Re: Lithuania - Soloveitchik Brothers with Same Given Name #lithuania
Thanks, Aaron. Given that surnames were a new phenomenon in Eastern Europe for Jews, the fact that they had different surnames does not necessarily mean that someone made a mistake in the records. Different surnames within a family were not uncommon. I think you are right that “Shames” most likely signified his profession, which was the shames of the synagogue - a role distinct from that of a rabbi. I would also add that the children took the surname “Shores,” named after their mother and Movsha’s wife’s given name, Sora. As you can see from my surname, that surname survives to this day.
You make some good points, but I think we can discard the theory that Movsha Shames and Moshe Soloveitchik were the same person. Moshe Soleveitchik is documented as the person who took on the Mayor of Kovno in 1782 in a trial over a Jewish expulsion order. He is heralded in a scroll for winning that trial and obtaining damages for the victims and two-week imprisonment of the mayor. As a result, he became the rabbi for the community in 1782. In 1782, Movsha Shames was approximately 11 years old and would not have been this celebrated rabbi. In 1834, Meyer Soloveitchik was listed as head of the household of Movsha Shames wife and children. I think that represented a strong connection between Movsha Shames and Meyer Soloveitchik, who may have took on the responsibility of seeing that Movsha’s family was taken care of. I have read that there was an exception for naming children after living relatives who were rabbis, but I don’t know that we can make that leap here, where Movsha Shames was born before Moshe Soloveitchik became a rabbi.
l am also from the Chicago area, and I do not foresee a trip to Lithuania any time soon. When you mention “additional rabbinic sources,” do you have anything in mind that I would be able to access from here?
Thank you for the time you put into this. I am new to this discussion group, so I was a little hesitant to make my question overly long when I first posted, and I was not sure that every detail was necessary to answer the question. I will take the suggestion about including specific information. With this post, I think you and everyone have all of the pertinent facts that I know at this time.