The birth of my fourth grandchild, a girl, gave our family the opportunity to repeat a naming ceremony we first used almost 37 years ago when our second daughter was born. Influenced by the 60’s “do it yourself” The First Jewish Catalog and not yet members of a congregation, my husband and I wrote our own Baht Brit. This will be the third time we have used it in our family to celebrate the birth of a daughter and granddaughter. We have shared it with friends and they used it with their families. Now, I am happy to share it with you.
A Baht Brit Naming Ceremony
(Scripted to be read by a Leader, Parent(s), and relatives at the ceremony)
The first independent human act in the Torah occurs when Adam names “the beasts of the field, the birds of the air, and every living thing”.
Names recall a beloved family member and link a child to the unfolding story of the Jewish people. Although the naming of a daughter has a long history, the ceremony went unrecorded. Therefore, we are privileged to create a unique celebration of continuity, covenant and proclamation.
The naming of our child begins the process of giving our daughter an identity, a community, and a way to understand the world she is entering.
Baht Brit means covenant of the daughter in Hebrew.
Today we have gathered to celebrate the Baht Brit of our daughter.
Thank you all for coming today.
We begin by recognizing this as a Yom Tov, a good day, by asking the Great Grandmother(s), the Grandmother(s), Aunt(s) and the Mother of our Baht Brit to light the candles. The candle lighting marks the beginning of a ceremony and represents the beauty and joy that a daughter brings to a family.
Candles:Baruch ata Adonai, Eloheinu melech haolam, asher kidshanu, b’mitzvotav, vitzivanu le’hadlik nair shel Yom Tov
Praised are you Lord our God, Source of the universe, for commanding us to kindle lights on this special day.
Next, we ask the Great Grandfather(s), Grandfather(s), Uncle(s) & the Father to lead us in Kiddush, the blessing over the wine, which represents the sweetness that a daughter brings to a family.
Kiddush:Baruch ata Adonai, Eloheinu melech haolam, borei p’ri hagafen Praised are you Lord our God, Source of the universe, Creator of the fruit of the vine.
The Torah is the story of the covenant between God and the Jewish people. Today, this child enters the community of Israel as we place this Torah in her hands I call upon the parents to read:
Parents are now are the readers:
Mother: As this little girl has touched the Torah, so may the Torah touch her life; filling her mind with wisdom, and her heart with understanding.
Father: May we who have brought her here today always strive to bring her close to the ways of God and of our people.
Mother: May we teach her Torah every day through our words and our deeds.
Father: May we raise our daughter to a joyful life of learning and to deeds of loving-kindness.
Together Parents read:Baruch ata Adonai, Eloheinu m’sameiach horim im yaldeihem
Praised are you Lord our God, Source of the universe, who causes parents to rejoice with their children.
And we all say: Amen.
This baby is named in loving remembrance of _____. (At this time, a family member may be asked to talk about the person for whom the child is being named.)
May the one who blessed our mothers, Sarah, Rebecca, Leah & Rachel, and our fathers, Abraham, Isaac & Jacob, bless the parents and their newborn daughter. Her name in English is _____, and in Hebrew, her name is _____.
In Hebrew, her name means _____.
May we rear her with love of Torah and the performance of good deeds, and may we be privileged to bring her to the marriage canopy. Amen
Please join us in our final prayer, the “Shehehchehyanu”, a prayer that thanks God for allowing us to celebrate this day.
Baruch ata Adonai, Eloheinu melech haolam, shehehchehyanu v’kiy’manu v’higianu laz’man hazeh
Praised are you Lord our God, Source of the universe, for giving us life, for sustaining us, for enabling us to reach this day.