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May 4th, 2012 11:31 PM #21Senior Member
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- Sep 2011
I am not offended by the statement about Christianity and I am a Christian. However I think the problem is more of an American problem (and I say that as an American) I think due to our history of freedom of religion and seperation from Europe most Americans just name kids how and what they want. I have no problem with this, it's our right and I respect and understand it.
That being said Americans seem to disregard a lot of religious naming practices and historical reasons behind names. For instance, compound names like Marie-Louise or Jean-Marie, these are for the most part rooted in Catholicism and are chosen for a certain reason. Its strange to see people decide to stick two names together and call it one name. One of the few names I see that offends people is Jesus, however where I live it's a pretty common name in the Hispanic Catholic community and is done so with complete respect to Jesus Christ, it's just a cultural tradition that is misunderstood.
Personally I know little to nothing about Jewish traditions which is why out of respect I would never choose a Jewish name that is not widely used by other people as well.
BTW I always enjoy name debates with you and on nameberry in general, this has been really informative! Wanted to add - I hope I havent upset anyone, if it werent for unique cultural naming habits from all countries we wouldnt have so many great names or traditions!
Last edited by thetxbelle; May 4th, 2012 at 11:44 PM.Josephine Athénaïs - Josephine Ivy - Myriam Athénaïs - Vivienne Josephine
Athena Beatrice - Beatrice Cecile - Eleanor Anne-Sophie -Myriam Beatrice - Meredith ElizabethAmbrose Aristide - Ulysses Aristide
Girls: Bérangère, Bérénice, Honorine, Mazarine Boys: Augustin, Emeric, Hugo, Lambert, Lucien, Maxence, Yves
May 4th, 2012 11:35 PM #23Senior Member
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- Aug 2009
http://www.thedailybeast.com/article...ng-battle.html I found this thread written by Pamela Redmond on this subject.N.S.W Australia
May 5th, 2012 03:44 AM #25Senior Member
- Join Date
- Jan 2012
I read the blog and I understand a little, how Jews find the name offensive. I just wouldn't say that people who choose it are ignorant or want to offend someone.
“No. 1, it’s just such a cool name, we fell in love with it,” says Hector Cervantes, the guitarist for the Christian rock group Casting Crowns who lives in Rome, Georgia, and has a two-month-old son named Isaiah Cohen, called simply Cohen. “It felt right to me because of its connection with Aaron and the Levites, which is meaningful because I’m a firm Bible believer."
In this case there is a reason why he chose it, it has meaning to him. Maybe a different one than it has to most people. I still think it was okay for him to name is son Cohen.
“I don’t find it offensive at all,” says Benyamin Cohen, the son and brother of Orthodox rabbis and the author of My Jesus Year, which recounts the tale of his tour through the world of Christianity. “If you’re not Jewish, I have no reason to expect you to follow my laws. I’d rather if people name their kid Cohen than if they name it Britney. At least Cohen means something.”
That's how I see it. You can call your child Jesus if you want. It is weird to me, but I wouldn't be offended.
May 5th, 2012 12:16 PM #27
I wonder if the name Cohen is to Judaism what the name Jesus is to Christianity (I mean this in terms of whether people would be offended or not.) I think Jesus is a good example of a name that would offend some, but not all. It doesn't offend a Christian friend of mine, or her family - she once pointed out to me that Joshua is what Jesus was actually called, and people have no problem with using Joshua. In Arabic-speaking countries, Isa (Arabic form of Jesus) is not unheard of. And, of course, the Spanish use Jesus in their own pronunciation. But I guess Cohen doesn't have these kinds of arguments to back up its usage.
What I meant by my first comment, just to clarify for everyone, is that I would probably sympathise with any parents who used Cohen and then found out it was offensive. Imagine how guilty you would feel if you found out what you named your child would offend people. Of course, if parents named their kid Cohen knowing full well it could cause offence, I'd think they were maybe just a bit insensitive and not very considerate of how this might affect the kid.Delilah Celeste ∥ Aveline Ruth ∥ Winter Fay ≶ Silas Alaric ∥ Fabian Seth ∥ Lucian Ezra
Archetypal name-obsessed teenager here. Avatar is the blue knight from Castle Crashers, a game produced by The Behemoth. Credit goes to their artist/s.
May 6th, 2012 01:10 PM #29Junior Member
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- Apr 2012
Well my son's name is Cohen. As I am writing this I know that some of you will feel sorry for me/ him...and others will probably judge me as insensitive, plain ignorant, a thief of a well respected and meaningful Jewish last name or whatever other pejorative association you may have. Well, that is not how i feel. I am not Jewish, the name for has a simple and beautiful meaning " priest, teacher" and someone who has a special gift for soulfulness and higher truths. When I gave my son his name six years ago, this discussion did not exist, it had no pejorative baggage. Now because of this forum, it does. I am not Jewish, but I do have a lot of good Jewish friends, none of which have ever claimed to be offended by my choice of name or even questioned it and on the contrary have spoken of it as being a really beautiful choice, full of meaning and grace. In all honesty, I have received only positive feedback about the name and so has my son. He is growing up knowing his name as being unique and beautiful, he loves it. I don't believe it will be any different in the future. It pains me that the very few people who defend it so aggressively don't realize that they are the ones fuelling it's bad reputation.
May 6th, 2012 11:39 PM #31Member
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- Mar 2011
Jesus is considered offensive is more tied to culture than the universal religion. It is acceptable in Latino cultures to do this, but it is offensive/disrespectful in other cultures/countries. I think this points to how important it is to name a child with sensitivity to the surrounding culture and with sensitivity to the culture the child will be growing up in. I have to agree with the pp that the American approach to sort of "do whatever we feel like"/act very independently can contribute to this issue becoming well, an issue. A little sensitivity and cultural context can go a long way.
I also have to agree that nowadays, we really should do our research on names. I understand that some folks may be unaware of a name's "baggage", but there's less of a reason for that these days and it could save you some regrets down the road.
May 7th, 2012 01:30 AM #33Senior Member
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- Aug 2009
I have been wondering why I have never heard of the word kohanim or cohen in the Bible, and I have just discovered that the word does not exist in the Christian Bible because it is translated as 'priest'.
So to be fair to the non Jewish population (at least here in Australia), we have never heard of the word cohen (let alone kohanim) used in a religious sense, so that explains why non Jews would not understand the connection with the name Cohen.
I hope that puts some clarity into the discussion and end to the discussion too, because I know I was quite baffled until I realised that the word had been translated as priest not cohen/kohanim.
May 15th, 2012 11:07 AM #35Junior Member
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- May 2012
"This name has two distinct possible origins, the first being a Jewish name from the Hewbrew "Kohen", a priest. However not all Jews bearing this name belong to the priestly caste, descended from Aaron, the brother of Moses, as several members of the faith changed their name to Cohen to avoid forced military service in the Russian army, priests being the only males exempt from service.
The second possibility is that Cohen is an Anglicized form of two Gaelic Irish surnames - O Cadhain of Connacht, and O Comhdhain of Ulster. The Gaelic prefix "O" indicates "male descendant of", plus the personal bynames "Cadhan" meaning "wild goose" and "Comhdan", a shared gift. Further Anglicezed forms of these names include Cowen, Coen, Coyne, Cohan, Cohn, Cohani, Cahani etc.."
From The Book of Irish Families, Great & Small
"Families of the names of Cohen and Coen, are traditionally given to be of Irish extracting when found in Ireland, despite the similarity of the Jewish name of Cohen."