WELCOMING THE GUESTS
We want to welcome all of you, our family and friends, to this simkhat b’not—a ceremony at which we will enter our 2 daughters into the Jewish community. Our tradition teaches that all members of all generations entered into a unique relationship with God at According to the Torah, God, in the presence of the Jewish people, gave Moses the Torah on Mount Sinai (Har Sinai).. This relationship, known as the Lit. Covenant. Judaism is defined by the covenant - the contract between the Jewish people and God. God promises to make us abundant and to give us the land of Israel; we promise to obey God's commandments. This covenant begins with Abraham and is reiterated throughout the Torah. A brit milah, literally a covenant of circumcision, is often simply called a brit or bris. or covenant, joins God and the Jewish people in the task of perfecting the world. Today, our 2 daughters become partners in that Covenant. They pass over a threshold and we mark their passage from their mothers’ womb, into the welcoming arms of their father and brother, and now into the arms of K’lal Yisrael.
We believe that the miracle of their births—and believe us, having identical twins is quite a miracle—is of great importance to the Jewish community, for Judaism’s future rests on the firm foundation of both its men and women. Before today, our daughters were not fully recognized members of the community. In naming them today, they receive their membership into the Covenant, linking them to Abraham is the first patriarch and the father of the Jewish people. He is the husband of Sarah and the father of Isaac and Ishmael. God's covenant - that we will be a great people and inherit the land of Israel - begins with Abraham and is marked by his circumcision, the first in Jewish history. His Hebrew name is Avraham. and The first matriarch, wife of Abraham, and mother of Isaac, whom she birthed at the age of 90. Sarah, in Rabbinic tradition, is considered holy, beautiful, and hospitable. Many prayers, particularly the Amidah (the central silent prayer), refer to God as Magen Avraham – protector of Abraham. Many Jews now add: pokehd or ezrat Sarah – guardian or helper of Sarah., Abraham and Sarah's much-longed-for son and the second Jewish patriarch. Isaac is nearly sacrificed by his father at God's command (Genesis 22). He is married to Rebecca and is the father of Esau and Jacob. His Hebrew name is Yitzchak. and The second Jewish matriarch, Isaac's wife, and mother to Jacob and Esau. Rebecca is an active parent, talking to God when she is pregnant and learning the fate of her children, then ultimately manipulating Isaac and the children to ensure Jacob's ascendancy. Her Hebrew name is Rivka., Lit. heel Jacob is the third patriarch, son of Isaac and Rebecca, and father to the twelve tribes of Israel. More than any of the other patriarchs, Jacob wrestles with God and evolves from a deceitful, deal-making young man to a mature, faithful partner to God. His Hebrew name is Yaakov., Lavan's younger daughter and Jacob's beloved wife second wife (after he is initially tricked into marrying her older sister, Leah). Rachel grieves throughout her life that she is barren while Leah is so fertile. Ultimately, Rachel gives birth to Joseph and dies in childbirth with Benjamin. Rachel is remembered as compassionate (she is said to still weep for her children), and infertile women often invoke Rachel as a kind of intercessor and visit her tomb on the road to Bethlehem., and The third of the Jewish matriarchs, Lead is the eldest of Lavan's daughters and one of the wives of Jacob. She is the daughter whom Lavan tricks Jacob into marrying instead of his younger daughter Rachel, whom Jacob has requested to marry. Leah is mother to six of the the twelve tribes and to one daughter, Dinah..
WELCOMING THE BABIES
David and Sally:
B’rukhah haba’ah b’shem Adonai
B’rukhah at ba’ir, uv’ruchah at basadeh.
B’rukhah at b’voakh, uv’ruchah at b’tzaytaikh.
Welcome little ones!
Blessed may you be all your days, all your life;
Blessed may you be wherever you are,
In all of your comings and in all of your goings.
PRAYER OF THANKSGIVING
David and Sally:
Our God and God of our ancestors, we thank you for the precious gift of new life and for the blessing of parenthood which allows us to share in the Lit. Commandment. It is traditionally held that there are 613 mitzvot (plural) in Judaism, both postive commandments (mandating actions) and negative commandments (prohibiting actions). Mitzvah has also become colloquially assumed to mean the idea of a “good deed." of creation. We have shared love and pain and joy in bringing our daughters into life, and have been privileged to participate in the marvel and beauty of creation with You, God, the Partner in the creation of every human being.
Barukh atah adonai, eloheinu melekh ha’olam, yotzer ha’Adam is the first human being created by God. Symbolizes: Creation, humankind..
Praised are You, Lord our god, Ruler of the universe, who has created humankind.
Vicki Friedman (a/k/a/ “Mamma Vicki”):
We pray that Hannah is the mother of the prophet Samuel, who, through her prayers, is rewarded a child. She herself is also considered a prophet. Hannah's intense devotional style of prayer becomes the model, in rabbinic Judaism, for prayer in general. A female character in the Book of Judges who is instrumental in the Israelites' obtaining the victory that Deborah had prophesied. When she encountered the enemy king Sisera, Yael invites him into her tent. She feeds him milk to make him drowsy and, when he fell asleep, she murders him by driving a tent peg through his temple. and Maya Peri draw inspiration from the examples of their foremothers;
From Eve, according to the book of Genesis, is Adam's wife, the first woman to be created. the hope to choose life and sustain it after Paradise was lost
From Noah’s wife the nurturing qualities and patience to be a steward for earth’s creatures;
From Sarah the faith to follow a dream into wilderness and to believe the impossible is possible;
From Rebecca the wisdom to weave new custom into the old;
From Leah endurance and perseverance in the face of loneliness;
From Rachel the compassion and love for her sister that spared Leah pain and anguish;
From Dina is Jacob's only daughter and the sister of the twelve tribes. the ability to take risks to break out of confinement to seek friendship with other women;
From the midwives Shifrah and Puah, like Shifra, is one of the Hebrew midwives mentioned in Exodus 1 who defies Pharaoh's orders to kill the boy babies. This first act of defiance was instrumental in leading to the Israelite exodus from Egypt. Puah is often identified in the midrash with Miriam, Moses' older sister. the courage to defy death to rescue the next generation;
From Miriam is the sister of Moses and Aaron. As Moses' and Aaron's sister she, according to midrash, prophesies Moses' role and helps secure it by watching over the young baby, seeing to it that Pharaoh's daughter takes him and that the baby is returned to his mother for nursing. During the Israelites' trek through the desert, a magical well given on her behalf travels with the Israelites, providing water, healing, and sustenance. the ability to be outspoken in her views even when they are unpopular;
From Deborah the self-esteem that enabled her to rally and lead resistance and to take pride in her achievements;
And from Ya’el the courage to do what she knows she must do.
We come together to welcome these children into the Covenant of Abraham, our father, and Sarah, our mother. God said: “I will maintain My covenant between Me and you and your offspring to come as an everlasting Covenant throughout the ages, to be good to you and your offspring to come.” In becoming welcomed members of the Jewish people, these girls become a link in the Covenant of the people of Lit. ''the one who struggles with God.'' Israel means many things. It is first used with reference to Jacob, whose name is changed to Israel (Genesis 32:29), the one who struggles with God. Jacob's children, the Jewish people, become B'nai Israel, the children of Israel. The name also refers to the land of Israel and the State of Israel..
David and Sally:
The A four-cornered garment to which ritual fringes (tzitzit/tzitzi'ot) are affixed. The knots in the fringes represent the name of God and remind us of God's commandments. The tallit is worn during prayer and can also be drawn about oneself or around the bride and groom to symbolize divine protection. is an embracing symbol of the Covenant between God and the Jewish people, and we are reminded of the Lit. Commandment. It is traditionally held that there are 613 mitzvot (plural) in Judaism, both postive commandments (mandating actions) and negative commandments (prohibiting actions). Mitzvah has also become colloquially assumed to mean the idea of a “good deed." by the A set of fringes tied and knotted on each of the four corners of a tallit, symbolizing and reminding the user of God's commandments. Some Jews wear tzizit under their clothes at all times, with the fringes visible. on its corners. Today, we and Ilan envelop our daughters into the folds of the tallit as a symbol of their entry into Covenant with God and K’lal Yisrael.
The naming of a person is also a way of entering them into the covenant of our forebearers. When Abraham is the first patriarch and the father of the Jewish people. He is the husband of Sarah and the father of Isaac and Ishmael. God's covenant - that we will be a great people and inherit the land of Israel - begins with Abraham and is marked by his circumcision, the first in Jewish history. His Hebrew name is Avraham. entered into the “brit” (covenant), he became known as Abraham is the first patriarch and the father of the Jewish people. He is the husband of Sarah and the father of Isaac and Ishmael. God's covenant - that we will be a great people and inherit the land of Israel - begins with Abraham and is marked by his circumcision, the first in Jewish history. His Hebrew name is Avraham.; Sari his wife became Sarah. So the tradition of giving each new member of the brit a covenant-name arose.
We formally assign Hannah the title of a Hebrew name:
May the one who blessed our ancestors, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, Sarah, Rebecca, Rachel and Leah bless this gentle child. Eternal Creator, we ask Your blessings for David and Sally as they express their commitment to Judaism by bringing their daughter into the Covenant of our people. Sustain this child, and let her be known in the House of Israel as: Hannah Yael Gmach.
We formally assign Maya the title of a Hebrew name:
May the one who blessed our ancestors, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, Sarah, Rebecca, Rachel and Leah bless this gentle child. Eternal Creator, we ask Your blessings for David and Sally as they express their commitment to Judaism by bringing their daughter into the Covenant of our people. Sustain this child, and let her be known in the House of Israel as: Maya Peri Gmach.
REMARKS: David, Sally, Grandpa Joe, Ilan
WE CONCLUDE TOGETHER:
Dear Hannah and Maya:
We are your parents, brother, grandparents, aunts and uncles, relatives, and friends.
We have come together to celebrate the life that God has given you.
We are in awe that the two—yes, two—of you are here to enrich our lives.
We welcome you to our family and community with great love and joy.
By being here today, we commit to giving each of you our love, affection, friendship, understanding, and warmth.
We stand ready to enrich your minds and brighten your spirits.
We will do our best to tell you apart—though we may not always succeed.
We will babysit whenever asked and be happy to change 2 diapers at once, feed 2 mouths, run in 2 directions, and, most importantly, hug 2 delicious girls.
Because you 2 are such gifts from God, we now say:
Barukh atah adonai, eloheinu melekh ha-olam,
She-heh-kheyanu v’kee-y’manu v’higee-anu la-z’man he’zeh
We praise You, or Eternal god, Ruler of the Universe, for granting us the gift of life, for sustaining us in strength, and for enabling us to celebrate this wonderful occasion together. Amen.
THE MAYA AND HANNAH SHOW (sung to the theme song of the Patty Duke show)
Meet Maya, who’s rolled most everywhere,
From Prospect Park to Union Square
But Hannah loves to lie about
The two of them can coo and shout
What a crazy pair!
But they’re sisters
Identical sisters all the way
One pair of matching bookends
Different as night and day.
They suck their thumbs, one left, one right
A political split? We guess they might!
These lovely chicks are set to grow
Beside their brother in a row
What a lovely sight!
Yes, they’re sisters
Identical sisters and you’ll find
They laugh alike, they walk alike
At times they even talk alike.
You can lose your mind
When sisters are two of a kind.