew name actually defines its bearer and speaks to his character traits and identity. Our Sages’ homiletic commentary on the Torah teaches that Adam named every creature in the world based on each creature’s essential qualities. (Midrash Genesis Raba 17:4) In other words, the names Adam gave were descriptive of each creature’s essence. People’s names function in the same way, describing personal character traits and inner qualities. 

Popular Hebrew Names for Boys and their Meanings in English: 

Name

Literal Meaning

Deeper Meaning

Source

Aharon

אהרן

mountain; shining

alludes to Moses' brother; he was the first High Priest and he “loved and pursued peace”

Throughout the Torah

Akiva

עקיבא

protection; shelter

Rabbi Akiva was a renown Sage that lived in Talmudic times who achieved greatness in Torah later in life

The Talmud

Aryeh

אריה

lion

symbolizes the blessing of the tribe of Jewish kings (Yehudah)

Genesis 49:9

Avraham

אברהם

father of many nations

master of kindness

Genesis 17:5

Simcha

שמחה

joy

 

 

Yaakov

יעקב

held by the heel

completion and harmony

Genesis 25:26

Yehuda

יהודה

God will be praised

name also appears in Chanukah saga (Yehudah the Maccabee)

Genesis 29:35

Yisrael

ישראל

wrestle with God

name given to Yaakov, the father of the 12 tribes

Genesis 32:28

Yosef

יוסף

(G-d) will increase

alludes to the power of unification

Genesis 30:24

 

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