The meaning of names among Mediterranean Jews

Marc Eliany ©

ARAMA (ha-ramati, ha-aghamati, Rama, A'rema, Arami)
among other possible variations depending on the country and language of the person.

The name Arama was mentioned in a correspondence between a rabbi from the village Aghama near Marakesh, a village of Cohanim (priests) and leading rabbis in Babylon. The name is in all likelihood an indication of origin, refering to a location, perhaps the village of priests Aghama near Marakesh. But it may also indicate to the town of Arama in the province of Guipuezcoa in the Basque region in Spain or a person from Aram in ancient Babylonia. The patriarch Abraham originate from Aram Naharayim in ancient Babylon. The word Arami refers to a person of Aramaean origin in the Hebew language. The word a'rema means 'pile' in Hebrew and North African Arabic. The word rama means 'level' or 'height' or 'mount' in Hebrew.

Prefixes attached to the root name such as (aben, iben, abi, avi, am, ben, bin, abou, a, aj, al, bel, 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.'

Suffixes such as 'i' or 'ri' 'ti' refer to an association with a person or a location, for example: aghamati= from aghama.
Suffixes such as 'illo' 'ano' 'ino'
'nino' are used in Spain and Italy to indicate descendence or association with an attribute.

ARAMA Maurice (1934-). Morocco. (Meknès). Artist. Painter. Art Historian. Director of the school of art in Casablanca. Author of Itinéraires marocains, regards de peintres (Pilgrimage of painters in Morocco).
ARAMA Itshak ben Moché (1420-1494). Spain. (Zamora). Rabbi. Rabbinical academy director. Settled in Naples after the expulsion from Spain.
Author of A'kédat Itshak (The sacrifice of Isaac).
ARAMA Méir ben Itshak (1460?-1545). Spain. (Saragossa). Rabbi. Judge. Author. Lived in Naples and Saloniqua.


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)