Nachum Tuchman <nachum@...>
Why look far ahead in a person's life for the need for a name? A boy
doesn't get called up to the Torah until at least his Bar-Mitzvah, at age 13.
A woman doesn't need a name so that a child can have a mi-sheberach
prayer for the ill), until she has a sick child.
However, everyone wants to talk to babies >from day one, and a name is a
handy thing in which to do that. Otherwise we'd all be 'hey you'.
I suppose some of us are anyway.
I would venture to say that naming a baby goes back as far as Adam and
Eve, although other than the Torah, I have no proof of this.
In every culture, people named their babies using names that were common
to their culture and language. Why, then, is it strange to think that
Yiddish speaking Jews wouldn't give their babies Hebrew or Yiddish
names? Especially non-assimilated Jews.
Even in societies where Jews assimilated, or at least joined in with the
local population, perhaps still remaining religious, babies were named.
If a secular, local name was needed, it was given. If the family thought
it important to also give a Hebrew or Yiddish name, that too was given.
If not, not.
But certainly in Eastern Europe there's no reason to consider that both
boys and girls weren't given Hebrew or Yiddish names.
I find it interesting that many people write in their posts 'my GF was
born in XXX, named Harry and seems to have had the name Hirsh', or such names.
If he was born in E. Europe, he was probably born Hirsh and took the Harry
when he got to the States. We've also seen many posts over the years of people
who write that on death certificates or Soc Sec applications, the
parents are listed with English names, even though they never set foot
on US or British soil. The standard answers have always been that those
English names were made up by their children, and you still have to
figure out the original Hebrew or Yiddish names. But they had to have existed.