Naming A Child After Someone With Weird Name
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- This topic has 106 replies, 58 voices, and was last updated 7 years, 4 months ago by Joseph.
December 13, 2010 6:57 pm at 6:57 pm #1121164bptParticipant
Bracha Channa, huh? That makes 2 of you I know (and the 1st one is a real pistol, too)December 13, 2010 6:59 pm at 6:59 pm #1121165bptParticipant
And if Hencha is the name you go with, why not call the girl Henny? That’s pretty 21st century (No advise at all if Genendle is the name you’re contemplating)December 13, 2010 7:21 pm at 7:21 pm #1121166
I don’t mean to downplay the importance a child’s name may be to grandparent or great grandparent, but Aries, you imply that bribery or the threat of withholding family heirlooms is a tactic used. Is that normal?December 13, 2010 7:52 pm at 7:52 pm #1121167bennaishekParticipant
build a wedding hall and name ateres henchie 😉December 13, 2010 8:01 pm at 8:01 pm #1121168
It is not bribery at all. It is just the natural order of things. If a child is named for someone you naturally talk about that person to that child. If you have something that belonged to that person, your natural inclination is to give it to that child because it would have some meaning to that particular child, while it would hold little meaning to a child who did not feel the connection. How is that a bribe?
When I gave my daughter something that was her grandmother for whom she is named after it had some value to her and she appreciated the history of the piece, more so than something of another family member. She wore it with a different sense of pride.December 13, 2010 8:04 pm at 8:04 pm #1121169popa_bar_abbaParticipant
Parents are dying to have grandchildren named after them. How could you deprive them.December 13, 2010 8:27 pm at 8:27 pm #1121170yitayningwutParticipant
LOL!!! That’s like the cemetery joke, why do they have locks on the cemetery gates – because people are dying to get in!December 13, 2010 9:26 pm at 9:26 pm #1121171haifagirlParticipant
I was going to say something about only Ashkenazi grandparents are dying to have grandchildren named after them.December 13, 2010 9:33 pm at 9:33 pm #1121172
True, sefardim live to have children named for them. Greeks as well.December 13, 2010 10:36 pm at 10:36 pm #1121173Shouldnt be hereMember
This could be quite an issue in a Sefardi family. My daughter’s friend had quite a hard time explaining to her mother why she couldnt give a name (very goyish sounding) that was good enough for her grandarents.December 13, 2010 10:39 pm at 10:39 pm #1121174
How does this statement of yours…..
“It is not bribery at all. It is just the natural order of things. If a child is named for someone you naturally talk about that person to that child.If you have something that belonged to that person, your natural inclination is to give it to that child because it would have some meaning to that particular child, while it would hold little meaning to a child who did not feel the connection. How is that a bribe?”
Not conflict with this statement…..
“We will not love the baby any less, but we might choose to compensate the parents less for being less than generous in return.”
What does compensation to the parents have to do with anything? What type of generosity is withheld when a baby is not named for someone that you would want it to be named for, that there is your implied threat of withholding compensation? Exactly what type of compensation are we talking about? I understand that if I had a football stadium and you wanted your name in lights across the facade, you would compensate me, but if I give my son or daughter a name that means something to you…….
I really hope that I have absolutely misunderstood what you wrote, because the alternative leaves me at an utter loss for words.December 13, 2010 11:14 pm at 11:14 pm #1121175so rightMember
apy, I too am frequently at an utter loss of words when reading her comments.December 14, 2010 1:29 am at 1:29 am #1121176
APY, you have. I have said it to my kids and I will explain it to you as well. For all the things that we do for them, for all our acts of generosity and kindness, from monetary to physical help even before the grandkids arrived, and then when they did, the only thing we ask is that they honor our parents with a name. My husband and I don’t even go any further than just our parents, not grandparents, just our parents, that’s it. And we find it hard to understand that our children or anyone’s children cannot give back to their parents for everything they do for them and be a little generous in return when it comes to this small thing about honoring the grandparents with a name and perpetuating their memory.
Why should a parent keep giving, and giving generously when a child cannot be as generous? That is all I am saying. That generosity should work both ways and that a child should recognize an opportunity to give back to a parent in this way if it means so much to them. Why is it such a big deal and why is that considered bribery? That is common decency and kovod Av v’em.
As far as children inheriting what once belonged to their namesake, that’s not bribery. Grandchildren get loads of things from their grandparents, believe me they don’t lose out. However the heirlooms that belong to those particular grandparents will automatically go to the ones that share their name. Is that bribery? No, that is logical.
My mother was niftar 2 months ago. I found my father’s silver becher in her breakfront. It isn’t fancy or big. It is the only piece of silver she hadn’t already distributed among the kids and grandkids. She kept it because my father made kiddush on it every Shabbos and Yom Tov. I gave it to my oldest Grandson. He is only 8 but he is the first one named for my father. He is not the only grandson named for my father. My sister and brother have grandsons named for my father and they have other grandsons, but mine was the first named for my father so he got it. It was logical.
I have my mother’s diamond ring. My daughter will inherit MY diamond ring after 120 and my first granddaughter who is named for my mother will get my mother’s diamond ring. That is my logic. I have b”h have 7 granddaughters at this time. I have other jewelry that they will inherit, but my mother’s ring will go to the one i”H that will carry her name. What is wrong with that?December 14, 2010 3:25 am at 3:25 am #1121177metrodriverMember
Speaking (and posting) of names, it just occurred to me the (Yiddish) source of a name like SOFIA / SOPHIE ; From the Passuk in Mishlei / Aishes Chayil; ????’ ?????? ???? Which, in Sephardic dialect is pronounced softly; “SOFIA” , instead of “TZofia”.
Elizabeth, is (probably) derived from Elisheva. Then there are names that were adopted for use by Yidden from non-Jewish origins. For example, the name ??????? is (probably) derived from FABIUS.December 14, 2010 9:45 am at 9:45 am #1121178
Aries. Call it what you want. I can tell you this much, and don’t want to discuss this much further. When I asked my Rav if I was obligated under kibbud av to give a name “asked” by my parents the answer was no. You describe in detail a highly charged emotional feeling and an erroneous belief. Your children owe you for a lot, but you have no right to demand how they show that gratitude. You can ask. You can dangle the “compensation”. More than likely none of it is necessary because your own children (in the younger generations for sure) more often than not knew their grandparents and want on their own to name for their grandparents. However, despite your emotions, it is not owed to you, or them.
As an aside. How many Avrahams or Yitzchaks are listed as having gone down to mitzrayim? Not one of the shvatim was named after grandfather Avraham. not one of the shevatim named any of their kids after Yitzchak. Yocheved was not named after any of the imahos. Was Yaackov not persuasive enough? did he dangle the wrong compensation? Were the shevatim a bunch of ingrates?December 14, 2010 2:16 pm at 2:16 pm #1121179m in IsraelMember
Back to the main discussion here (not whether or not to name, but what to do about an unusual or potentially embarrassing name!) I have a highly unusual name — I have only come across 2 other people with this name in my life — and it never bothered me at all. I was proud to be named for my father’s grandmother, and loved the fact that it was a great conversation starter when meeting someone new — they would invariable ask me about my name! I also think this is very much in the “ears of the beholder” some people consider certain names beautiful, while others think they are weird. I would have no problem giving my child an unusual name to honor the memory of a relative (we actually planned to do so with one of my children, but the baby’s was the wrong gender!) However I think that a name that is very likely to be made fun off (i.e. it has negative connotations, or matches very poorly with your last name) is not fair to give a child, and if you just really hate the name, maybe that is part of your Ruach Hakodesh as a parent!!
As far as adding a second name goes, and whether or not that is no longer considered actually “naming for” the person, when we looked into this we found a psak that if the name added was a name of shevach or hadoah to Hashem (i.e. Boruch/ Bracha), it is not the same as randomly giving a second name, or naming after 2 different people, when in fact it is neither name that you are giving. If I remember correctly this was said in the name of R’ Moshe tz”l.
Bottom line — if this is a question L’masah, why not speak to your rav, who knows your particular community and family, to help you determine what the correct thing to do is in your particular situation.December 14, 2010 4:31 pm at 4:31 pm #1121180
Of course its an emotional issue and it is a family issue not a halachic issue. That is why I suggested more than once that the OP discuss it with the family members involved and come to terms with it one way or another so that they minimize the hurt. That is why others suggested that the name was a nickname and that the poster ask the parents if the given name was actually something else. Exactly because it is an emotional issue and it is a family issue.
Look I love all my grandchildren the same and have an amazing relationship with my oldest granddaughter who my son and granddaughter chose not to name for my mother-in-law. It hurt at the time but it does not take away anything from our relationship with the child and it doesn’t take away from our relationship with our kids. We forgive our kids anything and everything. Believe me, we all know that kids hurt their parents in many ways. I am just saying that this is one way they should show their own generosity and especially APY said, because they knew their grandparents and so should feel the connection.
But every case is different and we all gave our own personal opinions based on how we each feel. This is how I feel, it doesn’t make it wrong because YOU think it is wrong. This is how it is in my family. It means a lot. If in your family it means nothing, or it doesn’t bother you that your parents don’t have a name, then that’s it. It doesn’t bother you. So we disagree. That doesn’t mean either side is wrong, it means we have a difference of opinions. As far as asking a Rav, the question asked is usually, “do I have to give a name my mother wants me to…..” How many times honestly is the real issue asked. “It is very important to my mother than a name be given for her mother. They were very close and she was just nifter. It is their minhag to give names for their parents, etc. I know she will be very devastated if we don’t name for her mother, but I don’t like the name. What should I do.”
Maybe if the question was really posed as the situation really is, the Rav would ask more questions such as what the nifteres was like, how close was the new parent and his grandmother, etc. before he came to his answer. He might still give the answer to name your own child what you want, or he might change the new parents way of thinking without even giving an answer just by the discussion process. Who knows. All I know is that the answer you receive usually depends on the way the sheilah was presented.
Anyway by now the baby must have been named so what happened?December 14, 2010 5:57 pm at 5:57 pm #1121182
The salient facts.
. At first not so subtle and then subtle pressure was applied to name our son X (and no, it was not a “weird” name, it is in fact, a rather common name)
. First a polite, we will consider it and then a more firm we will name our son as we see appropriate response was given
. it occurred to us that perhaps despite our misgivings halacha demanded that we listen to our parents in this matter, so we approached a Rav and presented our question
. After several discussions with the Rav, he felt it best to speak with my parents about the entire matter
. After he spoke with them, the Rav told us we are under no obligation according to halacha to comply with their request, he told us he told this to them as well
. My son had his bris, received a proper jewish name and is growing, b”h, into a fine ben torahDecember 14, 2010 6:03 pm at 6:03 pm #1121183
APY, I wasn’t responding to you specifically I was still responding generally and to the original OP. Please don’t jump to conclusions. Had I meant to address you personally I would have prefaced my post with your name or initials as I did here. And as originally posted it was a girl in question and the name in question was “Hencha”.December 14, 2010 6:26 pm at 6:26 pm #1121184
I WAS responding to you specifically though 🙂December 14, 2010 6:51 pm at 6:51 pm #1121185
APY, I noticed 🙂December 14, 2010 7:13 pm at 7:13 pm #1121186
Aries: Ultimately I think it boils down to whether someone who is owed gratitude can expect or request that it be shown in a specific manner and more importantly, should they let that preference be known and can they be upset or even mildly annoyed if a different form of gratitude is shown.
I still don’t understand what “but we might choose to compensate the parents less for being less than generous in return.” means either. To me it still sounds as if there is a payment being made for a name being given to a child. Worse, it sounds like a game of tit for tat parents or grandparents are playing with their children and grandchildren.December 14, 2010 7:54 pm at 7:54 pm #1121187
Not really, kids are very departmental. They choose everything and anything they want for their newborns, they plan a huge kiddush and/or bris and just expect the parents to pay for it. Why is that? Now I am not speaking about ALL cases I am speaking in a general sense and many parents here will understand what I am saying.
Do the kids ask the parents, what they wish to contribute? How many guests they can invite? What they are expected to pay for themselves and what the parents wish to pay for? Even what one side is paying for and what the other side is paying for if the mechutanim don’t discuss this amongst themselves? Not usually, usually the kids are just thinking about themselves and what they want and that is not fair. Especially in a family that they belong to and know that naming after grandparents is a bid deal and a big issue. In the case where it is a big issue and they want to make the choices for themselves, they should then step up to the plate and stand on their own two feet in the other areas of being the parents and taking on the responsibilities of being the parent. That’s all I’m saying. Why not say to their parents “I know that you want me to name the baby for Bubby and you will be hurt if I don’t, but I don’t want to or my wife doesn’t want to, so I will pay for the kiddush myself, it is my responsibility.
Better yet, why do kids “expect” that their parents are footing the bill to begin with. Why shouldn’t they expect to pay for everything themselves and just be surprised and grateful when parents help out? My friend used to say “If you want me to shut my mouth, tell me first to shut my purse”.
Or better yet, why wait until the baby is born to discuss this. Why not have these discussions way in advance so that it is not a shock when the baby is named?
For those of us who understand it is a big issue, then you know how big an issue it really is. For those of you who don’t understand that it is a big issue, you will never understand how big an issue it is. I am not going to divulge the details but I was hurt in this area and my mother was deeply, deeply hurt in this area and SHE was right. What happened was very, very wrong and her grandson new better. Even though life goes on, the pain she felt never left her because this particular grandson who should have named for my father and didn’t was the oldest grandson, the one who knew my father the best and the one who was so close to my father he could tell you about his heart rhythm. There wasn’t anything my father didn’t do for this child and that included taking him horseback riding and lending him his car when he got his license at 17, and he never ever lent his car to anyone up to that point. This grandson, the oldest, and my son, the youngest were shadows of my father.
So again, those who do not understand the emotions involved in this issue will just never understand. And those that do understand what I am talking about. Maybe it is our age difference and that we at this point are at other ends of the spectrum and see things through different lenses.December 14, 2010 8:22 pm at 8:22 pm #1121188not IMember
I ahd a girl in my class, GEnandel. Everyone knew her! It just added to her hilarious character. As well it was always fun to hear how the goyish/not frum teachers would try and pronounce it!!
P.S She also had a sister called Henchy! (The family alwas had the main part in the plays.. all funny.. Also added to the character!
Not only that she had a niece called Ratze!December 14, 2010 8:47 pm at 8:47 pm #1121189
Aries, I am not a grandparent, I am a parent, and one with children approaching shidduchim, so I am not what one would call a young, or a new parent. It is clear we travel in very different circles. In the circle I move in, kids do NOT expect anything but parental guidance from their parents. They do not expect, or assume their parents will pay for everything, or anything. The attitude of your friend and their child(ren) is foreign to the circle I travel in (no, it is not a tiny circle, so wipe that smirk off your face 🙂
I guess it is why my reaction to your statements above were of shock and amazement. Sure there are spoiled kids and lousy parents in the circle I travel in, but it is not the norm, certainly not the norm you describe. If the attitudes expressed by parents and children are the norm in your circle then I can understand why you feel the way you do.December 15, 2010 4:47 am at 4:47 am #1121190oomisParticipant
“Giving 2 names is worthless. The point of naming after the niftar is so it should be a iyluy for the neshoma, giving 2 names is like naming after somone else! “
I must respectfully disagree with you, for several reasons. There is no halacha whatsoever to name after someone. it is a custom only, one that has a strong hold in the frum community, but is still not a requirement. Also, it is considered to be not mazeldig to name for a niftar who died tragically or too young. Should that niftar NEVER have someone named for him? The only way to do that and not feel concerned about the mazel issue is to ADD a name of someone who died healthy and old, or a name like Chaim.
I also still believe it IS to the iluy of the neshama even if only one of the names is for that person. And what if the niftar was not frum, but still was a wonderful person? It always is good to use two names, if so desired.December 15, 2010 5:59 am at 5:59 am #1121191real-briskerMember
“Its only a custom” – So who decides the rules? If its only a custom than why name at all make up a new name and that will be an iyluy. How will it be an iyluy if its only a custom?December 15, 2010 3:57 pm at 3:57 pm #1121192
“So who decides the rules?”
Apparantly in some places, they follow the golden rule. The one with the gold, makes the rules.December 15, 2010 4:21 pm at 4:21 pm #1121193
APY, then why do we name after tzadikim and rabbonim? Who made that rule? And who had the gold? Where did that custom come from?March 25, 2015 12:23 am at 12:23 am #1121194frumnotyeshivishParticipant
To revive this interesting and informative older thread: using one narcissism to justify another makes a little bit of sense, but more sense would be to have no narcissism at all.
Grandparents are not obligated to support their adult children. Adult children are not obligated to let themselves be controlled by their parents- EVEN if it involves the name of their grandparents (surprise!).
However, happy, healthy, family members will often consider the desires of other happy, healthy, family members to be important to them. When the members who have the desires are not happy or healthy, I think the importance to the other members go down.March 25, 2015 1:20 am at 1:20 am #1121195JosephParticipant
Better question is if someone has a “weird name” (and no other name), should he or she be referred to by some other, non-weird, nickname?March 25, 2015 11:11 am at 11:11 am #1121196Shopping613 🌠Participant
What’s wrong with having 2 names? I know someone with 5 names, since 2 grandmothers died at the same time she was born. Shprintza Henna Raizel Gitty Batsheva. But everyone calls her Batsheva, cuz all the other names are ugly.March 25, 2015 11:31 am at 11:31 am #1121197BarryLS1Participant
Lots of Yiddish names were nicknames and abbreviations of two names. We should be giving Hebrew names, not Yiddish, so I suggest you find a Hebrew equivalent, unless its for a parent and the name wouldn’t embarrass the child.
I loved my In-Law;s AA’H, but when they suggested horrible names, I felt bad, but had to say no. Good thing my wife felt the same way.March 25, 2015 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm #1121198JosephParticipant
Shopping613: Gitty, Raizel and Henny are far from ugly names. In fact, all of those are nicer than Batsheva.
BarryLS1: Yiddish names are perfectly fine and beautiful. In fact you will find names originating from many other languages (European languages primarily, but others as well) in common use – that you would even be surprised are not originally Hebrew.
In fact, do you know the origins of “Moshe”…?March 25, 2015 1:03 pm at 1:03 pm #1121199oomisParticipant
In fact, do you know the origins of “Moshe”…? “
Yeah. It’s in the TORAH. And just in case you want to make an issue of the fact that Batya, daughter of Pharaoh, named him, the Torah says she said, “ki min hamayim mishisihu.” That is still Loshon Kodesh we are reading there, even if she named him in Egyptian.March 25, 2015 2:00 pm at 2:00 pm #1121200Letakein GirlParticipant
We should really stop using specific names. It can be very hurtful to some people…March 25, 2015 3:18 pm at 3:18 pm #1121201BarryLS1Participant
Joseph: You missed the point. People often give their kids Yiddish names, named for a relative, as they were called in Europe. Many of those names were combinations of two names merged as a nickname and not their given Torah name.
Also, I can mention some Yiddish names that are way to horrible to give a kid. When you have kids, ask and I’ll tell you, but only if you’ll use them.March 25, 2015 3:43 pm at 3:43 pm #1121202Little FroggieParticipant
When I was to give a name for my cutie, B”H, I had a specific one in mind, not at all common. So I did a quick research, and found that most who have that name, have had a second one, too. Sort of as a backup. Then, inquiring further, I noticed that anyone who was given that name, was actually called by that (unique) name, and not the other other ‘backup’ one. So I had no quandary naming her just that one.
And she’s happy with it.. (oh, she’s ka’h almost six months old)March 25, 2015 3:56 pm at 3:56 pm #1121203nolongersingleMember
You got my curiosity piqued, LF. What was that not all common name and what is the backup name that usually goes along with it?March 25, 2015 4:14 pm at 4:14 pm #1121204Little FroggieParticipant
Ok, the name?!? Noooo. That’s called prying (snooping, stalking etc). You’d easily identify me… (or maybe you know me… breaking out in clod sweat)
The backup name? Why, any other name, no one in specific.March 25, 2015 4:23 pm at 4:23 pm #1121205MRS PLONYParticipant
I met someone once who told me this story about herself:
She was a little girl in Hebrew School and the teacher said that all of the students had to go by their Hebrew names in class, so whoever didn’t know their Hebrew names had to find out for homework.
My friend asked her Bubby, “What’s my Hebrew name?” Her Bubby told her, “Yuchfoot.” My friend dutifully reported to her teacher that her Hebrew name was ‘Yuchfoot.’ The teacher said “That can’t be right. Ask your bubby to write it down in Alef-Bais.”
Are you ready?
Her name was……
It just goes to show…..March 25, 2015 6:47 pm at 6:47 pm #1121206Shopping613 🌠Participant
Accoridng to the family the others names were ugly.
(And I changed them around and changed one or two of them so it’s not exact).
I don’t know. I beleive my name is davka pretty, but it has no english translation. It doesn’t involve a chet, but goyim call me pretty much anything, BUT the proper name…March 25, 2015 7:40 pm at 7:40 pm #1121207streekgeekParticipant
Shprintza Henna Raizel Gitty Batsheva. But everyone calls her Batsheva, cuz all the other names are ugly.
That’s not very nice. Maybe if you knew me you wouldn’t say that.March 25, 2015 8:00 pm at 8:00 pm #1121208
Are there any ugly boys’ names, or only ugly girls’ names?March 25, 2015 10:25 pm at 10:25 pm #1121209LovelymeMember
Pleeeeease don’t name your child a name where she will be uncomfortable! My friend suffered her way through school with a similar name! If you really want to name her that than add another name and call her by that! Ex: Hentcha Devora=debby, Devora…March 25, 2015 11:19 pm at 11:19 pm #1121210147Participant
Problem is, the name is something like “Hencha”.
What is the solution? Transliterate to Hadassah!! Period!!
It will work beautiful & fine. Never give double name. Not only is it a pain for the child, but also a pain for his/her children when having to use multiple names in a MisheBerach or Kesuvo or Aliya etc.
Somebody who does have a double name, Halachically is really supposed to utilize this double name each & every time.March 25, 2015 11:46 pm at 11:46 pm #1121211golferParticipant
Aries, I read through your post and I could hear the pain you and your mother went through at your father’s name not being given to your grandson. I agree that young people blessed with a new neshama to name should be sensitive and try not to cause pain to their parents. And I agree when you say that it’s a good idea to discuss it before the actual naming so there is no surprise and hurt at the simcha. But your friend who will “shut her mouth when she shuts her purse”?! Strongly disagree!
As parents it is our pleasure to help our children, financially and otherwise, even when they’ve flown the nest and are busy building their own. (Maybe especially then?) And when helping them is a burden we feel we can’t manage, of course we should tell them and not make ourselves sick trying to give more than we can. But giving money, gifts, time, does not give us a right to interfere in their lives or meddle in their issues. I just don’t see the connection. If it makes you happy, give them gifts, give them cash, but remember to give them the gift of independence!
And by the way, when I serve my husband a nice dinner, I don’t tell him either that he can only eat if he takes the garbage out afterwards. And when he helps me out or indulges me with a gift, he doesn’t make it contingent on my reciprocating by providing goods or services. Economic models work well when arranging cash flow analyses and budgeting. Loving relationships exist on a separate plane.March 25, 2015 11:54 pm at 11:54 pm #1121212
Problem is, the name is something like “Hencha”.
What is the solution? Transliterate to Hadassah!! Period!!
There are two reasons to name a child for someone; for the deceased, and for the living. The ilui neshomo which comes through having someone named after you is, I’m told, only if the name is precise.
Nevertheless, as a way for the living to remember, it could be anything reminiscent of the person. It’s important to keep in mind, though, how the relatives will feel about an altered name.March 25, 2015 11:57 pm at 11:57 pm #1121213
As usual, golfer, a voice of reason (although I doubt Aries reads the CR any longer).March 25, 2015 11:57 pm at 11:57 pm #1121214Yayin Yashan B’Kli ChadashParticipant
Reb Yaakov Kaminetsky famously said not to give a name which would sound strange to the kids American friends. Its just not worth it. Giving every name anyone suggested and sounding like you’re reading the list of words that Reb Chaim said aren’t names every time you make a Mi Sheberach isn’t a solution either.
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