They were coming in the droves, our family, friends, neighbours and acquaintances. Bless them; to walk such distances in the hottest day of the year (so far).
Having had a sip of Auchentoshan - Single Malt Scotch Whisky with the KLBD Hechsher, they now started interrogating me about the newborn's name. "What a nice name, who was she named after, wasn't so'n'so's mother also called by this name? How are you going to call her: 'Maealea', 'Meylah' or 'Mala'?"
Then came the more Lomdesha question:
"Wait a minute, if she's named after your mother OB"M*, why has she only one name? Surely you would like the child to be blessed with long life; how then did you name her after someone who - besides being a Tzadekes and a real 'Ayshes Chayil', she sadly passed away in the prime of her productive life?! At least you could have added a name to her - say Chaya, which denotes Life or a similar blessing-filled tag".
Go figure, what do they know! This kind of argument is the prerogative of the parents and the parents alone, not just anybody can stick in their inquisitive nose! OK, the young parents have surely asked Da'as Toyrah, before making such a decision, but where do all these well-meaning interrogators think they are, in the Birth Registrar's office?
On the other hand, why not answer their prodding with a good natured nod? Just state the truth: "yes, you are right, she only has one name and there is a reason for it". These well-wishers have come all the way to wish you Mazel tov and therefore deserve your consideration, regardless of their behaviour.
So, here it is - in a nutshell:
- Reason one: It is known that the parents have Divine inspiration at the time when they decide on a name.
- Reason two: The newborn's parents are answerable to no-one. Their decision is final.
- Reason three: The baby's name is her property for life, why give her a hard time writing a two barrelled name.
- Reason four: Spare the Gabbai (or Rabbi), when he will have to read out the name at her wedding, during a Mee shebeyrach or when her children might need a Yeshuah. One name is just right for the officiant to pronounce correctly, without having to be corrected from all sides.
- Reason five: Most people who carry more than one name are anyway called by one of their names; the other names are destined for oblivion.
- Reason six: Based on the previous argument, when it comes to Shidduchim, it will be much easier to ferret out the non-starters, as the future mother-in-law cannot have the same name as her daughter-in-law. With one name there is less room for error.
- Reason seven: Just imagine how much ink will be saved by only having to write one name!
* Of Blessed Memory