Girl Baby Name


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Quick Facts on Rivka

  • Gender:
  • Girl
  • Origin:
  • Hebrew
  • Number of syllables:
  • 2
  • Ranking popularity:
  • 957
RIV-kah; REEV-kah
Simple meaning:

Characteristics of Rivka

  • Mystical
  • Wise
  • Eccentric
  • Intuitive
  • Imaginative
  • Philosophical
  • Solitary

Etymology & Historical Origin - Rivka

Rivka, sometimes rendered as Rivkah, is the Hebrew form of Rebecca (רִבְקָה). The root origin and etymological meaning is up for debate. Some sources claim Rivka comes from the Hebrew “ribhqeh” meaning “connection, to join”, while others have claimed it means “to bind, trap” (in the sense of cattle “tied” to a stall, or a “fatted calf”). Our favorite meaning for Rivka (and thus Rebecca) is “captivating” perhaps from some other Semitic root origin. The name Rebecca (Rivka) is borne from the Bible as the wife of Isaac and the mother of Jacob and Esau. As such, she is a prominent matriarchal figure in the future tribes of Israel and thus a favorite name among Jewish people (like Sarah and Rachel). In Genesis 24, we learn that Abraham does not want his son Isaac to marry a local Canaanite woman so he sends his servant to find a wife in Abraham’s own ancestral land of Haran in upper Mesopotamia. The servant is skeptical at the prospect of success, doubtful that a woman will follow him back to Canaan, but Abraham assures the servant that God will assist in this endeavor. Abraham assures his servant that if the woman who is to become Isaac’s wife does not follow the servant back of her own accord, then Abraham absolves him of all responsibility. Upon arrival in the city of Nahor in Mesopotamia, the servant beholds Rivka/Rebecca: “The young woman was very attractive in appearance, a maiden whom no man had known.” [Genesis 24:16]. Rebecca graciously offers the servant water for himself and his camels, thus fulfilling his prayer to the Lord that she must be “the one”. After negotiations with her family and the customary offering of gifts, it comes down to Rebecca’s decision to follow the servant back to Canaan to marry Isaac. Her words are simple: “I will go.” So she’s not exactly “snared and trapped” as one of the etymological origins might suggest; quite the contrary. The name’s other possible meaning (i.e., “captivating”) makes more sense for this beautiful, compassionate and kind young maiden. As the grandmother of the Twelve Tribes of Israel (Jacob’s sons), Rivka also symbolizes a sense of “connection”. Compared with Rebecca, Rivka is a far less common rendering of this Biblical matriarch; at least in terms of naming traditions in the Western World. In fact it’s downright rare.

Popularity of the Name Rivka

Rivka just appeared on the American female naming charts for the first time ever in 2011. This is an example of an ancient-modern addition to the Top 1000 list of American baby girl names. Still, Rivka resides at the very bottom of the list right now so she’s barely in circulation as it stands. It’s pretty amazing that this old Hebrew name has even appeared at all. We’re assuming its being adopted by Jewish parents and/or nonconformist Christians who want to show off a bit of their ancient Biblical knowledge and appreciate the name in its original form. Rebecca continues to be a mainstay favorite which makes Rivka unique and original.
Popularity of the Girl Name Rivka
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Cultural References to the Baby Name - Rivka

  • Literary Characters of the baby name Rivka

    Literary Characters of the Baby Name Rivka

    Rivka We cannot find any significant literary characters with the first name Rivka.

  • Popular Songs on Rivka

    Popular Songs on Rivka

    Rivka - We cannot find any popular or well-known songs featuring the name Rivka.

  • Children's Books on the Baby Name Rivka

    Children's Books on the Baby Name Rivka

    Kind Little Rivka (Dina Rosenfeld & Ilene Winn-Lederer) - This inspiring story highlights Rivka's acts of kindness to others, including ten very thirsty camels. The glowing illustrations and lilting prose tell this famous tale on a level that the young child can appreciate. Recommended for ages 4-8.

    Letters from Rifka (Karen Hesse) - “America,” the girl repeated. “What will you do there?” I was silent for a little time. “I will do everything there,” I answered. Rifka knows nothing about America when she flees from Russia with her family in 1919. But she dreams she will at last be safe from the Russian soldiers and their harsh treatment of the Jews in the new country. Throughout her journey, Rifka carries with her a cherished volume of poetry by Alexander Pushkin. In it, she records her observations and experiences in the form of letters to her beloved cousin she has left behind. Strong-hearted and determined, Rifka must endure a great deal: humiliating examinations by doctors and soldiers, deadly typhus, separation from all she has ever known and loved, murderous storms at sea—and as if this is not enough, the loss of her glorious golden hair. And even if she does make it to America, she’s not sure America will have her. Recommended for ages 10+

    Rivka's First Thanksgiving (Elsa Okon Rael) - More than anything, Rivka wants to celebrate Thanksgiving. She has learned all about the holiday in school and knows her family has a lot to be thankful for in America. But Rivka's parents are Jewish immigrants from Poland, and they wonder what Pilgrims and Indians have to do with them. Is Thanksgiving really a holiday for Jews? Rivka's grandmother, Bubbeh, decides to take over: She will bring Rivka to see the Rabbi Yoshe Preminger -- and whatever the Rabbi concludes, Rivka will have to live with. Rivka knows that Thanksgiving is a holiday for all Americans, from all backgrounds and religions. But how can she convince the esteemed Rabbi Preminger? Recommended for ages 5-8.

    Rivka's Way (Teri Kanefield) - Fifteen-year-old Rivka Liebermann, the daughter of a highly respected doctor in Prague’s walled Jewish quarter, has just learned of her arranged betrothal to Oskar Kara, her brother’s friend. Although Oskar seems gentle, kind, and wise, she hardly knows him. Whenever she thinks of the upcoming marriage, she feels a terrible pain in her stomach. Rivka thinks that if she could just leave the quarter for one day, she’d be happy. She wants desperately to walk through the streets of the city and see the marketplaces and bridges and hills her brother Jakob has described to her. But it is forbidden for a girl to leave the quarter on her own. But what if she dressed as a Gentile boy? How difficult would it be to walk past the guard at the gate and explore the city? Does she dare? Once the plan enters her head, Rivka can’t let it go. She assembles a disguise and secretly leaves the quarter on her own. What she experiences outside the walls changes forever the way she thinks of her family, of the relations between Jews and Christians, and of herself and Oskar. Recommended for ages 10-16.

  • Famous People Named Rivka

    Famous People Named Rivka

    Famous People Named Rivka - Rivka Golani (Israeli classical viola musician); Rivka Michaeli (Israeli entertainer); Rivka Galchen (Canadian writer); Rivka Keren (Israeli writer)

  • Children of Famous People Named Rivka

    Children of Famous People Named Rivka

    Famous People Who Named Their Daughter Rivka - We cannot find any celebrities or famous people who have named their child Rivka.

  • Historic Figures

    Rivka - Girl Baby Name - Historic Figures

    Rivka - We cannot find any historically significant people with the first name Rivka.

Personality of the Girl Name Rivka

The number Seven personality is deeply mystical and highly in tune with their spirituality. They operate on a different wavelength than the average joe. Spending time alone comes easily to Sevens, as it gives them time to contemplate philosophical, religious and spiritual ideas in an effort to find "real truth".  Sevens are wise, but often exude mystery as if they are tapped into something the rest of us don't understand. They love the outdoors and are fed by nature. Sevens are constantly seeking to understand human nature, our place in the universe, and the mystery of life in general. This makes them quite artistic and poetic, but they are also keen observers with high intellect - so they are equally scientific-minded. Sevens are charitable and care deeply about the human condition.

Variations of the Baby Name - Rivka

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