Brit shalom (naming ceremony)

Brit shalom (naming ceremony)

Brit shalom (Hebrew covenant of peace) is a naming ceremony for Jewish boys that is intended to replace the traditional brit milah ceremony as an initiative by some, more liberal, Jews who do not approve of circumcision of boys. (A parallel covenantal naming ceremony for girls only is commonly called Brit Bat.) Brit Shalom may be planned before the sex of the child is known. This choice may be inspired by a variety of reasons, including concerns that circumcision causes physical and psychological harm to the child, ethical concerns, and concern for equality of the sexes. It is advocated by groups such as Jews Against Circumcision.

The questions of circumcision and Jewish identity remain a topic of debate between traditional and progressive Jewry. Ritual circumcision of a male child on the eighth day of life is part of Jewish law. Although one does not need to be circumcised to be Jewish, Haredi Jews consider an intended failure to follow this commandment as bringing forth the penalty of karet, or being cut off from the community. However, in more liberal forms of Judaism, uncircumcised boys are sometimes accepted for religious training and Bar Mitzvah if they are sons of a Jewish parent and have been raised with a Jewish identity. Movements that do not see Jewish law as binding, such as Reform Judaism and Humanistic Judaism, may allow this ceremony, although in practice it is an uncommon substitute for brit milah.

The brit shalom is also known as the alternative brit, brit b'li milah ("covenant without cutting"), or brit chayim ("covenant of life").

External links

Sources against Brit Milah

References

Glick, Leonard Marked in Your Flesh

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