THis is a bit funny question, following "can-one-name-count-for-two-people" but I think Halachically legitimate:

How a sick person with Dissociative Identity Disorder (Multiple Personality Disorder) should be mentioned in the prayer for health on Shabbos?

My consideration is that we pray for "רפואת הנפש ורפואת הגוף" and that person has one body but (probably) two souls.

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    "that person has one body but two souls." Why do you think this person has multiple souls? I would think the logical position is that this person has one soul with a mental condition that makes them think otherwise. Why should what they 'think' affect what we say? Nov 12, 2018 at 13:35
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    @Salmononius2 I don't know, it's just a hypothesis. Sometimes the difference can be so strong that one personality is ill while the other's not.
    – Al Berko
    Nov 12, 2018 at 13:45

3 Answers 3


While I understand that someone with multiple personalities might be considered as behaving as two different people. They have the same head and the same body. In this respect then, since they were given a single name at birth, they do not have multiple names.

As a corollary, it doesn't follow that a person with multiple names (i.e. Yisrael Dovid ben Ploni) does have a split personality. Rather each name reflects a particular aspect of the person's single neshama.

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    בן פלונית עדיף, עם שם האם
    – kouty
    Nov 13, 2018 at 1:15
  • @kouty actually no. We see that the father's name is used when naming the child at a circumcision, so your point is not correct
    – user18155
    Nov 17, 2018 at 22:09

Souls come to the person at the moment of birth.

Multiple Personality is an acquired condition, stemming from severe trauma (usually extensive prolonged abuse) as a young child.

Unless you can show me cases of bodies acquiring extra souls long after birth (not counting the temporary one we're said to have on Shabbat), we can assume one body, one soul.

As for names, it depends how you pray for someone. Many people change their names for all sorts of reasons. Marriage, professional, assimilation, safety. Some people use both their old and new name. Which one do you pray for?

I would use the name the person prefers (regardless of circumstances) along with their Hebrew name (which probably they only have one of if given in infancy).


You call them by their hebrew name given at birth only; like ploni ben almoni or Yitzchak ben Avraham(unless it was halachically changed before).

A person's split personality doesn't have the power to change or add a name to a person. It is considered a ruach and anything done during the time it overtakes the person, is invalid and the person is not held accountable(since he is a shoteh/insane at the time; see here for a short overview http://www.daat.ac.il/daat/kitveyet/assia_english/strous-1.htm).

To halachically change one's name, it should be done when called up to the Torah or according to the instructions of a qualified rabbi. Choosing to be referred to by another name other than what we were named at birth at the brit or when the father(or shaliach) is called up to the Torah, has no significance for the matter of our official halachic name.

For a mishnaic reference to ruchot, see mishna eruvin 4:1(https://www.sefaria.org.il/Mishnah_Eruvin.4?lang=he).

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