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  1. #31
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Xi'An, China
    Posts
    2,696
    The problem with globalization is that in this world, you might say that Cohen is #135 in the US, or it's popular in your area... but there's a high probability that he'll travel. Can you imagine if he needs to work in Israel with the name Cohen? What if he marries a Jewish girl? This is the hard part of choosing a name in the modern world. As a non-Jewish religious minority, I can completely understand that... having a holy name misused is a bit offensive. This is especially true when the minority has also suffered discrimination or persecution... or in this case, it could almost feel like the culture is being exploited.

    I had this conversation with my sister-in-law who was considering this name about 6 years ago. Were you expecting, I might try to persuade you to go with Leonard. However, you're son's 2... so why change it? The best option is for him to just explain that you were Leonard Cohen fans. That at least sets forth that there was a much better reason.
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  2. #33
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Posts
    2,139
    It's a tough call, and I think it's great that you're being sensitive to the reaction your son's name might bring about. It's not personally offensive to me but I see how it could be to a Jewish person. If you're really concerned about it I would echo PP's that changing the spelling to Cohan or Coen, even Kohen might "fix" the problem. Chances are he doesn't know how to spell his name yet at almost 2 so it wouldn't be too much of an issue. Good luck with your decision!
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  3. #35
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Posts
    2,299
    I don't really understand the whole offensiveness of Cohen, could someone explain? I know a little boy called Cohen who is about three and nobody in my area has problem with his name.

  4. #37
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Posts
    9,076
    Ok, this has been a debate FOREVER on here. I am not Jewish, so I don't get how insulting this is. I am a devout Christian and do not get offended at a baby name Messiah, Priest, Jesus or anything. Jewish people will tell you it is not the same thing at all. I get that I don't understand the depth of the meaning, because for me, it doesn't get any more "spiritual" than Jesus and God. Now, I really don't mean to sound offensive or ignorant, but I think this will become a non issue. I have met several little Cohen's and actually know someone that used it because it was her maiden name. There will only be an increase it the usage of this name. I think the whole idea of acceptance has to go both ways. I am sure that not one single person has used this name to offend a Jewish person. They just don't hold the same beliefs. So, for them,it is not an important issue. They just love the name.Since more and more kids will have this name, I seriously doubt that your son is going to have issues in life due to his handsome name. I think it would be cruel to change his name at 2 years old. Good luck!

  5. #39
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Posts
    191
    I am wondering if it would offend anyone if someone named their child God. I am not saying it is the equivalent because it is not, however some of the arguments here about not worrying about others beliefs would support the name God being used for a child. I think that would be highly offensive to some so that argument isn't a very good one in my opinion.
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