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When I was younger, I detested my birth name. It wasn’t until I became an adult that I learned the more profound meaning behind my name. Names play an important role in our lives. Not only does your name identify you, it may mystically represent who you are in this world. Names that stem from religious beliefs have even deeper meanings.

Religious Traditions

When it comes to choosing a name, some individuals look in the Torah, Bible or other holy books for inspiration. Names often represent characters from certain religious stories. In Judaism, a Hebrew name instantly identifies the person within the Jewish community. Many Jewish people display their Hebrew name on jewelry to reflect their spiritual pride.

It’s also common for parents to name a child after a character trait found in a holy book. Whether a person was defined as strong, pure, simple, optimistic or devout, his or her name has likely been passed on from generation to generation. Many people name their children after things found in nature as well. This may be a way to praise God for the treasures people take for granted.

Some children are named after relatives who have passed on. The religious connotations behind this act are significant. Naming a child after a beloved relative symbolizes a connection of souls. Certain beliefs state that a person’s soul and his or her name are spiritually connected, so naming a child after a relative is a serious and momentous occasion.

Secular Customs

Many people are given their names based on heritage rather than religion. It is a way for a parent to see his or her legacy continue. A first-born son may be given his father’s name, or the first granddaughter in a family may have the middle name of her grandmother. In some cases, names are bestowed as representations of social standing or class as well.

A person’s name doesn’t always have a deep meaning behind it. If you cannot find the significance of your own name, it may not have one. Some names simply sound melodious when pronounced aloud. Other names may be derived from specific words. A number of parents even choose names that are unique so their children stand out.

Regardless of its meaning, you should be honored to have your name. If you’re part of the Jewish community, you can show your pride by wearing a distinctive piece of Hebrew name jewelry. Our names have incredible powers, and displaying a name on a chain, bracelet or pin is the perfect way to reflect its importance. You may not care for your name, but in time you may learn to appreciate its origins.

Yoram Ahdut is one of the baltinester’s brothers that ran
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