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Jewish life cycle events

Simchat Bat Baby naming
Simchat Bat – Welcoming a daughter

Birth, naming, Brit milah circumcision

Simchat Bat (Welcoming a daughter)

A Simchat bat is a naming ceremony for girls welcoming them into the covenant. In medieval German Jewish communities a simple baby naming ceremony existed for both girls and boys, the Hollekreisch. In Sephardic Jewish communities the Zeved habat is celebrated, which is somewhat more elaborate than the earlier German tradition. It is usually celebrated within the first month of the girl’s birth. Over the centuries there have been a variety of simple namegiving ceremonies for girls, but all were relatively informal.

In the last half-century, many in the non-Orthodox and Modern Orthodox Jewish community have developed ceremonies which place equal emphasis on welcoming both daughters and sons. The Simchat Bat (“Celebration of the daughter”) or Brit Bat are now common. The celebration has a communal welcoming, a naming. done over a cup of wine with Biblical verses and blessings.

“Moreh Derekh”, the Rabbi’s manual of the Conservative Judaism movement’s 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 (Jewish prayer shawl), or (C) Lifting the baby and touching her hands to a Torah scroll.


Redemption of the firstborn – The pidyon haben (Hebrew: פדיון הבן‎) , redemption of the first-born son, is a mitzvah whereby a Jewish firstborn son is “redeemed” by use of silver coins. This is done by giving five silver coins to a Kohen (a patrilineal descendant of the priestly family of Aaron). {Wikipedia} The redemption today is symbolic, but in Biblical times it was a tax of sorts that helped support the Temple in Jerusalem.

Bar Mitzvah, Bat Mitzvah

Conversion to Judaism/Gerut

Marriage, engagement,


Annulment of marriage:

hafka’at kiddushin (annulment of a valid marriage) and kiddushei ta’ut, annulling a marriage conducted under false pretenses.

Death and Mourning

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