by Rabbi Yair Hoffman for 5tjt.com
The following are ten rulings from Rav Elyashiv zt”l on making a shidduch with the same name as a family member.
BEING CAREFUL ON SAME NAMES
- There are those who are quite strict to ensure that the bride’s name should not be the same as that of the groom’s mother, nor that the groom’s name be the same as the name of his future father-in-law. There are also those who are strict to ensure that the names of both fathers-in-law and both mothers-in-law not be the same. All this is from the Ethical Will of Rav Yehudah HaChassid.
THE MAIN CONCERN
- The main concern, however, only involves that of a bride and her future mother-in-law. The other scenarios are merely minor concerns, and there is no need to be so uneasy about. However, the prevalent custom is to be strict on these matters. However, one may not be lenient regarding a bride and her mother-in-law except through making a change in the name.
ADDING A NAME
- If the Shidduch is appropriate in all areas, but the names are the same, it is possible to remedy this by adding a name to one of the parties. This can be done lechatchilah, with no reservations. There is no difference whether it is added to the bride’s name or to that of her mother-in-law.
DISCOVERED AFTER THE WEDDING
- If the concept about the concern for the same name only became known to them after the wedding, then an additional name should be added to one of their names at that
WHAT CONSTITUTES A NEW NAME
- In order for a name to be considered a new name it is necessary for at least three people to call him either by the newly added name alone or with both names together. Regarding a bride and her mother-in- law it is necessary for the majority of those who know her to call her by the new name.
WHEN ONE HAS TWO NAMES
- If one of their names is, “Moshe Yaakov” and the other’s name is simply, “Yaakov” – this is not considered the same name, but rather two separate names
WHEN BOTH ARE CALLED BY THE SAME NAME
- However, if this “Moshe Yaakov” is referred to by everyone as “Yaakov” alone – then it is considered one name. It would make no difference even if he is called to the Torah by the name “Moshe Yaakov.” However, it would certainly be effective to start referring to him from that point onward as either “Moshe Yaakov” or just “Moshe.” However, regarding a bride and her mother-in-law it is necessary that everyone start referring to her with both names or at least the majority of people. It is not sufficient for only her close family members to call her with both
WHEN THE HUSBAND AND THE WOMAN HAVE THE SAME NAMES
- Ideally, a person who is named “Simcha” should not marry a girl whose mother is named “Simcha.” Rather, they should add a name to one of them. Post facto, however, one may be
IF A NICKNAME IS CONSIDERED A DIFFERENT NAME
- Someone whose name is “Yaakov” but everyone calls him “Yankel”, or someone whose name is “Moshe” but he is called “Moishy”, or if her name is “Esther” but she is called “Estie,” all of these and other similar cases are considered to be one name and are included within the concept of a bride and mother-in-law with the same name.