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Deciding upon a name for your child can be one of the most fun and most stressful experiences parents-to-be can face during nine months of pregnancy. Honoring family members, naming after favorite authors or television characters and the age old close-your-eyes-spin-three-times-and-point-to-a-name-in-the-baby-book are all perfectly good methods of deciding on the name of your child.
Even after all those discussions, you have to go through the obligatory fail-safe name rules:“Nope, canâ€™t use that as the middle nameâ€¦ look what the initials spell.â€ť
â€śNo, that name rhymes with a part of the anatomy I do not want associated with my sweet child.â€ť
â€śHannah Hannah Bo Bana… Fi Fy Fo Fanna, Hannah!”
On top of all this, we, as an interfaith couple, have had extra â€śrulesâ€ť to follow.
First, of course, our Jewish child should have a Hebrew name. Per my husbandâ€™s Ashkenazi side, the baby cannot be named after a living relative, but should honor a relative that has passed on. Per my husbandâ€™s Sephardic side, we should name after a living relative so that person may enjoy the honor. Per my husbandâ€™s Israeli family, our child should have a modern Israeli name. Per my husband’s Orthodox family, only traditional names from the Torah are acceptable.
Confused yet? Then we have to take into account my husbandâ€™s particular sensitivity to names since he grew up with a very traditional Israeli name in the United States that turned out to be the name of a Disney character while he was in third gradeâ€¦ a girl Disney character. Poor guy. So since we plan on living in Israel and the United States during the childâ€™s life, the name has to work in both Hebrew in English (sorry: Nimrod, Dudu and Moron are out!).
Plus, my American family has to be able to pronounce this Hebrew name (not an easy task with Southern accents).
After months of searching, throwing out names, rediscussing names, arguing and maybe just a few pregnancy hormone induced tears, we finally have a name for our child!! Baruch Hashem! We happily share the name with our family. Yes, sharing the name before the brit milah is a big no-no, but I think we deserve a break on this one. What do you know? They hate it.
Oy vey, whatâ€™s an interfaith family to do?