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Loew Genealogy and Loew Family History Information

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About the Loew surname

His name "Löw" or "Loew", derived from the German Löwe, "lion" (cf. the Yiddish Leib of the same origin), is a kinnuy or substitute name for the Hebrew Judah or Yehuda, as this name - originally of the tribe of Judah - is traditionally associated with a lion. In the Book of Genesis, the patriarch Jacob refers to his son Judah as a Gur Aryeh, a "Young Lion" (Genesis 49:9) when blessing him [1]. In Jewish naming tradition the Hebrew name and the substitute name are often combined as a pair, as in this case. The Maharal's classic work on the Rashi commentary of the Pentateuch is called the Gur Aryeh al HaTorah, in Hebrew: "Young Lion [commenting] upon the Torah".

The Maharal's tomb in Prague is decorated with a heraldic shield with a lion with two intertwined tails (queue fourchee), alluding both to his first name and to Bohemia, the arms of which has a two-tailed lion.

  • Another explanation commonly found for the surname "Loew" is that it is the Germanic rendering of "Levi". There are numerous names that are equivalent to or related to Levi: Levi = Aleuy, Elvy, Halevy, Ha-Levi, Lavey, Lebel, Leblin, Levay, Leib, Leopold, Leve, Levene, Levenson, Levi, Levie, Levien, Levin, Levine, Levinsky, Levinsohn, Levison, Levit, Levy, Lewey, Lewi, Lewin, Lewinski/Lewinsky, Lewinson, Lewis, Löb, Löbl/Löbel, Loewe, Loewi, Louissohn, Lovy, Low, Löwy, Lowy, Levinson.