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Thread: Middle Name for Cohen
August 22nd, 2013 08:58 PM #16
Cohen" in the search-box-thing. There are several discussions about the name and I'm quite certain that you'll be able to find an answer to your question.Zelia/Elja • Nineteen • Name and history nerd from an early age • I have a blog.
August 23rd, 2013 08:57 AM #18
@justanamelover: This is a quote taken from a previous thread about the name Cohen, it helped me to understand the issue better, so maybe it will you, too.
"'Kohen' is not just a title and not just a group of people. In Biblical times, the honor conveyed when the tribe of Levi was chosen to be the kohanim was so great that they received it instead of receiving land in Israel. Using a Christian translation (NIV), Joshua 18:7: 'The Levites, however, do not get a portion among you, because the priestly service of the LORD is their inheritance.' (Yes, they were given a few towns-- but no where near to the size of the other tribes, and next to no farmland.) The other tribes were supposed to provide for the Levites, and in return the kohanim were a sort of conduit to God (IE: they performed the sacrifices, took care of the tabernacle/temple, enacted the Holy Day rituals, interceded for the people when they brought on God's wrath). They were called to be more holy and more pure, the purest being the High Priest, who was the only man allowed to enter the inner sanctums (where God's countenance was supposed to reside) of the temple on Yom Kippur (after being cleansed). They had/have a special covenant with God, with its own rules and regulations on top of those prescribed to other people (those sects of Judaism still acknowledging living kohanim still require of them an extra zealousness concerning the law).
Though analogies are never perfect, giving to yourself (or, rather, your son) the title of kohen is something like naming yourself Buddha with an intention of living like Mick Jagger. So, in short: 1) It's not something you take on yourself, it was a station given by God. 2) You are taking on a privileged status, denoting (or at least which denoted in the past) a certain holiness, without the responsibilities to the people or the commitment to the exacting commandments.
(This last point is, incidentally, why no one makes much of a fuss about Jews with the last name Cohen. They do not get any (one would hope) extra respect just for bearing the surname. We might respect their ancestry, but unless they are actively fulfilling the duties of kohanim, it's just like any other title surname: Duke, King, Bishop, that might denote a past connection with a station, but doesn't necessarily. Those non-Jews bearing the surname Cohen, I of course don't hold it against, as it has a different etymology and it is not something they chose knowingly.)"
August 25th, 2013 11:53 PM #20
Yes, Cohen has a nice trendy sound that will fit right into your son's kindergarten class.
That being said, sorry, but I will whisper to my significant other after hearing your son's name read out at kindergarten graduation, 'Ooooh, that poor child's parents were trying so hard to be cool, and just ended up being ignorant...'
Please don't make me whisper about your kid at his graduation!
Logan, Bodhi, Fagan, Jaden, Kaiden are all better possibilities that I promise I won't whisper snidely about...
August 28th, 2013 01:38 AM #22Junior Member
- Join Date
- Jul 2013
With all do respect, it's just a name to her. Cohen is a beautiful name, I love it for myself but am afraid to use it because nameberries tore me apart about it. It may be a meaningful surname in one culture, but names have multiple meanings in different cultures. If you want to use it, please do. Do not let them scare you away from it.
August 28th, 2013 01:49 AM #24Junior Member
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- Jul 2013
Wow, this is a loaded conversation! I love Cohen and I've met several boys and men with that name (I am also in Canada). I have a friend who named her son Koen (sounds the same) which could be a compromise if you are concerned about negative reactions. It is a beautiful name though...where I live it is a name in it's own right without a major association due to popularity (I could be ignorant to local controversy though). If you love it, use it! My favourite from your list is Cohen Isaiah.