What joy the birth of a baby brings! Along with happiness and excitement, there are also many questions that parents have regarding how to recognize and celebrate the birth of their child in the Jewish community.
Traditionally, Jewish boys are circumcised and given a Hebrew name on the eighth day after their birth at a brit milah ceremony. For information about engaging a mohel, contact Susan Galla at 948-2800 x112. Be sure to contact the Mohel and/or Rabbi Gordon Tucker (948-2800 x115) before setting the date for the Brit Milah. Time of day, day of the week, and Caesarean births can have an effect on this.
Births of daughters are celebrated either by naming the child at the Torah (usually on Shabbat morning), or by holding a simhat bat ceremony, at the synagogue or at home, to formally welcome the child into the Jewish covenant and community.
If the mother's first born child is a boy, there may be a special ceremony that takes place when the child is one month old called, pidyon haben.
There is special significance to this ceremony, which symbolizes the redemption of the first born and commemorates the miracle that took place when God spared all Jewish sons from the 10th plague in Egypt (of killing of the first born). Please call Rabbi Gordon Tucker at the synagogue (948-2800 x115) to ascertain whether this ceremony applies to your child.
To Life: A celebration of Jewish Being and Thinking by Lawrence Kushner (1994)