Brit Milah (Ritual Circumcision) & Simchat Bat (Welcoming a Baby Girl)
Tradition has long ordained circumcision for every male child on their eighth day of life. We affirm the power of introducing our babies into the covenant, and seek to extend a non-physical version of this to girls as well. Upon birth or adoption of a baby of either gender, call our clergy. We can provide recommendations for a mohel (circumcisor) as well as liturgies for an at-home ceremony to welcome your baby. Please contact the office so that you can enjoy the support of the larger community through this joyous transition.
A few months after your baby has been welcomed into the covenant, we look forward to welcoming her or him into our community as well. Call the office to schedule a Shabbat morning when you can bring your new addition, along with friends or family, to services. You may have an aliyah (be called to the Torah) and have the chance to say a few words about your baby’s name and its significance, and to receive blessings and mazel tovs from your community.
Our tradition tells us that a Jew becomes responsible for observing the commandments upon his or her thirteenth birthday, with or without a ceremony, and thus becomes a Bar or Bat Mitzvah. Nevertheless, the Bar/Bat Mitzvah ceremony has long been a powerful and popular life cycle ritual in the Jewish community. It marks acceptance of responsibility—becoming a mitzvah person—before the congregation, the local Jewish community, and the Jewish people at large. It also marks the achievement of a minimum level of Jewish knowledge and synagogue skills, and a commitment to Jewish living.
Weddings and Commitment Ceremonies
Mazel tov! Life partnerships are to be treasured and celebrated. Call the office to schedule an aufruf on a Shabbat shortly before your ceremony, when the community can bless your union in advance. And speak directly with our rabbi about possible officiation. Rabbi Saul Oresky has an open and inclusive, yet traditionally-oriented attitude toward ritual (i.e. intermarriage when the choice has been made to create a primarily Jewish household, supportive of same-sex couples, not doing weddings on Shabbat or holidays, etc). He requires an in-person meeting with couples before agreeing to officiate at any wedding. If you have any questions concerning your upcoming Jewish wedding, please feel free to contact the rabbi (firstname.lastname@example.org or 330.758.2321).
Funerals and Mourning
Jewish tradition provides a rich variety of rituals and practices that honor the dead and allow mourners to adjust to the loss of a loved one. An important role of the Ohev Tzedek community is to assist members during these difficult life transitions, providing spiritual and emotional support. Upon the loss of a loved one, please contact the Ohev Tzedek office or the rabbi directly.
In addition, if you would like to say kaddish during our Thursday morning service, or any weekday holiday service, please contact the office, Booker Kessler (the Ritual Chair), or the rabbi so that we can be sure to have a minyan present.