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...Or, I suppose, "bas Avraham v'Sarah?"

What is the most authoritative name to use: 1) In tefilo? 2) On a document such as a conversion certificate or ketubah?

If this varies by community, please identify, to the extent you know, which communities do what.

Related: How long have Jewish Converts been adding "V'Sarah" to their Hebrew names? Is this Proper? Expected?

  • The mothers name is usually only used when someone is ill to pray for her. Although today one can only be sure of the birth mother, but it may not have been conceived by her. – patient Dec 26 '17 at 16:15
  • @patient Are you sure it is the same for a female convert? – SAH Dec 26 '17 at 16:22
  • As noted in the answers, a woman always takes the patronymic bas/bat (father), just like a man takes the patronymic ben (father). – Codes with Hammer Dec 26 '17 at 19:51
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Partial answer, as you asked about Ketobot and Gittin. From The Schechter Institute:

1.A number of major halakhic authorities ruled that for a female convert, one should write in the get: bat Avraham Avinu [daughter of Abraham our forefather] (Rabbi Wachs and Ba’er Heiteiv to Even Ha’ezer 129, subparag. 35 refer to Seder Haget 34:1; Maharashdam, No. 108; Knesset Hagedolah to Even Ha’ezer 129, Hagahat Bet Yosef, No. 165).

2.A number of major halakhic authorities ruled that for a female convert one should write in the ketubah: bat Avraham Avinu (Rabbi Wachs refers to Be’erot Hamayim to Hilkhot Gittin, No. 42; Yad Aharon by Rabbi Alfandari, Even Ha’ezer, Hagahat Hatur, 66:39; Neve Shalom by Rabbi Eliyahu Hazzan, Dinei Ketubot 63). This stems from a general tendency among the halakhic authorities to list names exactly in theketubah, so that in the event of divorce, they would also be as exact as possible in the gett (Nahalat Shivah 12:16, ed. Warsaw, p. 51).

3.On the other hand, there are those who write plonit hagiyoret [so-and-so the female convert] in the ketubahof a female convert, so that if she should become widowed, she should not marry a Kohen, since a convert may not marry a Kohen (Rabbi Wachs refers to Mahari Bruna, No. 242; Responsa Radbaz, Part I, No. 180; and Rabbi David Arama on Maimonides, Yebum Vahalitzah 4:34 who expresses doubt about the matter).

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    I've seen בת אאע"ה on a (Chabad) ketubah – Josh Dec 26 '17 at 18:37
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Converts are the spiritual descendants of Avraham and Sarah. In every context (save one) where I've ever heard a convert's name, it's ben/bat Avraham -- the father's name, just like for any born Jew. The exception is when praying for healing, where we use the person's mother's name instead. For converts this is Sarah.

Egalitarian congregations sometimes refer to everybody as ben/bat Father v'Mother. (My Reform congregation does, as does one local Conservative congregation. I've never heard this in an Orthodox setting.)

  • Aren't all prayers for the person with their mother's name? (That is certainly how I've always done and heard it... but the profusion of comments on this page referencing "mi shebeirach" are making me wonder) – SAH Dec 26 '17 at 17:41
  • @SAH if you mean things like the (not choleh) mi sheberach one sometimes receives after an aliyah or a pre-wedding blessing or the like, I've never heard those with just the mother's name. That might be a good thing to ask about separately; for converts the answer is "same as for non-converts" (in terms of which parent to use), but when to use which parent (for anybody) is a different question and maybe other communities do it differently. – Monica Cellio Dec 26 '17 at 17:45
  • I just mean praying for people! And, a bit separately, blessing them... Am I chas veshalom the only one who does this stuff? ;) – SAH Dec 26 '17 at 17:53
  • Separate question? – SAH Dec 26 '17 at 17:53
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    There are also a few other assorted places where you use your mother's name, like the prayer before taking out the Sefer Torah on Yom Tov. I think I've seen the עבדך בן/בת אמתך formulation in at least one other place too but I don't remember where. Maybe in one of the collection of prayers at the back of the Artscroll Wasserman siddur. – Heshy Dec 26 '17 at 17:59

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