Rabbi Ariel Asa

The Baby Naming

Our forefather Abraham, at the age of 99, received his name at his bris (before that his name had been Abram) and therefore it became customary to bestow a child's name upon him at his bris.

Parents should choose a Hebrew name for their child with care. Often he is named for a deceased relative who had special meaning in the life of the parents.

Among Sephardic Jewry, it is common to name a child after a living grandparent or relative. Others will choose a name of a great individual or because the name has special appeal to them.

Two (and sometimes three) names can be given to one child. Even if you don't call your child by his Hebrew name, pick a name that he will be comfortable with when he is in religious school or at his bar-mitzvah. Though commonly done, there is no requirement to have a Hebrew name that corresponds to the English one.