Publicado el: 15/11/2011

Israel and its Names

By Aaron Meted. Hebrew storyteller and playwright. Author of several pieces.

The Sionist paradigm of a free and renewed people in their own land reflected on the names of its citizens. Paraphrasing the Talmudic saying, “Each generation and its interpreters”, we could add: each generation and its names that interpret values and life models.

In the 20s, together with the classical Abraham, Moshe, David, Sara, some other names emerged, such as Uri (my light), Shai (gift), Tikva (hope), Gueula (salvation). All these names expressed the hopes of the first to arrive in Sion to build it and build themselves into it.

The kibutz movement, strongly identified with the Book of Books and with the fate of the people described in such work, named their children with biblical names which were not part of the established tradition, such as Abishai, Mijal, Yael, Hagar, Merav, Abner, Ioav. New names for “new” men.

The love to our land was present through names that found their source in flora: Ilan (tree), Ilana, Oren (pine), Orna, Tomer, Tamar (palm tree), Vered (rose) Dikla (palmtree), Erez (cedar) and others which found theirs in fauna: Ofer (fawn), Ofra, Arie (lion), Laví, among others.

The seventies reflected a big change: no more biblical names; especially no more naming after ancestors. New, modern, original. names “were made” names: Ron, Sharon, Noa, Ziva, Yuval, Zohar, Neta, Amir, Eitan, and coexisted with some other foreign ones like Sean, Tom, Shirley, Mae, and so many others. 

Men who carried names, named that changed, adapted to different cirsumstances, visions and ideals in Medinath Israel.

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