The custom is for the Chevra Kadisha to name a baby who dies before being named.
What names are customarily used in this sad scenario?
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R Jason Weiner (senior rabbi at Cedars-Sinai hospital in Los Angeles), in his article Jewish Guidance on the Loss of a Baby or Fetus (Hakirah vol. 23) writes
- It is customary to give the baby or fetus a name that is somewhat uncommon (Minchat Shlomo 2:96(2); Nishmat Avraham, YD 263:5(14) (365 in 3rd ed.). R. Auerbach gives the examples of Metushelach and Rachamim (in those communities in which this would not be a common name). See Ke-Chalom Ya’uf, 102 for other examples of commonly used names in these circumstances. R. Elchonon Zohn told this author that another commonly used name is Yonah, particularly if the gender is indistinguishable, because of a midrash stating that the prophet Yonah ben Amitai had been a child who died and was resurrected.)
- but some advise choosing a more usual name (Ke-Chalom Ya’uf, 44)
- parents should therefore seek Rabbinic guidance and choose a name that they prefer (ibid., 43–4. If the parents do not choose a name, the mortuary (Chevrah Kadisha) will often choose one)
May God comfort all families suffering such a terrible experience. And as with all personal issues, please ask your rav for any personal ruling.