Sunday, 22 November 2015
Talking about divorce writs coming from the diaspora, the Tosefta apparently records that Israelites overseas have names like the gentiles (t. Gittin 6:4). Cohen comments:
Some diaspora Jews had Jewish or Hebrew names, but many, perhaps most, had names that were indistinguishable from those of the gentiles, a fact that is confirmed by the epigraphical and archaeological record. Many Jews in antiquity, in bith the land of Israel and the diaspora, had two names, one gentile and the other Jewish; when they used their gentile names their Jewishness was well hidden.
Again, this is just like today. The well-known modern Orthodox rabbi, writer and husband of (equally well-known) writer Blu Greenberg uses Irvine as his English name but is known as Yitzhak at home!