This past Shabbat was the first time I attended a baby naming in shul. It wasn’t intentional – I just happened to be there as we went to shul with my in-laws. I love this shul – Modern Orthodox, the women get to see everything, they carry the sefer torah through the women’s side at the appropriate time, etc. I am not saying MO is better just different, and it is refreshing to experience “different” from time to time, so long as one’s principles are not compromised.
One of the congregants had given birth in the past week to a baby girl. It’s actually a lovely story. Two people, with children from first marriages, had met and married, and now had a baby girl together. (Yes, that was a tear I wiped away just now.) So the mom and the baby were there in shul, as were their other six assorted children.
The father was called up to the Torah, and on his way he was handed the newborn. There was a collective sigh as the baby snuggled up to her Abba. The rabbi said a few words before the father named her, and everyone present truly felt the joy this baby’s birth had brought. Her parents gave her a name that was longer than she is – but was beautiful nevertheless. In the mix of the names was Batsheva – I thought that was lovely touch. (Bat means daughter, sheva means seven).
Once she was named the father handed the baby over to the Rabbi who gave her a bracha (a blessing) and a kiss on the forehead. Everybody sang Mazel Tov veSiman Tov and the baby was passed back to her mother. The baby was quiet through this whole thing.
In the shuls that I have attended in the past the baby girl naming has not been a big deal. The father was called up to the Torah, gave the baby her name and got some mazel tovs. This was awesome – naming a baby who was actually present. What a concept!! I feel blessed to have been a part of this, even as a bystander.
How did you name your baby girl? How were you named? Do you think there should be just as much pomp and circumstance around the birth of a girl baby, as there is with the birth of a boy baby?