What’s In A Name?

My weekly lectures (available at the Internet Archive) and column for this past פרשת במדבר discussed the legitimacy of the use of non-Jewish names by Jews: In parashas Bemidbar (1:2), Hashem commands Moshe to count the Jews “with the number of their names”. The Sforno explains that this census (as opposed to the one at […]

Pagan Theophory In Jewish Anthroponyms

Esther No one really knows whether the Biblical name Esther is related to the Assyro-Babylonian goddess(es) Ishtar. As per the Wikipedia Talk page for Ishtar: “Anunit, Atarsamain and Esther are alternative names for Ishtar.” I have removed the sentence from the article lead; article Atarsamain makes no mention of the goddess being a counterpart of […]