The Jewish Traditions Connected with the Birth of a Girl

Far before the modern ceremonies have appeared there existed the ancient traditions connected with the birth of a girl in the Jewish families.

In the communities in the Middle East and North Africa as well as Italy The tradition of giving a name to the newborn girl was called “Zeved a-Bat” which meant “the God’s Gift”. The name of the ceremony is originated from the lines of Genesis :”And I received the wonderful gift from God”. This tradition appeared many ages ago and remains popular among the Jews at the present time. On the first Saturday after the birth the father with the grandfathers of the girl is to read aloud the extracts from Torah in the synagogue. The mother and the grandmothers also attend the service but they can’t read the Holy Writings aloud. The father has the possibility to read the Torah twice and each of the grandfathers can read it aloud once during the ceremony. After that the rabbi congratulates the parents and pronounces a special prayer asking God to shed his mercy upon the family. After the religious ceremony the celebration starts. The Jews sing traditional songs and lay the celebration table.

The tradition connected with the birth of a girl in the Jew communities of Spain is called “Las Fadas”. When the mother and the baby feel good enough to meet guests the relatives and friends cone to their house to congratulate the family. The source of the tradition is the old belief that the witches may be offended not to be invited to the house and do harm to the baby. To avoid this the people pass the swaddled baby each other and don’t leave her without attention.

In Turkey the mother wore an embroidered fair cloth covering her hair from the day of giving birth to her daughter to her marriage.

In Yemen the Jewish children are officially accepted in the community during the Simhat-Torah holiday when the Jews celebrate the beginning of the next cycle of Torah readings. The father or the grandfather of the youngest newborn girl leads the solemn procession with the baby in his hands.

An American Jew who repatriated to Israel and married the man from the traditional Yemen family remembers that her parents-in-law celebrated the birth of her daughter by breaking a fresh egg at the doorstep of their house.

The Indian Jews have the simple and elegant tradition to decorate the house with the flowers floating in large bowls with water.

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