You have been blessed with a newborn child, a brand new link in the golden chain of the Jewish People stretching back over three thousand years. What a joy!
When G-d gave the Torah to the Jewish people on Mount Sinai it was the Jewish children who stood as the guarantors in carrying the Torah into future generations. As we are occupied with providing for the newborn’s physical needs, it is also incumbent upon us to concern ourselves with his or her spiritual needs.
It’s a Boy!
The first mitzvah experienced by the newborn boy is his Brit Milah – ritual circumcision. It is through this ceremony that the child enters into the Covenant of our forefather Abraham. This is also when he is given his Jewish name, cementing the irrevocable bond between him and his Jewish soul.
This section will help familiarize you with the concepts and procedures pertaining to the important mitzvah of Brit Milah. Although we strive to be somewhat comprehensive, it is not an exhaustive study on the matter. For that you should seek the counsel of a rabbi or certified mohel.
It’s a Girl!
Jewish tradition holds the Jewish woman in the greatest esteem. Our Sages teach us that women are more similar to the Creator than men. Just as G-d created the earth, it is the woman who bears children. Just as G-d provides the world with its sustenance, it is the woman who embodies the nurturing nature so vital for sustaining life. And it is the Jewish mother who conveys the Jewish status and birthright upon her child, ensuring the future of the entire Jewish people.
Tradition tells us that a newborn girl is considered “complete” with regard to the spiritual benefits attained through a Brit Milah. However, the customs regarding pregnancy and birth are equally relevant.