Shem Shenishtaka: How a Name Becomes Obsolete

Sheim She’nishtaka: A Name that has Fallen into Disuse

If one was given a certain name, but they do not use it—not when they sign their name, nor are they known to others by that name, then halachically it is no longer their name.

Even if it’s the sheim ha’arisah (the name they were given at birth), if they don’t use it, it is no longer considered their name. A man is not called up to the Torah by that name, and that name should not be written in their kesubah (halachic marriage contract).

There are poskim who say that if they still use that name when requesting a brachah from a tzadik, or if that name appears on their legal documents, it cannot be called a name that has been forgotten.

To reiterate, if they do not use that name whatsoever, in any shape or form, then according to halachah, it is no longer their name. #469

Practical Halacha: One minute a day. By Horav Yosef Yeshaya Braun, shlita, Mara D'asra and member of the Badatz of Crown Heights.