Ask the Rabbi - Customs and Practices

Marking a Birth

Q: What is the proper way for a Noahide to thank G-d for the birth of a new child?

Q: What is the proper way for a Noahide to thank G-d for the birth of a new child? Is there any special significance to the fortieth day after the birth, say to be marked with special thanksgiving or prayers? Should we give charity in honor of his birth? In addition: Can a boy be given the same name as his father? Can he be given two names?

A: From the thirtieth day after the birth the child is considered to be stable and no longer in mortal danger. A thanksgiving feast or a public gathering of thanks to G-d should be organized on this day. The gathering should include Psalms of praise and possibly music. Giving charity is a very good idea.

As to the name: he can have the same as his father if this is accepted in your society. He can be given two names if that is what you want.

The following is a ceremony (written by Rabbi Chaim Richman) for naming a baby girl:


Ceremony to name a baby girl

By Rabbi Chaim Richman

To begin the ceremony, the father and mother should stand over the child, in the presence of the assembled family and friends, and recite the following blessing out loud:

ברוך אתה ה’ אלוקינו מלך העולם הטוב והמיטיב

Baruch Ata Adonai, Eloheinu Melech HaOlam, HaTov V’haMativ

Blessed are You, Ha

The father pronounces: “And Adam called the name of his wife Chava, for she was the mother of all life” (Gen. 3:20).

The mother pronounces: “And Chava said, I have acquired a man of Hashem” (Gen. 4:1).

Together the parents declare, “Hashem has given man the privilege of participating in creation.”

The master of ceremonies or leader should say a few words. It is desirable to cite the teaching in Tractate Kiddushin (30) which states that there are three partners in the creation of a human being – the Holy One, blessed be He, the father and the mother.

The parents should speak from their own hearts, giving thanks to Hashem and praying for the welfare and success of their child. Here are some thoughts to consider:

We give thanks to you, Hashem, for the privilege you have given us to participate in your creation, and our prayer is that this child continue to build the world, to fix the world, to bring the light of Hashem into the world, as it is written (Isaiah 45) “the world was not created to be void; it was formed in order to be populated by man.”

May we merit that our daughter should continue in our path, to live in dedication to Hashem, and thus become a link in the eternal chain of Adam and Noah, and of all people who act in the name of Hashem and live according to His will.

The congregation, friends and family assembled should bless the family, saying: “As you merited to the birth of this child, may you merit seeing her chuppah, and may she be a faithful child to her G-d, finding favor and grace in His eyes and in the eyes of all who see her.”

The parents should respond, “Amen.”

The parents offer the following prayer: “May it be Your will, Hashem our G-d, that we merit to raise our child with joy, health and good livelihood, to keep Your commandments and to believe in You, to grow to be a person of good character who will contribute much to this world, may she merit to a long, happy and healthy life, and may all who see her declare: Blessed are the parents of such a child!”

All assembled declare “Amen.”

The parents now declare the name of the child. It is fitting for them to speak a little about the significance of this name, and now, the parents and all assembled should bless the child by name, and wish for her a long, healthy, happy and successful life, bring her parents, and the entire world, much joy.


Rabbi Oury Cherki

Rav Oury Cherki was born in Algeria in 1959 and grew up in France, and he made Aliyah in 1972. He studied at Merkaz Harav Yeshiva, which was founded by Rav Avraham Yitzchak Kook. He performed his military service in the artillery branch of the IDF. He studied with Rav Tzvi Yehuda Kook, Rav Yehuda Leon Ashkenazi (Manitou), Rav Shlomo Binyamin and Achlag. Rav Cherki heads the Israeli department of Machon Meir, and he is the Director of Brit Olam - the Noahide World Center. He teaches in many places throughout Israel. Rav Cherki is the spiritual leader of the "Beth Yehuda" community in Kiryat Moshe (Jerusalem). He has written many books on Jewish thought and philosophy.

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