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Three Hebrew Names: good solution or awkward?
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amother




OP
 

Post Tue, Apr 05 2022, 1:07 pm
I come from a MO community where everyone is given an English name and a Hebrew name. People go by their English name in day to day life.

We're expecting our first child BH but overwhelmed with naming. We have an English first name that we love, and two grandparents who need to be named after. For personal and family reasons, it's not really negotiable - we have to incorporate those two grandparent names, and they have to be in the Hebrew name slots because that's where it matters.

However, the two Hebrew grandparent names really do not correlate with our favorite English first name at all, which has a very clear Hebrew equivalent. It would be like Jacob but using Chaim as a Hebrew name instead of Yaakov.

I think these are our two options, other than crossing off our favorite English name:

1. Using the English name we love, and a Hebrew name that doesn't correlate (let's say Jacob Samuel, Hebrew name Chaim Shmuel, with the C+S honoring the grandparents)

2. Using three Hebrew names (let's say Jacob Samuel, Hebrew name Yaakov Chaim Shmuel)

Neither of these feels completely smooth to me, but I'm not sure which is the least awkward solution (non-correlating names or 3 Hebrew names). Any input would really help me sort this out in my mind. I used fake names but if it would be helpful to have the real names, let me know. Thank you to anyone who read all this!
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scintilla




 
 
 
 

Post Tue, Apr 05 2022, 1:13 pm
I think three names is the best solution, it's not the smoothest but I know plenty of people with 3 Hebrew names, including in my own family, and so long as the names flow it can sound quite pretty.
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Aylat




 
 
 
 

Post Tue, Apr 05 2022, 1:15 pm
I know people who gave three names for exactly that reason- the first name was one they liked and they had 2 grandparents to name after.

Personally I think I would give 3 Hebrew names with the first one being the equivalent of the English name you like. So let's say you want to call your son Jacob and the grandparents are Chaim and Shmuel, name him Yaakov Chaim Shmuel at his brit, and call him Jacob in everyday life. But it's up to you and your DH.
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BetsyTacy




 
 
 
 

Post Tue, Apr 05 2022, 1:16 pm
I think having the real names may help, just in case there is some nuance we have missed by having been given fake names.

People are in America who live in/know of communities where people use their English names are used to having unrelated Hebrew names.
Since it is the hebrew names that are being used to honor the dearly departed, I would keep that to 2 and not add a third name.

Three names is a lot for a person, and I think there needs to be a better reason for it than just to match a preferred English name.
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amother




NeonOrange
 

Post Tue, Apr 05 2022, 1:20 pm
It really depends on the names... I know people with 3 names but they work together.
Can you do the 2 hebrew names but only use 1 plus your favorite English name?
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tryinghard




 
 
 
 

Post Tue, Apr 05 2022, 1:21 pm
One of my children is named for my grandfather. It is a double name, with no obvious English equivalent. I did give the English name as well, but the only connection between the English and Hebrew are that they were both my grandfather’s names! So personally I would do the two Hebrew and one English, but if you are more comfortable, add a middle name to the English which matches one of the Hebrew.
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mommyhood




 
 
 
 

Post Tue, Apr 05 2022, 1:24 pm
I know so many people whose English and Hebrew names have no connection. For people who use their English name it really has no impact on their lives other than a bit of surprise when people hear their Hebrew name. Personally I'd prefer that option than the mouthful of 3 names every time they get an aliya.
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Iymnok




 
 
 
 

Post Tue, Apr 05 2022, 1:25 pm
Rav Kanievsky zatzal, was Shmaryahu Yosef Chaim. He was named after two grandfathers.
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amother




Black
 

Post Tue, Apr 05 2022, 1:33 pm
I have three hebrew names and never minded at all! I only go by two of them. I think that it's a great solution, if the combination is special and meaningful for you.
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amother




OP
 

Post Tue, Apr 05 2022, 1:55 pm
Thank you so much for the quick feedback! Seems like both options are acceptable which is really helpful to know. I guess no harm sharing the name we like is Judah. My husband feels like it would be weird to not use Yehudah for that. One Hebrew name just needs to be a Ch- (We've discussed Chaim as an option). The other is pretty uncommon so would rather not post it for now.

Question for three-Hebrew-namers: do you have three English names too, or does that not matter?
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amother




Brown
 

Post Tue, Apr 05 2022, 2:15 pm
amother [ OP ] wrote:
Thank you so much for the quick feedback! Seems like both options are acceptable which is really helpful to know. I guess no harm sharing the name we like is Judah. My husband feels like it would be weird to not use Yehudah for that. One Hebrew name just needs to be a Ch- (We've discussed Chaim as an option). The other is pretty uncommon so would rather not post it for now.

Question for three-Hebrew-namers: do you have three English names too, or does that not matter?


Of course only the one english name. You are using because you like it not because you have to use multiple secular names in someone’s memory.
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amother




cornflower
 

Post Tue, Apr 05 2022, 2:18 pm
amother [ OP ] wrote:
Thank you so much for the quick feedback! Seems like both options are acceptable which is really helpful to know. I guess no harm sharing the name we like is Judah. My husband feels like it would be weird to not use Yehudah for that. One Hebrew name just needs to be a Ch- (We've discussed Chaim as an option). The other is pretty uncommon so would rather not post it for now.

Question for three-Hebrew-namers: do you have three English names too, or does that not matter?


My dh has 3 Hebrew names and 2 English ones. Also named after grandfathers, his second and third names.
The first, every-day name is identical in Hebrew and English, just pronounced differently. The second sounds in English sort of similar to the second name in Hebrew even if not related. The third Hebrew name is on its own.
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SuperWify




 
 
 
 

Post Tue, Apr 05 2022, 2:24 pm
amother [ OP ] wrote:
Thank you so much for the quick feedback! Seems like both options are acceptable which is really helpful to know. I guess no harm sharing the name we like is Judah. My husband feels like it would be weird to not use Yehudah for that. One Hebrew name just needs to be a Ch- (We've discussed Chaim as an option). The other is pretty uncommon so would rather not post it for now.

Question for three-Hebrew-namers: do you have three English names too, or does that not matter?


I love Judah! But I agree with your dh, it belongs with Yehuda.

I’d choose a different English name that makes sense and save Judah for the next one.

Bsaah Tovah and good luck deciding!
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youngmother6




 
 
 
 

Post Tue, Apr 05 2022, 2:33 pm
Can you ask a Rabbi? Calling a child Judah his while life but that not being his official Hebrew name as Yehuda may cause problems. As in on his kesubah it might say Yehuda plus the other two Hebrew names even if you only officially called him two Hebrew names without Yehuda. To clarify, even if you name him two Hebrew names he might end up having three so ask to be sure....

Personally my grandfather has a situation like that where he was called Judah but Hebrew name was Yitzchak. This made it very confusing for us when naming after him should we name our child Yehuda or Yitzchak.

I think Judah is a beautiful name! If you’re calling your son Judah, Yehuda should be his Hebrew name as well plus the other two names for the grandparents.


Good luck!
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amother




Salmon
 

Post Tue, Apr 05 2022, 2:39 pm
DH has 3 Hebrew names and 2 English.
Goes by his English first name, but as a kid his mom called him by his Hebrew first name. His English names are random, that his mom likes and picked-think Scott Alexander and Hebrew is the first one she liked and a grandfather who had a hyphen type name: Eitan Tzvi Hirsh. The Tzvi Hirsh being after a single grandfather.

FYI, DD has 5 names like that as well.

He goes by his first English name. She goes by her first Hebrew name and the English name is her “doctor name”
We live In Teaneck.
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Lh291




 
 
 
 

Post Tue, Apr 05 2022, 2:40 pm
It could still be ok to be Judah and not Yehudah.

I was in camp with a girl whose English name was Rachel but Hebrew name was Reyna.
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singleagain




 
 
 
 

Post Tue, Apr 05 2022, 2:52 pm
I have a sibling who has an English biblical name without the Hebrew equivalent. Two totally different Hebrew names
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amother




Black
 

Post Tue, Apr 05 2022, 3:04 pm
amother [ OP ] wrote:
Thank you so much for the quick feedback! Seems like both options are acceptable which is really helpful to know. I guess no harm sharing the name we like is Judah. My husband feels like it would be weird to not use Yehudah for that. One Hebrew name just needs to be a Ch- (We've discussed Chaim as an option). The other is pretty uncommon so would rather not post it for now.

Question for three-Hebrew-namers: do you have three English names too, or does that not matter?


I have three Hebrew names and three matching English names. It looks really clunky in legal paperwork but doesn't truly bother me.
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essie14




 
 
 
 

Post Tue, Apr 05 2022, 3:12 pm
I have several friends whose English names do not correlate to their Hebrew names.
It's not a problem, as someone said above. Judah does not need to be Yehuda.
My nephew has 3 Hebrew names and one semi related English name. Totally not a problem. Eg: Yehuda chaim aryeh and Jason
(Not his real names)

I have a friend Rebecca who has some obscure Yiddish name. Her parents just liked Rebecca and that's what she was called her whole life.
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amother




Apricot
 

Post Tue, Apr 05 2022, 3:32 pm
No problem. My son has three names. He’s named after eight different people (we had to do it that way as he’s likely to be our only son due to infertility. I wish we’d given our daughter three names too).

No corresponding English names as we live in Israel, but if we had given English names they would have matched (so Judah/Yehuda) for the most part. Now I’m thinking he might have had four English names!
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