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Why the Rush to Name Our Girl?

Why the Rush to Name Our Girl?



We just had a daughter, and my rabbi told us that we should name her at the first possible opportunity. I understand that we name girls at the Torah reading, which can happen on Monday, Thursday or Shabbat. That does not leave us much time to mull over the name. Why is that? Why don’t we get a full 8 days, like we do before circumcising and naming a boy?


You are correct; the custom of Chabad and others is to name girls as early as possible. The Lubavitcher Rebbe, of righteous memory, explained that this is because the moment that you name your baby may very well be the moment at which the Jewish soul, which had been present from the moment of birth, enters her body—something that you surely do not want to push off.

The Munkacser Rebbe (known as the Minchat Elazar) once remarked that the only reason we wait eight days before naming a boy is because the Torah specifically commanded us to wait that long before circumcising him. Otherwise we would name him right away, as a person’s Hebrew name serves as a conduit through which his Jewish self and life-force enters.


Likkutei Sichot, vol. 14, p. 250; Darkei Chaim V’Shalom 218.

By Staff
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Andrea Scott Wakefield March 6, 2015

Good health! I am not Jewish, indeed I am not religious in any sense of the word, nor follow a particular way of life. However I am curious about Jewish people and their beliefs as I need to understand why so much hatred and antisemitism is in our world today. I thought perhaps this negativity lay within people's lack of knowledge and misunderstanding of what it is to be Jewish, and yet after reading the pages of this fascinating website, I am learning so much and I can't find anything that would cause such appalling negativity to one race of people. And this knowledge I wish to pass on to those people who are ignorant and hateful, as I find nothing here that offends me, including the people themselves. I have much more to learn, but in the meantime I wish good health to you, good health to Jewish people around the world, and good health to that gorgeous little baby, featured above. Best wishes from Yorkshire, England. Reply

Rochel Chein for September 21, 2010

Re: Naming my little girl Mazal tov on the birth of your daughter!

When a girl is named, a "Mi Shebeirach" blessing is recited, praying for the health of the mother and daughter, and continuing "and her name shall be called..." You can say another Mi Shebeirach again when your family comes, on a day when the Torah is read. The rabbi may want to alter the wording slightly. Reply

Ariel September 19, 2010

Naming my little girl Dear Rabbi, Thank you very much. Would it be ok if we name our daughter maybe tomorrow and then do it again when family arrives (their arrival is a week out)? An answer today would be greatly appreciated, I will call the local Lubavitch Rabbi later anyhow Gd willing so dont worry otherwise. Reply

Neshama Simcha Gainesville, Fl. December 28, 2010

Soul and Bar/Bat Mitzvah I was taught that at the age of 12 for girls and 13 for boys (Bat Mitzvah & Bar Mitzvah) they were then considered men and women, fully understood right from wrong and responsible for their actions. Therefore the father was no longer responsible for the Torah duties of the first son.
I was taught that Jews believe that the soul enters the body of a new born at first breath, hence, abortion isn't killing a child because it doesn't yet have a soul.
Please educate me if my understanding is erronous on both ideas. Reply

Rivka bklyn , US-NY December 28, 2010

Full jewish Soul A person's "full" and complete" Jewish Soul Enters by Bar/ Bat Mitzvah- however... it enters in stages,,, some by birth, Bris/ Name calling, and fully there at Bar/ Bat Mitzvah- they don't contradict each other... Reply

Anonymous Boston, MA December 28, 2010

Jewish Soul Enterng As I understand the Jewish Soul enters the body at birth, and a angle teaches the baby the commandments before birth. At the age of bar mitzvah, the evil inclination (force against us doing mitzvahs enters the person)... Reply

Chana Nechama Jerusalem, Israel December 27, 2010

Question? I thought that a person's Jewish soul doesn't Fully enter the body until Bar/Bas Mitvzah - what does the naming have to do with the entrance of the Jewish soul? Reply

go-d's right hand man Jerooshalaiyim, Israel December 24, 2010

Also The eighth day is the first opportunity to perform the mitzva, hence the first opportunity to peform the mitzva is seen meritoriously Reply

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