Celebrating the Birth of a Daughter
Mazel Tov as you have been blessed with a new baby! The joys of Jewish parenting are enhanced by the rich and blessed traditions which Judaism offers to welcome your precious child into our community. The arrival of a daughter is an opportunity to experience and express your happiness and delight through the tapestry of Jewish traditions which interweave your family and your newborn daughter into the legacy – and future of our people.
As a daughter is born into your family, the beautiful traditions of the Jewish people link the past and present generations to the newest generation which represents our future. We honor and celebrate the birth of a daughter in a most meaningful religious celebration, the first of many simchas (joyous events) in her life! In fact, the baby naming traditions today are referred to as a simhat bat – “celebrating the birth of a daughter.”
Our sons enter into the covenant on the eighth day following their birth which is celebrated with a BRIT MILAH – the covenant of circumcision. This is also commonly referred to as a brit or bris. The word brit is the Hebrew for covenant as this sacred moment reaffirms the covenant made between God and Abraham – and each subsequent generation. The bris is a tangible sign of God’s eternal promise – an indelible mark which links us to Jewish history, the Torah and God’s mitzvoth. Our daughters enter into the Divine covenant as a Hebrew name is bestowed upon them with great celebration which imprints upon their souls their eternal link to the people of Israel as they are named.
The birth of a daughter is a beautiful Jewish life cycle event celebrated in the presence of family, friends and community. Please make sure to call Rabbi Buechler (and leave a message for him at the synagogue office at 631-499-6644) so that he is able to wish you Mazel Tov and guide you in celebrating the birth of your daughter.
WHEN IS THE BABY NAMING HELD?
We name our daughters in the presence of God and community. The Torah is the sacred text which brings Divine blessings into our lives. Therefore baby namings coincide with any time the Torah is read. The special prayers, celebrations and honoring of your daughter and other loved ones all center on the reading from the Torah scroll.
We read the Torah each Shabbat (Saturday) morning and afternoon, as well as on Monday and Thursday mornings. Our synagogue is blessed to have an active and strong emphasis on daily prayer and whenever your baby naming is held, the service will be in the context of a caring, warm and friendly Jewish community.
Many families have the custom of naming their daughter within the first week of her life – and this is usually accomplished as close family members participate in the Monday or Thursday morning minyan.
Most families also have the baby naming for their daughter on a Shabbat which is the highlight of our weekly prayers at the Dix Hills Jewish Center. The joyous nature of our Shabbat prayers are enhanced as your family and friends join us in celebrating the birth of your daughter. The added advantage of a Shabbat baby naming is that the family usually waits a few weeks (or months if needed to coordinate family schedules) until both the mother and daughter are able to participate in the baby naming services.
Whether naming your daughter at a weekday morning service, or on the Shabbat (Saturday), please speak with Rabbi Buechler in advance. He will guide you in selecting an appropriate date which is coordinated with the synagogue calendar of celebrations. The office staff will then contact you regarding the sponsorship of a collation/Kiddush after Shabbat services or sponsoring a breakfast following the weekday morning minyan.
HOW DO WE NAME OUR DAUGHTER?
The actual prayer during which the Hebrew/Yiddish names are bestowed upon your daughter is recited during the naming ceremony as your family is beside the sacred Torah scroll. Should you need assistance in selecting the appropriate names for your daughter, kindly call Rabbi Buechler at 499-6644 to discuss potential names. Rabbi Buechler would be delighted to help you select a beautiful and most meaningful name for your daughter.
The custom of Jews from Eastern Europe (the lands of the Ashkenaz) is to name our children in loving memory of dear departed ones. The Jews of the Mediterranean region (Sefardic Jewry) tend to name their children after living grandparents. Rabbi Buechler will guide you through this precious process of choosing a Hebrew name.
According to Jewish law and tradition, our names are the very essence of who we are (and contain the inherent blessed values of that which we pray a daughter will achieve). Additionally, Judaism teaches the “the crown of a good name excels all other accolades” (Pirkay Avot / The Ethics of the Sages).
OTHER TRADITIONS TO WELCOME YOUR DAUGHTER:
One unique custom, Birkat Habanim (Welcoming Our Children) is observed on the Friday night after her birth (and every Friday night thereafter!) Whether at home or in the hospital, on this first Shabbat of her life, parents bless their daughter and other family members and friends surround her with their loving embrace. A text of this prayer is included for you to bless your daughter (and other children as well).
PLANNING THE SIMHAT BAT TO WELCOME YOUR DAUGHTER:
Shortly after the birth of your daughter, please be sure to let Rabbi Buechler know of your simcha. He will wish you mazel tov and help guide you in welcoming your daughter and bring the blessings of Jewish life into your family at this most beautiful moment. He may be reached via the synagogue office at 631-499-6644 or by email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Celebrating the Birth of a Son
As a son is born into your family, the beautiful traditions of the Jewish people link the past and present generations to the newest generation which represents our future. We honor and celebrate the birth of a son in a most meaningful religious celebration, the first of many simchas (joyous events) in his life!
On the eighth day following the birth of your son, we celebrate with a BRIT MILAH – the covenant of circumcision. This is also commonly referred to as a bris. The word brit in the Hebrew word for covenant as this sacred moment reaffirms the covenant made between God and Abraham – and each subsequent generation. The bris is a tangible sign of God’s eternal promise – an indelible mark which links us to Jewish history, the Torah, and God’s mitzvoth/commandments.
A brit Milah is the religious ceremony of circumcision and a moment of great Simcha (joy). Circumcision by itself is a routine medical procedure whereas the brit Milah is the sacred ceremony as the life of the newborn is interwoven into the heritage of our people. The brit Milah is performed by a mohel (often pronounced moiyl) who is an observant Jew highly trained and well versed regarding the Jewish laws of brit Milah – and an expert in the medical aspects of circumcision including the latest techniques of surgical and hygienic care.
The brit Milah is a beautiful Jewish life cycle event celebrated in the presence of family, friends and community. Please make sure to call Rabbi Buechler (and leave a message for him at the synagogue office at 631-499-6644) so that he may join and celebrate in this Simcha with you!
WHEN IS THE BRIT HELD???
On the eighth day of the newborn life – the day of birth counting as the first day. Please note that the Jewish day begins the night before – and when questions about the timing of the brit milah occur, both Rabbi Buechler and the mohel will answer your questions. A boy born during daylight hours on a Tuesday, for example, will have his brit Milah celebrated on the following Tuesday – which is the eighth day.
A brit Milah is even held on the Shabbat and Jewish holidays (but is postponed to the following day if the baby is delivered by Cesarean section.) Our community can assist you in arranging for a brit milah to take place on the Sabbath.
There are also situations when, due to medical concerns regarding the health of the infant, that the brit milah may be postponed. In those cases, halacha, Jewish law, posits that once the infant is given the medical consent and is restored to good health, the delayed brit milah is then held.
HOW DO WE NAME OUR SON???
The actual prayer during which the Hebrew/Yiddish names are bestowed upon your son is recited during the brit milah ceremony. Should you need assistance in selecting the appropriate names for your son, kindly call Rabbi Buechler at 631-499-6644 to discuss potential names and for suggested possibilities.
OTHER TRADITIONS TO WELCOME YOUR SON:
One unique custom is the Shalom Zachar (Welcome the Infant Son) on the Friday night prior to his brit milah. Whether at home or in the hospital, parents bless their son and other family members and friends surround him with their loving embrace.
Having an Aliyah to the Torah on the Monday or Thursday morning prior to the brit milah is another opportunity to bring additional blessings into your life. The parent or grandparent who attends synagogue services that morning is called to the Torah and honored in celebration of the birth. A prayer is recited for the health and well-being of the infant and Mother, and the joyous sounds of mazel tov resonate from the congregation. Our weekday morning prayers commence on the Torah reading days of Monday & Thursday promptly at 6:45 a.m. (and conclude by 7:30 a.m.).
Following the brit milah, firstborn sons celebrate a Pidyon HaBen. This is incumbent upon firstborn sons when the father and mother are both, neither a Kohayn or Levite. This mitzvah is celebrated at home on the thirty-first day of life and Rabbi Buechler will gladly provide the text of the ceremony and the name of a Cohen to lead this ritual.
PLANNING THE BRIT MILAH:
Shortly after the birth of your son, call and arrange with the mohel the time and day for the brit milah. It is recommended that you call the mohel of your choice within the first day or two. Contact Rabbi Buechler prior to the birth of your son to discuss modehl’s. He is also available to gladly assist you in any fashion. He may be reached via the synagogue office at (631) 499-6644 or by email at email@example.com