Today is February 28, 2021 -
The Midrash tells us that when a child is conceived, it is a product of God’s partnership with the parents. We express our covenant with God through procreation. As God created the world, so we add to that creation. Giving birth is a wonderful miracle. Adopting a child is another wonderful miracle. In either case, the raising of a child as a Jew is an awesome responsibility, one that requires a great deal of sensitivity, knowledge, and awareness. A Jewish child is brought into a 4000-year-old heritage. That child is a link in the chain of our people and our faith.
Judaism is not merely a religion; to be a Jew is to be a part of the people. Parents have a wonderful opportunity to raise their children as Jews and enrich their lives by beginning with a meaningful ceremony. Judaism has a particular purpose: to bring perfection to this imperfect world. Being Jewish gives us a unique way of looking at life and the world, reflecting our partnership with God. Raising children in that partnership adds a unique dimension to our lives.
The birth of a child is an occasion for great joy. Although our ceremonies for celebrating the birth of girls and the birth of boys may differ, both are equally joyous.
When a boy is born, a Brit Milah (Covenant of Circumcision) is planned. Brit Milahs are performed by a mohel (ritual circumcisor, often an MD), sometimes with the Rabbi as co-officiant. The Temple office can be of help with lists of local Mohelim.
When a girl enters the world, a naming ceremony Brit Bat (Covenant of the Daughter) should be planned. Please contact the Rabbi for guidance in planning and observing this beautiful tradition of welcoming daughters into the covenant.
In addition, parents may choose to also have a naming ceremony on a Friday evening during Shabbat Worship to share their joy with the Temple community that will be their child’s second Jewish home.
PLEASE LET US KNOW – When a child is born or adopted into your family, please contact the Temple Shalom Office at 973-584-5666 so that we can share your joy. The Rabbi will be pleased to visit you (if you’re feeling up to it) and help you plan an appropriate ceremony to welcome this child into your family and into our community.