Baby Naming

Question

We just had a new baby girl. Must I name her at the first possible opportunity – the first Torah reading after the birth? Or may I wait a more extended time before naming her? Thanks.

, 1 week

Answers

  1. Mazal tov! May you and your wife and family have much “nachat” from her.

    The widespread custom is to name the baby girl without great delay, although there is no Jewish Law that I am aware of that it must be done within a certain period of time.

     

    The two main customs I see practiced are to name the baby at the first Torah reading service after the birth, or to wait for Shabbat and name her then, when more people in the community are present and will be part of the occasion and become aware of your simcha. And, often the family makes a Kiddush in honor of the birth on that Shabbat (or sometimes on a later Shabbat if the mother hasn’t sufficiently recovered and wants to be there to participate). These are accepted customs.

     

    If for some unusual reason there is a need or desire to put off naming the baby for an “extended time”, I suggest asking a local Orthodox Rabbi about doing this. A name is an identity, and from your question I can tell that you realize intuitively that ideally every child should have a name before too long. Adam and Eve were named on their “birthday”, as it were.

    Best wishes from the AskTheRabbi.org Team