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If you're Jewish and did not circ...

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
Did you do anything in place of the traditional bris? A "bris without milah," or just a babynaming?

I live about 3 hours from all of my family and friends, and if we were going to do a normal bris, would no question do it back home, as unappealing as traveling with a newborn sounds.

I do want to have some sort of ceremony welcoming him into the family and the Jewish tradition... I'm due at the end of August and we'll be going home for at least one of the high holidays in Sept, so planning it for around then would be idea. I'm thinking a late bris w/o milah? I've seen links on the circumstitions website that seem really nice, but I also feel like that would be inviting even more of the crap we're getting from family and friends for not circing. A baby naming- is it totally weird to have one for a boy?

Thanks for any input!
post #2 of 5
Holly, I'm non-Jewish, so not much help with your actual question, but wanted to mention that I found this documentary really interesting (I showed it to college students): http://www.cutthefilm.com/Cut_Website/Home.html

The filmmaker is Jewish, and there are a number of lengthy interviews with rabbis and with physicians (including the filmmaker's father). Some of the content is graphic, so especially given that you're pregnant it might be a bit much, but I thought that the discussion was really thoughtful and offered a wide range of Jewish religious reflections on this issue. It might provide you with some ways to frame conversation with your family and friends. The filmmaker's perspective is to argue against circumcision, but IMO he treated each of his interview subjects with a great deal of respect.
post #3 of 5
I'm a liberal Jewish mom of 3 intact boys. We did not have any kind of alternative ceremony for any of them. I'm sorry to admit that I didn't even have the guts to talk to a Rabbi about it. My Jewish husband isn't interested in Jewish religion and ritual at all, and while I am, I knew that I didn't want to have a traditional Bris for my boys and was pretty sure that even the Reform Rabbi would try and convince us to have one. Family and friends asked about it and we just said that we didn't have one. We got some funny looks (the same looks we got for co-sleeping, extended breastfeeding, no CIO, etc.) but nobody gave us a hard time. You need to know that nobody in our family or amongst our friends is particularly observant either, so that probably made a big difference for us.

Since some of the traditional Mamas here have expressed that they are offended by alternative ceremonies for boys, and since you are going to be seeing your friends and family during the high holidays (probably not the best time to be radical), you might want to consider having a private naming ceremony at home before you travel, and a non-religious party to welcome the baby when you travel home. I know it is not what you want, but would probably ruffle the least feathers, and be easiest for you to handle when you are postpartum and hormonal still.

We did not even give our boys Jewish names, and now that I am wanting to embrace Judaism more, I regret it. So I definitely encourage you to do at least that.

Sorry I couldn't be of more help. Hugs to you, and may you have a wonderful birth!
post #4 of 5
Originally Posted by DashsMama View Post

Since some of the traditional Mamas here have expressed that they are offended by alternative ceremonies for boys


As one of "the traditional mamas here" am feeling compelled to interject that in the almost-decade I've posted here, I've never seen anyone express that they're offended by any alternative ceremonies for boys. At all. Ever.

The closest thing I can recall on this board has been the insistence that an alternative ceremony is not the same thing spiritually, and the offense is taken specifically when (often non-Jewish) posters will insist that it is based on Internet Misinformation passed on by someone with a Jewish-sounding name, and the like.

To the OP ... a baby naming is part of a bris anyway, so why would it be weird?

FWIW, your Connection to The Highest Power is yours, and your family's is your family's, and your responsibility to your children is part of your Connection, and nobody else's.

B'sha'ah tovah (hoping the birth comes at a good time, the right time) and that everyone feels the joy ...

post #5 of 5
My apologies, merpk. I didn't mean to put words in anybody's mouth.

I went back and reread some of the older threads to figure out where I got this impression. Yes, you are right, the concern expressed on MDC (Is concern a better word to use?) was mainly over using the title Bris Shalom (covenant of peace) for an alternative ceremony, and possibly trying to infer or insinuate by doing so that there is halachic validity to such a ceremony.

To the OP..
If you have your heart set on an alternative religious ceremony, you might look for Jewish Renewal and/or Reconstructivist congregations in your area (or your hometown). From my research, and limited experience, they seem more likely to embrace new traditions.
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