Yom Sheini, 15 Iyyar 5779
Monday, 20 May 2019
Birth/Brit Milah PDF Print E-mail

“All your children shall be taught of the Eternal One, and great shall be the peace of your children (Is. 54:13).” When a child is born, it is important that parents be given an opportunity to give thanks to God and to seek God’s guidance in the upbringing of the child.

Brit Milah (The Covenant of Circumcision). The circumcision of a baby boy symbolizes God's covenant with the Jewish people. A Brit Milah is normally performed on the eighth day after the child's birth, even if it falls on Shabbat or a holiday, by a Mohel (circumciser), who has been specially trained in the traditional Jewish way of doing it. Postponements are permitted, however, if the health of the child warrants. The original motivation for Brit Milah is not known but it is especially associated with Abraham (Gen. 17:9-14) and also with Elijah, the champion of the Covenant (I Kings 19:14). ‘Liberal Jews observe the practice as a matter of conforming to a particularly ancient Jewish practice, deeply embedded in Jewish emotion.’For details of registered members of the Association of Liberal and Reform Mohalim, please contact the Montagu Centre on 020 7580 1663

Initiation of a girl into the covenant. Throughout history, women have played their part in transmitting Jewish heritage from generation to generation. Baby girls are initiated into the covenant in a ceremony written specifically for the occasion. The purpose of the readings and prayers is to seek God's blessing and to pray for her future happiness.

Baby Blessings. This ceremony is usually performed as part of a Shabbat Service. It enables parents to thank God for the safe delivery of their child together with relatives and friends and allows members of Communities to share this unrepeatable moment and welcome the child into the community. Many Liberal Jewish parents follow the ancient custom of giving a child a ‘Hebrew’ name. The Rabbis of Liberal Judaism are always glad to help parents find appropriate Hebrew equivalents for names, or to find out the meaning and English equivalents of Yiddish or Hebrew names traditional in their family.Orthodox Jews still practice Pidyon ha-Ben (Redemption of the son), an ancient ritual that relates to passages in Torah (Ex. 13:2 and Num 3:11-13). Liberal Jews consider the ceremony no longer meaningful but parents do mark the birth of a child with Tzedakah (charity).

For information please contact Rabbi Aaron Goldstein on 07764 192 696 or contact your local rabbi