Re: Children named after their living parents #general

Yehuda Berman

As far as I know, in Jewish law it is forbidden to name a child after a living parent because it violates the Fourth Commandment, to honor your parents - somebody might mix up a child with their parent and that is not to their honor. Sefardim name a child after a grandparent because they don't think a mix-up with a grandparent is likely but Ashkenazim forbid that as well. The business of not naming after a living relative is simply an extension of that ban. So if somebody is named after a parent the parent is either dead, or the family has broken with tradition (that happened even in the old days), or there was some (gentile) legal reason for giving the same (gentile) name.
Incidentally, there is a custom of not marrying a person with the same name as a parent, or having the newlywed change their name. My daughter married a man whose mother had the same name. She didn't want to change her name so she and her husband changed their last name instead to prevent any mix-up. 
Yehuda Berman

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