"The name Hebrew, as we shall see below, literally denotes someone who passes through a liquid or watery medium and comes out dry on the other side. There is some indication that certain patriarchal names used in the Semitic language area long before the Biblical namesakes came to the scene (but this according to traditional dating, which is also dubious), and certain scholars propose that the Biblical stories are playful commentaries on the actual relations between naturally formed nations (for example the adjacent nations of Israel and Edom had such a typical love-hate relationship that the Bible writers described them as coming from two twin brothers named Jacob and Esau, and so on)." Source: http://www.abarim-publications.com/Meaning/Hebrew.html retrieved at 4.21 pm April 18, 2018
The Abarim Publication closely matches Dr. Baruch Korman's definition from Loveisrael.org.
Biblestudycompany note: The reason this is so important is that it references baptism. We cross from one life to the next via a decision of the heart and belief. Dr. Tim Cole of Grace Bible Church St. Petersburg, FL mentions that the earth came through the water to first appear (Genesis). Is this not a baptism of sorts? Abraham was called the first Hebrew. Did he not leave his homeland in obedience to God and crossed into Canaan? The Hebrews in Exodus came through water, called the Red Sea to leave their old life as slaves in Egypt to a new life in the wilderness dependent on God. Christ was baptized, as well, in an area near the Jordon river where the Israelites crossed to go into the land of Canaan, and after this baptism, Christ was then tested by the Devil. Could it be we will experience testing too after we cross over or be baptized?
We may look at the symbolism to see that there is a change of status with this person. That a person being obedient to believe God and decides to “cross over” from the world is indeed making a significant change. May we all strive to cross over in obedience to God’s word.