Israeli Baby Boy Name Help: June 2015

baby boy in summer hat

Courtesy: Diana Harouvi

Request from a reader:

Hi! I love your blog, especially the names! You actually helped me choose my daughter’s name last pregnancy on the namewizard site (that was how I got to you).

My husband and I are desperately looking for a name to go with with the middle name Benaya for a boy,  ideally one that has a nice meaning, doesn’t have negative Tanach associations with it (I love the name Nadav, but in Melachim (Kings) there was king named Nadav that was “bad”) and IF possible, still somewhat unique. However, if the other criteria are there I am ok with it being “typical.” We are Modern Orthodox – not into yeshivish names (fine with those that overlap, just no Shloimeys, etc.)- we want to avoid the sounds “Ch”, “Ts” and and “R”- as we want a name that would work in both the states and Israel.

I personally tend to go for names that can be transliterated or just normal sounding in both Hebrew and English (many Tanach names fit that bill), my husband tends to go more Israeli/modern sounding. I love the name: Gavriel and the combo : Gavriel Benaya, (love the english version Gabriel as well) but as I said, ideally we want to avoid the R’s… Other names that we both like: Eitan (Eitan Benaya)- but we have a close relative with the name Eitan so cant use it… Advice????

More posts on Israeli baby names:

Israeli Baby Boy Name Help, December 2014

Israeli Baby Girl Name Help, December 2014

Israeli Baby Name Help, February 2014

Top 20 Israeli Baby Girl Names for 2012

Top 20 Israeli Baby Boy Names for 2012

Complete List of Israeli Baby Name Posts



  1. Asaf, shai,, shilo, itiel, dvir,

  2. Boaz is a nice strong, positive easy to pronounce name.
    Akiva, Dan, Reuven

  3. Ido (pronounced ee-dough), or Ziv would go well with Benaya, I think.

    Good luck!

  4. Benaya itself is a pretty unique name. Maybe Yehuda Benaya? Asaf Benaya? David Benaya?

  5. A. Fraser says

    My son is Shai.
    Absolutely love it.

    Someone mentioned Ziv, but Ziva (feminine) is known as a sexually transmitted disease in Israel, so I would stay away from anything related, or close, to that.

  6. Hi Hannah

    I was hoping you could help. We are BH expecting a son. We are considering the names Zohar and Uriel. Can you tell me if these names are more popular in the dati leumi and/or/ neither secular communities. thanks for your time.

    • Zohar is popular in the secular community for both boys and girls. In the dati-leumi community it’s more common for girls, and wouldn’t be unusual for a boy.
      Uriel is common in the dati-leumi community and less popular in the secular community. I don’t think it’s unheard of there, though.

  7. Struggling with name for baby boy. Want to avoid “resh” names because of difficulty for non-Israeli family; want a name that is not unisex; is not the name of bad person in the Tanakh; preferably that does not reference the name of settlement, commercial establishment, weapon, or common product…and yet, unique and comfortable for mizrachi religious and American reform-y family members – water names a plus!. Thoughts on:
    Gilboa (guns!)
    Oren (resh!)
    Uri (resh!)
    Ofri (resh! but easier)

    • Hi Riva, Yahli and Ofri are more common in girls. I don’t associate Gilboa with guns. I’ve never heard it. Ori is spelled the same as Uri and is more popular. Eshed is uncommon but not too weird. The others are also good choices.

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