Posted on: June 30, 2011
One of the things that converts to Judaism must decide on is a Hebrew name. It is one of those awesome and unsettling things similar to the feeling of actually becoming Jewish. There is a bright and wonderful future ahead of me. When I look into the lens of my Jewish future I see connection to God, I see prayer and worship, I see children who will be Jews, I see my imprint on Judaism. When I look to my past I see everything and everyone who made me into the woman that I am today.
Becoming Jewish doesn’t negate who I was but choosing a Hebrew name, while fun and exciting feels a bit foreign. I never agreed with the idea of women changing their names when they got married because I think that it takes away from who they are, who their family is and instead takes on who their partner is and who that partner’s family is. Yes, a marriage is the bringing together of two families with those two people but why should one slough off their name?
Even before I admitted I was gay, I always knew that when I got married my last name would remain the same or at most become hyphenated. Adding a Hebrew name to my name will just make for a longer name and a multi-diminisional me.
Here are some names I’ve been looking at:
Adva אַדְוָה which means ripple
Amiya עַמִּיָה which means my people
Batel בַּת־אֵל or Batyah בַּתְיָה which both means daughter of God
Dalia/Dalya דַּלְיָה which means branch
Datia/Datyah דַּתְיָה which means God’s religion
Hasia/Hasya/Chasia חַסְיָה which means take refuge or have mercy. There’s a beautiful Psalm also attached to this name: The name may originate from the verb “לָחוּס” (lachus, “have mercy”) or “לַחֲסוֹת” (lachasot, “take refuge”). One of the psalms says: “Be merciful unto me, O God, be merciful unto me, for my soul trusteth in thee (חָסָיָה), yea, in the shadow of thy wings will I make my refuge, until these calamities be overpast” (Psalms 57, 1; verse 2 in the Hebrew version of the Bible).
Hodaya הוֹדָיָה which means thanksgiving
Tehiyya תחייה which means resurrection, rebirth, revival
Tehila תְּהִלָּה which means praise
Yakira יַקִירָה which means precious
Zaharia זַהֲרִירָה which is derived from the word Zohar and means light, brilliance, glow
or Zipporah צִפּוֹ רָה which means means bird.
I think this is my list…now to figure out which will be my name.