An angel comes to the parents and whispers the Jewish name that the new baby will embody. Ashkenazi Jews have the custom of naming a child after a relative who has passed away.
Yet this still doesn't seem to help parents from agonizing over which name to pick! And why is the father's name traditionally not given to a son – e.g. This keeps the name and memory alive, and in a metaphysical way forms a bond between the soul of the baby and the deceased relative.
The reluctance stems from the fear that the misfortune may, in a spiritual manner, be carried over to the new bearer of the name.
For example, a baby born at Purim-time might be named Esther or Mordechai.
A girl born on Shavuot might be named Ruth, and a child born on Tisha B'Av, the Jewish day of mourning, might be named Menachem or Nechamah.
It may be for this reason that when naming after the prophet Isaiah – who was murdered – many Jews omit the last letter of his name (in Hebrew, Yeshaya instead of Yeshiyahu).
(Yam Shel Shlomo – Gittin ) Rabbi Yaakov Kamenetzky considered the age of 60 the demarcation between young and old.
The Midrash (Genesis Raba 17:4) tells us that the first man, Adam, looked into the essence of every creature and named it accordingly.
The donkey, for example, is characterized by carrying heavy, physical burdens.
This source is from the Talmud, which records a child named after Rabbi Natan while he was still alive (Shabbat 134a).
Some customarily choose a name based on the Jewish holiday coinciding with the birth.
The naming of a Jewish child is a most profound spiritual moment.
The Sages say that naming a baby is a statement of her character, her specialness, and her path in life.
The person who is called Judah is constantly reminded of how much gratitude we should have toward God!