Re: The name 'Kolonymos'

Robert K. Zurawin, M.D. (
Sun, 04 May 1997 23:28:00 -0500

Aubrey Jacobus wrote:
>My great grandfathers name was Asher Kolonymos. It is said he was born
>soon AFTER his father died . Is there a tradition that a boy child whose
>is born posthumously is given the name Kolonymos. I heard that there was
>such a birth in the Shapiro Rabbinic dynasty .

My middle name in Hebrew is Kalonymos. I am named after my
great-grandfather on my father's side. We clearly did not use the
posthumous tradition in my naming. I'm sure you are aware that the
Kalonymos name dates to the 13th century at least, with the Kalonymos
family, originally from Lucca, Italy, and then Mainz, Germany. They were
payyetim - composers of beautiful liturgy. Probably the most famous was
the "Un'saneh Tokef" on Rosh Hashanna. I like to believe that our family
is somehow connected to that talented and holy group of people. After
all, it's not such a common name that someone would choose it unless it was
already in the family.

To answer your question more directly, it is possible that someone for some
arcane reason would choose to name a child Kalonymos following the death of
a father (chas v'shalom) but this would have no basis in any minhag of
which I am aware.

Best wishes.

Robert K. Zurawin, M.D.
Assistant Professor
Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Baylor College of Medicine
One Baylor Plaza Houston, TX 77030
phone 713-798-6666 fax 713-798-8897