Heritage Florida Jewish News - Central Florida's Independent Jewish Voice

The Duggar family now includes an 'Israel'


(JTA)—It’s no secret that non-Jews are into Jewish names.

Sarah Palin named her dog Hadassah. Gwyneth Paltrow (that perennially “almost” Jewish actress) and Chris Martin named their son Moses. In recent years, the name Cohen has become a popular first name amongst non-Jews.

So it might not come as a surprise to some that Jill Duggar, one of the 19 kids from “19 Kids and Counting” fame, and her husband Derick Dillard have named their first child Israel David.

“Love this sweet baby Israel!” the Duggar family exclaimed on its official Facebook page.

However, the reason why Dillard is wearing an Israel Defense Forces T-shirt in an Instagram photo with young Israel is less obvious.

The Duggars devoutly follow the rules of the Christian Patriarchy, a sect that is seen as controversial even in some right-wing Christian circles. This movement stresses a strict familial hierarchy (with the husband/father on top) and a rigid value system. That means no higher education for women and no dating or watching anything remotely unwholesome on TV.

There isn’t anything overtly Jewish (or Zionist, for that matter) about Derick Dillard, who is currently a tax accountant for Walmart. He went to Oklahoma State University and spent two years in Nepal before marrying Jill, the fourth-oldest Duggar child, in June of last year.

Perhaps the Dillards are just trying to buck the family trend of giving everyone a name that starts with the letter “J.”


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