The name Shira – A Problem?

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  • #594581

    cb1
    Member

    my brother told me today that he heard in yeshiva, Rav Chaim Kanievsky Shlita said that ‘Shira’ is not a real name and anybody with that name has to get another name!! Did anybody else hear this that can confirm?

    #1160668

    yunger mann
    Member

    CB1- Assur is the rong word.

    I happen to own a sefer called “V’korey Shmoi B’yisroel” where its brought down from Reb Chaim shlit”a that all modern names (and Shira was one of them), are not names at all and that any one with those names needs to ad a name and be called by the new one only.

    Also my wife knows someone named Shira who Reb Chaim shlit”a told to add or change (im no sure which) their name. And he told them to make a kiddush when they do so. The girl now goes by a different name.

    You can see many of the names Reb Chaim shlit”a spoke about in this sefer many are popular names today adopted from Hebrew.

    I would consult with a Rav if I where you.

    #1160669

    HaLeiVi
    Participant

    He is obviously refering to something other than Halacha. You can give your child any name you want. There where Rishonim that had similar names as their non Jewish neighbors.

    #1160670

    yunger mann
    Member

    #1160671

    doodle jump
    Participant

    Are you saying that all modern Israeli names are a problem?

    #1160674

    FrummyMcFrum
    Participant

    Be very careful here.

    1. R’ Chaim is truly a gadol. And I have also heard this b’shem the Bostoner Rebbe. But that does not mean we pasken like this.

    2. There is most definitely a difference BEFORE the name is given and AFTER. One thing might be said when asked if one should give the name Shira, and another if one asks “My name is Shira”

    3. You could also have issues with things like Kesubas and Gitten.

    4. I have mostly heard this before with “nicknames”. When people come and say their name is “Hershel” (Which is really, Zvi, Naftoli, or Naftoli Zvi) or “Leibel” (Yehuda, Aryeh or Yehuda Aryeh). I forget if this is brought down in the Chassam Sofer or the Chozon Ish. I heard it b’shem R’ Frand, then looked it up where he said it was (Yes, it was there)

    #1160675

    yunger mann that sounds like it might be an interesting sefer, what’s it about and who is the mechaber?

    #1160676

    nachas
    Member

    I believe that R’ Pinchus Scheinberg has a granddaughter by the name Shira.

    What about other names like Shandel and other yiddish names?

    #1160677

    Feif Un
    Participant

    My cousin was told by R’ Chaim to change her name, as he said Shira wasn’t a real Jewish name.

    FrummyMcFrum: She was already married when this happened, so perhaps there isn’t a difference whether the name was already given or not.

    #1160678

    yunger mann
    Member

    Doodle- I’m not saying any thing its Reb Chaim shlit”a who says it and yes he says it about all modern Israeli names.

    Frummy- Reb Chaim shlit”a does not differentiate between before you name or after he says clearly to change after.

    Derech- The sefer is all about naming. As for whom the mechaber is, the sefer is not in front of me rite now. Ill bl”n try to get back to you on that.

    #1160679

    rc
    Participant

    can someone explain this better? I understand if the name is made up from modern hebrew like Leora, or something, but does this mean only biblical names have real name status. Shira comes from davening. and so does Tehila or the like and what about names like malka, atara, aviva, adina, ashira, aliza, ahuva, meira, meir for that matter. and then all the yiddish names. Seems to me that it means only biblical names are ok. am i understanding this correctly?

    #1160680

    amama
    Participant

    Absolutely true – I heard this almost first hand 22 years ago when my niece was born in Bnei Brak. my brother in law went to R. Chaim Kanievsky at that time because they wanted to name her Shira. He said “Shira iz nisht kein namen.”

    #1160681

    rabbiofberlin
    Participant

    You will all have to be “mochel’ me but I don’t understand this logic at all. Throughout our history we MADE up names as we thought (Many names are not even hebrew names,i.e. Moshe). Why can’t we make up names today? There are numerous names that have been coined today (liat, for example) Are the yddishe names (yente, faiga,sphrinza,actually a spanish name) any better? sorry I don’t follow that logic at all.

    #1160682

    ZachKessin
    Member

    For most of Jewish history most Jews have not had “Jewish” biblical names. In the Jewish community of Rome in the 1550’s the most common name was “Perna” (http://www.s-gabriel.org/names/yehoshua/rome_article.html) at least according to

    the records of the Beit Din of the community. (I actually wrote that article and did the basic research myself)

    #1160683

    HaLeiVi
    Participant

    Me neither, which is why I say that if it’s true, it has a reason other than Halacha.

    #1160684

    rabbiofberlin:

    ?????????? ?????? ?????? ????????? ???? ??? ???????? ???????????

    Also I have heard that there is a difference in the nevuah that people had in those times in naming their children and the ruach hakodesh that we have now.

    I am also wondering about yiddish names too though since its nogeiah for me.

    #1160685

    yunger mann: One of the people I work with, whose daughter is named Shira, just told me that he had consulted Rav Chaim Stein prior to naming her. Rav Chaim gave his haskoma and brocha to it. He claims that RCS even spoke at the kiddush and was complementary of choosing this particular name.

    We have to be very careful with this. R. Chaim Kanievsky is quite insistent that halocha l’maaseh shall not be paskened from his written teshuvos. Here we’re going after people who’ve been named already, so we should be careful and considerate about it. Ask your Rov.

    Also, whats the famous story about rav Dessler and his Kiddush Becher? Probably very applicable here.

    #1160687

    apushatayid
    Participant

    Is this a psak halacha, IE it is ASSUR to name your daughter Shira

    (or the other names listed in sefer), or is he saying there is an inyan (that he may understand that we do not) not to name your daughter or to specifically name certain names?

    If for example, someone davens to hashem for a child and after many years their tefilla is answered, and they want to name their daughter Eliana (contraction for Keli Ana – my hashem has answered me) is he saying ASSUR? If someone wants to name their child after something that inspired them, is that ASSUR? Most names found in tanach were given in exactly that way. My gut feeling tells me that it is not ASSUR to give the name Shira and the like, rather there is some inyan not to do so. There may be an overriding inyan to name your daughter Shira. Ask your Rav.

    #1160688

    gavra_at_work
    Participant

    yunger mann, sure you aren’t Joseph?

    I assume modern names exclude the likes of Nimrod, Lot & Avimelech, and include (which would be assur) Yenta, Henoch & Shneur?

    I am all for removing Yenta as a name. Just has a bad connotation.

    #1160689

    hudi
    Participant

    What about names from the gemara?

    jl- wasn’t there a rabi meir in the gemara?

    #1160690

    always here
    Participant

    my husband’s Mima Yenta now calls herself Yehudit

    #1160691

    no its not an issur

    its an inyun, which varies from Rebbe to Rebbe, person to person, situation to situation.

    #1160692

    Brooklyn Yenta
    Participant

    hey!!! i take personal offense at that!

    #1160693

    Rabbi Krohn’s bris milah book addresses this topic and agrees that Yiddish names are not first choice names – unless you are giving it after someone with that name. I know someone who named her daughter Shira because her father died and she had a girl soon after. The father’s birthday was Shabbos Shira so she chose that name.

    #1160694

    iyhbyu
    Member

    I don’t believe that R’ Chaim said that for a second. Who decided what was a “name?” Is it worse than Alexander, which yidden named their children in the times of Alexander the great? Mods-is there anyone talking to themselves on this thread?

    #1160695

    hmy1
    Member

    Here’s the story. Recently someone named shira was expecting and had complications. Her husband sent her name in to R’ Chaim for a bracha, but R’ Chaim said there cannot be bracha in a name like shira – it’s a Zionistic name, and she should switch her name. She changed her name (with a kiddush and e/t), made sure e/o called her by her new name, and about 1/2 months ago had a healthy baby. Later, I’ve heard that R’ Chaim sent out a letter saying that a/o with the name Shira could change it to Sara b/c it’s very similar = same letters… Hope this helps those that need it.

    #1160696

    rabbiofberlin
    Participant

    derechhamelech- look in the even ezra- he writes (on the ename moshe):’meturgom miloshon mitzraiym”-translated from egyptian.He may mean that he had-another-egyptian name and the name ‘moshe’ is a translation from that name into hebrew.You may be right in this, as the other meforshim (rashi amongst them) try to explain the connection between moshe and ‘meshisihu”.

    #1160697

    ItcheSrulik
    Member

    jl: So, only names “made up from Modern Hebrew like Leora” are assur? ?? ????? Made up? Seriously? So names like ????, ??, ???, ????, ??????, ???, ??????, ??? ????, ??? etc. are all modern and made up, and therefore “not real names” while names like Zalman (a slavic version of Shlomo), Berel, Velvel, Hirsh, Getzel, and Zanvel are all Jewish names enshrined in our holy mesorah.

    #1160698

    LBK
    Participant

    years ago, a relative of mine whose mother’s name had been Fradel went to R’ Shlomo Zalman Aurbach zatzal and asked if he had to name Fradel for his mother, or can he do a variation that would still be in his mother’s name. R’ Shlomo Zalman told him Gila, Rina, Chedva, Ahavah etc. (specifically listing a whole bunch of thos names) would all be good names to give in his mother’s name. I can’t imagine there’s a difference between a name like Rina or Gila, and a name like Shira (though oddly enough, every story about R’ Chaim above is specifically about the name Shira). R’ Shlomo Zalman approved the name Rina for that girl, and other siblings later named their daughters or granddaughters Rina, Gila and Aliza based on what R’ Shlomo Zalman z”l told the first sibling.

    #1160699

    gavra_at_work
    Participant

    Brooklyn Yenta

    Member

    hey!!! i take personal offense at that!

    With your offense and my ears, its a perfect match!

    (Paraphrasing The Yenta).

    #1160700

    gavra_at_work
    Participant

    LBK:

    RSZA was a very different type of Gadol than R’ Chaim.

    You can’t bring proof from what he said to what R’ Chaim would say.

    #1160701

    WolfishMusings
    Participant

    Why is Shira any worse than Yiddish names that have been used for hundreds of years without any problems? Why is Shira any less a name than Yenta, Pessie, Shrpintza, Zlata, Golda or any of dozen of other names?

    The Wolf

    #1160702

    always here
    Participant

    “She changed her name (with a kiddush and e/t), made sure e/o called her by her new name”

    not so simple. Rav Fisher, ZT’L, of the Eidas Hareidas in Yerushalayim, gave me an extra name after my husband brought in a kvitel with our whole immediate family’s names. besides what was mentioned above, we had to get a new ketubah as well!!

    #1160703

    hmy1: I don’t think anyone should consider changing their name prior to consulting their Rov. These are stories and for now, hearsay.

    We don’t decide halocha from fifth hand stories

    #1160704

    Pashuteh Yid
    Member

    Something’s fishy here. Shira is a Zionistic name??? Is Shabbos Shira a Zionistic holiday. Isn’t there a medrash that there were 9 Shiros so far, and the tenth will be in the time of moshiach.

    Totally agree with the kashya from Alexander, and I think there is even an Amora or Tanna with that name.

    What about Chiya, Papa, Rafram, Ayvu, Antignos, Horknos? All were Tannaim and Amoraim. Many others similar. The Shulchan Oruch even has a whole siman dedicated to how to spell names for a get. It lists names like Roza, Raizel, Feiga, etc.

    #1160705

    midwesterner
    Participant

    Itsche Srulik lists 9 names that he assumes are Modern Hebrew in nature. At least seven of them are in Tanach (If you can forgive the misspellings), one if which is the name of one of the Shivtei Kah, and two others have Sifrei Nevi’im in their name!!

    #1160706

    rabbiofberlin
    Participant

    I am inclined not to believe this story…..Simcha is Ok but shira not? bunim (the gerrer rebbe’s name zz’l) comes from the french -“bonhomme-good man”. That is OK, but not shira? the epitome of loshon kodesh?? I don’t believe this story. And what kind of “taanah” is it that it is “zionistic”? Is Boaz (dovid hamelech’s great-grandfather) zionistic? this whole thread does not sound right at all.

    #1160707

    WolfishMusings
    Participant

    Seems to me that it means only biblical names are ok. am i understanding this correctly?

    Many animal names that are used for boys are not the names of people in Tanach. Ari/Aryeh, Tzvi and Dov, AFAIK are not names of people at all in Tanach, while Z’ev is the name of a Cannanite king. Nonetheless, all four are used quite extensively.

    And, if you will argue, that they are okay simply because the word appears in Tanach, then I counter that “Gamal,” “Kelev,” “Chazir” and “Z’vuv” are also acceptable names.

    The Wolf

    #1160708

    Professional
    Member

    my sister went to a rav/ or a mekubal after she was married with her name (raditional, from tanach) and was told to add a name to make it better (whatever that means) and was offered 2 names that would work well with her name. one option was shira, which she chose. dont remember which EY rav it was, can be one of 3.

    another sister said naming after someone (even from tanach) comes with a bag of issues the person named after had (tzaros, for example: yosef) and therefore prefers to name modern Hebrew names that are not after ANY person.

    does anyone know if there is any makor to it?

    #1160709

    doodle jump
    Participant

    This sounds weird. Ask your local orthodox Rabbi!!!

    #1160710

    yeshiva guy
    Participant

    Rav Chaim’s own name is not a biblical name. Chaim is an expression just like Shira

    #1160711

    Pashuteh Yid
    Member

    Here is the big question. Will G-d be angry at someone who is named Shira or names their child Shira?

    #1160712

    always here
    Participant

    “was told to add a name to make it better (whatever that means) “

    we don’t know what it means.

    in my case, when Rav Fisher, ZT’L, got to my older son’s name in the kvitel, that’s when he told my husband I needed another name. a few years later, my son married a girl with the same name as mine, = then we didn’t have the same name.

    #1160713

    i heard from rav chaim that cb1 is not either a real name and all people with that name need to get a new one!

    #1160714

    WolfishMusings
    Participant

    Will G-d be angry at someone who is named Shira

    Will God be angry at someone who has blue eyes?

    I don’t think HKBH gets angry at people for things that are completely beyond their control.

    The Wolf

    #1160715

    rc
    Participant

    Itche Srulik: you missed my point. Names like Leora, Ahuva, Adina, Aviva are :”made up” in the sense that they are not biblical. It seems according to this psak you need a biblical name. like sarah, rivka, rochel leah, devora, esther, tamar, avigail, whatever. but Eliana would not be any more of a name that Shira. it would seem

    Dan and Calev are biblical.

    #1160716

    “my brother told me today that he heard in yeshiva” I think we need to take a step back and re-read the first line of the post. I “heard” a lot of things, which after further investigation deemed itself to be totally false. This is how rumors get started and is pretty much loshan hora…Secondly, I doubt Rav Chaim Kanievsky would like his name being thrown around here (on the internet of all places), especailly since there is no concrete evidence of this rulling….

    #1160717

    WolfishMusings
    Participant

    JL,

    What about Z’ev, Dov, Ari/Aryeh or Tzvi? Those are mentioned in the Bible, but not as names (with the exception of Z’ev, who was a Cannanite king). Are they acceptable?

    The Wolf

    #1160718

    rc
    Participant

    something is missing from this psak. Perhaps the person who went for a shaalah and was having issues. Rav Chaim meant this is not a name … meaning this is not a name for her. She needs a diff name for a specific refuah or for a yeshua or a shmirah or somthing like that.

    #1160720

    rabbiofberlin
    Participant

    jl: first, don’t write “according to this psak”. It is not a psak and the whole thing may very well be false. Second- the tannaim, the amoraim, the neviim even, did not not have “biblical names”(unless novih is biblical in your view). The best I can say about this is what some posters suggested. Maybe the person had special problems- health, parnossoh or zivugim- and hence ,Rav kanievsky said that shirah is not an original name. This is about as far as I can take this whole discussion. In actuality, most names are made up and are fine.

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