My daughter was pregnant when her father-in-law passed away. As Ashkenazi Jews, is it okay for them to name the baby after his grandfather? Some people have told me that it's inappropriate since she was already pregnant at that time that he died. What do you think?


This question actually hits very close to home. A few years ago, my daughter gave birth to a baby on a Monday night. My mother-in-law (my daughter's grandmother) passed away two days later, on Wednesday night. On Thursday, a half hour after the funeral, the baby was given the name of her great-grandmother. Not only was it not inappropriate, it was considered a great merit for the soul of my mother-in-law that a child was named after her so quickly.

(It is proper, however, to wait until after the interment before naming a child after a deceased individual.)

So, by all means, if your daughter and son-in-law wish to name the baby after his grandfather, they should feel free to do so. In fact, for your son-in-law to name the child after his father is a beautiful way for him to fulfill the precept of honoring his father, even after his passing.

I hope this has been helpful. Please feel free to contact me if you want to discuss this any further.

Chaya Sarah Silberberg,