In Judaism what is signified by the rite of passage that marks the birth of a child?

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thanatassa | College Teacher | (Level 3) Educator Emeritus

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Several different types of ritual practice surround the birth of children in traditional Judaism.

After the birth of a child a woman is believed to be “niddah” (ritually unclean) for 14 days if the child is female and seven if the child is male. During this period, she is required to be celibate. Traditionally, she was required to perform ritual purification before returning to the Temple after bearing a child or menstruating.

The first time a father attends a synagogue after a child’s birth, he blesses the Torah. The mother and child are also blessed and a baby girl will be named at this ceremony.

Male children are named and ritually circumcised by a special religious figure called a mohel in a ceremony known as the brit milah held eight days after the birth..


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