JewishGen Discussion Group #JewishGen Re: Father's Hebrew name - temple Beth El - Detroit #general

Stan Goodman <safeqSPAM_FOILER@...>

On Tue, 26 Aug 2003 02:31:15 UTC, bsmannlein@... (Barbara
Mannlein) opined:

Carol asked for private responses, but I too am interested in this
My late MIL, a member of Temple Emanuel (R) of Yonkers, NY also insisted
that she and her sister had no Hebrew names because it was not the
custom at that time.
But that is not the question asked by the original post. For women not
to have a Hebrew name has not been unusual in recent centuries. For
men, it has been a rarity. Alas, our ancestors, for better or worse,
knew nothing of Political Correctness.

To address the original question: The only time anybody in the
gentleman's synagogue would have known his Hebrew name (which he
almost certainly had) would have been upon ascending to the Torah;
from the question, it does not seem that this happened very often, if
at all.

Historically, the graves of virtually all Jews buried under Jewish
auspices would have been marked by a monument inscribed in Hebrew with
the Hebrew name and patronymic of the deceased. One of the least happy
developments in American Jewry has been the abandonment of this
custom, for no visible reason, so that the Jewish identity (name,
father's name, etc.) is lost with the memory of his survivors. That,
precisely, is what makes this moment a historical one for
Jewish-American genealogy: in the absence of the missing data,
genealogy will become difficult or impossible in the community in only
a few years. Witness the question that started this thread.

Stan Goodman, Qiryat Tiv'on, Israel

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