Category Archives: Life Cycle

Wedding – The Henna Feast

The Henna Feast takes place a couple of days before the wedding, in the Babylonian tradition. Only close friends and relatives are invited. Henna is mixed with water and some glitter to form a doughy paste. It is shaped into … Continue reading

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Wedding – Mazinka

At the wedding of a daughter (more recently the last child either male or female), the children placed the parents in the center of a circle and dance the “mazinka” around them. It is a special dance, and the music … Continue reading

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Candle Ceremony

A candle lighting ceremony based on a story from Ba’al Shem Tov (the Besh’t, the founder of Hasidism), is described in The New Jewish Wedding by Anita Diamant. There are three candles; two are lit by two honorees. The bride and groom … Continue reading

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Wedding – The Glass/Glasses

We had wine glasses printed with our own wedding designs as favors and gifts for our guests. The first glass out of the box became the one that we broke in the ceremony (some have used a light bulb, because … Continue reading

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Wedding – Chupah

The Chupah can be made from various things, as long as it is “temporary.” A wonderful tradition is to make one from a family heirloom tablecloth or bedspread. One can bind the edges with silk or decorate with a variety … Continue reading

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Graduation

Going to a graduation ceremony you often see students wearing a lei of flowers…. The Jewish equivalent might be to give the graduate a special mezuzzah to wear for the occasion. We are still looking for appropriate Jewish traditions around … Continue reading

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Blessing by a Parent to the Child upon receiving a Driver’s License

A special ceremony has been written by Rabbi Janet Marder of Congregation Beth Am in Los Altos, California for a short presentation by a parent to a new driver upon receiving a driver’s license, This major life cycle event for … Continue reading

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Confirmation

Typically Confirmation is when a young adult/teenager completes 10 or 11 years of religious school and makes a commitment to continuing to study and practice Judaism in their life. The ceremony of Confirmation was initially based on a similar event … Continue reading

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Adolescence: First Menstruation for Girls

I was contacted by someone who asked “why does a mother slap her daughter when she first starts menstruation?”. And it started research on this custom as a tradition. I found a wonderful site with many different rituals and customs … Continue reading

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The Tradition of Timeless Gifts for a Bar/Bat Mitzva or Graduation

Long before the disposable ballpoint pen, the replaceable battery-operated Timex watch and the check or gift certificate, two gifts were a must for a young person: a fountain pen for a bar/bat mitzvah and a Swiss watch for the high … Continue reading

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