Chag Sameach! We’ve made it to Sukkot — the third Jewish holiday in three weeks — and I know I’m excited. Sukkot is one of the three Jewish “pilgrimage festivals,” and with this one, we build homemade huts (or sukkot) to remember the temporary dwellings that the Israelites built when they wandered through the desert for 40 years. Most of us today think of the festival as the harvest holiday.
Sukkot tends to arrive in early autumn, as the leaves start changing color, the weather becomes brisk and — this year at least — you’ll need to bring a sweater on your daily quarantine walk. It’s the perfect time of year to celebrate nature. After the devastating fires in the West Coast, it feels especially important to celebrate trees, plants, and the earth’s fertility, which provides us what we need to survive.
Being in nature is something that many of us have come to cherish even more during the pandemic, and on Sukkot, it is actually a mitzvah to be joyous outdoors! After a heavy High Holiday season (and past few months, really), some rejoicing seems welcome. A perfect way to hold onto the joy of the Sukkot season is to choose a name for your baby that celebrates this special time of year. Check out our list below of 15 baby names inspired by Sukkot:
Hadas — Hadas means “myrtle” in Hebrew, which is one of the three parts of the Lulav, the combination of palm, myrtle, and willow that we shake, together with the etrog, on Sukkot.
Levana — Levana is a Hebrew name that means “moon.” This name celebrates the awe-inspiring experience of spending time in the sukkah at night and admiring the moon from under the schach, or roof.
Mayim — Mayim is the Hebrew word for “water,” and it is something that we pray for in a plentiful harvest during sukkot.
Meira — Meira means “one who illuminates,” in Hebrew. It is part of the line from the Sukkot 5:3 of the mishnah that cites Simchat Beit HaShoeva, an ancient water-drawing festival during sukkot.
Dekel — This Hebrew name means “palm tree,” celebrating another of the three plants that make up the lulav: palm, myrtle, and willow.
Hadar — Hadar is a Hebrew name that means “glory.” It is also part of the Hebrew phrase pri hadar or hadarim which means “citrus fruit.” Given that shaking the etrog (a citrus fruit) and the lulav are a central tradition of Sukkot, this is a perfect name to honor the holiday.
Hallel — Hallel is a gender-neutral name meaning “praise” or “thanks.” Hallel is also the name for the Psalms of Praise, a set of special festival readings included in the traditional Sukkot service.
Mor — This name means “myrrh” in Hebrew. And, in case you’re wondering, myrrh is a type of resin from certain trees.
Simcha — This name means “joy” in Hebrew. It’s a mitzvah on this holiday to rejoice and be happy!
Stav — Stav is the Hebrew name for “autumn,” the season of Sukkot and the harvest.
Alon — Alon is a Hebrew name meaning “oak tree.” Celebrate sturdiness of spirit and the fertility aspects of the harvest holiday with this festive name.
Ilan — Ilan is a Hebrew name that means “tree.”
Omri — Omri is a Hebrew name that means “sheaf of grain.” Grain is a key crop harvested in the US during the fall months.
Raviv — Raviv is the Hebrew name for “rain,” an essential need for a fertile and plentiful harvest.
Tevel — Tevel is a Hebrew word that describes the universe. In Yiddish, it also means “dearly loved.” What better name to celebrate your child’s entrance into the world during the holiday that celebrates the earth?
Header Image by LironPeer/ Getty Images