I swore unto you, and I entered into a covenant with you, and you became mine.
In searching for a ceremony to welcome Ayelet into the Lit. Covenant. Judaism is defined by the covenant - the contract between the Jewish people and God. God promises to make us abundant and to give us the land of Israel; we promise to obey God's commandments. This covenant begins with Abraham and is reiterated throughout the Torah. A brit milah, literally a covenant of circumcision, is often simply called a brit or bris. between God and the Jewish people, we looked for texts that included conceptions of brit that weren’t necessarily tied to one gender or another. There are four verses in the Bible which refer to foreskins and to three other symbolic foreskins; the foreskin of the lips, the foreskin of the ears, and finally the foreskin of the heart. The three latter foreskins symbolize the barriers that can block a person from speaking, hearing, and feeling God. The biblical verses referring to foreskinned hearts, ears, and lips are:
All of Lit. ''the one who struggles with God.'' Israel means many things. It is first used with reference to Jacob, whose name is changed to Israel (Genesis 32:29), the one who struggles with God. Jacob's children, the Jewish people, become B'nai Israel, the children of Israel. The name also refers to the land of Israel and the State of Israel. are of foreskinned hearts. (Jeremiah 9:30)
Whom shall I speak and give testimony, that they may hear? Behold their ears are foreskinned and they cannot listen. (Jeremiah 6:10)
The quintessential Jewish leader who spoke face to face with God, unlike any other prophet, and who freed the people from Egypt, led them through the desert for forty years, and received the Torah on Mt. Sinai. His Hebrew name is Moshe. said before God, Behold I am of foreskinned lips, and How will Pharoah listen to them? (Exodus 6:30)
While the foreskin of the penis obviously does not apply to females (although there is a rabbinic position that considers females circumcised 1 , the foreskins of the lips, the ears, and the heart certainly apply to females as much as to males. One might say regarding females that their bodies are already “open” and so do not need to be cut.
Our prayer for Ayelet is that she will be able to enter into a covenant with God, one in which she is not closed off from the divine presence. We pray that she will never lose the openness that she now has. And that she will be able to remove barriers not only between her and God, but between her and others and between her and herself.
The ceremony that we have developed to represent her entrance into brit, is one in which we symbolically remove barriers–barriers which, if not yet present, tend to grow with age. While newborn babies are fresh from God, “trailing clouds of glory”(Wordsworth), barriers, unfortunately, often grow with age.
Welcoming Ayelet into the World
“From the depths I have called to You God. My God (Eli) Hear my voice, hear my voice, hear my pleading.”2
מִמַּעֲמַקִּים קְרָאתִיךָ יָהּ אֵלִי שִׁמְעָהּ בְּקוֹלִי שִׁמְעָהּ בְּקוֹלִי שִׁמְעָהּ תַּחֲנוּנִי
My dove in the clefts of the rocks
In the secret of steep ravines,
Show me your face
Let me hear your voice
For your voice is pleasing,
And your appearance is beautiful.3
יוֹנָתִי בְּחַגְוִי הַסֶּלַע בְּסֵּתֶר הַמַּדְרֵגָה הַרְאִינִי אֶת מַרְאַיִך הַשְׁמִיעִינִי אֶת קוֹלֵךְ כִּי קוֹלֵך עָרֵב וּמַראֵיך נָאוֵה
Yonit b’khagvi hasela b’seter hamadreygah harini et marayikh hashmi’i’ni et kolekh ki arev u’maeykh naey.
Ayelet enters the room and all say:
Brukha Haba’ah! (Blessed is she who enters!)4
One is my dove, my perfect one,
the choice of her who bore her,
women see her and sing of her joy,
queens and brides chant her praise.5
אַחַת הִיא יוֹנָתִי תַּמָּתִי אַחַת הִיא לְאִמָּהּ בָּרָה הִיא לְיוֹלַדְתָּהּ רָאוּהָ בָּנוֹת וַיאַשְׁרוּהָ מַלְכוֹת וּפִילַגְשִׁים וַיהַלְלוּה
Akhat hee yonati tamati akhat hee l’imah barah hee lyoladtah ra’u’hah banot vy’ashruhah malkhat u’filagshim vy’halelu.
Brit: The Covenant Ritual
This is the chair of Elijah is a biblical prophet who is said never to have died. There are therefore many legends associated with Elijah. In the Talmud, unresolved arguments will be resolved when Elijah comes. He will herald the coming of the messiah. In Jewish ritual, Elijah is a liminal figure, arriving at moments of danger and transition – at a brit milah, a chair is put out for him, a cup is poured for Elijah at the Passover seder, and he is invoked at havdalah. His Hebrew name is Eliyahu.!
זֶה כִּסֶה שֶׁל אֵלִיָּהוּ הֲנָבִיא זָכוֹר לַטּוֹב. בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה אֲדֹנָי אֱלֹהֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם אֲשֶׁר קִדְּשָׁנוּ בְּמִצְוֹתָיו וְצִוָּנוּ לְהַכְנִיסָהּ לַבְּרִית שֶׁל אַבְרָהָם אָבִינוּ וְשָׁרָה אִמֵּנוּ
Zeh kiseh shel Elijah is a biblical prophet who is said never to have died. There are therefore many legends associated with Elijah. In the Talmud, unresolved arguments will be resolved when Elijah comes. He will herald the coming of the messiah. In Jewish ritual, Elijah is a liminal figure, arriving at moments of danger and transition – at a brit milah, a chair is put out for him, a cup is poured for Elijah at the Passover seder, and he is invoked at havdalah. His Hebrew name is Eliyahu. hanavi latov. Barukh atah Adonay eloheynu melekh haolam asher kidshanu b’mitzvotav v’tzivanu l’hakhnisah lab’rit shel Abraham is the first patriarch and the father of the Jewish people. He is the husband of Sarah and the father of Isaac and Ishmael. God's covenant - that we will be a great people and inherit the land of Israel - begins with Abraham and is marked by his circumcision, the first in Jewish history. His Hebrew name is Avraham. avinu v’The first matriarch, wife of Abraham, and mother of Isaac, whom she birthed at the age of 90. Sarah, in Rabbinic tradition, is considered holy, beautiful, and hospitable. Many prayers, particularly the Amidah (the central silent prayer), refer to God as Magen Avraham – protector of Abraham. Many Jews now add: pokehd or ezrat Sarah – guardian or helper of Sarah. imeynu.
Blessed are You God Ruler of the Universe who has sanctified us with Your commandments and commanded us to bring her into the covenant of Abraham is the first patriarch and the father of the Jewish people. He is the husband of Sarah and the father of Isaac and Ishmael. God's covenant - that we will be a great people and inherit the land of Israel - begins with Abraham and is marked by his circumcision, the first in Jewish history. His Hebrew name is Avraham. our father and Sarah our mother.
אַמֵּן כְּשֵׁם שֶׁנִּכְנְסָה לַבְּרִית כֵּן תִּכָּנֵס לְתוֹרָהּ וּלְאַהֲבָה לְחֻפָּה וּלְמַעֲשִׂים טוֹבִים
Amen. K’shem shnikhnasa labrit ken tikanes l’The Five Books of Moses, and the foundation of all of Jewish life and lore. The Torah is considered the heart and soul of the Jewish people, and study of the Torah is a high mitzvah. The Torah itself a scroll that is hand lettered on parchment, elaborately dressed and decorated, and stored in a decorative ark. It is chanted aloud on Mondays, Thursdays, and Shabbat, according to a yearly cycle. Sometimes "Torah" is used as a colloquial term for Jewish learning and narrative in general. ul’ahavah l’chuppa ul’Lit. Good deeds. The traditional prayer for a newborn infant at his or her brit milah or baby naming concludes, "May s/he grow to Torah, to Chuppah, and to ma'asim tovim.".
Amen. Just as she is entered into the covenant, so may she be entered into torah, the marriage canopy and good deeds.
We mark6 her heart in hope that her heart will be open to the world and the God behind it.
We mark her ears in hope that she will hear the still small voice of God.
We mark her lips in hope that they will give voice to God’s presence.
God’s words of covenant to a female Israel (Ezekiel 16:6-9)
I have caused to increase like the bud of the field, and you did increase and grow and you did come to excellent beauty, your breasts were formed, and your hair was grown; you were naked and bare.
And I passed over You and saw you, and behold your time was the time of love, and I spread my wings upon you and I covered your nakedness and I swore unto you, and I entered in a covenant with you. And you became mine.
And I passed over you, and I saw you wallowing in your blood, and I said to you: ‘In your blood you shall live. In your blood you shall live.
As she is washed and anointed with oil the following words are recited:
Then I washed you with water, and washed the blood from upon you, and I anointed you with oil.7
The prayer recited over wine on Shabbat, holidays, and other joyous occasions.
This is the cup of Miriam is the sister of Moses and Aaron. As Moses' and Aaron's sister she, according to midrash, prophesies Moses' role and helps secure it by watching over the young baby, seeing to it that Pharaoh's daughter takes him and that the baby is returned to his mother for nursing. During the Israelites' trek through the desert, a magical well given on her behalf travels with the Israelites, providing water, healing, and sustenance.!
זֶה הַכּוֹס שֶׁל מִרְיָם
Zeh hacos shel Mir’yam
Blessed are you God, King of the Universe, who has created the fruit of the vine.
A paragraph of blessing from a Jews of Spanish descent; sometimes used to describe Jews of North-African and Middle-Eastern descent. The term also describes the customs and practices of these Jews, often in comparison to those of Ashkenazi (Eastern European) Jews. rite that welcomes a daughter into the covenant:
מִי שֶׁבֵּרַךְ אִמּוֹתֵינוּ שָׂרָהּ וְרִבְקָה רָחֵל וְלֵאָה וּמִרְיָם הַנְּבִיאָה וַאֲבִיגַיִל וְאֶסְתֵּר הַמַּלְכָּה בַּת אֲבִיחַיִל, הוּא יְבָרֵךְ אֶתְ הַיַּלְדָּה הִנְעִימָה הַזֹּאת, וְיִקָּרֵא שְׁמָהּ _________ (פְּלוֹנִית בַּת פְּלוֹנִי וּפְלוֹנִית).
בְּמַזָּל טוֹב וּבִשְׁעַת בְּרָכָה, וִיגַדְּלוּה בִּבְרִיאוּת, שָׁלוֹם וּמְנוּחָה, וִיזַכֶּה אֶת אָבִיהָ וְאֶת אִמָּהּ לִרְאוֹת בְּשִׂמְחָתָהּ וּבְחוּפָּתָה, בְּבָנִים עֹשֶׁר וְכָבוֹד. עוֹד יְנוּבוּן בְּשֵׂיבָה, דְּשֵׁנִים וְרַעֲנַנִים וְכֵן יְהִי רָצוֹן וְעוֹד יְנוּבוּן בְּשֵׂיבָה דְּשֵׁנִים וְרַעֲנַנִים יִהְיוּ וְנֹאמַר אַמֵּן.
Mi-sheberakh imoteynu imoteynu Sarah, Rivkah, Lavan's younger daughter and Jacob's beloved wife second wife (after he is initially tricked into marrying her older sister, Leah). Rachel grieves throughout her life that she is barren while Leah is so fertile. Ultimately, Rachel gives birth to Joseph and dies in childbirth with Benjamin. Rachel is remembered as compassionate (she is said to still weep for her children), and infertile women often invoke Rachel as a kind of intercessor and visit her tomb on the road to Bethlehem. vLeah uMiryam ha-n’viah v’Avigayil v’Ester ha-malkah bat avikhayil, hu y’varekh et ha-yalda ha-n’Lit. Mother (Hebrew) hazot vayikareh shmah ________bat ___________ b’Good fortune, luck, and the Hebrew sign of the Zodiac. tov uv’sha’at brakha,v’yigadluha bivriut shalom, menukha. V’y’zakeyh et avihah v’et imah lirot b’simkhatah uv’khuppatah b’vanim osher v’khavod v’od y’nuvun b’sevah d’shenim v’ra’a’nanim v’khen Lit. "May it be Your Will ..." The opening of many petitionary prayers. v’od y’nuvun b’sevah d’shenim v’ra’a’nanim yih’yu v’nomar amen.
1. See The rabbinic compendium of lore and legend composed between 200 and 500 CE. Study of the Talmud is the focus of rabbinic scholarship. The Talmud has two versions, the main Babylonian version (Bavli) and the smaller Jerusalem version (Yerushalmi). It is written in Rabbinic Hebrew and Aramaic. Avodah Zarah 27a.
2. This text recalls Ayelet coming through the birth canal, an event which confers upon her the status of a Jew. The only other way she could become a Jew, according to halakhah is if she had been immersed in the The ritual bath. The waters of the mikveh symbolically purify – they are seen as waters of rebirth. A convert immerses in the mikveh as part of conversion. Many Orthodox married women go to the mikveh following their period and before resuming sexual relations. Couples go to the mikveh before being married. Many, including some men, immerse before Yom Kippur; some go every Friday before Shabbat., an event which also recalls coming out of the womb. See Rabbi Gary Shapiro’s article in Pardes Revisited for a discussion of what he calls Brit Leyda, the Covenant bestowed by birth itself.
3. Song of Songs 2:14. This text recalls our calling her out of the womb so that we could behold her, and hold her.
4. Song of Songs 6:9. This text signifies her arrival into the world.
5. The texts from Song of Songs are part of a Sephardic rite, Lit. Gift of a daughter (Aramaic) A traditional Sephardic ceremony for welcoming a baby girl. Modern girl baby-namings are also sometimes called a Zeved Habat., which welcomes a daughter into the world.
6. We use henna to mark her, recalling the blood of the covenant. Henna is traditionally used in a ritual with a Yemenite woman before her wedding ceremony. In a brit ceremony developed by Rabbi Jeremy Schwartz, he uses henna to recall dam brit, the blood of the covenant.
7. We took these verses out of order to fit the context of a brit for a female. Similarly, the Sifre (Rabbinic A rabbinic method of interpreting text, often through the telling of stories.) takes them out of order. You can see how the Sifre uses these verses in most traditional editions of the Passover is a major Jewish holiday that commemorates the Jewish people's liberation from slavery and Exodus from Egypt. Its Hebrew name is Pesakh. Its name derives from the tenth plague, in which God "passed over" the homes of the Jewish firstborn, slaying only the Egyptian firstborn. Passover is celebrated for a week, and many diaspora Jews celebrate for eight days. The holiday begins at home at a seder meal and ritual the first (and sometimes second) night. Jews tell the story of the Exodus using a text called the haggadah, and eat specific food (matzah, maror, haroset, etc). Lit. "Telling.” The haggadah is the book used at the seder table on Passover to tell the story of the Exodus, the central commandment of the holiday. It is rich in song, prayer, and legend. There are many different version of the Haggadah produced throughout Jewish history..