Life Cycle Events
Here you can learn of our congregation's rituals and customs.
Brit Milah and Brit Bat
In the past few years we have been enriching and expanding Jewish birth ceremonies and want to appraise you of these meaningful rituals.
Brit Milah (Bris) ceremony is a sign of the covenant between God and the Jewish people. It continues to be held in the home on the 8th day of a baby's life as was first established with our ancestors, Abraham and Sarah and then renewed at Mt. Sinai when our people received the Torah. Mohelim (ritual circumcisers) used in the Twin Cities are committed Jews and well trained.
A meaningful ceremony including readings and family participation is used. It involves guests in welcoming this new miracle of life into the covenant between God and our people. We welcome Elijah with a special chair because he has a reputation for being zealous for God's covenant. He is also known as the one who will establish peace between parents and their children. We also express this prayer about the baby to his family that "as he has entered the covenant, so may he attain the blessings of Torah, marriage and a life of good deeds."
A personalized naming ritual emphasized the importance of linking a deceased relative's personality strengths to this new life who represents the future. We formally bestow upon the child his Hebrew name, such as Ari benYonatan V'Sarah. We also bless him with the traditional Priestly benediction used to bless our children on Friday nights: "May our son's life be one of security and trust. May our son's life shine with dignity and freedom. May our son's life know the harmony and gift of peace."
Brit Bat is a ceremony expanded in the last 20 years as interest in girls' birth celebrations has increased. A Brit Bat (covenant of our daughter) is a holy opportunity for parents to celebrate and thank God for the life of their new creation as they celebrate with family and friends. It is both a convenantal welcoming ceremony linking the child to the covenant made between God and our ancestors on Mt. Sinai and renewed each Shavuot and a naming celebration. It can be held in the home or the synagogue before the Torah. We swaddle the girl in a tallit, praying she always feels gods love and support throughout her life. Each family creatively develops the ritual with the rabbi.These ceremonies share themes of blessing, and naming as a bris while incorporating each family's creativity and style .
Mazal Tov to all families in our congregation who are celebrating the birth of a new son or daughter, grandchild or relative. Keyn yirbu -- May we continue to be fruitful and multiply.
Bar/Bat Mitzvah is an opportunity for your son or daughter and entire family to enjoy a major Jewish life-cycle experience. The Bar/Bat Mitzvah involves your family and our congregation in Jewish values by teaching Torah. In so doing, your child demonstrates willingness to study and to celebrate Judaism with the cooperation of parents. The Bar/Bat Mitzvah ceremony can take on lasting significance for the family that uses it to affirm and strengthen their commitment to Jewish life.
This information is designed to help the student and his/her family prepare to fulfill this mitzvah with understanding, dignity and beauty.
The ceremony marking this coming of age is an important event, not only in the life of the youngster, but for the entire family. For the Bar/Bat Mitzvah candidate it represents the culmination of a year of intensive training and the time for rededication to our Jewish way of life. As you make your plans and as you discuss the upcoming ceremony with your child, remember that this day is above all, a significant religious event.
Activities planned should be viewed with the beautiful traditions of Judaism in mind. Please consult the Rabbis if you have any questions.
The Hebrew term for marriage is Kiddushin, derived from the Hebrew word kadosh, meaning "holy" or "sacred." In our tradition, marriage is a sanctification of life, a consecration of self to your spouse toward noble ends.
Marriage is something more than a social institution that rests solely on biological, economic, legal and psychological bases. Marriage is a spiritual relationship between husband and wife. It is the joining of two souls who together become a complete unity. The rabbis of the Talmud said, "A man who does not have a wife is not a whole person." Your love for your life's partner elevates you and fills your hear tiwht ennobling impulses. That is why we speak of marriage as sacred and holy.
Preparation for a wedding is a joyous but challenging set of tasks. The date must be fixed, the invitations and flowers ordered, the menu and music planned. There are a thousand and one details to be decided. The Rabbis, Cantor, and all Temple of Aaron staff are readily available to you for consultation.
Every couple planning to get married dreams of having the perfect wedding, whatever their concept of that may be. They hope fervently that everything will go off without a hitch, even down to the most minute detail. But while most couples usually hava a well conceived idea of what type of wedding they would like, few are aware of what is involved in bringing it about until they begin the actual groundwork.
The months preceding a wedding, while filled with joy and anticipation, can also be a difficult time for all parties concerned. It is a time when tensions are running high on all sides. And yet, it is also a time when the bride and bridegroom-to-be are trying hard to establish positive relationships with each other's families. It is a time when one's maturity may be put to the test. You sometimes may feel tempted to just run off and elope. It is important to bear in mind that the wedding ceremony will take one day in your life, while the relationships between your families will continue to grow for many years.
Chevra Kavod Hamet
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5. Event Set Up
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Temple of Aaron Wedding Booklet