Friday, June 20, 2008

Yehoshua's Name Change

Ever notice how some families are eee families? They don't have Dovid, or Shmuel, or Devorah or Dinah. They have Dovie, Shmulie, Devoirie and Deenee. And Shprintzie. (Rarely, you find variation within one family. For example, my parents expressed their preference- perfectly understandable- for one child among their children by appending the eee to my name and not those of my siblings. But usually families are internally consistent.) This has led to some surprises. For example, an acquaintance of mine once attended a Kashrus industry conference for Mashgichim, and was assigned a room. When he checked the list, he saw that his roomate was a fellow named Shimie. When he brought his luggage up and walked into his room, he learned - surprise! - that this Shimie's given name was Shima, not Shimon. As the Gemara says, Netira, netirusa ba'ee.

This habit can be helpful. Among my son, son in law and grandchildren, for example, the only way to distinguish among the various Moshes is whether they are Moshe or Moishie or Moish. But there is far more involved here! I say that this, like many other minhagim among the Jews, is a holy and ancient minhag!

When Hashem changed Sarai's name to Sarah, the letter Yud stood before Hashem and complained, why are you diminishing me? So Hashem promised the letter Yud that the time would come when every single name in Jewish neighborhoods will end with a Yud. I suppose that if the story of Yehoshua were to happen now, his name would be changed to Shuie.

And have a good Shabbos.


  1. That is Hillarious,When did you have this EINFAL

  2. I'm glad I could contribute to your oneg Shabbos. Where do Einfals come from? I don't know, but my wife's name is Malkie.

  3. I am not sure if you Understood me I meant Epiphany.