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Anonymous
Anonymous asked in Family & RelationshipsFamily · 2 months ago

Family problem.  What’s the wisest move here?

I’ve decided to become a Jew.  I’m going to join a non orthodox denomination.  That means I’ll have to change my name to a Jewish name.  Like Sarah or Rebecca.  Maybe my surname, too.  My aunt is an Orthodox Jew living in another state not far from where I live and knows a lot of people in the Jewish community.  I’m worried if she finds out that she’ll make trouble for me, as she has before and does with the whole family.  How can I stop this from happening?  It’s kind of difficult when she posts me birthday presents, to explain having a different name; and marrying my gentile boyfriend, as I’m allowed to do within non orthodox circles.  I’m really worried about it.  

Update:

Good question, Harvey.  It’s part of their tradition.

8 Answers

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  • Foofa
    Lv 7
    2 months ago
    Favorite Answer

    One wonders if you've even talked to a rabbi yet. The taking on of a Hebrew name doesn't generally mean you use that name as your given legal name. It's really more like a confirmation name in Catholicism, rarely mentioned but would appear on documents like your ketubah or bat mitzvah certificate and maybe be mentioned at your funeral. So this isn't really anything you'd need to tell your aunt. If she's Orthodox she doesn't believe in conversions anyway so she'll never really consider you a Jew. 

    In most communities the Orthodox have little to do with non Orthodox sects so I highly doubt this woman would be able to "make trouble" for you if you're doing a Conservative or Reform conversion. As for marrying your Gentile boyfriend, that'll likely not involve a ketubah or a rabbi anyway so it'll be even further removed from Judaism and your aunt. You're worrying yourself over a lot of nothing here. 

  • 2 months ago

    What you are assuming is ridiculous.  

    If you convert to Judaism, you do not change your everyday legal name; however, for purposes of religious rituals, marriages, deaths, etc., most converts adopt an Hebrew name.  

    The Hebrew name is often similar (or identical) to your legal name.  For instance, if your legal female name is "Joanne," you could use a common, and almost identical Hebrew name, "Yohanna."

  • ?
    Lv 7
    2 months ago

    just dont tell her about it

  • Anonymous
    2 months ago

    I'm Christian, married to an Orthodox Jew (from a family of Hassidic Jews), and I converted to Judaism.  There is NO requirement that you assume a Jewish name.  Who told you there is?  How to you stop WHAT from happening?  You don't want contact?  Don't accept her gifts.  In general the Jewish community is NOT welcoming to females who wish to convert, BECAUSE the religion of the mother is considered the religion of the children, and a convert is not a birth Jew (of course).  Again, I have no idea where you got your information, but it is NOT true where I live.  Why you would change your surname when you are planning to marry (and change your surname) makes no sense to me.  Are you sure (1) this is true and (2) It's not for the attention?

  • Anonymous
    2 months ago

    Are you sure you didn't misunderstand this?  I had a roommate several years ago who converted to Judaism and she never had to change her name.  Her first name is Lisa and last is a generic, simple English sounding name.  

    Honestly, I'm not sure what to tell you.  I wish you had given your age.  If you're an adult living on your own, the name change is mandatory, and your aunt makes trouble, don't be shy about hitting it head on.  Cut her out of your life and if anyone has questions about something she said, answer them honestly.

    If you're a teen at home, you probably can't do this, but then ask your parents   how to handle it.

  • Anonymous
    2 months ago

    If you join a reform temple you won't have to change either of your names, and your aunt wouldn't really have much justification for being upset even if she found out. And if she does get upset, is that really so important? Who's life is this, anyway?

  • Anonymous
    2 months ago

    Promise a Jew a shiny coin if he gets rid of your aunt.

  • 2 months ago

    Why do you have to change your name? 

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