Just before OHALAH, it was noticed that Reb Zalman’s templates included a giyur document for a girl in Hebrew with no English parallel and no documents for a boy. I looked through my files and now share with you the following:
1. Two documents, one each for a boy and a girl. These are Reb Zalman’s which he shared with me many years ago and which I have modified somewhat. These are the versions I have been using.
2. His other template for a girl, the one which has been in the collection for many years, and to which I have now added an English version.
3. There is a generic one for children which I found, also only in Hebrew and which I’ve now translated. Reb Zalman sent it to me in April of 2014 in response to something on the OHALAH list which I don’t remember. This seems to be for a non-Jewish biological mother bringing more than one child at the same time. My sense is that this document will rarely be useful, but I thought it best to include every option I had.
It’s important to remember that Reb Zalman often had more than one template for the same purpose and he may have shared different versions with different people For example, his description of the beit din adds the word “k-chadah” in two of the documents which he didn’t use in the ones I adapted. It’s also the case that his templates may not have taken into account the many variations and adjustments that I and others have realized needed to be made. Therefore, please see these as templates which can be used as is or modified further.
I am giving these to you in two formats:
1. As .rtfs (in a zip file) which you can reformat as you like if you have NisusWriter or another word processor that will read it.
2. In a .pdf form, with fields into which you can enter the specific information either electronically or by hand. The embedded font is Adobe Hebrew Bold and is about the same size as the New Peninim, but should stand out. On a Mac, you’ll need to set the input language for Hebrew and I imagine the same would be true for Windows. The space for signatures can also be filled using a digital signature or by hand. All the documents are inside a portfolio, so you will need to download the linked file below and then open it to access the individual forms.
Notes on the forms themselves:
1. I added a fourth person to the documents for girls to allow the woman who helps the mother and daughter in the mikveh to sign if no member of the beit din is fulfilling that function.
2. I left Reb Zalman’s template intact for a girl where he offered only “daughter of Abraham and Sarah.” While I cannot be sure he still felt this way at the end of his life, he did feel that even a child had to be called this at the time he composed this document (whenever that was). In the others, I offer the option of using both the adoptive parents names and that of Abraham and Sarah.
3. As much as I could, I set up multiple possible combinations of parents who bring a child for immersion. My documents still assume two parents, but they can be a mother and father, two mothers, or two fathers. And, if you are using the rtf format, you can easily modify those verbs that are in the plural and make them singular. The options are visible in the rtf versions and you can consult them when filling in the pdf. I also tested the pdf forms in Acrobat Reader and if you put your cursor inside the field to be filled in there will be a little description of the contents that will show. One thing I noticed is that the forms do not allow you to save them with the added data but rather requires you to print them and then scan in order to have a saved electronic copy. If anyone reading this knows how to change this so that you all can simply save the competed forms, please do let me know.
4. The one called Giyur Girl•Zalman is the one which has been on the template list. This is one he did on his own and I’ve reproduced it the way he wrote it. It is for a Jewish woman who has adopted a girl who is still a child.
5. For the day of the month in Hebrew:
a. On Rosh Chodesh you write – באחד לחדש
b. For 2-10 you write – בשני ימים
c. For the rest – באחד עשר יום
I hope, in the not too distant future, to repeat this same process with the documents for adults and also add in the option for a single parent bringing a child. In the meantime, I ask you to let me know if you find mistakes in language or formatting. Also, please feel free to share your own documents with me. While I can’t promise to put all of them in a manual for klei kodesh, I do want to add more possibilities as we go forward.
Giyur for Children (PDF Portfolio)
Giyur for Children (RTF Files in Zip Archive)