April 13, 2011

Customs before a Brit

Tikun Eliyahu The Tikun Eliyahu (also called Leil Shimurim – night of vigil or Vechnacht) takes place on the night before the Brit Milah. The idea is to have a night of Torah study beside the baby’s crib. This custom is based on the notion that a newborn should not be left unattended during his first week of life, since his life is considered to be in danger until after […]
April 13, 2011

Shalom – farewell, zachar – memory!

According to the Talmud, when the child forms is in his/her mother’s womb, an Angel teaches him Torah. However, once the child is born to the world, the angel pats him on above his mouth and the child forgets it all – this pat leaves a mark on our top lip. The newborn child’s mission over the course of his/her life is to relearn all that he had once known.  […]
April 13, 2011

What is a shalom zachar?

The Shalom Zachar is a celebration of the birth of a baby boy on the friday night after his birth After dinner on the first Friday night after a baby boy is born, it is customary to invite friends and family to a “Sholom Zochor/ Shalom Zachar”. This is loosely translated as “a time for wishing peace to the male child.” The Sholom Zochor is usually held in the home […]
April 12, 2011

Customs in the week before the Bris

Shalom Zachor On the Friday night after a baby’s birth (and before his circumcision) Ashkenazi Jews often invite friends and family to join them after the meal to mark the birth. Food, drink, words of Torah and song are shared. Traditions: Often chickpeas and round lentils are served as they are symbolic of fertility and of the cycle of life. One Hebrew name for chickpeas is “arbis” and tradition connects […]
April 12, 2011

Torah verses connected to the birth of a boy

Jacob’s blessing to his grandsons (From Genesis 48:16) May the angel who has delivered me from all harm bless these boys. May they carry on my name and the names of my fathers, Abraham and Isaac, and may they grow into a multitude on earth. הַמַּלְאָךְ הַגֹּאֵל אֹתִי מִכָּל-רָע, יְבָרֵךְ אֶת-הַנְּעָרִים, וְיִקָּרֵא בָהֶם שְׁמִי, וְשֵׁם אֲבֹתַי אַבְרָהָם וְיִצְחָק, וְיִדְגּוּ לָרֹב בְּקֶרֶב הָאָרֶץ. Hamalach hagoel oti mikol ra yevarech et han’arim […]