in the Jewish tradition, Baby Boys are circumcised during their Brit Milah ceremony on their 8th day of life. At that time they are also given their Jewish name. Girls are obviously not circumcised, but they are given their Jewish name during a Simchat Bat which can occur anytime after a baby girl is born. Julia was about a month old when we had her Simchat Bat and we were very blessed to have so many family members come to town to celebrate with us. Julia wore the dress that I wore to my Baby Naming and a very special hat that my mom knit for her. I was wearing a lace shawl that my mom knit for my wedding and that Julia will (someday, hopefully) wear for her wedding! My mom was there, as were Ken’s parents, Ken’s grandmother, both of Ken’s brothers and Ken’s older brother’s wife. We also had a lot of friends join us to celebrate, both from the Synagogue and from other parts of our lives in New Orleans.
Rabbi Uri has a wonderful way of announcing the name for everyone. He had us write her Hebrew name on a card and seal it up in an envelope, then when we reached the part of the ceremony when he was to announce her name, Ken handed him the envelope, he opened it and made a big production of pulling the card out of the envelope. He then looked at it first and a big smile spread across his face as he read it, then he said it aloud for everyone to hear. He then had everyone repeat it with him.
After the official “ceremony,” Ken and I were given an opportunity to explain how we came up with her name. I thought that I would be able to read half of what we had written, but I got about three words into it, and I immediately started crying, so Ken read what we wrote. Julia is named after some very special people from our families. We had Ken’s dad and my mom write out a little bit of information about each of the people she’s named after, and we’ve printed up what they wrote and put it in her baby book so that some day she’ll be able to read about how special her names are.
Julia’s Hebrew name is Shoshanna Mindel Bat Tova v’Kalman Leib Herzl (translated, it means Shoshanna Mindel, daughter of Anna & Ken). Choosing both her English name and her Hebrew name was definitely a labor of love, and we put a lot of thought into all of her names.
Julia: Named after my Great Uncle, Jule, and Ken’s grandfather, Julius, as well as Jim’s family since they all have “J” names
Rose/Shoshanna: Named after my mother and her grandmother (Shoshanna means “Rose” in Hebrew)
Mindel: Named after Ken’s grandmother
In the little thing that we wrote, we explained that each of the people for whom she is named had very special qualities that we hope she will embody and take to new levels! So far she’s exceeded our expectations!