Jewish Rituals

All Humans Are Responsible For One Another

Making celebrations ethical and joyous.

Pidyon Haben

The ceremony of the "redemption" of the first-born son.

Jewish Tradition and the Lifecycle

Jewish lifecycle rituals reflect a communal orientation, the democratic nature of traditions, the relationship between the biological and the social, and the inevitability of evolution and change.

The Personal is Communal

Events in the "calendar" of the lifecycle are private, yet connect us to the "unseen presences" of missing family members and our entire people throughout history.

Rabbinic Sources on Circumcision

A selection of laws and stories about brit milah.

Brit Milah: Rabbinic Interpretations

Covenant, conversion, custom, and circumcision.

The Meaning of Pidyon Haben

Redemption of the first-born son is an act of gratitude and humility.

Brit Milah: Why Boys Are Circumcised

How Jewish thinkers over the ages have explained the importance of ritual circumcision.

Historic Rituals for Welcoming Jewish Daughters

Long before the creation of contemporary ceremonies for girls, some Jewish communities had special customs.

A New Welcome for Jewish Daughters

An interview with the author of the only book on welcoming ceremonies for Jewish girls reveals much about contemporary Jewish life.