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Dena

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PostSubject: Children's Names   Tue Jan 31, 2012 2:40 pm

Do your children have one Hebrew name or two? Is their Hebrew the same as their "secular" name or seperate?
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LineyLu

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PostSubject: Re: Children's Names   Tue Jan 31, 2012 2:59 pm

I don't have children yet, but I'd like their "secular" and Hebrew names to be the same or similar. I guess it's for philosophical reasons: I want Judaism to be natural for them and fully integrated into their lives, not something "separate" that they do every Saturday. Of course, I don't think the manner in which I name them will really have an effect on whether they continue to practice Judaism into adulthood, but I guess it's just the underlying idea.

As for the number of names, I'd like to do two. I'll probably choose two since I doubt I'll be able to settle on one, and it would be nice for them to match their mother. Very Happy
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Debbie B.

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PostSubject: Re: Children's Names   Tue Jan 31, 2012 3:19 pm

My two children both have two Hebrew names which are the same or translated from their secular first and middle names. They both have first names from Tanakh (the "Hebrew Bible"). My son's middle name is Biblical too, but in fact we chose that name as a nod to my side of the family tree because it was the English name taken by my paternal grandfather. My daughter's middle name is from my husband's paternal grandmother---the only one of the three great-grandmothers who was not alive when she was born (although two died less than a year later). My kids' "Chinese" names are unofficial. My own middle name as listed (transliterated) on my birth certificate is Chinese and I kept it when I married rather than moving my family name to my middle name (because since it was "Lee" it just sounded like an English middle name).

Some comments on the lineage part of my childrens' Hebrew names:
There is support even among Orthodox poskim, such as the well-respected Rav Moshe Feinstein, for allowing converted patrilineal children to use "ben/bat father's_name" in their Hebrew name. The conversion certificates of my children say something like "ben/bat Avraham Avinu v'Sarah Imenu v'Yehoshua". I believe that before I converted, it would have been allowable for my daughter to be called up as simply "bat Yehoshua", however we chose for her to be called to the Torah as "bat Avraham v'Sarah". With the encouragement of the rabbis of the Beit Din for my conversion, we changed her lineage to "bat Yehoshua u'Devorah Rut" after I converted. My daughter still gets confused about which name to use (and compounding that confusion is that sometimes the gabbai will forget that we changed her name and call her up with the traditional lineage for converts). Even though she was only 5 when she immersed in the mikveh and she was brought up in a solely Jewish home from birth, she self-identifies as "convert". My son was below bar mitzvah age when I converted, so he has only been called up with our names. He does not remember his immersion which occurred when he was a baby and does not think of himself as a convert even though he knows the technicalities of his Jewish status.


Last edited by Debbie B. on Wed Feb 01, 2012 12:48 am; edited 2 times in total
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Dena

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PostSubject: Re: Children's Names   Tue Jan 31, 2012 6:51 pm

LineyLu wrote:
I don't have children yet, but I'd like their "secular" and Hebrew names to be the same or similar. I guess it's for philosophical reasons: I want Judaism to be natural for them and fully integrated into their lives, not something "separate" that they do every Saturday.

See, I would like our children's (in the future, no I am not pregnant) Hebrew name and secular legal name to be the same. The problem is that we both really reallly love a first name that is not Jewish. It's something we settled on a long time before I had decided to convert. I also think that if we ever have a boy my DH might like him to have his middle name.

So, we can either give them just one Hebrew name and a secular name as their full legal name. Or, we could give them three names (plus our last name) for their legal name. If I did it for one I'd have to do it for all of them because it would bug me if they have a different numbers of names. Wink and Smile

So, I was curious as to what others have done.

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esf

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PostSubject: Re: Children's Names   Tue Jan 31, 2012 7:33 pm

My son has 2 names on his birth certificate: first name ('x' - non-Jewish), second name ('y' - Jewish), and two Hebrew names ('z' + 'y'). I felt that this integrated his everyday name into his Hebrew name, but that the addition of another name chosen specifially as a Hebrew name made it somehow separate as well.
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tamar

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PostSubject: Re: Children's Names   Tue Jan 31, 2012 7:55 pm

Dena wrote:
LineyLu wrote:
I don't have children yet, but I'd like their "secular" and Hebrew names to be the same or similar. I guess it's for philosophical reasons: I want Judaism to be natural for them and fully integrated into their lives, not something "separate" that they do every Saturday.

See, I would like our children's (in the future, no I am not pregnant) Hebrew name and secular legal name to be the same. The problem is that we both really reallly love a first name that is not Jewish. It's something we settled on a long time before I had decided to convert. I also think that if we ever have a boy my DH might like him to have his middle name.

So, we can either give them just one Hebrew name and a secular name as their full legal name. Or, we could give them three names (plus our last name) for their legal name. If I did it for one I'd have to do it for all of them because it would bug me if they have a different numbers of names. Wink and Smile

So, I was curious as to what others have done.


My children have their given names that are secular and their 2 Hebrew names.
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Dena

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PostSubject: Re: Children's Names   Tue Jan 31, 2012 9:06 pm

esf wrote:
My son has 2 names on his birth certificate: first name ('x' - non-Jewish), second name ('y' - Jewish), and two Hebrew names ('z' + 'y'). I felt that this integrated his everyday name into his Hebrew name, but that the addition of another name chosen specifially as a Hebrew name made it somehow separate as well.

I didn't know it could be done that way. I'm thinking something like (and these are compltely made up names)...

Ezra Levi Richard Jones
Heather Rivkah Lilah Jones

Is that obnoxious?

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Dena

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PostSubject: Re: Children's Names   Tue Jan 31, 2012 9:07 pm

tamar wrote:
My children have their given names that are secular and their 2 Hebrew names.

So their Hebrew names are not a part of their legal name?
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tamar

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PostSubject: Re: Children's Names   Tue Jan 31, 2012 9:14 pm

Dena wrote:
tamar wrote:
My children have their given names that are secular and their 2 Hebrew names.

So their Hebrew names are not a part of their legal name?

No, they converted so they already had their legal names. They have 2 Jewish names in addition to their legal names.

If I had been Jewish and had children born Jewish I would have given them Hebrew names as their legal names. I would have given them 2 Hebrew names.
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esf

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PostSubject: Re: Children's Names   Tue Jan 31, 2012 11:19 pm

Dena wrote:
esf wrote:
My son has 2 names on his birth certificate: first name ('x' - non-Jewish), second name ('y' - Jewish), and two Hebrew names ('z' + 'y'). I felt that this integrated his everyday name into his Hebrew name, but that the addition of another name chosen specifially as a Hebrew name made it somehow separate as well.

I didn't know it could be done that way. I'm thinking something like (and these are compltely made up names)...

Ezra Levi Richard Jones
Heather Rivkah Lilah Jones

Is that obnoxious?


Well, here's a made-up version of what I did for my son:

Legal name, on birth certificate: Max Joseph Smith
Hebrew name (given when we converted him): Menachem Joseph

When I (hopefully) have more children in the future, I'd like them to have two hebrew names as their official name, but I don't think its a problem, or unusual, to have a non-Jewish first name.
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Debbie B.

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PostSubject: Re: Children's Names   Tue Jan 31, 2012 11:57 pm

esf wrote:
I don't think its a problem, or unusual, to have a non-Jewish first name.
Of course it is not a problem. Lots of Jews, including Orthodox rabbis, have non-Jewish first names...and some have "non-Jewish-sounding" last names too. On the other hand, I also personally know two rabbis who chose as adults to use their Hebrew names in every day use rather than their given first names which were not Jewish. I think they felt that their Hebrew names fit better with their self-image and career choice. Lots of Jews start to use their Hebrew names all the time when they make Aliyah, even when they are speaking in English or if they return to the US for a visit. A minyan friend told me that when he made Aliyah with his wife (in the 1970's) as part of their youthful idealism, he changed not only his first name to his Hebrew name (even though his birth first name is Biblical too) and but also changed his last name to a Hebrew one. But when he and his family returned to the US after ten years due to not being able to find a job in Israel*, he and the rest of his family went back to his original last name (which ends in "berg" like so many Askenazi surnames), he and his wife reverted to their original first names and his children decided to take more "American" first names. (*He had switched careers twice and had those fields lose a bunch of jobs including his.)

There is a boy at my daughter's high school who has chosen to be called by his Hebrew name (Moshe) and wear a kippah all the time, even though he is from a Reform family and is not traditionally observant (I don't think he keeps kosher, and he is certainly not "Shomer Shabbat").
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esf

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PostSubject: Re: Children's Names   Wed Feb 01, 2012 12:38 am

Debbie - Absolutely! Your comments are very interesting. :) I mainly wrote that sentence to respond to this: "The problem is that we both really reallly love a first name that is not Jewish. " (Dena)
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Dena

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PostSubject: Re: Children's Names   Wed Feb 01, 2012 4:29 pm

esf wrote:
Debbie - Absolutely! Your comments are very interesting. :) I mainly wrote that sentence to respond to this: "The problem is that we both really reallly love a first name that is not Jewish. " (Dena)

Oh, I may have made that sound like I don't want to use it. No, I still want to use it. The issue is that if I want the Hebrew name to be a part of the legal name (and I do), then I can only choose one Hebrew name instead of two...or give three names plus our last name. So our option would be:

Jessica Rivkah Jones (1 secular name plus 1 Hebrew name)
Jessica Rivkah Miriam Jones (1 secular name plus 2 Hebrew names)

I just don't know which we'd prefer. Some people may find too many names to be annoying, you know what I mean?

I blame it on my friends. They are always pregnant and talking about baby names. Laughing
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esf

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PostSubject: Re: Children's Names   Wed Feb 01, 2012 4:33 pm

Oh, I see what you mean. I think either of your options would be fine; probably it depends on how long the names are and how well they run together as to whether 4 names is too many!
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Debbie B.

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PostSubject: Re: Children's Names   Wed Feb 01, 2012 4:51 pm

Do you feel a strong need to have the full Hebrew name in their legal name? How about a legal name of Jessica Rivkah Jones with a Hebrew name of Rivkah Miriam? Basically, that's my situation since only Deborah is part of my legal name, but my Hebrew name is Devorah Rut. If a person has a lot of names, I think some of them end up getting dropped from use and only appear on the birth certificate anyway.

Spanish people often have many names. A relative of my husband had like four or more names not including family names. So the "first" name she used in the US took the first syllable of her first "first name" and put it together with the last syllable of the last of her personal names (one of several "middle names"). The hitch was that the spelling of this hybrid name caused people to mispronounce it like the more common English name with that same spelling, so she had to always correct people on that.
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ilovetchotchkes

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PostSubject: Re: Children's Names   Tue Mar 20, 2012 11:40 am

My son has a regular first name (oh how I fought for it to be Moshe but got outvoted). So his 2 middle names are his hebrew names. Moshe Eliyahu. :)

However, my daughter will have a yiddish name for her first name and Ruth Miryam as her middle/Hebrew names. (Tradition in my husband's family is 2 middle names. I'm down with it!). I told my husband "since I kept getting outvoted last time, I GET TO PICK A GIRLS NAME THIS TIME"
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