Baby Gorilla Gets Hebrew Name

The honor of naming Rwanda’s newborn gorillas is usually reserved for kings and celebrities

By Yossi Aloni |
Photo: Israel Embassy Rwanda

There is excitement in Rwanda as the new Israeli ambassador has given a Hebrew name to a gorilla who lives in a one-of-a-kind reservation located among the high volcanoes in the northern part of the country. 

A special ceremony was held for the naming of the famous mountain gorillas in Rwanda. The rite is performed once a year since the beginning of the 20th century, and this year the 25 baby gorillas born received their names. The unique reservation now boasts 600 gorillas. Motti Kirschenbaum, one of Israel’s most famous journalists, produced his monumental film on the gorillas at the Rwanda reserve.

Naming the newborn gorillas is considered a king’s honor, and many famous people from around the world are invited to do so. This year that honor was given to Israel’s new ambassador to Rwanda, Ron Adam, who opened the first Israeli embassy in Kigali just four months ago.

Rwanda President Kagama thanked the Israeli ambassador for all he has done for Rwanda in the short period since he arrived. This includes opening a direct airline route between the countries, raising awareness in Israel of Rwanda as a surprising new destination for Israeli tourists, bringing in agriculture, hi-tech innovation, education and health experts, and even opening a Chabad House.

And which name was chosen? Well, the reserve managers offered a few names in the local language, but the one that was decided on is the Hebrew word for Brith, which means “covenant.” Ambassador Adam stated in his remarks that the name reflects the special alliance between the countries, and of course the biblical covenant between man and God, the alliances between man and his friends, and the unique cooperation between man and nature.


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