Haim

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For people or things named Haim or its variations, see Haim (disambiguation).

Chayyim (Hebrew: חַיִּים Ḥayyīm, Classical Hebrew: [ħajˈjiːm], Israeli Hebrew: [ˈχa.im, ħaˈjim]), also transcribed Haim, Hayim, Chayim, Chaim (English pronunciations: HYM, KHYM, KHAH-yeem) is a name of Hebrew origin; it comes from a word meaning "life". Its first usage can be traced to Middle Ages. It is a popular name among Jewish people.[1] The feminine form for this name is Chaya[2] (Hebrew: חַיָּה Ḥayyah, Classical Hebrew: [ħajˈjaː], Israeli Hebrew: [ˈχaja, ħaˈja]; English pronunciations: HAH-yah, KHAH-yah ).

"Chai" is the Hebrew word for "life". According to Kaballah, the name Hayim helps the person to remain healthy, and people were known to add Hayim as their second name to improve their health. (Among Serbians, the name "Vuk", meaning "Wolf", as well as Idir ("he will live") among Kabyles, was for similar reasons given to weak and ill neonates.)

In the United States, Chaim is a common spelling; however, since it is not phonetic, Hayim is often used as an alternative spelling. The "ch" spelling comes from translation of the Hebrew letter "chet", which also starts words like Chanukah, Channa, etc., which can also be spelled as Hanukah and Hannah. It is cognate to the Arabic word حياة (ḥayāh), with the same meaning, deriving from the same Proto-Semitic root.

L'Chaim in Hebrew is a toast meaning "to life". When a couple becomes engaged, they get together with friends and family to celebrate. Since they drink l'chaim ("to life"), the celebration is also called a l'chaim.

Hebrew letters are also used as numerals, and the Hebrew letters that spell "chai" also stand for the number 18. Thus, 18 is considered a lucky number in Jewish culture. It is common to give gifts and contributions to charity in multiples of $18.

Among Argentinian Jews, the Spanish name Jaime (Spanish: [ˈxajme], actually, a Spanish cognate of James) is often chosen for its phonetic similarity to Haim.

People named Haim[edit]

Notable people with the name include:

References[edit]

  1. ^ Mike Campbell. "Meaning, Origin and History of the Name Chayyim". Behind the Name. Retrieved 2013-08-12. 
  2. ^ Mike Campbell. "Meaning, Origin and History of the Name Chaya". Behind the Name. Retrieved 2013-08-12.