It’s a mouthful, but it’s Cassandra’s Hebrew name.
While in Colorado, we had a Brit Bat Covenant Ceremony (aka baby naming) on the side of Flagstaff mountain, presided over by the Adventure Rabbi. (Long story how we came to that particular location and officiant.)
Here’s a little about the origins of the baby naming ritual:
- While a brit milah (circumcision is performed for newborn boys, there is no corresponding formal birth ceremony for baby girls. Traditionally, newborn girls have been given their Jewish names in a simple naming ceremony in the synagogue. To many people, the disparity between the elaborate birth rite for boys and the brief naming rite for girls seems unequal in this day and age, to say the least. In response, many new birth ceremonies for infant girls have been introduced in recent years. Because it is not yet part of the liturgy, there are no standard, agreed upon elements for the ceremony. (You can read more here.)
Back to our story…
Cassandra is named “Naomi” after Brad’s paternal grandmother. (For those of you thinking to yourselves, “Wait, Brad isn’t Jewish and neither was his grandmother.” Well, that didn’t matter. Naomi still qualifies as a Hebrew name and Cassandra is still named after her. I only met Naomi once. She was confident, strong, and had the fortitude to stand up for what she believed it. As the rabbi wrote in the program, “As we bless Cassandra with her names, we pray she will carry on all that was good and loving about the one for whom she is named.”
Brad shared stories about grandmother Naomi that were gathered from the women who knew her (his stepmother, mother, and sisters) at the ceremony and choked up just like he did at our wedding. Zander sang the Sh’ma by himself. The weather was perfect. It couldn’t have been more lovely. Below are some pictures.
The Adventure Rabbi:
Cassandra (aka Naomi Bat Yosefa Chai v'Bradford):
My parents (being blessed for their 45th wedding anniversary) with their grandchildren under the make-shift chuppah:
Brad and Zander after the ceremony: