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Using Step-Father's Name

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Topic: Honoring Step-Father

Name&Email@Withheld wrote:

Dear Rabbi,

May a Bar Mitzvah be called to the Torah as the son of his step-father's Hebrew name or must he be called as the son of his real father's name? The boy considers his step-father his father and has no contact with his real father.

Dear Name & Email@Withheld,

The commandment "honor your father and your mother" refers to the person's biological parents. A person must certainly show the utmost honor to his step-parent, but this in no way exempts him from the Divine decree to honor his biological father.

I spoke with Rabbi Moshe Sternbuch, shlita, regarding your question. He cited a responsa of the Yaavitz that if there is absolutely no contact between the child and his father, then it is permissible to call the child to the Torah using his step-father's name. However, said Rabbi Sternbuch, if there is even the most minimal amount of contact between the father and his son, then the son should use his biological father's name.

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