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    Simchat Bat – Ask the Rabbi

    Q. Do you think that having a Simchat Bat when a girl is born is a good idea?

    simchat bat baby girl rabbi appleA. I am all in favour.

    There is a Yiddish phrase, “Every child brings its own blessing into the world”. Whether the child is a boy or a girl it is good to give them a blessing and to pray that God may help them to bring their own blessing to their parents and the community.

    Ashkenazi custom has been for centuries that the father is called to the Torah in the Synagogue and the girl is named on that occasion; it is also linked with the mother saying the Gomel blessing in the presence of a Minyan.

    In Sephardi usage there is a post-Talmudic ceremony called Zeved HaBat which has recently been re-named Simchat Bat and introduced amongst the Ashkenazim too.

    The elements of the Simchat Bat ceremony are in course of development but possible ingredients are a welcome (“Beruchah HaBa’ah”), readings from Psalms and Shir HaShirim, the baby naming, an explanation of the names chosen for the child, and the Yevarech’cha blessing.

    Candles are lit, the baby is dressed nicely and the Book of Vayikra could be placed in its crib. Family and friends then have a se’udah.

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