Names, Was: Hexwood's Goon

Rebecca Ganetzky rganetzk at
Mon Mar 11 08:21:22 EST 2002

>It's actually sort of funny that you mention this--I've got a friend who's
>studying Hebrew.  the other day we were talking about names, and I told
>her that mine meant "God is my oath."  She blinked and said, "No, it
>doesn't."  At which point she broke down the name, with el being god and
>sheva (sheba?) as oath, and (I've forgotten the details) declared that
>there was nothing that said that god was _my_ oath--the possessive was
>wrong.  Which I found quite funny since that's the definition given in
>just about every baby name book I've ever looked at (a fair number :) and
>it's always annoyed me (having never been what you might call Christian
>and at times calling myself athiest).  So I've decided to believe that my
>name means 'swearing at god,' because that's a little more accurate in my
>case, at least :)

Hate to do this to you, but you missed a letter.  The name isn't Elsheva,
it's El_i_sheva, which in Hebrew makes all the difference in the world.
It's till not quite G-d is my oath, but Eli means _my_ good.  The _i_
suffix in hebrew is used for possessive.  Two words strung together also
can mean possessive in Hebrew, so the best translation this sleepy
half-Israeli can come up with is the oath of/for my G-d.
Please correct me if I'm missing something.  The emphasis this morning is
on _sleepy_

Rebecca D. Ganetzky
"...and do not say that a thing is impossible to understand, for eventually
it will be understood."-Rabbi Hillel

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