Q: We are expecting a baby boy and are wondering: If we name the baby after my late father, does this create a rectification for his soul? Does this mean that the baby is a continuation of my father?
A: When a baby is named after a deceased person, this does effect a rectification. However, it does not necessarily mean that the soul root of the child is connected to the deceased person, but rather that the child is “repenting” by his very name, and effects a rectification for that soul.
When one names a baby after a deceased parent, he is fulfilling the mitzvah of honoring one’s parents. By giving the parent this honor, a rectification and ascent are achieved for that soul.
This can be likened to the fulfillment of honoring one’s parents in this world, where, among other specifications, we are commanded to provide clothing for our parents. So, after one’s parent passes on, his continued good deeds in honor of his parent provide the soul of the parent with spiritual clothing.