According to Ashkenazi tradition (Jewish sects traced back to Central and Eastern Europe), it is a kind gesture to name a newborn after the deceased, usually a recently deceased member of the family, such as a grandparent or a great-grandparent. By doing so, the parents hope to instill the positive attributes of the deceased into the lives of the child and keep the memory of the deceased alive in the child. Additionally, there is the belief that naming a child after a deceased relative will ultimately lead to curiosity about his or her namesake and generate the child’s interest in learning more about family lineage.
My name is Connie. It is not a Jewish name, and here’s how I got that name. My mother named my older sister Sharon and told my dad that he could choose MY name. He chose Frances. When my mom asked my dad where he got that name, he said it was his old girlfriend. Mom was furious and looked at the nurse’s badge. Her name was Connie.
And that’s how I got my name…after the nurse.
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