First the name Messiah was rejected in the U.S., and now the name Jerusalem has been rejected in Belgium.
Alinadav and Hagar Hyman, both originally from Jerusalem, have lived and worked in Brussels for the last three years.
They recently welcomed a baby girl. To pay tribute to home, they decided to name her Alma Jerusalem.
But when new dad Alinadav tried to register the baby, the clerk wouldn’t do it. He recalled:
The clerk asked for the baby’s name, so I said ‘Alma Jerusalem.’ After checking the computer, the clerk said Alma was OK, but that Jerusalem did not appear on the list of approved names, so could not be used for the baby’s name.
Alinadav suspected the clerk’s refusal may have been politically motivated. He also said:
I am very frustrated that in 2013 we have to pick names from approved lists, and we are both saddened that we cannot officially name our child Jerusalem, a city that is in our hearts and means so much to us.
The clerk noted that, if the family could produce a letter from the Israeli embassy stating that “Jerusalem” was a valid name, then Belgium could register the birth.
The Israeli embassy was not providing consular services just a few weeks ago due to Israel’s ongoing Foreign Ministry strike, but the strike seems to be over now, so it ought to be possible for Alinadav and Hagar to obtain such a letter (if that’s the route they choose to take).