Mazal tov, it’s a girl! You have been blessed from Heaven with a baby. What do you do next? In addition to all the parenting steps you will be taking, you will also want to incorporate a religious element into this new baby’s life. By doing so, you continue the Jewish tradition, adding a link in the chain that stretches back thousands of years.
Give your daughter a Hebrew name during a special naming ceremony in synagogue. Sometimes choosing that name is difficult. Some communities name after the living, some after the deceased. Call on Igud HaRabbonim to help you find a name that fits your specific family — your past, present and future.
How do you celebrate a daughter’s birth? Whether you are Ashkenazic or Sephardic, Igud HaRabbonim can help you plan a religious celebration that fits your tradition and infuses spirituality into this joyous moment. Celebrate as part of a community with kosher food, appropriate blessings and a religious setting as you welcome your daughter into the Jewish community.
Honor your friends and family with words of Torah, that Igud HaRabbonim can help you prepare.
Mazal tov, it’s a boy! This blessing from Above comes with a pressing responsibility. “On the eighth day, the flesh of his foreskin shall be circumcised” (Vayikra/Leviticus 12:3). This obligation is a privilege, a mark of chosenness, a direct covenant with the Almighty. Circumcision must be performed as a religious ceremony, not as a surgical procedure in the hospital. A trained mohel who follows the Jewish traditions must perform the circumcision, the bris milah. Igud HaRabbonim can help you find an experienced mohel who will help you welcome your son into the Jewish people.
The ceremony of the Bris contains multiple parts. These can be confusing but Igud HaRabbonim can guide you through the process, making it easy and meaningful. Before the Bris even takes places, on the Friday night preceding the Bris, Ashkenazim celebrate with a Shalom Zachar. This informal gathering at a home or synagogue celebrates the baby’s birth and consoles the baby over the Torah knowledge his soul forgot in transferring from the world of souls to this physical world.
The night before the Bris, many Ashkenazim hold a Vacht Nacht and Sephardim hold a Brit Yitzchak. In these brief ceremonies, people gather around the baby boy and pray for his spiritual and physical health. All of these pre-Bris ceremonies also remind us of the days when Jews were persecuted and forbidden to circumcise their children. They held alternate ceremonies to alert the community that a Bris would be performed in hiding. Today, when we live in great freedom, we recall those days of persecution with gratitude for our good fortune to live free of religious persecution.
The Bris itself contains multiple parts, each which offer an opportunity to honor a relative, friend or respected advisor. During the Bris, a boy receives his Hebrew name. Choosing that name can be tricky. Call on Igud HaRabbonim to help you find a name that fits your specific family — your past, present and future.
After the Bris, the third day is crucial for recovery. Make sure to allow the baby an easy time on that day. Say a few prayers for his health. Every Jewish man has undergone this safe ritual of circumcision and recovered without complications. However, an extra prayer never hurts.
For a firstborn boy, there is an additional ceremony on the thirtieth day, a Pidyon HaBen. This ceremony requires a Cohen, a man descended from the priestly family of Aharon.
Learn more about these ceremonies and find a guide to help you easily plan everything by contacting Igud HaRabbonim.