Brit Milah / Baby Naming
When a Jewish child enters the world it is truly a new beginning. This new soul brings light and joy to the family and the community. The ancient covenant (Brit) of Abraham is performed on baby boys who are eight days old. Brit Mila (Circumcision) is the ancient ceremony of removing the foreskin and naming the child. Sephardim have the tradition of naming the child after the living. Once the Brit Mila and naming are complete, the child is now ready to grow up and learn the meaning of living as a Jewish child.
Bar / Bat Mitzvah
A Bar or Bat Mitzvah is the transition from childhood to adulthood. For women this transition occurs at the age of twelve and for boys at the age of thirteen. Bar Mitzvah literally means “son of the commandment” and the implication is that now the young man or woman is responsible for his own actions. Under Jewish law, children are not required to observe the commandments until they reach Bar Mitzvah. A Bar or Bat Mitzvah is the Jewish coming of age celebration. Today it is customary for Boys to be called to the Torah to read from their biblical portion in synagogue. Both young men and women make a speech before the entire congregation thanking their parents and family and addressing a Jewish topic related to their Torah portion. Once the ceremony is complete it is time to celebrate the new adult with a fine Kiddush of cakes and delicacies. The Bar and Bat Mitzvah is an important milestone in the life of every Jewish child and helps to reinforce the importance of retaining ones identity.
Finding ones soul mate is perhaps the most important decision that a person will ever make in their lifetime. The union of a man and women is the beginning of a new Jewish family. Marriage requires an investment of love, dedication and energy and the yield can be the development of a warm and happy Jewish home. The wedding ceremony consists of the writing of the Tenaim (marriage conditions) and the Ketubah (marriage contract). The groom must also veil the bride in remembrance of the matriarch Rebecca. Next comes the Chuppah where the actual wedding takes place. Usually the Chuppah is performed under a canopy or taleth. The groom will make the declaration “Behold you are betrothed to me in accordance with the law of Moses and Israel” and will then place the gold ring on the index finger of his new bride. After the ceremony, the family and friends enjoy singing and dancing to celebrate the creation of a new Jewish unit.
The loss of a loved one, a painfully inevitable part of life, is arguably the time when we need the support and guidance of Jewish tradition the most. Our synagogue family is particularly sensitive to the needs of mourners. Our Rabbis are always available to assist you, comfort your family in your hour of need and officiate at the funerals of your loved ones. To discuss purchase of cemetery property on a pre-need basis, contact the temple office.