Brit milah

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Judaism has traditionally welcomed baby boys into the covenant with the Brit Milah, a ritual circumcision performed in the presence of family and friends in a ceremonial manner, followed by a celebratory meal.

Traditionally, baby girls were only welcomed with a smaller and more private naming ceremony. In recent years Jews have developed a parallel ceremony for girls which is now known as the Simchat Bat or Brit Bat. While still evolving, it has gained acceptance in Jewish communities of all denominations. The Brit Bat contains a communal welcoming, a naming done over a cup of wine with the quotation of appropriate biblical verses, and traditional blessings. While Jews of course do not perform female circumcision, a ritual does takes place which has an equivalent meaning. "Moreh Derekh", the new Rabbi's manual of the Rabbinical Assembly, presents a ceremony based on traditional Jewish forms, with a number of options that parents may choose to perform: (A) Lighting seven candles (symbolizing the seven days of creation) and holding the baby towards them, (B) Wrapping the baby in the four corners of a tallit, or (C) Lifting the baby and touching her hands to a Torah scroll.