Birth

Mazal tov on your baby’s arrival! Officiating at baby namings and brises is one of my greatest joys as a rabbi.

Whether you choose to celebrate your baby’s arrival in the synagogue, home, or another venue, this ceremony is an opportunity to rejoice with family and friends.

A ceremony typically includes:

  • An opening song or niggun (a song without words)
  • A blessing of gratitude for the health of the mother and the baby called the Birchat HaGomeil.
  • A covenantal ritual, in which the child is embraced as a member of the Jewish people. Traditionally, boys participate in the ritual of circumcision, with the help of a licensed moyel, who will make the circumcision as quick and painless as possible. Other possible covenantal rituals include wrapping the baby in a tallit (The 613 knots on a tallit’s strings represent the Torah’s 613 commandments that the baby is receiving), or washing a baby’s feet (This ritual is based on Abraham’s hospitality in the Torah. Abraham welcomed people into his home by washing their feet. Similarly, we wash a baby’s feet to welcome them into the Tent of People Israel.)
  • The baby will receive a Jewish name. You may choose to name your child in honor of a loved one, or you may choose another name you love. Picking a name can be challenging. It would be my pleasure to help you.
  • An opportunity for parents, family members, and friends to bless the baby. I have a list of poems, readings, and prayers. Alternatively, you can write some words of blessing  to offer on this sacred occasion.
  • A blessing over grape juice or wine.
  • A blessing of gratitude that we reached this sacred day.
  • A festive meal.

If you would like to talk about your baby’s ceremony, you can reach me at (718) 869-6673 or rabbicassi@gmail.com. I look forward to crafting a meaningful and personalized ceremony with you.

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