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  • Writer's pictureRabbi Eliezer Lawrence

Popular Hebrew Names for Boys


A major part of the beautiful bris ceremony is the public naming of the baby. As a Mohel, I have the privilege of announcing the baby's name for family and guests.


While in the Sephardic tradition (Jews from Iberia, the Middle East and North Africa), families often name babies after living relatives, in the Ashkenazi tradition (Jews from Eastern Europe), parents of the newborn often choose a name in memory of a loved one who passed away. While many give the exact name, others connect a new name either through sound (sharing the same first letter) or meaning.


Discover the rich tapestry of Hebrew names and their meanings with the list below (compiled by Rabbi Shraga Simmons of Aish). While it is not the entirety of all Hebrew names for boys, it contains hundreds of the most common one. Names hold significant cultural and historical value, reflecting the beliefs, values, and aspirations of a community. In this article, we explore a diverse collection of Hebrew names, listed alphabetically, each with its own profound significance. From names rooted in biblical stories to those associated with angels, prophets, and the tribes of Israel, immerse yourself in the beauty and depth of Hebrew nomenclature.


For more information about the bris, I invite you visit my website, www.FamilyMohel.com.

 

Aharon: First High Priest and brother of Moses, known for his pursuit of peace and meaning "mountain" or "shining."

Abba: Name popularized during the Talmudic era, meaning "father."

Avraham: First Jewish patriarch, dedicated to teaching monotheism, and means "father of many nations."

Adam: First man, meaning "ground."

Akiva: Influential Talmudic sage who emphasized the transformative power of Torah.

Alexander: Name originating from Alexander the Great, known for his respectful encounter with the High Priest of the Temple in Jerusalem.

Alon: Meaning "oak tree," mentioned as a grandson of Jacob.

Alter: Yiddish name meaning "old."

Amos: One of the minor prophets, denoting "loaded" or "crowded," signifying his wisdom.

Amram: Father of Moses and leader of the Jewish people before the Exodus from Egypt, meaning "mighty nation."

Ariel: Meaning "lion of God," associated with Jerusalem and the Holy Temple.

Aryeh: Name meaning "lion," symbolizing proactive righteousness.

Asher: Meaning "blessed" or "fortunate," representing one of the twelve tribes.

Avi: Short form of Avraham, conveying "my father."

Avigdor: Name associated with Moses, emphasizing his role in establishing boundaries for the Jewish people.

Avner: Meaning "my father is light," appearing in the Bible as King Saul's uncle and army commander.

Azriel: Name of an angel and a biblical figure associated with the tribe of Naftali.

Betzalel: Skilled builder of the Tabernacle, the portable sanctuary in the desert.

Benyamin: One of the twelve tribes of Israel, meaning "son of my right hand."

Ben-Tzion: Meaning "son of Zion" or "son of excellence."

Berel: Derivative of "bear," symbolizing strength.

Boaz: Husband of Ruth and great-grandfather of King David, meaning "swiftness."

Barak: Husband of the prophetess Devorah, meaning "lightning."

Baruch: Meaning "blessed," associated with the assistant to the prophet Jeremiah.

Calev: One of the twelve spies sent to scout the Land of Israel, meaning "like a heart."

Carmi: Meaning "my vineyard," mentioned as Jacob's grandson.

Chagai: One of the minor prophets, meaning "my festival."

Chaim: Meaning "life," associated with a prominent commentator from the 12th century.

Chanan: Meaning "He was gracious," appearing as a leader of the tribe of Benjamin.

Chananya: Meaning "God bestows charm," appearing as one of the prophets.

Chananel: Meaning "God is compassionate,"

Chanoch: Meaning "education" or "dedicated," appearing as a son of Cain.

Chizkiyahu: Meaning "God is my strength," associated with a righteous king of Israel.

Dan: One of the twelve tribes of Israel, meaning "judge."

Daniel: Meaning "God is my judge," known for his wisdom and righteousness.

David: Second king of Israel, known for his beloved status, and an ancestor of the Messiah.

Doron: Meaning "gift."

Dov: Meaning "bear," symbolizing strength and cunning.

Ephraim: One of Joseph's sons and a grandson of Jacob, meaning "fruitful."

Ehud: Judge of Israel known for his resourcefulness, meaning "beloved."

Eitan: Meaning "strongly flowing," associated with Abraham and mentioned as a grandson of Judah.

Elchanan: Warrior in King David's army who defeated a Philistine giant, meaning "God is gracious."

Eldad: Mentioned as a Jewish prophet during the time of Moses, meaning "beloved of God."

Elazar: Son of Aaron the high priest, meaning "God has helped."

Eliezer: Associated with Abraham's servant and Moses' son, meaning "my God has helped."

Eli: High Priest and judge in ancient Israel, meaning "ascend" or "uplifted."

Elimelech: Husband of Naomi and ancestor of King David, meaning "my God is King."

Elisha: Prophet and disciple of Elijah known for his miracles, meaning "God will help."

Eliyahu: Prophet who ascended to heaven alive, associated with significant Jewish occasions.

Elyakim: Mentioned as the manager of the king's palace, meaning "my God will establish."

Emanuel: Meaning "God is with us," associated with a Jewish savior and the tribe of Judah.

Ezra: Leader of the Jewish people's return from exile and rebuilding of the Holy Temple.

Fishel: Yiddish name meaning "fish," often associated with Ephraim.

Fivel: Yiddish name meaning "suckling" or "light."

Gad: One of the twelve tribes of Israel, meaning "good luck."

Gamliel: Name meaning "God is my reward,"

Gavriel: Meaning "God is my strength," associated with an angel and biblical figures.

Gedaliah: Name meaning "God is great," associated with a tragic leader of the Jewish people.

Gershom: Name meaning "stranger," mentioned as Moses' son.

Gershon: Name meaning "to chase away," mentioned as the son of Levi.

Gidon: Name meaning "mighty warrior," associated with one of the Judges of Israel.

Gil: Name meaning "joy" in Hebrew.

Hirsh: Yiddish name meaning "deer," often associated with Naftali.

Hillel: Name meaning "praise," associated with a biblical figure and renowned rabbinic sage.

Ilan: Name meaning "tree."

Issur: Yiddish nickname for "Israel."

Itamar: Name meaning "island of palms," associated with Aaron's youngest son.

Kalman: Short form of Kalonymos, meaning "good name."

Kalonymos: Name based on the Romanized-Greek term for "good name."

Leib: Yiddish name meaning "lion."

Levi: Name meaning "one who accompanies or attends," associated with the tribe of Levi.

Lior: Name meaning "to me [is] light."

Malkiel: Name meaning "God is my king," mentioned as a grandson of Asher.

Manoach: Name meaning "resting place," mentioned as the father of Samson.

Matitiyahu: Name meaning "gift of God," associated with the leader of the Maccabees.

Medad: Name meaning "friend," mentioned as a leader and prophet in the time of Moses.

Meir: Name meaning "one who gives light," associated with a great sage.

Menachem: Name meaning "comforter," associated with a Jewish king.

Menashe: Name meaning "causing to forget," associated with Joseph's son.

Mendel: Yiddish form of Menachem, meaning "comforter."

Meshulam: Name meaning "paid for."

Micha: Name meaning "Who is like God?," associated with one of the twelve Minor Prophets.

Michael: Name meaning "who is like God?," associated with a member of the tribe of Asher and an angel.

Mordechai: Name meaning "warrior," associated with a biblical prophet and hero.

Moshe: Greatest prophet, leader of the Exodus, meaning "drawn out [of the water]."

Nachshon: Name meaning "diviner," associated with a prince of the tribe of Judah.

Nachman: Name meaning "comfort," associated with a sage and eternity.

Nachum: Name meaning "comfort," associated with one of the twelve Minor Prophets.

Naftali: Name meaning "to wrestle," associated with one of the twelve tribes.

Natan: Name meaning "He gave," associated with a prophet and contemporary of King David.

Nechemia: Name meaning "comforted by God," associated with a leader during the return from exile.

Netanel: Name meaning "gift of God," associated with a brother of King David.

Nissan: Name of the Hebrew month of Passover, meaning "banner."

Nissim: Name meaning "miracles."

Noam: Name meaning "pleasant."

Noach: Name meaning "tranquility," associated with the biblical figure who built the Ark.

Oren: Name meaning "pine," appearing as a tree name and proper name in the Bible.

Ovadia: Name meaning "servant of God," associated with one of the twelve Minor Prophets.

Paltiel: Name meaning "created by God," associated with a descendant of the tribe of Issachar.

Peretz: Name meaning "burst forth," appearing as the son of Judah.

Pesach: Name meaning "to pass over," associated with the Hebrew name for Passover.

Pesachya: Name associated with revealing hidden matters and collection boxes for Temple offerings.

Pinchas: Name associated with a High Priest, grandson of Aaron, and recipient of the Covenant of Peace.

Rachamim: Name meaning "compassion."

Rafael: Name meaning "God heals," associated with the angel of healing.

Reuven: Name meaning "behold, a son!" associated with one of the 12 tribes.

Selig: Yiddish name meaning "blessed, happy."

Seth: Name meaning "appointed," mentioned as the son of Adam.

Shabtai: Name related to "Shabbat," associated with a Levite.

Shalom: Name meaning "peace," traditionally one of the names of God.

Shaul: Name associated with the first king of Israel.

Shay: Name meaning "gift," often a nickname for Yeshayahu (Isaiah).

Shiloh: Name associated with an important biblical city and a present to the Messiah.

Shimshon: Name meaning "powerful as the sun," associated with a strong judge and warrior.

Shimon: Name meaning "to hear," associated with one of the 12 tribes.

Shlomo: Name meaning "his peace," associated with King Solomon and builder of the Holy Temple.

Shmuel: Name meaning "God is His name," associated with a prophet and anointer of kings.

Shmariyahu: Name meaning "God's protection," associated with loyalty to King David.

Shneur: Yiddish name meaning "two lights."

Shraga: Aramaic word meaning "light" or "candle."

Simcha: Name meaning "joy."

Tamir: Name meaning "tall, upright," related to the word for date palm.

Tanchum: Name meaning "consolation," associated with a great sage.

Tuvia: Name meaning "God is good," associated with a return from Babylonian exile.

Tzion: Name meaning "excellence," often referring to Jerusalem.

Tzvi: Name meaning "deer," often associated with Naftali.

Tzadok: Name meaning "justice," associated with assisting King David.

Tzemach: Name meaning "plant," mentioned in Zechariah's prophecy.

Tzephania: Name meaning "protected by God," associated with one of the twelve Minor Prophets.

Tzuriel: Name meaning "God is my rock," associated with a leader from the tribe of Levi.

Uri: Name meaning "my light," associated with a leader of the tribe of Judah.

Uriel: Name meaning "God is my light," associated with an angel.

Uziel: Name meaning "God is my strength," associated with a descendant of Levi.

Velvel: Yiddish name meaning "wolf," often associated with the tribe of Benjamin.

Yair: Name meaning "he will shine," associated with Joseph's grandson.

Yaakov: Name meaning "held by the heel," associated with the third Patriarch.

Yechezkel: Name meaning "God will strengthen," associated with a prophet.

Yechiel: Name meaning "may God live," associated with a Babylonian exile leader.

Yedidya: Name meaning "beloved of God," associated with King Solomon.

Yehoshua: Name meaning "God is salvation," associated with the leader after Moses.

Yehuda: Name meaning "God will be praised," associated with the tribe of Judah.

Yeshayahu: Name meaning "God is salvation," associated with a prophet.

Yigal: Name meaning "he will redeem," associated with one of the 12 spies.

Yerachmiel: Name meaning "God will have mercy," associated with a son of a Jewish king.

Yirmiyahu: Name meaning "God will uplift," associated with a prophet.

Yitzhak: Name meaning "he will laugh," associated with the second of the three Patriarchs.

Yisrael: Name meaning "wrestled with God," associated with Jacob's new name.

Yissachar: Name meaning "there is a reward," associated with one of the 12 tribes.

Yochanan: Name meaning "God is gracious," associated with an army officer and High Priest.

Yoel: Name meaning "God is willing," associated with one of the twelve Minor Prophets.

Yom Tov: Name meaning "holiday."

Yosef: Name meaning "(God) will increase," associated with Jacob's son.

Yona: Name meaning "dove," associated with one of the twelve Minor Prophets.

Yonatan: Name meaning "God's gift," associated with King Saul's son and friend of King David.

Yoram: Name meaning "God will raise him up," associated with the son of a king.

Yuval: Name meaning "stream," associated with Lemech's son.

Zalman: Yiddish form of Solomon, associated with the builder of the first Holy Temple.

Zechariah: Name meaning "remembering God," associated with one of the twelve Minor Prophets.

Zev: Name meaning "wolf."


Want to find out more information about planning the bris? Feel free to check out my website, www.FamilyMohel.com.

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