2nd Trimester
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Calling all Jewish Mothers and Mothers to be!

A below post about asking about using family member names for your child made me think of a question. DH is Jewish and wants to use a "G" name after his deceased aunt, which I am completely fine with. Here's my question: His grandmother's name is Josephine which I LOVE and fortunately she is still alive. She's great and I absolutely adore her. She hates the name and legally changed it to Jackie years ago. I haven't asked but is is disrespectful in the Jewish tradition to name a child after someone who is living? My best guess is yes since I can't say I've ever heard of any Jewish Jr's. Also, if it is disrespectful, can't I still use Josephine since she legally changed her name? (Puhleeeezze? pretty please?!)

Re: Calling all Jewish Mothers and Mothers to be!

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    it's traditional to NOT name a child after a living relative.  However, Jackie's name is now Jackie, not Josephine.  I think it's fine!
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    The explanation I always heard for why Jews don't name after the living (and it may just be Ashkenazi Jews, I don't know what the Sephardim do) but I always heard it was more about superstition  - that the "angel of death" would come to take the older person and accidentally take the baby. There were a lot of old world supertitions.

    I think this really depends on how traditional your husband and his family are. I would talk to him about it and if you are worried that Grandma would take it the wrong way I would just ask her or ask someone who knows her well enough to know whether she would t'sk t'sk at it or find it an honor.

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    I brought it up to him once and it didn't seem to upset or offend him however he didn't jump out of his chair and declare what a great idea it was (even though ALL my ideas are great. Deh.) I'll have to ask him tonight to see what his thoughts are.

    To be honest, I think if I asked him what the reasoning behind the whole naming a child only after a deceased person is, he wouldn't know. I also mentioned one time naming the child after my grandmother who is also alive and he had no problem with it. One of the Jewish cousins did and made a big stink about it which really annoyed me for a couple of reasons. a) it's really none of her business what I name my child and b) I feel like she (and even most of DH's family) only follows certain traditions and this just happens to be one that she chose to  abide by. Meanwhile, we're all eating at a buffet immediately after Yom Kippur services. So why feel so strongly about this naming tradition and then not pay attention to the tradition of fasting for 25 hours on a high holy day? I just don't get it.

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    Sephardic Jews name after the living. Ashkenazic Jews name after the dead :)
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    my family is jewish (DH's is catholic) and i know jews usually use the first initial when choosing the name of a deceased relative.

    I got some side eyes when I mentioned I was using the SAME name. As in my first son and daughter will have exactly the same first name as my grandparents, because that's how I want to honor my grandparents, and they will all have to get over it.

    Do what you and DH are comfortable with, as long as the living relative in question isn't offended.

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    That's hilarious that they hit the buffet after Yom Kippur. Wow.

    Obviously if you and your DH are ok with it and like pp said, if the living relative isn't offended then who cares what anyone else says. Just be ready to deal with the raised eyebrows. Also, I would not discuss the names w/ his family if you think they're gonna give you grief, but that's just me.

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