From the Rav’s Desk: How is the name Dovber and Batsheva to be written as one name or two

  1. Question: [Tuesday, 20th Tammuz, 5781]

We have two children one named Dovber and the other name Batsheva. I would like to know how their names are to be written and if it is a single name [דובער בתשבע], or two names such as Dov Ber and Bat Sheva [דוב בער בת שבע].


Regarding the name Dovber: Although it is certainly two different names, one being the Yiddish translation of the other, it seems that when it is written, it can be written both ways, either as two names Dov Ber [דוב בער], or as a single name Dovber/Duber [דובער]. Nonetheless, regarding all official halachic matters, such as an Aliyah to the Torah, Kesuba and Get, the name is to be said and written out in full as two names דוב בער, if that is the name he was given by birth [as opposed to if he was named only Dov, and then nicknamed Berel, in which one must write Hamechuneh by a Get]

Regarding the name Batsheva: There is a dispute amongst the authorities as to how the name is to be written and as whether it is considered two names or one name. Practically, regarding all non-Halachic matters you may write the name as you wish, either as two names or one name, and regarding a Kesuba or Get, the presiding Rav is to arbitrate.

Explanation regarding the name Dovber: The Maggid of Mezritch, Mittler Rebbe, and Rebbe Rashab, all had the name Dovber, and we find them written both ways. On the gravestones of both the Maggid, Rebbe Rashab and Rebbe Rayatz the name Dovber is written as a single name .דובער Likewise, so was the way that the Rebbe Rashab and Mittler Rebbe would sign their letters, as recorded in their Igros Kodesh. Likewise, so was the way the Maggid’s name was signed in his letters. Likewise, this is how the Rebbe referred to the name in an edited Sicha of 5751. However, by the Mittler Rebbe we find that in the introduction to his books his name is written as two names Dov Ber. Likewise, in the Kuntrus Maaneh Lashon printed by the Rebbe himself, the name of the Rebbe Rashab is written as two names Dov Ber. Likewise, in a letter of the Rebbe Rayatz regarding the study of Mishnayos on the day of his father’s passing, he writes to say Mishnayos for the full name, Shalom Dov Ber. Likewise, in the books of the Maggid of Mezritch, his name is written Dov Ber. Whatever the case, Rabbi Berel Levine rightfully concludes that regarding all halachic matters the true name is Dov Ber and therefore must be written out in full as two names.

Explanation regarding the name BatSheva: In Scripture we find that the name is written as two separate names with a – in between, and all the Mefarshim in Shmuel Beis write it as two separate names. However, amongst the Poskim, we find a debate regarding the laws of divorces as to how the name is to be written in a divorce document, with some saying that is to be written as a single name and others saying that it is to be written as two names.

Sources regarding the name Dovber: See Igros Kodesh Rayatz 1 p. 390; Sefer Maaneh Lason; Igros Kodesh of Rebbe Rashab and Mittler Rebbe; Sefer Hasichos 5751 1 p. 20; Otzer Minhagei Chabad Elul-Tishreiy p. 384; Yoman Teshurah 8th Kisleiv 5767 p. 18; Hiskashrus 723 for article by Rav Ginzberg, Levin, Groner; See regarding writing the name on a Kesuba and Get: E.H. 129:13-16; Bes Shmuel Sheimos Anashim Os Beis; Seder Kesuba Kehilchasa 6:2-6

Sources regarding the name Batsheva: See Tiv Gittin; Aruch Hashulchan 129:127; Beis Yitzchak p. 120-134 Poskim who hold is one name: Beis Shemuel Shemos Nashim [although writes it as two names, he says to write as one name]; Beir Heiytiv E.H. 129:45 Yam Shel Shlomo Gittin 31:1 and Kneses Hagedola E.H. 129:203 and Digul Merivavv based on Sanhedrin 22a and Kav Naki [of Rebbes Grandfather] Ois Beis Shemos Nashim footnote 7; Poskim who hold of two names: Nachals Shiva; Get Pashut 129:134


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