The Meaning of Names – Kala’, KALAE, Cala, Calah, ALCALAE

The meaning of names among Mediterranean Jews

Marc Eliany ?

Kalae, KALA?, Cala, Calah, ALCALA?

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

The root of the name may be kala’

Prefixes attached to the root name such as (aben, iben, abi, avi, ben, bin, abou, a, bel ) 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 Arab tradition, the prefix ‘Abu’ means usually ‘the father of’, a man is given the prefix ‘abu’ to identify him as the father of X. ‘Abu’ may also indicate a tribal affiliation. In the Hebrew tradition, the prefix ‘El ‘ is an abreviation of Elohim, Hebrew for God.

The root ‘kala’’ in Arabic and Hebrew refers usually to ‘weaver.’

ALCALA? Aaron (1924-). Bulgaria. Painter and teacher. Lives in Isra?l.

ALCALA? David M. (1862-1933). Yougoslavia. Journalist. Editor of the Zionist journal Jevrejski glasnik (The Jewish Speaker).
ALCALA? Salomon (1878-1929). Serbia. Head of the Jewish Community of Belgrade. Member and president of the Zionist federation in Yugoslavia.
ALCALA? David ben Moch? (1814-1882). Serbia. Hebrew Professor. Translated Pirk? Avot (Treaties of the Fathers).
ALCALA? Abraham ben Ch?mou?l (1750?-1811). Turkey. Rabbi. Judge. Yeshiva director. Author of Z?khor l?Abraham (A memorial of Abraham).
ALCALA? Bentsion (1858-1913). Morocco.Rabbi. Author of H?achir varach (Rich and Poor) among other publications.
ALCALA? Isaac (1881-1978). Bulgaria. Chief Rabbi of Serbia and Yougoslavia. Membre of the senat of Belgrade (1924-1941). Found refuge in USA during WWII.
ALCALA? Y?houdah Salomon Ha? (1798-1878). Bosnia. Rabbi of Semlin, near Belgrade. Called for a return to Israel in Ch?mah? Yisra?l (Listen, Oh Israel).

KALA? Baroukh ben Ch?lomo (XVIes.). Turkey. Rabbi of Sardokoupis. Author of M?kor Baroukh (Blessed Sources).
KALA? Ch?mou?l ben Moch? (1550-1582). Corfou. Rabbi. Author of Michpat? Ch?mou?l (Samuel’s Rules).
KALA? Mord?kha? ben Ch?lomo (XVIIes.). Turkey. Chief rabbi of Salonica. Director of the Portuguese. Author. His books were lost to a city wide fire (1625).


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

AZOULAY Ha?m Yossef David (Hida) (1724-1807) Ch?m hagu?dolim 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 Maro

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