Sunday, July 21, 2024

Celebrations at synagogue in naming ceremony

Recently, the growing congregation of Shenfield, Brentwood & Districts Synagogue (aka Rosh Tikvah) joined with Melanie and Gary Marshall, their family and friends in the blessing of their two children. Elena, age 3, was given the Hebrew name Aliza Michaela, whilst Thomas, 12 weeks was given the Hebrew name of Daniel Meir.

Judaism places great importance on the naming of each new child. When a parent gives a child a name, the parent is giving the child a connection to previous generations. The parent is also making a statement about their hope for who their child will become. In this way, the name carries with it some identity for the child.

In Judaism, a name is not merely an assortment of letters put together as a convenient way to refer to someone. Ideally, it is a definition of the individual – a description of their character and an interpretation of their qualities. It may even be a portent of the person’s future, or perhaps a prayer that the person bearing this particular name shall live up to the potential expressed in the name.

This, Rosh Tikvah’s first naming ceremony, was a moving occasion as Melanie and Gary choose to name both of their children and was followed by a wonderful kiddish lunch provided by the family. The service was held at the Synagogues’ regular venue of Hogarth Primary School and officiated by Natasha Radford and Hiam Nacmias.

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