“What’s in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet,” Juliet says in Shakespeare’s play.
She means that despite the fact that she and Romeo have the “wrong names”—that is, they are members of feuding families— her love for him is true.
Names are the tools we use to self-identify. Taking on a new name can mean a change in status or a new persona.
For the Israelites, their names often described their personalities. At birth, Jacob (“grasp the heel” or “he supp...