Because my sister only came home from hospital yesterday, this morning's service was elected as the appropriate time. In order for people to attend the service before work, it is held at 6.30 am. This morning, this felt like some kind of gleeful joke since I am not a morning person. I cannot describe the pain of hearing the alarm at 6am. I feel much like a zombie these days, struggling to keep my heavy eyes open though the day. I'm also having some kind of existential crisis, worrying about the kind of aunt I am going to be - the kind I want to be doesn't skip important events, and so I went. Benji thought I was mad.
The baby of course, after being up all night, slept through most of the service. As the Torah is read, three men are called up one at a time - each representing a part of the Jewish people - a Cohen, a Levi and then Yisroel (most Jews are now from the tribe of Judah and are referred to as 'Yisroel' or 'Israel'). There was a bit of a search for a Levi, only one in the house this day, and luckily a friend of my sister and her husband. My brother-in-law was called up as the Yisroel and he made some prayers over the Torah whilst he held the bubby. Then the Torah portion was read. Then there were some blessings made - first for the health of my sister and then to formally name the baby. The baby was given her Hebrew name and we were whispered the English name by my sister, as we hung out in the women's section. Hebrew names are used for when people say prayers for you - when you are sick, in memorial, also for your big events, such as Bar/Bat Mitzvah, wedding and so on. It's the name that Gpd keeps track of you with - your first name and then followed by the name of your father (and only your mothers is used when prayers are made for you when you are sick.) Ashkenazi Jews tend to name babies after people who have passed.
I won't post the baby's name here - if you follow me on Facebook I posted it there.
But now, the baby has a name - Mazal Tov!