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I have met people who have a name for secular contexts (eg. Mottel for Mordechai), a name for legal usage (eg. on a birth certificate), and a name for being called to the Torah. For what it's worth, most of these people have been from the "Yeshivish" welt. Is this practice based in halacha or any written minhag?

  • Nowadays, many people put the real name (used for being called to the Torah) on the birth certificate. Others use a secular name as the middle name for ease of use in society (such as at work or on a driver's license). A nickname (like Yankl or Mottel) is like any nickname that can be used and has no other significance. – sabbahillel Oct 19 '16 at 13:16
  • @sabbahillel, I know someone whose shem kodesh is Mordechai, he goes by Mottel, but his legal name is Martin. I also know someone with the legal name "Elliot" a kinui for his shem chol, and a completely separate name for his shem kodesh (I don't recall it off the top of my head). The former is an FFB BMG alumnus, the latter from a very yeshivish kahal in Queens and went to YU. – Noach MiFrankfurt Oct 19 '16 at 14:29

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