Pregnancy and Birth Ceremonies

Information on Jewish baby-naming ceremonies, bris, circumcision, baptism

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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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My Son’s Bris: Why I Was Not Prepared for This

Before Jack was born, I thought I prepared as much as I could for his bris. With the help of my mother-in-law, Pennye, we compiled a list of invitees, researched kosher caterers, and created to-do lists. Pennye bought paper goods, readied the room with tables and folding chairs, and lots of gauze pads. She also explained the ceremony to […]

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I Chose to Be Jewish. This is Why

By Tamara Reese When my family moved to Pittsburgh, my son was 10 weeks old and my husband was entering into a grueling six-year medical residency. Though we’re not Orthodox, he found us an apartment smack dab in the middle of the eruv—a ritual enclosure some Jewish communities use to allow residents to carry certain […]

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How Do I Tell Him I Want Bris?

A Q&A about a woman’s struggle to tell her husband she wants a bris for their son

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Halacha Unplugged, Part 1 – The Bris: Which Parent Makes a Child Jewish?

Is it the spirit of the law or the letter of the law that counts the most? “Your kids aren’t Jewish because your wife is not Jewish,” my friend said to me over coffee recently. I laughed so hard that my coffee spilled. “What’s so funny?” she asked. “I know that you totally did not […]

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Getting a Hebrew Name

As our booklet on baby girl naming ceremonies explains, names are the beginning of identity formation. Choosing your baby’s name helps to shape the kind of person you are hoping the baby will become. By selecting a Hebrew name, you connect your child to the generations that precede him or her, a community and a […]

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How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Pass the Bris

A mother-to-be struggles with whether or not to have her son circumcised.

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Approaching a Baby’s Bris as an Interfaith Couple

A doctor and mohel (one who performs ritual circumcision) offers suggestions for interfaith couples approaching their baby’s bris.

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Go To Yourself!

This week’s Torah reading (“parasha”) throws us smack into the middle of the nitty-gritty of the first Hebrew family, Avram and Sarai, whose genealogy we read last week at the end of parashat Noah. Terach (the idol maker) lived in Ur of the Chaldees and had 3 sons: Avram, Nahor and Haran. When they were […]

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