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Lashon HaRa

Aug
21

Many people that come out of pagan practices and into a Torah observant life through teshuva (repentance), choose to take on a Hebrew name for themselves based on Proverbs 22:1. Isolated, it appears that this is a correct interpretation of the passage, and there was a time when I interpretted the same way. There are several limited examples in the body of scripture where Elohim gave someone a new name: Abram:Abraham, Sarai:Sarah, Jacob:Israel, etc... And there are others within the Midrashim.

Proverbs (Mishle) 22:
1 A good name is rather to be chosen than great riches, and loving favour rather than silver and gold.

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The Sages have said:

What is the cause of the mourning (Zechariah 12:10)? It is well according to him who explains that the cause is the slaying of Messiah, the son of Joseph, as it is written, 'And they shall look upon me whom they have pierced; and they shall mourn for him as one mourneth for his only son.'

Babylonian Talmud

Babylonian Talmud, Sukkah 52a