Collected Precedents of the S.C.A.: Jewish, Hebrew, Yiddish

Name Precedents: Jewish, Hebrew, Yiddish

Laurel: Date: ( Precedent:
Shauna of Carrick Point 2004.05 Submitted as Sayna of Lincoln, the submitter requested authenticity for a 12th century English Jewish woman. We have changed the name to Sayna de Lincolne to partially comply with this request. Layamon's Brut, written in the first half of the 13th C, has several examples of this placename spelled Lincolne. Barring evidence that Sayna was a given name used by Jewish women in England, we cannot say whether this name is authentic for a Jewish Englishwoman. [Sayna de Lincolne, 05/04, A-An Tir]
François la Flamme 2003.10 Submitted as Avraham ben David Hakuzari, no documentation was presented that Kuzari was the Hebrew word meaning 'Khazar', nor that this term was used in period. Luckily, Metron Ariston pointed to the Sefer HaKuzari, a book written in 1140 which was constructed as a discussion between a Khazar king and a Jewish rabbi, which ended with the Khazars converting to Judaism. Based on examples provided by the submitter, the most probable byname form would be haKuzari. Therefore, we have made that change. [Avraham ben David haKuzari, 10/2003, A-Calontir]
François la Flamme 2003.10 The question was raised as to whether Harofeh is a reasonable transliteration of the period Hebrew byname meaning 'the physician'. A more typical period transliteration would be ha-Rofe. In the cases of languages that do not use Roman alphabets (such as Chinese, Russian, Arabic, Hebrew, etc.) we register transliterations using period transliteration systems and modern standard transliterations systems. The form Harofeh is a modern transliteration of this period name element, as for example in the names of the Assaf Harofeh Hospital ( and the Shmuel Harofeh Hospital (, both hospitals located in Israel. As it is a modern standard transliteration of a period name, it is registerable. [Avraham Harofeh, 10/2003, A-Atlantia]
François la Flamme 2003.06 Submitted as Yosef Ze'ev ben Ami, the documentation provided in the LoI for the element Ze'ev was:

Ze'ev is from Encyclopedia Judaica, vol. 4, pg. 538; under the header Benjamin Ze'ev ben Mattathias of Arta who was a businessman from the early 16th century. A modern Hebrew dictionary gives Ze'ev as meaning "wolf".

Aryanhwy merch Catmael forwarded commentary regarding this name from Julie Stampnitzky:

<Ze'ev>: It's not clear that <Ze'ev> was used as a given name in period. In the example of <Benjamin Ze'ev>, it may be a literary alias. (See Academy of Saint Gabriel Report 1966 [].) Note that <Benjamin Ze'ev> (or <Binyamin Ze'ev>, to give fully Hebrew form) can also be read as a Hebrew phrase meaning "Benjamin is a wolf"; this phrase occurs in the Bible, Genesis 49:27. Because of the Biblical reference, the double name <Binyamin Ze'ev> became popular post-period. On the other hand <Yosef Ze'ev> is not a meaningful combination. Even if the particular double name <Binyamin Ze'ev> was used in period, it doesn't necessarily show that <Ze'ev> would have been used in other combinations.

[...] <Yosef ben Ami> would be a fine early-period name."

Therefore, the only evidence we have of the use of Ze'ev in period is the cited example of it in the compound given name Benjamin Ze'ev which derives from a specific Biblical reference. (In a similar manner, the name Jean Baptiste derived from the Biblical reference to John the Baptist. Baptiste was not originally used as a given name on its own and would not have made sense when used in combination with a different given name at that time.) Lacking evidence that Ze'ev would have been used as a given name or byname on its own in period, or that it would have been used in a compound given name other than the cited Benjamin Ze'ev, the submitted combination Yosef Ze'ev is not registerable.

As the submitter allows any changes, we have dropped Ze'ev in order to register this name. [Yosef ben Ami, 06/2003 LoAR, A-West]

François la Flamme 2002.09 Listed on the LoI as David Ben Leon, the name was submitted as David Ben Leon of Glaslyn. The locative based on the submitter's SCA branch name was dropped at Kingdom to meet the submitter's request for authenticity for a persona of a "14th Century male English merchant/alchemist of Hebrew descent". We have lowercased the particle ben to match documented forms. [David ben Leon, 09/2002 LoAR, A-Ansteorra]
François la Flamme 2002.08 Submitted as Chavah bat Mordecai, we have modified the name to use a consistent transliteration system. [Chavah bat Mordechai, 08/2002, A-Outlands]
François la Flamme 2002.08 Submitted as Matatias de domo Leah le Blund, the submitter requested an authentic Jewish name for Angevin England. Julie Stampnitzky provided commentary regarding authentic forms of this name for the submitter's desired time and culture:

This name mixes multiple languages. <Matatias> is a form that would be used in a Latin document; in Hebrew it would be <Matisyah> (Ezra 10:44) or <Matisyahu>. <de domo> is a Latin phrase. <Leah> is a fine transliteration of the Hebrew name spelled lamed-alef-hay (Genesis 29:16 ff.), but this spelling is not likely to have been used in a document written in Latin or Anglo-Norman French. <le Blund> is French. Any one of these three languages would fit the submitter's period-a Jew in Angevin England would have spoken French; when he signed his own name or was mentioned in a document written by a Jewish neighbor, it would have been in Hebrew; and when he appeared in a document written by a Christian neighbor, his name would often have been in Latin.

I have checked the information from Jacobs' book [Joseph Jacobs, The Jews of Angevin England]. (The copy I saw was at Hebrew University in Jerusalem.)

The submitter's intentions are unclear - he cites an example of a man called "son of Avigay," but he chose to use a phrase that means "of the house of Leah." While Jacobs' book provides support for the <de domo> form, it does not list anyone using <de domo X> where X is a woman. I suggest he use <filius> "son" instead. (<fil> in Jacobs' book is a scribal abbreviation.)

It's not clear whether <le Blund> is supposed to apply to himself or to his mother.

Jacobs does not document anyone whose name includes both a patronym and a descriptive term like "blond," so it would be better to use only one byname for a Latin name. It would be quite in keeping with period practice to vary the usage- the same person might be "N son of Leah" in some instances and "N the blond" in others.

Here are entirely Latin forms of his name:

Matatias Blundus filius Lie (if he is blond)

Matatias filius Lie Blunde (if his mother is blond)

<Blundus> is dated to 1086 in Reaney & Wilson, A Dictionary of English Surnames, s.n. Blunt.

<Lia>, a Latinized spelling of <Leah>, is found in Jacobs, p. 357. Since it follows "filius" it must be put in the genitive; in this period the usual way to do that was to change -a to -e. "Blundus" must agree with the person it is describing.

Lacking evidence that de domo would be used to refer to a feminine name, a byname constructed de domo [feminine name] is not registerable. We have changed de domo to filius, meaning 'son', as suggested by Julie. We have also put Leah into the genitive form Lie and modified le Blund to agree with the gender of the name it is describing (here Leah) as required by Latin grammar. [Matatias filius Lie Blunde, 08/2002, A-East]

François la Flamme 2002.05 The submitter requested authenticity for a 1500-1600 German Jewish woman and allowed minor changes. The spelling Hannah was documented as an English feminine given name. Evidence was found that forms of this name were also used in Germany. The Hebraicized form Chana is found in Germany in Julie Stampnitzky's article "Names from Hebrew Chronicles of the 10th to 13th Centuries" ( The vernacular form Hanna is found in the matronymic byname Hannen dated to 1343 in Bahlow (p. 209 s.n. Hannen). As changing the language of a name phrase is a major change, which the submitter does not allow, we were unable to change the given name to a German form to meet the submitter's request. [Hannah Rosenberg, 05/2002, A-Æthelmearc]
François la Flamme 2002.02 The LoI stated that the Calontir College recalled a precedent allowing double given names in Jewish, but they were unable to find it. Cornelian found the precedent in question in the Combined Name Precedents at the Laurel Web site:
[Yaakov Avraham ben Obadiah] A question was raised in commentary regarding the use of double given names in period Jewish names. While not the norm, the use was not rare, and therefore we see no reason not to allow it. (Jaelle of Armida, LoAR November 1998, p. 7).
[Miriam Rivka bat Yisrael, 02/02, A-Calontir]
Elsbeth Anne Roth 2001.04 Liora is her modern Hebrew given name; such names were ruled registerable under the legal name allowance by Bruce Draconarius of Mistholme in September 1992. [Liora eishet Yehoshua, 04/01, A-Middle]
Jaelle of Armida 1998.12 [Tsivia bas Tamara v'Amberview. Name change from Tsivia bas Tamara of Amberview] The submitter wished to use the Hebrew v rather than the English of. There are two problems with this. First, according to RfS III.1.a each name phrase must be entire in the same language or in a language with an English connective such as of or the. Unless Amberview can be documented as Hebrew, it cannot be combined with Hebrew. Second, no documentation was presented for v being Hebrew for of. (Jaelle of Armida, LoAR December 1998, p. 19)
Jaelle of Armida 1998.11 [Yaakov Avraham ben Obadiah] A question was raised in commentary regarding the use of double given names in period Jewish names. While not the norm, the use was not rare, and therefore we see no reason not to allow it. (Jaelle of Armida, LoAR November 1998, p. 7)
Jaelle of Armida 1998.11 [Yaakov Avraham ben Obadiah] No documentation was presented and none could be found by the College of Arms, or in any of Laurel's extensive collection of Judaica, for period Hebrew names which used a hyphen. Therefore, we have removed it. (Jaelle of Armida, LoAR November 1998, p. 7)
Jaelle of Armida 1998.03 [Avram Ibn Gabirol] Submitted as Avram Ibn-Gabirol, while standard modern usage would be to use a lower case I in Ibn, since Hebrew doesn't use upper and lower case letters, it is registerable. However, no documentation was presented for the use of the hyphen in Hebrew names, so we have removed it. (Jaelle of Armida, LoAR March 1998, p. 12)
Jaelle of Armida 1997.04 [registering the given name Arielle] The name Ariel is found in the Bible, in Ezra, as the name of a male leader. While no one could produce documentation showing that Arielle is a period name, Hebrew names of this sort are frequently feminized by adding an "a" or an "e" at the end. For instance, Rafael bcomes Rafaelle, Gabriel becomes Gabrielle, Uriel becomes Urielle, Michael becomes Michaela, etc. Since our sources for period Hebrew names give us many more for men than for women, we are registering this as a compatible name. (Jaelle of Armida, LoAR April 1997, p. 2)
Jaelle of Armida 1997.04 Submitted as Aryel Ramsey of Skye, the standard transliteration of Ariel is with an "i", not a "y". (Jaelle of Armida, LoAR April 1997, p. 12)
Jaelle of Armida 1996.09 Submitted as Tabitha Leah meen Samarra, we have changed the Hebrew word "meen" to of, since Samarra is not a Hebrew word. (Jaelle of Armida, LoAR September 1996, p. 5)
Da'ud ibn Auda (2nd tenure, 2nd year) 1995.11 Please inform her that as a pre-seventeenth century name used by human beings, Ariel is an ancient Hebrew man's name (Ezra 8:16). (Talan Gwynek, LoAR November 1995, p. 8)
Da'ud ibn Auda (2nd tenure, 2nd year) 1995.09 [Eleazar Ben Judah] It is customary not to capitalize the particle ben. Had he not forbidden spelling and grammar changes, we'd have changed the name to Eleazar ben Judah. We'd still much prefer this form; but period practice in respect of capitalization was erratic enough that we are not willing to return the name solely for that reason. (Talan Gwynek, LoAR September 1995, p. 12)
Da'ud ibn Auda (2nd tenure, 2nd year) 1995.06 The submitter's documentation makes the overall name a combination of a Hebrew given name with a Persian given name. Neither language appears to have formed names in this way (unmarked patronymics). (Da'ud ibn Auda, LoAR June 1995, p. 26)
Bruce Draconarius of Mistholme 1993.08 Yiddish, from Eastern Europe, has not been shown to have enough period interaction with Irish to justify combining them in a name. (Deborah Fey O'Mora, August, 1993, pg. 9)
Bruce Draconarius of Mistholme 1993.05 As it turns out, Yehudah Arye does not mean "Lion of Judah". According to Lady Triton, the word order in Hebrew determines the meaning of a phrase. "Lion of Judah" would thus be Aryeh (shel) Yehudah. The submitted name is therefore not a claim of relationship to a titled individual [Arye dropped to avoid claim of relationship with Yehudah Aryeh ha Cohen (1571-1648)] (Elisheva bas Yehudah ha Cohen, May, 1993, pg. 7)
Bruce Draconarius of Mistholme 1992.09 There remains the question of whether a Hebrew name is in fact a "legal name" within the meaning of II.4. Not all religious names are necessarily legal names; I once had the dubious pleasure of meeting someone from a New Age commune known as Brother Sunshine. In this case, however, the Hebrew name is used in legal documents, including marriage contracts, divorce records, and the like (Michael Asheri, Living Jewish: the Lore and Law of Being a Practicing Jew, p.31). I think it qualifies as a "legal name". (Levia Rhys Llaw Wen, September, 1992, pp. 16-17)
Da'ud ibn Auda (2nd year, 1st tenure) 1991.09 [<Hebrew female given name> bint <Hebrew man's name> <Arabic epithet>] "Period instances of Jews in Muslim Spain combining Hebrew names with the Arabic patronymic give credence to this form." (LoAR 9/91 p.7).
Da'ud ibn Auda (1st year of 1st tenure) 1990.11 [Returning Samrah shel Shemish Blackrune] Samrah is not a reasonable alternate of Sameera/SamŚrah, since the 'ee' is a long vowel and is the accented syllable here and would not be dropped. "Of Sunshine" does not seem to be a reasonable epithet in any language, including Hebrew. Additionally, there is some question as to whether "shemish" (or "shemesh") means "sunshine" or simply "sun", which would clearly be right out. (LoAR 11/90 p.16).
Alisoun MacCoul of Elphane 1987.04.26 The name was stated ... to be Yiddish, based on evidence from Kolatch, but that source includes many modern Israeli names which would not have been used even a century ago. Some documentation must be provided for the use of the two name elements in period. (LoAR 26 Apr 87, p. 13)
Alisoun MacCoul of Elphane 1987.02.28 The submittor's own documentation indicated that "min" in an "inseparable preposition" from Hebrew. By our rules this means that the place name would have either to be Hebraic or be from a language which demonstrably merged in this manner. (LoAR 28 Feb 87, p. 24)
Alisoun MacCoul of Elphane 1986.12.28 The Rules require that any common noun be specifically documented in use as a given name before it may be used. The use of animal names in general in period Jewish life is demonstrated by the documentation, but not this particular name and ... this [one] is considerably less likely than some. (LoAR 28 Dec 86, p. 18)
Wilhelm von Schlüssel 1981.12.21 Translating given names into Latin is acceptable. Her given name (N.) means [translation] in Hebrew. Translating [translation] into Latin and then putting it into a female name form produces M. WVS [59] [LoAR 21 Dec 81], p. 1 [Given names do not possess meaning in the conventional sense, and therefore cannot be translated in this manner. The above reasoning is specious.]