Circumcision is a physical confirmation of the agreement between God and Abraham made four thousand years ago.
Brit Milah (also known as a bris) literally means the covenant of cutting. It is a ceremony that welcomes a baby boy into the Jewish community through the ritual of circumcision. In this ritual, the parents confirm their family’s participation in the eternal commitment between God and the Jewish people and their affirmation of Jewish life for another generation.
The ritual of circumcision is the symbol of the parents’ commitment to raise their son as a Jew. The decision to follow this commandment challenges you, the parents, to clarify what this means for you as individuals and as a family and what you are hoping it will mean for your son.
There are many options available to you, regarding the location of your Brit ritual:
- Your Home
- The Hospital
- Congregation Kol Tikvah
- During a worship service on Friday night or Saturday morning
- Rabbi’s Study
Brit Bat (for a girl) is when a girl receives her Hebrew name as part of a simple synagogue ritual. Her parents normally are called to the Torah, usually on the Shabbat following her birth, and a blessing would be recited announcing her name. It is a mitzvah to give a Jewish child a Hebrew or Jewish name, and it is the Reform custom to name the child in the synagogue even when the child has already been named at the Brit Milah. In Ashkenazic practice, the custom is to name a child after a relative who has died.
If you have any questions regarding the customs of Brit Milah or Brit Bat, or you’d like to schedule a Brit ceremony, please contact our Rabbi. He will help you decide on the appropriate time and place for your special ceremony.