מי שברך על קבלת שם עברי | Mi Sheberakh on Receiving a Hebrew Name as an Adult

Hebrew English

מוֹנֶה מִסְפָּר לַכּוֹכָבִים
לְכֻלָּם שֵׁמוֹת יִקְרָא׃ (תהלים קמז:ד)
[YHVH] counts the numbers of the stars;
To each of them, [Hashem] gives a name.[1]Psalms 147:4

שְׂאוּ־מָרוֹם עֵינֵיכֶם
וּרְאוּ מִי־בָרָא אֵלֶּה,‏
הַמּוֹצִיא בְמִסְפָּר צְבָאָם;‏
לְכֻלָּם בְּשֵׁם יִקְרָא,‏
מֵרֹב אוֹנִים
וְאַמִּיץ כֹּחַ,‏
אִישׁ לֹא נֶעְדָּר׃ (ישעיהו מ:כו)
Lift your eyes on high
and behold who has created these things [the stars],
that bring out their host by number.
[YHVH] calls them all by names;
because of the greatness of [Hashem’s] might
and because [Hashem] is strong in power,
not one is missing.[2]Isaiah 40:26

”זְכֹר יְמוֹת עוֹלָם
בִּינוּ שְׁנוֹת דּוֹר־וָדוֹר“ (דברים ל״ב:ז חלק).‏
לְעוֹלָם יִבְדֹּק אָדָם
בַּשֵּׁמוֹת לִקְרֹא לִבְנוֹ,‏
הָרָאוּי לִהְיוֹת צַדִּיק.‏
כִּי לִפְעָמִים הַשֵּׁם
גּוֹרֵם טוֹב
אוֹ גּוֹרֵם רָע.‏ (מדרש תנחומא, האזינו ז׳)
“Remember the days of old,
Consider the years of many generations.”[3]Deuteronomy 32:7 partial
It is always important for a person
to choose a name for their child
that will be perceived as righteous,
since every time the name is pronounced,
invokes either good
or invokes evil.[4]Midrash Tanchuma, Ha’Azinu 7

The Birkat haKohanim (Priestly Blessing) for a woman

יְבָרְכֵךְ יהוה וְיִשְׁמְרֵךְ.
יָאֵר יהוה פָּנָיו אֵלַיִךְ וְיִחָנֵּךְ.
יִשָּׂא יהוה פָּנָיו אֵלַיִךְ וְיָשֵׂם לָךְ שָׁלוֹם׃ (כמו במדבר ו:כד-כו)
May YHVH (Hashem) bless you and protect you!
May YHVH (Hashem) shine their face upon you and be gracious towards you!
May YHVH (Hashem) lift their face up to you, and bring you peace![5]Numbers 6:24-26

The Birkat haKohanim (Priestly Blessing) for a man

יְבָרֶכְךָ יהוה וְיִשְׁמְרֶךָ.
יָאֵר יהוה פָּנָיו אֵלֶיךָ וִיחֻנֶּךָּ.
יִשָּׂא יהוה פָּנָיו אֵלֶיךָ וְיָשֵׂם לְךָ שָׁלוֹם׃ (במדבר ו:כד-כו)
May YHVH (Hashem) bless you and protect you!
May YHVH (Hashem) shine their face upon you and be gracious towards you!
May YHVH (Hashem) lift their face up to you, and bring you peace![6]Numbers 6:24-26

בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה
ה׳ אֱ-לֹהֵינוּ
מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם
שֶׁהֶחֱיָנוּ
וְקִיְּמָנוּ
וְהִגִּיעָנוּ
לַזְּמַן הַזֶּה׃
Blessed are you
YHVH (Hashem) our elo’ah,
cosmic majesty,
who has kept us alive,
and has preserved us,
and enabled us
to reach this season.

Blessing over a new Hebrew name for a woman

מִי שֶׁבֵּרַךְ (אִמּוֹתֵינוּ)
שָׂרָה וְרִבְקָה
רָחֵל וְלֵאָה
וּמִרְיָם הַנְּבִיאָה
וַאֲבִיגַיִל
וְאֶסְתֵּר הַמַּלְכָּה בַּת אֲבִיחַיִל
הוּא יְבָרֵךְ אֶת הַאִשָׁה הַזּאֹת
וְיִקָּרֵא שְׁמָהּ (בְּיִשְׂרָאֵל) [פְּלוֹנִית] 
בְּמַזַּל טוֹב וּבְשַׁעַת בְּרָכָה.
וְכֵן יְהִי רָצוֹן
וְנאֹמַר אָמֵן׃
May the one who blessed (our foremothers):
Sarah and Rivkah,
Raḥel and Leah,
and the prophet Miriam
and Avigayil
and Queen Esther, daughter of Aviḥayil —
may Hashem bless this woman
and let her name (in Yisra’el) be … [insert first name here] 
with good luck and in a blessed hour;
and so may it be your will,
and let it be said, Amen!”

Blessing over a new Hebrew name for a man

מִי שֶׁבֵּרַךְ (אֲבוֹתֵינוּ)
אַבְרָהָם, יִצְחָק, וְיַעֲקֹב
מֹשֶׁה וְאַהֲרֹן
יוֹאָב בֶּן־צְרוּיָה
וּמׇרְדְּכַי בֶּן־יָאִיר
הוּא יְבָרֵךְ אֶת הַאִישׁ הַזֶּה
וְיִקָּרֵא שְׁמוֹ (בְּיִשְׂרָאֵל) [פְּלוֹנִי] 
בְּמַזַּל טוֹב וּבְשַׁעַת בְּרָכָה.
וְכֵן יְהִי רָצוֹן
וְנאֹמַר אָמֵן׃
May the one who blessed (our forefathers):
Avraham, Yitsḥak, and Ya’akov
Moshe and Aharon
Yoav ben Tsruyah
and Mordekhai ben Yair —
may Hashem bless this man
and let his name (in Yisra’el) be … [insert first name here] 
with good luck and in a blessed hour;
and so may it be your will,
and let it be said, Amen!”

This ritual liturgy for Hebrew naming was prepared in 2016 as part of a series of ritual resource guides for Hillel International by Mollie Andron, in collaboration with Sarah Chandler and Aharon Varady. The selection of verses was chosen by Sarah Chandler. The Mi Sheberakh for adult men and women was adapted by Aharon Varady from the blessings over the names of infant boys and girls.

For those interested, the full set of guides can be downloaded here.

The names of our ancestors reflect the diverse tapestry of experiences and cultures our people encountered including the names of those who joined our families from neighboring people and regional societies. In giving and receiving Hebrew names, we honor the names of all our ancestors whose “names may be remembered for a blessing” (zekher livrakha). Of the ancestors mentioned in the mi sheberakh (“May the one who blessed our forefathers and foremothers…”), I wanted to make certain to include Mordekhai and Esther, names of figures distinguished in their being both native to their Diasporan roots (Marduk and Ishtar), as well as elevated by the heroic, brave action of their namesakes. If there are figures from the Tanakh that are important to you, that are a kesher (connection) between you and your Jewish identity contained within these stories, then please feel free to include them in your mi sheberakh. –Aharon Nissn ben Adrienne & David (ﬡַﬣֲﬧֹן ניסן בֶּן עײﬢﬧען וְﬢַוִﬢ)

Source

Notes   [ + ]

  1. Psalms 147:4
  2. Isaiah 40:26
  3. Deuteronomy 32:7 partial
  4. Midrash Tanchuma, Ha’Azinu 7
  5, 6. Numbers 6:24-26

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