It is customary to make a get-together for friends and family on the first Friday night (Shabbat) after a baby boy is born. This is called a “Shalom Zachar”, loosely translated as “a time for wishing peace to the male child”.
It is usually held in the home of the newborn following the Friday night Shabbat meal. Refreshments are served and words of Torah are shared. Several different explanations are offered for the custom of Shalom Zachar:
- It is a thanksgiving meal to thank G-d that the baby was born safe and sound.
- We come to console the child who has just forgotten all the Torah he studied while in his mother’s womb.
- According to Kabbalah, a child is not ready to be circumcised until he has gone through a Shabbat, as the Shabbat provides the infant with the spiritual power necessary to enter into a lasting covenant with Hashem.
In Bushey some families decide to wet the baby’s head in this way. For more information please contact our Rabbi.
Following the birth of a child to members of the community, the synagogue likes to welcome the new born baby and his or her family into the community by holding a short baby blessing at the end of the Mussaf service on Pesach, Shavuot and Succot (the three foot festivals).
Provided parents notify the synagogue that they have had a baby, they will usually receive an invite to the baby blessing which is held following the birth of their child. If this applies to you or you know someone within the Bushey community it applies to, do let the synagogue know by contacting the Administrator (Mary Chambers) in the synagogue office.