Naming a grandchild from a living relative

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    About a few weeks ago I was in Shul Davening Shacarit on Shabbos morning. There was a baby naming for a little girl at the minion. The name of the baby announced at the minion was the same as a living grandmother. I was surprised when I was told that this was not against halacha to do so. As I thought the baby would be named after a relative who was niftar. I was also told by someone going for smicha that another mother(not the same mother at the baby naming)named her new daughter after herself. Are there different minhagim(al pi halacha) as far as what is permitted in naming a baby?

    YW Moderator-007

    The biggest honor by the Sefardim is to name a baby after a living grandparent. Most Sefardi grandparents have grandchildren named after them – during their lifetime.

    Hops this answers your question.


    I never heard a child being named after a living PARENT. Even by the Sefardim. I do not believe it is acceptable.


    Ashkenazim name only for dead people. The “logic” is that the Angel of Death might get confused and get the baby instead of the namesake.

    Sefardim has a different custom.

    Of course, since we typically give multiple personal names, it would be easy to get around the prohibition – which is just a local minhag.


    Sephardim do name for living parents and grandparents


    There is absolutely no prohibition al pi halacha to name a baby after a living grandparent. And as a matter of fact, that is indeed the Sephardic custom. The idea of it being assur is one more example of ashkenazi myopia.


    Both baby naming’s I wrote about were from Ashkanazi families. Can a baby from an Ashkanazi family be named from a living grandparent? Also can an Ashkanazi family name their daughter after the mother?


    Can a baby from an Ashkanazi family be named from a living grandparent?

    It is clearly not against halacha, as Sephardim do it all the time. However, it is a *very* strong and well-established Ashkenazi minhag not to do so.

    As always, if you *really* want to do so, ask your LOR.

    The Wolf


    sepharadim always do, but we never name a baby after her mother.

    R u sure that the grandparents aren’t sephardic??



    Both baby naming’s I wrote about were from Ashkanazi families. Can a baby from an Ashkanazi family be named from a living grandparent? Also can an Ashkanazi family name their daughter after the mother?

    Dutch Ashkenazim families absolutely & most definitely name after living grandparents, and this is a Huge Honor, both for the grandparent & the new child.

    As far as naming a daughter after the grandmother:- Generally this is one of the few spheres where the wife retains her own family Minhag & not her husband’s, so that if her Minhog was to name after a living grandparent, then even if her husband’s Minhog is otherwise, her children should name their daughter after her during her lifetime. Conversely, if her Minhog is not to name after a living grandparent even though her husband’s Minhog is to name after a living grandparent, then her children should not name their daughter after her during her lifetime.

    Naming after a living parent as opposed to after a living grandparent, no-one {other than Royal families & Nochrim} do so.


    sepharadim always do, but we never name a baby after her mother.

    I think yankdownunder meant the mother naming the baby after *her* mother, not the baby’s mother.

    The Wolf


    Halakha does not tell us which superstitions to hold by; if anything, the overall thurst of Judaism is rationalistic and eschews superstitions/darkhei emori.

    If someone wants to name after a living grandparent, or buy baby clothes before the baby is born, they are not sinning.


    @The Wolf

    Don’t ‘Think’ so much when it is written in black and white…

    The OP wrote *”herself”* not her mother………


    yankdownunder: Please clarify if part of your question here is whether it is halachicly permissible to name a baby after the baby’s own living parent.


    Wolf & greatest I said/wrote in the second instance I heard about a baby naming where the biological mother named her daughter after herself. The mother was Ashkenzi. I was not aware al pi halacha this was done. Has anyone ever heard of this practice?


    first, i am ashkenazi.

    I am insulted that you (you know who you are) refer to our minhag

    as myopia.

    second. at least two posts said that sefardim never name after a living parent. Oh really. I was personnaly acquanted with a boy named after his father and looking forward to growing up and naming his son after himself.

    Would apreciate some clarification. perhaps this varies in different communities.

    third. I am utterly disgusted at the tone of some posters.

    and last, the ashkenazi MINHAG is not claimed to be HALACHA.


    nitpicker, I never said that your (ashkenazi) minhag is myopia. If you read my post again you would see it. What I mean is that the idea that something that is perfectly fine according to the Shulchan Aruch (and in fact the minhag of many many Jews) would be considered by some people as being ASSUR is myopia. I have several examples and people have come to me in shul to explain how I am doing something “wrong” when in fact if they knew a little bit of halacha they would know that what I was doing was ok. Still, I apologize to you and to anyone who may have been offended by my comment.


    to kako

    This is true of everyone not ashkenazim.

    One (anyone) may only know what the common practice

    is and not if it is

    a chumra

    a local minhag

    a minhag of most or all

    a din d’oriaisa

    a din d’rabbanan

    Current accepted practice that may have

    been matter of machlokes in the past

    And so on.

    Why do you attribute such lack of

    knowledge particularly to ashkenazim?

    in your example, the person who thinks that something actually practiced by many outside his community is assur, probably doesnt know that that is the case, or that the shulchan aruch permits it.

    And don’t be too sure that you may not have some similar lack of knowledge about something.


    nitpicker, I don’t attribute this type of behavior to ashkenazim only. It’s just that the case being discussed in this topic is one where the sephardi minhag (100% correct al-pi-halacha) surprised some of my ashkenazi brothers/sisters who thought it to be assur. Hence, my calling it ashkenazi myopia. And as I said, I have experienced it in other cases as well.

    If there is a case where the direction goes the other way, then it would be a case of sephardi myopia.


    This is a dvar torah I wrote a number of years ago. I’ll post it here and now, due to its connection to the discussion at hand (It was originally written for Parshas Ki Teitzei):

    One of the exciting aspects of having a child is choosing a name. Interestingly, customs regarding names vary between different sects of Jews. An obvious distinction exists between Ashkanazi and Sefardi families. Ashkanazim traditionally name their children after people who have passed on. It is considered an honor to the deceased to have a descendant named after them. Sefardim, however, name their children after a living person. To name a son after a living grandfather is considered a great honor among Sefardim, and yet, is a tremendous insult in an Ashkanazi family.

    A contradiction seems to appear in the writings of Rebbi Yehuda HaChasid. In one place he explains that superstition only has power if you give it power. Immediately following that comment, he writes that a longstanding custom exists among the gentiles to name a son after the father with which there is nothing wrong. However, Jews should be careful not to do so (seemingly regardless of whether or not one is superstitious). The commentators explain that really there is no contradiction. Rebbi Yehuda HaChasid is saying that if you do not believe there will be an Ayin Hara, an evil eye, then name your child after whomever you want. However, do not name your child after yourself, because your lack of belief in the superstition will not afford you protection.


    <e>Rabbi Yaakov Weinberg points out that these two particular mitzvos, honoring ones parents and sending away the mother bird, are rewarded with long life.

    He as well as most other Meforshim forgot to comment on the 3rd Mitzwah whose observance also carried Arichas Yomim, that of just weights, which come in same Sidra of Ki-Setzei as does Shiluach haKein.

    Can someone explain why this 3rd Mitzwah is not also mentioned in conjunction with Arichas Yomim when discussing Shiluach haKein verses Kibud Ov v’Eim?


    Naming is ALL minhag, there is no halacha. But the truth is when a minhag has real “legs” in a particular community, it is treated with kovod similar to that of following a real halacha. So one should be respectful of all people’s minhagim that do not conflict with halacha, and not be derisive or condemnatory of them if they differ from one’s own.

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