|Ask Rabbi Simmons|
I am an Askenazi Jew and pregnant with my second child. My first child was named after my deceased grandfather. I would like to name my second child after my living grandmother who is 83 years old. This is going to be my last child and I would like to honor my grandmother. I discussed this with my grandmother and she likes the idea, however a friend of mine told me that she believes it would cause bad luck. I would appreciate your opinion. Thank you.
Jews do not hesitate to give a name which is the same as a living realtive
(based on Talmud Shabbat 134a).
Ashkenazi Jews, however, customarily
do not give the same name. In such a situation
as yours, they would use a similar name, such as by changing the name Menachem to
Nachum, or Shalom to Shlomo. However, it is by no means forbidden to give the same
name, and all you have to do is ask the living relative if s/he minds or not. If they give
the okay, then go right ahead.
Rabbi Shraga Simmons