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Giving the name Adam


Rabbi Moshe Leib Halberstadt

Cheshvan 3, 5771
My spouse is very interested in giving the name "Adam" to our son who was recently born. I am concerned about this because I truly believe that the name given to a child affects his future and I heard that the name Adam is problematic, perhaps because of Adam’s sin, what should I do???
The Chida (Rabbi Chaim Joseph David Azulai) in his book Birkei Yosef quotes Rabbi Moshe Miterani (1500 – 1580) in his Responsa Hamabit 1, 276, that it is not proper to give the name Adam or Noah or Shem and Eber because one should not name after people, only from Abraham onwards, and one who is called by the name Japheth etc. from the names prior to Abraham is not amongst “whose labor is in the Torah and who gives pleasure to his Creator”. The Rabbi author of Kenesset Hagedolah wonders at him, as we find R’ Benjamin son of Japheth, and Heaven forbid that the father of R’ Japheth breeched a safeguard and so forth, see there. Similarly should be noted from Akabia ben Mahalalel. The Chida concludes that people are not concerned about this and do give the names Adam Noah etc. So you can trust these great sages Rabbi Chaim Benveniste author of the "Kenneset Hagedolah" (Constantinople 1603 - Izmir 1673) and the Chida (Jerusalem 1727 - Livorno 1806) and give your son the name Adam. And particularly in this case that it involves Shalom Bayit (domestic harmony) and great is peace. There is another option to give the child a name in addition to the name Adam. Mazal Tov! May you merit to raise him to Torah, Chuppah, and Good Deeds. (ברכי יוסף יו"ד סימן רסה ס"ק ו, תשובות והנהגות ח"א סימן תרה).
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