Ukraine SIG #Ukraine Re: Ashkenazim naming children for living people #ukraine

Mel Werbach

I recently asked whether, among late 18th century Ashkenazic Jews, it was acceptable to name a son after a famous living ancestor (in this case, R. Aryeh Yehuda Leib, Av Beth Din of Ludmir) IF the name was slightly changed (i.e. >from Aryeh Yehuda Leib to Gur Aryeh).

In reply, Jerry Hoffman <jerome.hoffman@...> wrote:

"I do know that if a son-in-law to be has the same Hebrew name as the bride's father, the practice is to change the name of the son-in-law ever so slightly. I thought the custom, and it is a custom, was based at least in part on the fear that the Angel of Death might make a mistake and take the younger baby/person by mistake but that "risk" is obviated by changing the name at least in part."

According to my understanding, the practice of naming a new-born child after an ancestor was meant to give the outstanding qualities of that ancestor to the new-born. Might that principle also apply to naming a new-born son after an ancestor while changing the name slightly so as to fool the Angel of Death?? (Jews are awfully good at finding clever ways of "working around" a prohibition so as to make it acceptable.)

Mel Werbach
Los Angeles

VERBUKH, HORENSTEIN, KANFER, KOMISAR, KORENBLIT >from Volhynia, Podolia and Kiev guberniyas, Ukraine; AUZENBERG, RUBINSKI, LEWINOWSKI/LUDWINOWSKI, ABRAMSKI, BRODOWICZ, SEJNENSKI >from Suwalki guberniya, Poland; MISHURSKI, GOLDBERG, MENDELSON >from Kovne guberniya, Lithuania

Join to automatically receive all group messages.