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    Alexander the Great

    Jew Score:
    6

    I0

    O1

    K5
    356 – 323 BC

    Selecting a Hebrew name if you have (or are having) a boy is no easy task. Not so for a girl: you're pretty much picking between Sarah, Rebecca, Rachel, and Leah, with a Miriam thrown in. A quick game of eeny-meeny-miny-moe should do it.

    But with boys, the options are plenty. You can go with a time-tested classic (Abraham, Isaac), a modern favorite (Joshua, Daniel), or embrace the Yiddish (Herschel, Fievel)... Well, maybe not that last option.

    Or, because, let's face it, who wants your son to be one of five Joshuas or Daniels in his Hebrew school class, you can go with Alexander.

    That's right, Alexander, with its obvious Hellenic origins, is a perfectly acceptable Hebrew name. It all has to do with the man who originated the name, Alexander the Great.

    No, Alexander the Great wasn't Jewish. Jews don't set on conquering the world; we have enough trouble keeping our own house in order. But, according to the Talmud, Alexander was embraced by Jews (we guess they preferred him to the other options available at the time). So much so that his name entered the Hebrew lexicon.

    And, obviously, we're fine with Alexander. We could do so much worse; we don't have to mention Herschel and Feivel again, do we?

    Verdict: Sadly, not a Jew.

    May 3, 2010

    See Also

    Napoleon Bonaparte

    Hannibal

    Nero

    Peter the Great

    Socrates
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