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The name "Yitro" today


Rabbi Moshe Leib Halberstadt

Iyyar 25, 5770
I am preparing a Shiur for Shavuot on Yitro. Just wondering: Why has the name "Yitro" not caught on as a Jewish name for boys? Is there any source for this? Were there maybe famous Jews who were called Yitro? Is one allowed to call a son Yitro? Any source on this is very welcome.
In the book Zecher David by Rabbi David Zechut of Modena Italy (Levorno 1837), it says that due to the fact that people’s names which are given during the circumcision come from G-d, and it is according to the aspect of their souls, the custom of the people of Israel is not to name after converts such as Yitro Unkelus etc. and one who does so is strange. He adds that the reason is because the aspect of the convert’s souls are not equal to ours, as explained that they are under the wings of the Divine Presence and we are over the wings of the Divine Presence, besides the fact that their root is different than ours. This explains the fact that Yitro was not accepted as a Jewish name for boys. (ספר זכר דוד מהדורת ליוורנו תקצז, מאמר א פרק צא, מובא גם בספר "ויקרא שמו בישראל" בעניני קריאת השם לרבי אברהם לוי, מודיעין עילית תשסח, פרק כו סעיף יח, ובעמ' תקסז).
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