The meaning of names among Mediterranean Jews

Marc Eliany ©

HASSOUN (Hasson)

among other possible variations depending on the country and language of the person.

Hassan is represented here mostly by North African and Spanish rabbis and intellectuals.

The name
consists of a complex prefix made of two elements aboul = father which implies lineage and the root 'hassan' = good in Arabic. The name also appears in the form of 'Hassine' and 'Hassoun' which implies 'protected' in Hebrew. The transformation of the name into 'Hasson' means 'strong' in Hebrew.

Prefixes attached to the root name such as (aben, iben, abe, abi, abou, aboul, avi, am, ben, bin, abou, a, aj, al, bel, even, ha, i, la, lel, me, m, o, wi, vi, ) denotes usually a relation to a person, i.e., the father of or the son of X, a place, i.e., a person from X, an occupation, i.e., a person who practices a specific occupation, a characteristic of a person, i.e., beautiful... The prefixes al, el are equivalent to 'the' in English or the article 'le' in French. In the Moroccan Berbers tradition, prefixes such as 'wi' 'vi' 'i' means usually a family relationship to X, the equivalent of Abu in Arabic, i.e., 'the father of', 'son of' a man, a tribal affiliation and so forth.In the Hebrew tradition, the prefix ‘M ‘ is an abbreviation of the word 'from.'

Complex prefixes such as 'Ab e' in the name Ab E Rgel consist of two elements Ab=father and E=the.
Complex prefixes such as 'BarHa' in the name BarHaNess consist of two elements Bar=son and Ha=the.

Suffixes such as 'an' or 'in' denote affiliation or a characteristic in Aramaec.
Suffixes such as 'a' characterize ancient Hebrew names, i.e., AviHatsir'a'
Suffixes such as oulah, oulay, ilah, ily, el, eli are used in Hebrew and Arabic to associate a name with God' blessing.
Suffixes such as 'i' or 'ri' 'ti' refer to an association with a person or a location, for example: arditi= from ardou or ard.
Suffixes such as 'illo' 'ano' 'ino' 'nino' are used in Spain and Italy to indicate descendence or association with an attribute.
Suffixes such as 'yah', 'yahu' 'hu' are used in Hebrew to denote God's benediction, for example: aviyah, aviyahu, avihu...
Suffixws such as 'oun' 'on' 'yout' 'out' characterize adjectives in Hebrew, for example: Hayoun, hayout...

ABOUL HASSAN Yéhoudah Ibn Ezra (XIe-XIIes.). Spain. High executive in King Alphonse VII court.
HASSAN Moché de Zaragua (XIIIes.). Spain (Catalogna). Poet.
HASSAN Chélomo (?-1790). Morocco (Tétouan). Diplomat. Spanish consul. Advisor to the sultan Sidi Moulay Abdallah for foreign commerce. extérieur. Moulay Yazid, Abdallah's son executed him in his drive against Jews.
HASSAN Joshua (sir) (1915-). Gibraltar (Moroccan origin). Led the movement for the autonomy of Gibraltar and became prime minister.
HASSAN Salvador D. (XIXe-XXes.). Morocco. Philanthropist. Consul of Portugal and Italie in Tétouan. Founder of a bank in Tangier. Advisor to the Portuguese delegation. Vice-président of the Jewish community of Tangier.
HASSAN Jacob M. (XXes.). Morocco. Secretary of the Institute of Sepharade studies Arias Montana in Madrid. Historian. Published studies on Judéo-Spanish and Hebrew poetry in Morocco.
HASSAN David (?-1785). Morocco (Salé). Rabbi. Travelled with rabbi Haïm Benattar to Jérusalem and succeeded him at the head of the Yéchivah Kénésset Israël. Returned to Morocco for a while. Chief rabbi of Alexandria. Returned to head a rabbinical seminary in Jérusalem. Served as rabbi in Livorno, Italy.Author of Mikhtam lédavid (David's poems), Maïmonide et Kodèch David (Maimonides and David's sanctity) relating to the Choulhan H’aroukh (Moses Code).

HASSINE Acher (1918-1995). Morocco (Casablanca). Educator. Founder of the Union of North African Jews in Israel. Member of the Israeli parliament as a Labor representative.
HASSINE Juliette (XXes.). Morocco (Meknès). French literature Professor at Bar Ilan University in Israel. Published studies on Moroccan poets.
HASSINE Aharon (1890-1963). Morocco (Meknès). Chief rabbi of Mogador. Author of Maté Aharon (Aharon's spectre).
HASSINE David (1722-1792). Morocco (Meknès). Rabbi. Considered as one of the greatest Moroccan poets. Author of Téhila lédavid (David's Glory), a key reference book of lithurgical poetry and Mékoman chél zébahim (Ritual sacrifice), among other unpublished commentaries on the bible.

HASSOUN Jacques (?-1999). Egypt (Alexandria). Psycho-analyst. Author of Meurtre du père, sacrifice de la sexualité : approches anthropologiques et psychanalytiques (with Maurice Godelier); as well as Le passage des étrangers; La cruauté mélancolique; Les contrebandiers de la mémoire; L’histoire à la lettre (with Cécile Wajsbrot); Histoire des Juifs du Nil; Les Indes occidentales among other publications.


ABEHSSERA Chalom Séfér youhassin (Genealogy Registers).

Azoulay, Hayim Yossef Shem Hagdolim (the names of the great)

AZOULAY Haïm Yossef David (Hida) (1724-1807) Chém haguédolim va’ad lahakhamim (The names of the Great Council of Sages).

Levi, J et. al. 2000        Dictionnaire biographique du monde Juif Sepharade et Mediteranean, Editions Elysee, Montreal.

Toledano, J. 1983        La saga des familles, Les juifs du Maroc et leurs noms, Editions Stavit, Tel Aviv

Laredo A. 1978           Les noms des juifs au Maroc (Madrid, 1978)