No Hebrew Name – Writing Ketubah

I grew up in an entirely secular family and was never given a Hebrew name. My son will be married God willing in about two weeks, and his future mother-in-law wants to know his and his father’s Hebrew name for the Ketubah. He has one but I unfortunately never received one. What should we do?

The Aish Rabbi Replies:

Mazal tov on the upcoming wedding first of all!

If a person only has a secular name, then that is his name for Jewish purposes as well. Thus, they should simply transliterate your English name into Hebrew letters for your children’s Ketubah. (See also this response with some ideas for researching a person's original Hebrew name.)

It would be proper, however, for you to adopt a Hebrew name and begin using that for the future. This is done simply by choosing a new name and using it. See this past response (towards the end) about how this is done. See also this article with many good choices of traditional Jewish names.

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Due to limited resources, the Ask the Rabbi service is intended for Jews of little background with nowhere else to turn. People with questions in Jewish law should consult their local rabbi. For genealogy questions try Note also that this is not a homework service!

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