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Showing posts with label tradition. Show all posts
Showing posts with label tradition. Show all posts

Sunday, September 30, 2012

I've Made My Decision In Terms Of Naming A Pet...

If I ever get a pet, I may name the said pet after a deceased love one. After all, based on the answers that I've received (one of them quite inappropriate, as I made clear), I see no contradiction against or contradistinction from Judaism or Jewishness in naming a pet after--for example--my beloved and late Great-Granduncle Bernie. The answers (not in chronological order) that I received are as follows, and I break down the answers as to why they affected me to decide that naming a pet after Great-Granduncle Bernie would be okay:

Firstly (and I made quite clear that I didn't appreciate being yelled at or having to ask a follow-up question):

Reform Judaism/Answered Question

Expert:Rabbi Sue Levy
Subject:Naming Pets In Judaism
Question:QUESTION: Is naming a pet after a deceased loved one appropriate or encouraged for a Jewish person to do?

ANSWER: Dear Nicole,

No, it is absolutely NOT appropriate to name a pet after someone who died.

Chag Sameach,

Rabbi Sue

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Why is it inappropriate to do so?
Answer:A pet is not a person who will carry on the honored legacy of the individual being remembered. You cannot teach a put about the person for whom it is named. A pet cannot emulate that person or behave in its honor. A pet cannot feel a sense of connection with that individual. It is degrading to the memory of the deceased to consider an animal worthy of such an honor.

Secondly (and I give David kavod for not yelling at me, and I asked him partly because he didn't list himself as a "rabbi" or an Anti-Messianic ["Anti-Missionary"] type):

Orthodox Judaism/Answered Question

Expert:David Rosenblum
Subject:Naming Pets In Judaism
Question:Is naming a pet after a deceased loved one appropriate or encouraged for a Jewish person to do?
Answer:Hi Nicole,

Please know that I am not a Rabbi.

I never heard of a provision for naming a pet after a person.  It is most certainly not encouraged.  I would avoid it for the following reason (this is my own judgement and subject to critical debate):

The purpose of naming someone after they passed away is so that their memory should continue.  Since we remember the dead fondly, we remember their good deeds and will strive to emulate their ways which benefits ourselves for obvious reasons but also benefits the deceased since we improved ourselves in their merit.  This is stimulated by attaching the name to another person and continually calling that person who has equal standing in the hierarchy of creatures, by that same name.  If the name is attached to a lesser creature I can see the possibility of the memory being degraded and the effect being nullified and perhaps even reversed.  In other words, since we degraded the memory, we will not end up emulating the good ways and perhaps incur a negative trait due to the degradation.

About the naming in general: many families attach great importance to this and sometimes quarrel about which name to give to newborns.  I always hear Rabbis say that the loss of peace is a much greater issue than can be gained by naming after their loved one.  Intelligent and learned Jews always are very easy with giving up the right to such honors in favor of keeping peaceful relations.  To me it always seemed that the naming after a deceased is a nice to have but not very important.

I hope this helps.


Fourthly (and this connects to this):

Nicole Maratovah Czarnecki
3 hours ago near Baltimore
: Wait a minute: if you give a pet a Jewish name, isn't that possibly naming that pet after a deceased loved one--e.g., "Rivkah", 'imenu?
Like ·  · 


Nicole Maratovah Czarnecki
Friday near Baltimore
: Is naming a pet after a deceased loved one Jewish or Jewishly appropriate?
Like ·  · 

By way of these answers, I'm getting  impression that one's naming of a pet after a deceased loved one would be okay provided that doing so would not cause someone else to stumble--after all, if one can't die for another person, why should he or she have to live for the same--especially if living is or was incumbent on the other person (After all, that Yeshua died for someone else is often an objection to Yeshua per a perversion of. for example, Deuteronomy 24:16, and Ezekiel 18:4 and 18:20.)? . Also, as a ChaCha expert stated, what the deceased one would have wanted or not wanted is what matters.

So, maybe I shouldn't have stopped for a minute and worried when a Golden Retriever named "Bernie" affected me to, G-d willing, someday name a pet after Great-Granduncle Bernie--after all, especially if I don't have children, can't one of my "fur children" have a family name? By the way, the above-cited verses meant only that a sinful human couldn't die for another sinful human--if anyone died for someone else, G-d would have to (See, for example, Psalm 112 and Isaiah 43:10-13--where G-d even states, "And My servant whom I have chosen,[t]hat you may know and believe Me, [a]nd understand that I am He."--and 53.). 

Also by the way, the answers from Amy, David Marshall, and Tareq (as far as I know) came from gentiles; Michelle is my twin and (as much as I love my twin) not--as far as I know--a mevinah (though she was our community college's JSU President until an Anti-Messianic type came in and took it over); and I'm a little surprised that Nehemia, for a Karaite, cited Jewish tradition as opposed to giving an answer from a purely-Karaite (even if a Non-Messianic Karaite) perspective. 

Furthermore by the way, since--in the case of a grieving cat owner--"[i]t might be wise to purchase another cat, similar in breed to the previous one, and even name it the same name as the previous one.  [since t]his will somewhat alleviate the pain.", why can't a grieving person name his or her fur child after a deceased loved one?