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.