Gaining a Hebrew name

Excerpted from an article by Shani McManus in the Florida Jewish Journal

The naming ceremony also included a very unusual person. During October, Sammy Spider, a huge stuffed animal and the subject of several Jewish children’s books, spent the month visiting the preschool. “Sammy’s mother told Sammy that spiders spin webs, they do not get a Hebrew name,” Bernstein said. But at Temple Torah, Young noted, “Where every living creature — even stuffed ones — are made to feel special,” it was decided to include Sammy Spider in the naming service. Sammy Spider’s official Hebrew name is Arik Shmuel Ha-Akavish. “Spiders don’t get Hebrew names, they spin webs,” five-year-old Chaya Bierman said, “but I think he liked getting a Hebrew name.”

 Sammy Spider and his author Sylvia Rouss will be visiting Temple Torah on Feb. 19,  2012. Rouss will be reading two of her favorite Sammy Spider books and sign books for the children.

 “I have done many naming services before,” Bernstein said, “but I have never named a spider.”