Grow­ing up I always thought my name was Jew­ish. When I had my bat mitz­vah we couldn’t find it in Hebrew, so we made up a fem­i­nine ver­sion of Jesse. gabon One day I found the ori­gin of my name: Shake­speare made it up! He needed a girl’s name for The Mer­chant of Venice. That makes me happy, since in the name books, it just means “a gift from god”(like almost every­one else).

One Comment

  • Shake­speare prob­a­bly got the name Jes­sica for Shylock’s daugh­ter in “The Mer­chant of Venice” from Jeska, the Eng­lish trans­la­tion of Yiskah in the bibles of his day. She was a daugh­ter of Haran men­tioned in Gen­e­sis, and also a niece of Abra­ham. Jes­sica is a name with ties to both the spir­i­tual and lit­er­ary worlds. Yiskah means fore­sight, which invites the name­sake to pon­der care­fully the reper­cus­sions of her actions on the future—an invi­ta­tion to try to make the world a bet­ter place. The name was the most pop­u­lar name for girls in the US in the 1980’s and 1990’s as well as the most pop­u­lar name In Eng­land and Wales in 2005. Jesse is a won­der­ful name because it’s asso­ci­ated with he Tree of Life in the Old and New Testaments

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