Judaism places great importance naming baby girls for each new daughter joining your family. It is believed that the name of a person is closely related to its essence.
When a parent gives a child a name, the parent is giving the child a connection to previous generations.
The Hebrew name always is said aloud or written along with the parents Hebrew names.
Example: Chana bat Yosef ve Rifka.
Bat means daughter of and ve means and.
Chana, daughter of Yosef and Rifka.
It is customary for Jewish parents to give their children two names; a secular name for use in the gentile world, and a Hebrew name for religious purposes. Those religious purposes are for naming your baby ceremonies, Hebrew School, Bat Mitzvah , Hebrew High Confirmation, Jewish Wedding , Funeral service including the carved memorial stone, Yahrzeit and Yiskor. When called to the Torah for an aliyah, the Rabbi recites the full Hebrew name aloud.
Ashkenazi Jewish custom is to name a new baby after a relative that has passed away. This keeps the name and memory alive, and in a metaphysical way forms a bond between the soul of the baby and the deceased relative. The Jewish custom does not name children after a living relative as those of other faiths with same name generations.
Naming Baby Girls Ceremonies
The ceremony that celebrates the birth of a daughter and her entry into the covenant of the Jewish people are known as either Berit Bat and or Simchat Bat. It is a wonderful opportunity to celebrate our daughters and are an important part of Reform Judaism’s egalitarian approach to Judaism. This ceremony has been held for hundreds of years and is similar to the prayers offered for the boy baby during circumcision. The emphasis on heritage is high. It is a celebration of the birth of the child with prayers and blessings expressing for a long and happy life.
Naming baby girls born to Jewish parents affiliated with a temple/synagogue is held during a Shabbat worship service. The parents, along with their baby girl, will be called up for an aliyah, reciting the blessings before and after the reading of the Torah.
When parents of baby daughters are not affiliated with a temple/synagogue, then this naming baby girls ceremony will either take place in their home or a local establishment, along with a Rabbi on Shabbat. Depending on the Rabbi, he/she will have a traveling Torah and a portable, hand-held traditional Chuppah. A short Shabbat worship service will be conducted along with a brief devar Torah blending in the beautiful baby naming ceremony.
- Rabbi A. Frank’s baby naming ceremony for our daughters takes place under the Chuppah because she is brought into the Covenant by her parents as she is brought to the Chuppah on her wedding day.
- She will wrap your daughters in a traditional tallit and pray that she will grow in health and goodness. That her life be enriched by the blessings of Torah, Chuppah and Maasim Tovim (good deeds).
- Beautiful prayers will be blessed upon your daughter surrounded by family and friends. For we are to praise God – for children are a blessing.
The Jewish home offers a special significance since it is the home where the child will first learn about Judaism and its customs/rituals. To schedule your daughters’ Hebrew baby naming ceremony, contact Rabbi A. Frank
A Berit Bat or Simchat Bat Takes Place When…?
Naming baby girls is held on the first Sabbath day after she is born. It is not a steadfast rule; though it should take place anywhere from a month to two months after the child is born.
Naming Baby Girls Ceremony Checklist:
The parents will prepare to offer their guests an explanation of the Hebrew name chosen for their daughter. This includes telling why the name was chosen, what it means, and if it was the name of a particular relative or relatives. Most often it is a relative further back in the family tree that was admired for a particular reason. This name is often chosen with the hope that the child will inherit some of the same admirable qualities of the person for whom they are named. Fond memories are shared as well.
- Wine (Wine is a central feature during all Jewish ceremonies, Shabbat and Holidays)
- Kiddush cup from the new parent’s Jewish wedding ceremony
- Challah bread
Parents will be presented with a baby naming certificate to mark this special day as the first Jewish ceremony of their babies’ life
This new life is celebrated and wished all the health and happiness in life. The birth of a child is truly a miracle and should be rejoiced.
When you do not have a Rabbi in your neighboring community, Rabbi A. Frank is available to assist you.
Tell Us About Your
Baby Girl’s Naming Ceremony
Everyone loves stories involving babies, and we’d love to hear yours!
What name did you choose for your baby girl and why? How did you celebrate? What were the highlights of your ceremony?
Share yours here above to write your own.