Sign up now to receive our regular news briefs.

The Beauty of Jewish Baby Naming Ceremonies

May 24, 2013 8:00 pm 3 comments

A mother and her child. Photo: wiki commons.

I ended up attending a baby naming ceremony recently “by accident.” I was there because I was meeting a friend for breakfast who attended the ceremony – and he dragged me along.  Quite unexpectedly, I cried throughout it, as it prompted me to think about many of the great questions of life. Attending the baby-naming ceremony was a pleasant start to the day. A random happy event I was blessed to attend.

A young man I don’t know – with so much hope – celebrated the birth of his daughter and gave her a beautiful Jewish name. As he was called to the Torah, and recited the name amidst Carlebach style singing and dancing, his father, mother and mother-in-law were similarly crying. The child was named for the mother-in-law’s brother who had recently perished, and a cousin who was a Holocaust Survivor.   I couldn’t help but think what a beautiful event it was for the Jewish people – and thank G-d that occasions like this happen every day all over the world.

It is a beautiful custom that so many in the Jewish community have, of naming a child after a relative who has passed away. It keeps the memory of that person alive – and it honors the deceased and the living.

Sitting there, I remembered the tears of joy I shed when my children were born, and the tears I still shed for my beloved mother, Penny Waga, who left this world only a few months ago and whom I miss so much.  All of these things come full circle when a baby is named.

As the father of two daughters, one of my favorite stories (courtesy of Rabbi Nachman) is the story of a king who had a daughter and one day a prince came and he married her.  When the prince wished to return to his country with his new wife the king said to him “the daughter you married is my daughter I cannot separate from her nor can I tell you not to take your wife. All I ask is one favor – make me a small chamber so I can reside with you since separating from my daughter isn’t an option.” This story reveals G-d’s love for his people – and in many ways describes the eternal connection the Jewish people have today with past generations of Jews.

We should wish all new-born children the customary priestly blessing for Jewish children which goes like this: “May the Lord bless you and protect you. May the Lord deal kindly and graciously with you. May the Lord bestow His favor upon you and grant you peace.”


Ronn Torossian is a proud parent of great children, and the proud son of Penny Waga, of blessed memory.  Follow him on Twitter at: https://twitter.com/RTorossian5wpr.

3 Comments

  • Georgina Bojana

    A leányomat EszterZsuzsannának neveztük. A “kinti” életben: iskolában, munkahelyen Eszternek szólítják, amíg a családban Zsuzsinak. Mindkét név annyira szép és olyan kifejezÅ‘, mindkét névnek bibliai története van. Képtelen voltam csak az egyikre elnevezni. Így mindkét nevet használja, ma már 24 éves és úgy írja alá a vezetékneve után, hogy EszterZsuzsanna, így, egyben. Nagyon boldog vagyok, mert szereti a nevét, így használja “egybe-írva”. EttÅ‘l különleges, én vallom, hogy a név nagyon sokat jelent. A lányom már születése elÅ‘tt Eszter volt, de születése után bizony a Zsuzsanna névnek is helye volt, van és lesz az életében. Mert a leányomban, a jellemében, a viselkedésében, az okosságában – mindkét név jelleme felfedezhetÅ‘. Ma sem nevezném másképpen.

  • SEPHARDIM NAME AFTER THE LIVING ALWAYS.
    The beauty of carrying the name forever and ever validates our existance in a certain way.

    One can see the name of our great great grandfathers/mothers on the graves,perpetuated on generations forever and ever.

    Abraham,Yitzhaq,Yaacob
    Shema YIsrael…………

  • Touching beautiful article. Thank you Mr. Ronn Torossian

Leave a Reply

Please note: comments may be published in the Algemeiner print edition. Comments written in all caps will be deleted.


Current day month ye@r *

More...

  • Arts and Culture Writer of Popular Kids Series to Premiere Autobiographical Solo Show ‘Not That Jewish’

    Writer of Popular Kids Series to Premiere Autobiographical Solo Show ‘Not That Jewish’

    The writer of a popular children’s television series will premiere an off-Broadway solo show called “Not That Jewish,” according to The Hollywood Reporter. Written and performed by Monica Piper — the Emmy Award-winning showrunner of Nickelodeon’s “Rugrats” — the show is described as “the autobiographical telling of a Jew…’ish’ girl’s life.” “Not That Jewish” explores Piper’s Bronx upbringing in a show-business family, her comedy-club debut and her “almost” night with former Yankees legend Mickey Mantle. “Audiences can expect to leave laughed-out, a little teary-eyed and […]

    Read more →
  • Sports Scottish Soccer Team Will Fly to Israel on Private Jet Used by Madonna

    Scottish Soccer Team Will Fly to Israel on Private Jet Used by Madonna

    Scotland’s Celtic soccer club will fly to Israel with the same private jet Madonna used while on tour, The Scotsman reported on Monday. According to the report, the team is heading for the Jewish state to compete against Israel’s Hapoel Be’er Sheva on Tuesday night, and will be transported in the customized, luxurious Boeing 757-200 that the pop icon used in New Zealand for her six-month Rebel Heart tour, which wrapped up in March. The plane is on loan from Greece-based GainJet Aviation and can accommodate 62 passengers. The […]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture Revealed: Actor Jonah Hill Officiated at Wedding of Fellow Jewish Star, Singer Adam Levine

    Revealed: Actor Jonah Hill Officiated at Wedding of Fellow Jewish Star, Singer Adam Levine

    Jewish actor Jonah Hill revealed on Wednesday morning that he had officiated the wedding of good friend and Maroon 5 frontman Adam Levine. The “War Dogs” actor, 32, was a guest on Sirius XM’s The Howard Stern Show when the conversation turned to Levine’s July 2014 wedding to Victoria’s Secret model Behati Prinsloo. Hill said that after he was asked to officiate the nuptials, he started getting worried about the type of speech he was going to deliver. “I’m writing all these things, and then I […]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture Music Jewish Indie Rocker Dedicates New ‘Refugee’ Track to Grandfather Who Fled Nazi Persecution

    Jewish Indie Rocker Dedicates New ‘Refugee’ Track to Grandfather Who Fled Nazi Persecution

    Jewish indie singer Ezra Furman released a song on Wednesday that he said was dedicated to his grandfather, who escaped Nazi persecution. Furman told the website Consequence of Sound that the new track, called “The Refugee,” is his “first song entirely concerned with my Jewish background and present, a song dedicated to my grandfather who fled the Nazis, as well as to all of the refugees desperate for a home today.” He added, “May all the wanderers find the homes they seek, and […]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture Uncanny Toy Replica of Israeli ‘Wonder Woman’ Gal Gadot Auctioning on eBay for Over $1,600

    Uncanny Toy Replica of Israeli ‘Wonder Woman’ Gal Gadot Auctioning on eBay for Over $1,600

    An artist is auctioning on eBay a Wonder Woman doll he purchased and repainted to create an uncanny replica of Israeli actress Gal Gadot, who will play the superhero in an upcoming 2017 spin-off film. Noel Cruz purchased a 19-inch action figure of the Batman v Superman star and replaced its plastic hair with a new wig, and added a material belt and Princess Diana’s lasso, according to the blog Io9, which first reported on Cruz’s work. He then painted the doll to make it look like the […]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture British Jewish Star Daniel Radcliffe Hopes New Movie About Neo-Nazis Will Spark Dialogue to Defeat Antisemitic Rhetoric

    British Jewish Star Daniel Radcliffe Hopes New Movie About Neo-Nazis Will Spark Dialogue to Defeat Antisemitic Rhetoric

    Racist and antisemitic rhetoric supported by white supremacists can be defeated by opening channels for meaningful dialogue, British-Jewish actor Daniel Radcliffe said, ahead of the release of his new film, in which he plays an undercover FBI agent infiltrating a neo-Nazi group. “[White supremacist ideologies] have more power the less we talk about them. So hopefully this does start a kind of conversation, which would be a tiny part of a much larger conversation that needs to happen,” the actor, 27, told The […]

    Read more →
  • Sports Olympic Gold Medalist Gabby Douglas Reveals She Can Read, Speak Hebrew

    Olympic Gold Medalist Gabby Douglas Reveals She Can Read, Speak Hebrew

    Olympic gold medalist Gabby Douglas knows how to read and speak “a little” Hebrew, she revealed in the Aug. 15 issue of Us Weekly. The 20-year-old gymnast, who told the magazine that her favorite book is the Bible, was featured in a spread about the USA gymnastics team — which was awarded the gold medal in the women’s all-around finals at the Olympics in Rio on Aug. 9. In her 2012 memoir, In Grace, Gold, and Glory: My Leap of Faith, Douglas wrote that her […]

    Read more →
  • Features Ben-Gurion University Institute Tackles Water Shortages, Hygiene in Developing Countries

    Ben-Gurion University Institute Tackles Water Shortages, Hygiene in Developing Countries

    JNS.org – Israeli water experts believe that by 2050, almost half of the world’s population will live in countries with a chronic water shortage. What’s causing the shortfall is population growth, which leads to a greater demand for food, increased pollution and climate instability, according to Prof. Noam Weisbrod, director of the Zuckerberg Institute for Water Research (ZIWR) in the Jacob Blaustein Institute for Desert Research at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev. In Israel’s Negev Desert, which has long been plagued […]

    Read more →