Who are the first babies of the Jewish new year born in Israel?

Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish new year, began on Sunday and women across the country were giving birth to the first babies of the year.

 Illustrative image of a baby. (photo credit: PXHERE)
Illustrative image of a baby.
(photo credit: PXHERE)

While the rest of the family was eating their Rosh Hashanah dinner, Hodaya Shemesh from Zichron Yaakov arrived at the Hillel Hospital in Hadera to receive her holiday gift - her sixth child, weighing 3.536 kilos.

"At approximately 2:30 p.m., I finished preparing the house for the holiday which we were hosting this year," said Shemesh. "I was having contractions for a few days, and I had been in the emergency room a few times. In the end, I decided that if he wanted to come out, he would."

"As soon as I finished my preparations, my waters broke, and my husband drove us to the emergency room."

Hodaya Shemesh

She added that, to her, this was the best gift she could hope for the Jewish new year. The new baby has four sisters and a brother waiting for him at home.

Helping Shemesh through the birth were midwives Tami Yegodayev, and Rona Reichman-Kritz. "My midwives were with me the whole time and made the birth a dream," she said.

 A newborn baby at the Sha'arei Tzedek Hospital in Jerusalem.  (credit: HADAS PARUSH/FLASH90) A newborn baby at the Sha'arei Tzedek Hospital in Jerusalem. (credit: HADAS PARUSH/FLASH90)

Baby Shemesh II

Lital and Shai Shemesh also got a special Rosh Hashanah gift. Lital gave birth to their third child, a baby boy weighing 3.778 kilos during the night in Beilinson Medical Center.

"I had a wonderful birth thanks to my wonderful midwives," she said. "Shira Katz who took care of me during the evening, and Michal Grossvald who helped me give birth at the beginning of the night shift."

The new baby has a brother and sister, six-year-old Rani, and four-year-old Liri waiting for him at home. 

"It always excites me to work with new births, and especially on Rosh Hashanah," said Grossvald. "A new baby in the new year to an especially wonderful couple."

Baby Gafni

Einav Gafni from Kiryat Tivon gave birth to her third baby in Poriya Hospital just as the holiday began. She got especially personal care from her mother, Tammy Gafni, a retired midwife who worked in the hospital for 26 years.

Grandmother Tammy said that even though her daughter was only at the end of her 38th week, Einav had a feeling that she would give birth on Rosh Hashanah, and in the end, she was right. 

"She told me not to invite guests for dinner because she was going to give birth."

Tammy Gafni

Einav and her partner Ram Erez said that this was "a great joy, and there cannot be a better gift for the new year."

Baby Shriki

Racheli Shriki gave birth to her first baby as the holiday began, a daughter weighing 2.98 kilos.

"It's a wonderful way to open the new year," said the new mother. "I couldn't ask for better people to help me. My midwife Natalie did a perfect and thorough job, and I went through a wonderful experience. I would like to thank everyone and wish us all a happy new year."

Baby Peles

Natalie Peles also gave birth to her first daughter on Sunday night. Baby Peles was the first baby of the new year born in the country.

"We had an emotional and beautiful birth," she said.

"This is the most special gift that we could have asked for and of course want to thank the amazing team at Sheba Medical Center."

Natalie Plus

Baby Mordecayev

Na'ama Mordecayev gave birth to her second daughter with her husband Gil in a hospital in the Galilee

"Soon, I'll be celebrating my 30th birthday, and for me, this is like an early birthday present and a wonderful present for the new year," she said.