Two Sons (One Circumcised and One Not), a Scottish Presbyterian Husband, and Me (the Jewish Mother)

Personal narrative from a Modern Orthodox woman married to a Scottish Presbyterian on the complicated reasons why one son is circumcized and the other isn?t.

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Nearing The End

Wow! We are about to complete the yearly cycle of reading the entire Five Books of Moses, The Torah, with only 2 more parshiot (portions) until we get to the very end of the scroll. But between now and the very last verses of the Torah, there are a bunch of holidays — Rosh HaShanah […]

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Coming In… and the Planet?

Last week, we were “going out” (“Ki Tetzei“) and this week, we are “coming in.” In the first words of this week’s parasha, Ki Tavo (“When You come In [to the land of Israel]”), we find Moses/Moshe continuing his long valedictory address to the people. He wants to cover all bases, since he isn’t coming […]

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Let My People Go!

For you to consider as you read this week’s blog post: Can you remember a time when you rejoiced in the pain suffered by someone whom you thought of as your enemy? What was that like? Did you feel justified or diminished? What would it take to set your joy aside? Why do you suppose […]

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Does It Hurt?

Hatafat dam brit, letting of a drop of blood, is performed on a male convert to Judaism who has already had a circumcision. But what does it entail?

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Baby Naming

There are no rules in the Jewish tradition for how to name a child. Jews from different parts of the world follow different, sometimes contrary practices.

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Circumcision, Pros and Cons

A brief summary of the debate over Jewish ritual circumcision.

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Adaptations of the Five Senses Ceremony

Versions of the Five Senses Ceremony, a Jewish birth ceremony.

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Recommended Books

Recommended books on Jewish birth ceremonies.

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Introduction to Birth Ceremonies for Girls

There is no commandment in the Hebrew Bible to welcome Jewish girls in a particular ceremony, so over the centuries a wide variety of ceremonies have been developed.

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