Mi Yodeya is a question and answer site for those who base their lives on Jewish law and tradition and anyone interested in learning more. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

Aruch Hashulchan EH 129:116 says one should not be called up to the torah with either your own or your fathers nickname like Zalman of 'Shlomo Zalman'. A nickname is a name, which is nothing more than a 'copy' of the original like Salamon or a shortened version of it. So why today are even rabbis called up to the Torah by a name including their nickname? Like the example given of Shlomo Zalman.

share|improve this question
beta.hebrewbooks.org/… Near the bottom of the page. I am sure the sefer I quoted in the question talks about when he received both names at the bris since this is what is common today. – preferred May 26 '14 at 14:24
How do you think Rabbi Tarfon or Rabbi Akiva was called up to the Torah? – user5488 May 26 '14 at 20:36

I think you might be mistaken in the premise of your question. If you were named something at your bris, it DOES become your name, even if it was originally a 'nickname' style of name. It's quite common nowadays that a person's 'Hebrew' name is based off another language (generally Yiddish, but not limited to it).

Rav Moshe has a Teshuva where someone asked if he could name their daughter after a relative who only had an 'English' name. He responded that yes, it was permitted, and the name becomes a 'Hebrew' name. He proved it from the Rambam's name: Rambam stands for Rabbi Moshe Ben Maimon. Maimon was definitely not an originally 'Hebrew' name, yet that was the name he was called. While originally it might not have been entirely appropriate (but certainly not forbidden) to give a child a not-classically-Jewish name, once the name is adopted into Judaism, there is no reason not to use it. (See Igros Moshe O.C. 4 Siman 66. Igros Moshe O.C. 5 Siman 10 also has a long discussion on names, which I haven't read through yet.)

I believe that the Aruch Hashulchan you brought in Siman 129 Sif 116 near the end where he mentions not to call people up to the Torah by nicknames is referring to nicknames that weren't given at the Bris. The Mevoh Hashe'arim you brought in the comment below seems to be the only place that mentions a Kinui given at birth, and while I'll concede his language seems to imply that Kinuyim are often given at birth, I still feel that most other places refer to Kinuyim that aren't given at birth.

share|improve this answer
Please read my question again, my comment and the seforim I quote. If you receive one name at your bris you are right. I am talking about receiving two names only one of which is Hebrew. I have not seen the t'shuva of Rav Moshe and I disagree with it. Maimon would not become a Jewish name. The difference between a 'Jewish' name and a non-Jewish name is how you write the non-Jewish nickname with 'mchuna' or miskari. – preferred May 26 '14 at 17:35
hebrewbooks.org/… סעיף יח – preferred May 26 '14 at 17:42
@preferred Could you specify which parts of the sources you are referring to? I read through much of the Aruch Hashulchan and Kav Naki, and skimmed through the Toras Gittin, but didn't see any part about a name given at birth. I only saw 'Kinuyim' which I've always understood to mean nicknames that a person receives later in life. And I hope to review the Teshuva of R' Moshe later today and put up the source, if you'd like to read it yourself. – Salmononius2 May 26 '14 at 17:56
I agree no one mentions a name given at birth and I am still looking for that. But like I wrote the Aruch Hashulchan is most likely talking about our times when names are given at birth. – preferred May 26 '14 at 18:06
hebrewbooks.org/… Does seem to imply that even if it was given at birth He write the derech holam is to give a hebrew name and sometimes it also includes a non Hebrew name. The word 'murkav' sounds to me together at the bris. – preferred May 26 '14 at 18:14

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.