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Sample Simchat Bat (Inspired by Dr. Seuss)

Return to the Guide to Birth Ceremonies for Interfaith Families.

"With each child, the world begins anew." (Midrash)

RABBI: To call someone or something by name is to touch its heart, its essence. It is to speak a word which lasts a lifetime. In the beginning, God began to create though names. When God said, "Yehi Or," "Let there be light"--only then did light exist. Each name allowed day and night, earth and sky, sunlight and moonlight not only to be what they ought to be, but each name also created a separation. With a name, we become ourselves and no one else.

RABBI: B'ruchah ha-ba-ah b'sheim Adonai. May she who enters be blessed in the name of the Lord.

(Godparents enter with Godmother holding baby and Jewish Godparent lights candles.)

GODMOTHER: Joyfully do we present child's name to her parents to enter into the Covenant of Life. (Godmother gives baby to Godfather.)

GODFATHER: Baruch ata Adonai, Eloheinu melech ha-olam, asher kidshanu b'mitzvotav, v'tzivanu al kiddush ha-chayim.

Blessed is the Lord our God, Ruler of the Universe, by whose Mitzvot we are hallowed, who commands us to sanctify life. (Godfather gives baby to father.)

RABBI says Kiddush.

FATHER: K'shem she-nich-n'sah la-brit, kein ti-ka-nes l'torah ul-chu-pah ul-ma-asim to-vim.

MOTHER: As she has entered the covenant, so may she enter a life devoted to Torah, chupah and the accomplishment of good deeds.

BOTH PARENTS (in unison) recite Dedication to the Covenant.

ALL say Shehecheyanu.

FRIEND: Congratulations, child's name!

Today is your day.

You're off to Great Places!

You're off and away!

You have brains in your head.

You'll have feet in your shoes.

You'll be able to steer yourself

any direction you choose.

You have a great family. And you know what you know.

And YOU are the girl who'll decide where to go.

GODFATHER: You'll look up and down streets. Look ?em over with care.

About some you will say, "I don't choose to go there."

With your head full of brains and your shoes full of feet,

you'll be too smart to go down any not-so-good street.

GODMOTHER: And you may not find any

you'll want to go down.

In that case, of course,

you'll head straight out of town.

AUNT 1: It's open there

in the wide open air.

Out there things can happen

and frequently do

to people as brainy

and footsy as you.

And when things start to happen,

don't worry. Don't stew.

Just go right along.

You'll start happening too.

OH!

THE PLACES YOU'LL GO!

AUNT 2: You won't lag behind, because you'll have the speed.

You'll pass the whole gang and you'll soon take the lead.

Wherever you fly, you'll be best of the best.

Wherever you go, you will top all the rest.

With banner flip-flapping,

you're on top of the world!

You're ready for anything.

Because you're that kind of girl!

GRANDPARENTS (Either set): Oh, the places you'll go! There is fun to be done!

There are points to be scored. There are games to be won.

And the magical things you can do with that ball

will make you the winning-est winner of all.

GRANDPARENTS (the other set): And will you succeed?

Yes! You will, indeed!

(100 percent guaranteed.)

KID, YOU'LL MOVE MOUNTAINS!

ALL GRANDPARENTS: Today is your day!

Your mountain is waiting.

So? get on your way!

RABBI: Now, in the presence of loved ones, we give to this child the name (child's Hebrew name). Let it become a name honored and respected for wisdom and good deeds. May God's blessing rest upon (child's Hebrew name) now and always.

We pray that she will grow in heart and mind. May the story of our people inspire her. May the truths of Torah guide her. And, may the grandeur of the prophetic word of truth and righteousness enter her spirit and be for her a lasting benediction. Amen.

PARENTS: O God, we give thanks to You for the gift of (child's English name), who has entered into the Covenant of Life. Keep her from all harm, and grant that she may be a source of joy to us and our family and friends. Be with us, and give us health and length of days. Teach us to rear her with care and affection, with wisdom and understanding that she may be a faithful child, and a blessing to the world. We give thanks to You, O Lord, the Source of Life. Amen.

GRANDPARENTS TOGETHER: We are thankful for the blessing You have bestowed upon us in our lives. Now we have been granted a new grandchild to love, the opening of a new page in our family's chronicle. May she grow up in health and happiness. May we be granted the joy of seeing her develop all of her gifts, and the gratification of helping her to fulfill the best that is in her. Then our prayer shall have found its answer: the days and years to come shall be for us times of peace and fulfillment. Amen.

PARENTS: Y'si-mech Eh-lo-him k'Sa-rah, Riv-kah, Ra-chel v'Lei-ah. May God make you as Sarah, Rebecca, Rachel & Leah.

RABBI: May God bless you and keep you; May God shine God's countenance upon you and be gracious unto you; May God lift up God's countenance to you and grant you peace.

RABBI says Hamotzi.

Submitted by Mary Litman

The Guide to Birth Ceremonies for Interfaith Families is also available in PDF or Word formats.

Hebrew for "blessed are You [,my God]." Introductory words to many Jewish prayers. Hebrew for "sanctification," a blessing recited over wine or grape juice to sanctify the Sabbath and Jewish holidays. Hebrew for "story," a way of interpreting biblical stories that often fills in the gaps left in the biblical narrative and expands on events of characters that are only hinted at. Hebrew for "canopy" or "covering," the structure (open on all four sides) under which a Jewish wedding ceremony takes place. In its simplest for, it consists of a cloth, sheet, or tallit stretched or supported over four poles. A language of West Semitic origins, culturally considered to be the language of the Jewish people. Ancient or Classical Hebrew is the language of Jewish prayer or study. Modern Hebrew was developed in the late-19th and early 20th centuries as a revival language; today it is spoken by most Israelis. Hebrew for "my master," the term refers to a spiritual leader and teacher of Torah. Often, but not always, a rabbi is the leader of a synagogue congregation. The first five books of the Hebrew Bible (Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy), or the scroll that contains them. Hebrew for "covenant," often referring to the ritual for Jewish boys when they are 8 days old ("brit milah" - "covenant of circumcision"). It is commonly known as "bris," which is the Ashkenazi or Yiddish pronunciation of "brit."
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