Buy 'Mazel tovbaby girlnew babycongratulationsJewish' by PaperAndrea as a Poster, Mug, Travel Mug, Art Print, Canvas Print, Framed Print, Photographic Print .
It’s been a period of high emotion and histrionics; of sleepless nights and bargaining with a capricious audience, of considering the future and (occasionally) fondly recalling the past. Not the Conservative leadership contest, but my personal life, after we welcomed a son into the world in June.
Amid the roller-coaster of new parenthood — what does that cry mean, when did he last feed, how many Amazon deliveries a day is too many? — I’ve found myself ruminating on his Jewish future.
On his eighth day, he was initiated into Judaism in keeping with tradition (taking our cues from Meghan and Harry, it was a private affair); a relationship I hope will sustain long after he has forgotten any introductory trauma. But, as he grows up, what will form and forge his Jewish self? What state will our community be in by his barmitzvah? And what do I hope for him from a Jewish perspective?
As last week’s Panorama made clear, recent events have thrown up questions about our place that I had assumed were long settled. If nothing else, I hope the British Jewish community that dates back to the great-great grandfather he is named after will flourish throughout my son’s life, and that he’ll find leaders who will fight for this. I hope the abhorrent anti-Jewish sentiment that is currently routine online is confined to history, and, especially, that the security measures that are necessary today at our shuls and schools are but a distant memory by the time he is old enough to recognise them.
The existence of a community isn’t enough. He has to choose to belong; to actively want to be a part of it and live a life guided by Jewish values. As has been the case for me, I hope he will indeed develop a proud Jewish Identity; that he will be someone for whom his faith sits at the heart of his being. Not necessarily for him to be religious, but to have a connection with the heritage he was born into (and I don’t just mean Arsenal supporters).
Let him grow up deriving as much joy as his parents did in Jewish life as children, from the festivals to the foods and more besides. Whether it is singing anim zemirot for the first time, dancing awkwardly at barmitzvahs, or sneaking vodka shots on Simchat Torah, let these be the moments that forge his memories.
For that connection to happen, he will need to accept the quirks and perks of our faith— not easy in an era when religious observance often seems anachronistic — but it will need to be a quid pro quo. For religion to fit into the lives of the next generation and remain relevant to a changing society, British Jewry (and specifically Orthodox Jewry) will need to grow and become better at welcoming difference and diversity of opinion.
Speaking recently, Prince William observed that he wouldn’t mind one of his brood being gay —which shouldn’t need saying but does — but that he would fear the “many barriers you know, hateful words, persecution, all that and discrimination that might come”. Whoever my son turns out to be, I would like to think there will be a place in our community for him.
As a boy in Orthodox Judaism, he takes on the mantle and privileges our faith bestows on his sex, but I wouldn’t want any less for him should he have been female. By the time he can daven, I hope we will have made great strides towards equality, with partnership minyanim as unremarkable as whisky at a kiddish, and progress on other areas of inequality, including the divorce process.
Judaism, for me, has been as much about social and cultural life as it has been about doctrinal observance. Having spent many hours benefiting from the structures of the British Jewish world — from summer camps and Israel tours with FZY, to JSoc Friday nights and “Booze for Jews” or charity events as a young professional — I hope his life will include places where he can meet other young Jews and form friendships to maintain into adulthood.
Today, he is under a month. This and so much is ahead. Perhaps one day he will read this and tell me my hopes have been fulfilled; that the community of tomorrow is going strong; that Jewishness is fundamental to his being.
More likely, of course, he’ll think I’m embarrassing for writing about him in the first place.
Humorous, whimsical, and heart warming child and new baby greeting cards designed by talented artists Talya Weinberg, Elisa Kleven, and Terry Spodick for .
I just found out that a friend is pregnant. She is quite observant so I want to do the right thing. Is it appropriate to say Mazal Tov to a pregnant woman?
Conceiving a child is like conceiving an idea. A new idea is very exciting, but until it has been brought into the concrete world and actualized, it is too early to celebrate. So too with pregnancy.
Becoming pregnant is an awesome and wonderful event. The miracle of conception is the most natural supernatural occurrence, the most normal paranormal experience in the universe. But as exciting as becoming pregnant is, nothing has really happened. Pregnancy is a potential that is yet to be fulfilled, a prelude to something yet to arrive, a step towards a new life that is yet to come, a spark of an idea that is yet to be implemented.
Pregnancy is a potential that is yet to be fulfilledWe would not throw a party for someone who had a good idea but has not yet followed it through. So we don't celebrate a pregnancy as we would other happy occasions, and we do not wish Mazal Tov to a pregnant woman. Mazal Tov is only appropriate when referring to something that has already occurred, while pregnancy is the expectation of something yet to come.
Rather than saying Mazal Tov, the appropriate wish to expecting parents is Beshaah Tovah - all should proceed at the right time: the pregnancy should be smooth, the baby should be healthy and the birth should be without complication. These are wishes for the future rather than blessings for the past, more a prayer than a congratulation.
This is also why many have a custom not to buy things for an unborn baby. This is not superstition. Just as the baby is still concealed, so is our joy and our celebration. When the baby comes out in the open, so will the gifts and the joy. Until then, we remain in a state of quiet happiness and prayerful optimism.
Becoming pregnant is a fantastic idea. When someone conceives, we pray that with G‑d's help they should be blessed to implement it; Beshaah Tovah - all in the right time.
The Hebrew phrase mazel tov (also spelled mazal tov, or mazel tof) literally translated means “good luck.” In practice, mazel tov is usually said to mean “Congratulations!”
One can expect to hear people shout “mazel tov” at Jewish weddings just after the groom breaks the glass, at brit milah (bris) ceremonies, and at bar/bat mitzvahs. Mazel tov is an appropriate response to any good news, from an engagement to a graduation, a new job, a new house, or any other honor or milestone.
Some people avoid saying mazel tov to a pregnant woman out of superstition that something might happen to the baby. Instead, it is customary to say “b’sha’ah tovah,” (beh-shah-AH toe-VAH) meaning “at a good time.” The implicit wish is that the baby will be born healthy and safe — at which point mazel tov would be an appropriate greeting.
Below is a performance of the song “Siman Tov uMazel Tov,” which is frequently sung after calling out “Mazel Tov” at weddings and other joyous events.
For lyrics in Hebrew, English and transliteration, click here:
Empower your Jewish discovery, daily
How do we congratulate friends who have a newborn baby? you're not sure if it's a boy or a girl, in a gender-based language like Hebrew?.
(JTA) — Although the British royal family presumably does not speak a word of Hebrew, there were plenty of mazel tovs to go around after the announcement that the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, aka Prince William and Kate Middleton, welcomed the arrival of a baby boy.
The baby born Monday is the third child for the royal couple and will be fifth in line for the throne.
“Mazal Tov it’s a boy!” the United Kingdom’s embassy in Israel posted on Twitter in both English and Hebrew, along with the official announcement from the royal family.
Israeli President Reuven Rivlin immediately tweeted his and the country’s good wishes on the #RoyalBaby, leading with “Mazal Tov!”
“Together with Nechama, and all the Israeli people, I send warmest wishes to Her Majesty the Queen, & all the Royal Family. Looking forward to welcoming the Duke to Israel soon,” he wrote.
Britain’s chief rabbi, Ephraim Mirvis, also tweeted his good wishes, but saved his mazel tov for the end.
“Congratulations to the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and to the entire @RoyalFamily on the birth of a beautiful baby boy! We wish their Royal Highnesses many years of joy from their new son. May he be a source of blessing for our country all the days of his life. Mazaltov!” Mirvis tweeted.
His predecessor as chief rabbi, Jonathan Sacks, also tweeted a “huge” mazel tov on behalf of himself and his wife.
“We hope you get much nachas from him and may he bring you much joy,” he also wrote, using a Hebrew term for pride.
“Hearty” mazel tovs also came in from the Board of Deputies of British Jews and the Jewish Leadership Council.
Some tweeters just couldn’t help themselves.
One, identified as Dutch singer Simon Oaks, suggested that if the baby was a girl (he wasn’t), William and Kate could name her Analytica.
“She can call herself #DuchessofCambridge Analytica,” he tweeted, referring to the tech company that had unauthorized access to private Facebook data.
Another tweeter felt the need to invoke Jeremy Corbyn, the embattled head of the Labour Party.
“As Duchess of Cambridge goes to hospital expecting 3rd baby, critics of Jeremy Corbyn say it makes a pleasant change to see a woman in labour being well treated,” the tweet read.
Dozens of royal family watchers had been camped for days outside the private Lindo Wing of St. Mary’s Hospital in central London, where the couple’s two other children were born. They popped open champagne bottles upon hearing the news that George, 4, and Charlotte 2, had a new royal sibling.