Naming the Baby


Dear Rabbi,

When and how is baby given a Jewish name according to tradition?




  1. When a baby is born, the parents celebrate their good fortune and name the newborn in a traditional ceremony.

    The naming of a boy is incorporated into the Brit Milah ceremony (circumcision). Someone, normally the Rabbi or the Mohel (person doing the circumcision), says a special prayer and the baby’s name is announced. The name is given as the child’s name “the son of” the father’s name. There is no problem with giving one or more middle names. No last name is mentioned in the announcement. Customs of name choice vary. Some name after a relative, some choose the name of a righteous person and some just give a name that they personally like!

    The naming ceremony is different for a girl. A family representative, normally the father, is called up to the Torah. This is called an “Aliyah” and usually takes place on Shabbat when the Torah is read to the congregation, although it can also be done at the Monday or Thursday Torah reading. After this Aliyah, a special prayer is recited, and the name of the baby girl is announced.

    By the way, according to Kabbalistic literature, the name that a person is given has very great significance.

    I wish you a “Mazal Tov,” assuming you are asking this question for yourself. I hope this answer is helpful and please feel free to write again any time.

    Best wishes from the Team