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  • Family and Society
  • Names and Name Changing

same names


Rabbi David Sperling

Iyyar 23, 5782
what is the sephardic rule for not marrying someone with the same name as their father: -does this include hebrew names -what if the hebrew name has multiple names and only 1 is the same? (as the english or hebrew name) thank you
Shalom, Thank you for your question. The question you ask refers to a “will”, or set of directives, from Rav Yehudah HaChasid (late 1100’s). There he writes about not marrying a lady whose father has the same name as the groom. This is only referring to the Hebrew names – English names have no bearing at all. Also, this only applies when the Hebrew name is exactly the same – but if one of the parties is called (for example) Reuvain Yaakov he could marry a girl whose father’s name is only Reuvain or only Yaakov (or visa versa). All the more so if the father’s name is Reuvain Shimon, or Shimon Reuvain. However, it is worth noting that this issue is not accepted by all. In fact, many communities do not worry about this at all. Rav Ovadyah Yosef (Yabiah Omer, 2, Even HaEzer 7) writes at length why one does not have to worry about this. In the work Yalkut Yosef (by the present Sephardi Chief Rabbi of Israel, Rav Yitzcak Yosef – based on the teachings of his late father) he writes that one should not reject a match because of the question of their names. He adds that it is “correct” (but not an obligation) to add a name to that of the groom if he in fact has exactly the same name as the father of the bride. I hope this question implies a Mazel Tov on the way – and in any event, let me send you only blessings for all that is good. Blessings.
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