This article is created to fulfill a need, to assist, to embrace.
Brit Shalom – Jewish No Bris
NO CIRCUMCISION – Jewish No Bris
It is not uncommon today for Rabbi Andrea Frank to hear that parents chose to not circumcise their newborn sons. Per tradition, this takes place on the eighth day of their lives. The custom today is unlike when the custom was first mentioned and commanded by G-d in the Torah. To separate from all others, the chosen people. The custom was adopted by many faiths and many cultures. More so for health reasons, no longer for the identity and promise to G-d. Connecting to the Jewish faith, the Jewish people, the Jewish Community.
Parents have to make the choices they feel are best and are most comfortable with even though it is not according to traditional Jewish custom. Doing something just because it is a custom is not what many parents are comfortable with anymore. The elders of generations past followed the custom, often times, without reason or understanding. It was just done.
THE TIMES HAVE CHANGED – BRIT SHALOM
No Bris, today, does not change who the parents are or who the child is. The child is welcomed into the Covenant with G-d’s blessing during their Naming Ceremony. This child will be raised with a Jewish education by his parents. He will be loved by all family members. He will likely have a Bar Mitzvah at age thirteen. There is much reason to celebrate and commemorate this new family addition, this new life, a child brought into the Covenant and the community. For the ultimate gift from G-d is a child.
A Naming Ceremony for those parents choosing the Jewish No Bris is called Brit Shalom. The ceremony will officially introduce the newborn son to the community. It is customary for Jewish babies born in the Diaspora (outside of Israel) to be given two names, a secular name and a Hebrew name. Some are unique boy names that are biblical names and some are connected to a beloved family member honoring their memory to continue through the child. It creates a connection to Jewish roots, and the community as a whole. That special person or more than one, will always be remembered by our future generations, our family trees. A Naming Ceremony Brit Shalom does not involve a Mohel, but a Rabbi or other Spiritual Leader to provide the blessings announcing the Hebrew name the parents have chosen.
A Naming Ceremony announcing Jewish names offers the gathering of friends and family to everyone at once, making it a wonderful celebration of the new life that added extra joy to all in attendance.
WHEN TO HAVE THE NAMING CEREMONY?
Following the custom on the eighth day is a nice way to honor tradition for the eighth day has its own meaning according to Jewish teachings. We celebrate the welcoming of our children with prayers, blessings and cheer for the world was created in 7 days. From a technical standpoint, six days of creation, the seventh day of rest, Shabbat. So, on the eighth day, all is complete and our children receive their Hebrew Name, G-d’s Blessings and the welcoming into the Covenant of the Jewish Community. Though times have changed, so has concern for the mother of the child. She just gave birth and now she not only needs to care for her newborn child, she needs to get her strength back. Giving birth is tiring on a woman’s body, after nine months, and it needs to adjust without baby in the womb. Is it wrong to have the Naming Ceremony beyond the eighth day? It is not, if it needs to be delayed, plan around 1-3 months from giving birth.
WHAT TAKES PLACE AT A NAMING CEREMONY WITH RABBI ANDREA FRANK
Rabbi Andrea put together a beautiful, meaningful Naming Ceremony for our Sons. This is a brief overview, and will leave you with deep connection and joy that a Brit Shalom Naming Ceremony was the right decision that fit you. Picture this…
- Rabbi Andrea Frank’s baby naming ceremony for our sons takes place under the Chuppah because he is brought into the Covenant by his parents as he will be brought to the Chuppah on his wedding day.
- He will be wrapped in a traditional tallit (tallis) and a pray recited for our sons to grow in health and goodness. That his life be enriched by the blessings of Torah (study), Chuppah (a good marriage) and Maasim Tovim (good deeds).
- Beautiful prayers will be blessed upon your son surrounded by family and friends. For we are to praise G-d as children are a blessing.
THE CELEBRATION MEAL
The custom to break bread together is the visual symbolism of the Challah bread. The blessing is the Motzi, for which a wonderful loaf of challah bread will be needed. G-d provides food from the earth. This beautiful ceremony often takes place in the parents’ home or the grandparent’s homes. Not necessarily a rented space for larger parties. An intimate setting is all that is needed. Typically, dairy, and with today’s dietary choices, the vegetarian or vegan platters are served instead of a heavy meal. The staples of tradition are bagels, lox, spreads, tuna and egg salad with toppings.
THE NEXT STEP
When you have decided to have the No Bris Naming Ceremony Brit Shalom, Rabbi Andrea Frank will be happy to assist you in arrangements so you have everything ready for the special day. She has created a special, intimate, Naming Ceremony. She will go over the order of the ceremony, the details, so you know what will be done and when. She will make sure the chuppah will be there and will officiate the ceremony. Parents receive a Naming Certificate with the Hebrew Name and details from the Naming. This same Certificate becomes an important document in the later years for various life cycle ceremonies and in-between. A special day everyone in attendance will remember fondly as the child grows up.