Monday, November 07, 2005

Greek names

There is some discussion on the Areivim mailing list about Jewish names. Someone there is blandly taking the maximalist position that, more or less, all names that Jews have taken in antiquity were Jewish names. Naturally, the discussion turned to the name Alexander, which many Jews have been named since antiquity. Jewish lore specifically attributes the kohein gadol Shim'on ha-tzaddik with authorizing (or ordering) the adoption of this name for Jews, after Alexander the Great. That same person writes about this name
It seems that Shimon HaTzadik felt that this warranted calling Jewish boys by his name. Are you on Shimon HaTzadik's level of tzidkus to argue with him?
Antigonus. Hyrcanus. Dosa. Symacchus. Tarfon. Pappus. The list can greatly be expanded.

This is the kind of historical unconsciousness that frustrates me.

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