Rabbi Ariel Asa

It's a girl!

Traditionally, a baby girl is named the first time the father attends synagogue after the birth. This could be on Monday, Thursday, or Shabbat. The father is called to the Torah, special prayers and blessings are recited on behalf of the mother and newborn baby, and the name that the parents have chosen is formally announced. In some communities, the mother recites a blessing of gratitude for her health and well-being after childbirth (Birkat HaGomel ) at the time of the naming (boy or girl). In other communities, there are more elaborate ceremonies. In some Sephardic communities, newborn girls are clothed in elaborate dress and jewelry for the ceremony. It has no fixed date, but is usually held sometime between seven and thirty days after birth, and is conducted by a rabbi, usually at home but sometimes in the synagogue.

Other traditions have evolved in recent years, providing other ways to celebrate the birth of a daughter. Parents may wish to have a special gathering at a later date to afford the new mother and baby the opportunity to share in the celebration. On Shabbat, a Kiddush or luncheon may be held in the synagogue following services. In addition to the meal, the new parents may offer a few words describing their feelings about the birth of their daughter, perhaps including an explanation of the baby's Jewish name(s). A possible reading for the parents at the naming of their daughter:

  • Father

    With hearts overflowing with joy and hope, we bring our daughter before family and friends to give her a Jewish name as she officially joins the Jewish people. We feel blessed in having shared in the miracle of creation and childbirth. We thank God for this new life that has been granted us.

  • Mother

    With all my heart, with all my soul, and with all my might I thank God for the gift of this wonderful child. I thank God for a healthy pregnancy and a safe delivery. We pray for the continued health of this child, for strength in mind and body to watch her grow in a home filled with joy, and to become a person who greets the world with passion, courage, humility, humor, and patience.

  • Father and Mother

    We pray for God to watch over our family, for the ability to love and nurture this child, to provide for her and educate her in our heritage, to understand her and to allow her the freedom to grow.

  • Grandparents

    Our God and God of all generations, we are grateful for this new beginning, for the bond of life that links one generation to another - thankful for the blessings of family, for the love and care that bring meaning and happiness to our lives. We rejoice with our children at the birth of their child, our granddaughter.

The rabbi continues with the baby naming ceremony.