The ancient and modern states of Israel were named after this Hebrew Bible character whose name was taken from the Hebrew Yisrael, meaning “God perseveres, contends.” When Jacob was in his 90s, God changed his name to Israel for his perseverance. He is considered the father of the kingdom of Israel. Though it’s traditionally a boys' name, leave it to “Girls” star Jemima Kirke to rock the cradle and name her daughter Rafaella Israel when she was born in 2010.
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