Entering your daughter into the Covenant
Adding a new member to your family? Mazal tov! Congratulations! Every religion and culture celebrates the birth and/or adoption of a child, and we Jews are no exception. Jews are commanded to circumcise their sons on the eighth day, around which the B’rit Milah Ceremony (commonly known as a “bris”) centers. What about our daughters? Well, traditional Jewish literature has very little to say about welcoming, naming, and bringing baby girls into the covenant of the Jewish people. Fortunately for you, that leaves room for creativity; parents of baby girls have more options!
Together, in advance of your celebration, we’ll tailor a personalized baby naming ceremony. We’ll discuss options for your daughter’s Hebrew name and determine how she will be known in the Jewish world. I’ll then commit the service to paper in a format that you can reproduce on decorative paper and arrange in booklet form for all of your guests. The service will afford the opportunity for relatives and close friends to participate and give everyone present reason to smile and shed a tear of joy.
When might you choose to schedule your celebration? One possibility is to hold a naming for your baby girl on the eighth day, as you would for a boy. Another possibility is on the fifteenth day. (When the Torah discusses periods of purification after birth, the seven days after the birth of a boy are paralleled by fourteen days after the birth of a girl, so the fifteenth day might be right for your family.) You might also organize your baby naming for one month after your daughter’s birth, the time period when a first-born child would traditionally be redeemed from temple service. There’s a traditional and biological connection between women and the new moon, so Rosh Chodesh, the beginning of new month according to the Hebrew calendar, might be right for you. There’s also nothing wrong with choosing any Sunday when all of your loved ones and friends are readily available to come to your home and partake in the celebration, followed by a festive brunch!
The customary honorarium for my services at a baby naming in Nassau County is $900 (and a bit more for twins or triplets). If applicable, travel expenses outside of the Nassau County area and lodging are paid for by the baby’s parents. My honorarium includes a suggested one to two meetings (either live or virtual), the actual naming event, a decorative naming certificate, and a reproducible, master copy of your naming service.