Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Avital Miryam: Hebrew Naming Ceremony

Last Friday evening, we had Rory's Hebrew naming ceremony at Temple David, which we just joined a couple of months ago. It took a lot of finagling in schedules to pick a day (between the rabbi, us, and family members, it was very difficult!) but gladly some family and friends were able to attend.

Rory got all dressed up in a pretty pink and green dress that was a present from a relative at my baby shower and wearing the crocheted hat we bought after she wore it in her newborn photo shoot. I love this picture of us right before we left the house, simply because most of the pictures I have of Rory are of her smiling. She does not always smile but I don't usually have the camera handy when she's screaming because I'm trying to get her to calm down. This photo amuses me. :)

We got a lovely cake from Allegro Hearth in Squirrel Hill for the oneg afterward. It was delicious! Chocolate cake (very moist and heavy but so good) with a raspberry icing that even I enjoyed. We even had a little left over to take home and snack on.

I don't have any photos during the actual ceremony (but we do have video!) but it was thoughtful and sweet: welcoming Rory into the Jewish covenant by having her touch the Torah, readings and blessings performed by the rabbi and our family members, and explaining how we chose her name. I could've also explained at that time why we chose her English name but I kind of forgot to do it. :) Her Hebrew name is Avital Miryam. Since I had a heavy hand in choosing her English name, I told Justin he could choose her Hebrew name. He liked the name Avital and that was that. Recent Ashkenazi Jewish tradition is that you name a baby after a deceased relative. We originally opted for just the one name and it's not after any relative.

After a little bit more thought (and a week before the ceremony!), I liked the idea of giving her two names (Justin and I each have two Hebrew names) and naming her after a living relative, my mother-in-law. Justin was on-board with the idea and the rabbi (after pointing out that Sephardic Jewish tradition names babies after living relatives but not Ashkenazi), went along with it. We honor Miriam with the naming and know that she will have a strong role in Rory's upbringing, will help provide a Jewish education, and will share with Rory her compassion toward others and giving nature.

After the ceremony, the rabbi presented us with this beautiful naming certificate which has a Noah's ark theme. Just gorgeous. And later, Gammie Miriam and Pappy Rob gifted Rory with a mezzuzah for her door frame with a Noah's Ark decoration. Perfect! I'll have to get a photo of it when we're hanging it, hopefully this week. (I'm now reminded of a beautiful hand-carved wooden Noah's ark set I saw in a boutique in Ligonier...I wonder if it's still there).

And then party time! Lots of sweet desserts and chatting with family. Mazel Tov, Rory!

The rabbi holding Rory.

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