Biblical Name Changes

Floridians seeking to change their legal name can take comfort in the fact that changing one’s name has a long history rooted in the Hebrew Bible.  A great article in the Jewish Encyclopedia titled “Shinnuy Ha-Shem”  (which translates roughly as “Changing the Name”) discusses biblical name changes.

In the book of Genesis we learn that forefather Abram changed his name to Abraham, and foremother Sarai changed her name to Sarah.

Jacob’s name is changed to Israel, while Pharoah began referring to Joseph as Zaphnath-paaneah, or the giver of secrets.

The article also discusses that it has become a Talmudic tradition for a change of name to be seen as a cure for illness.  “The underlying principle in changing the name of one who is ill is the assumption that the former name, under which the divine decree was issued, becomes non-existent, and that, when a name is given to him, he becomes another person, in regard to whom the decree has no force…The most popular additional names were ‘Hayyim’ (life), ‘Shalom’ (peace), ‘Raphael’ (God heals), ‘Azriel’ (God helps), or some other name, selected from the Bible.”

If you are interested in selecting a Bible-based name that is right for you, please speak with your rabbi, priest, preacher, or other clergy member.  And if you are ready to legally change your name and are a resident of Florida, schedule a consultation with Family Diplomacy: A Collaborative Law Firm at (813) 443-0615 or CLICK HERE to fill out our contact form.

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