What Are Rituals and Practices of Judaism?

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The Jewish religion has many rituals and practices that begin at birth for boys and girls, with baby-naming ceremonies for girls and Brit Milahs for boys. Following initiation into the Jewish religion at birth, Jewish boys and girls then celebrate the passage into adulthood with Bar and Bat Mitzvahs. Later, marriages and divorces involve religious rituals to keep with centuries-old traditions.

On the first Shabbat following the birth of young girls, Jewish practitioners congregate at synagogues for ceremonies called Simchat Bat, which serve as opportunities to choose names for the new baby girls. At these ceremonies, the father or mother and father read select passages from the Torah and offer blessings to the daughter. In Jewish tradition, baby Jewish boys undergo procedures for circumcision on the eighth day after birth.

To welcome young Jewish adults into the Jewish community, Bar and Bat Mitzvahs take place for boys and girls. These ceremonies began over 450 years ago. They begin with the inductee reading a blessing and passage from the Torah, followed by a short speech. The marriage ceremony between two Jews, called simcha, officially celebrates the union. Marriage ceremonies involve the exchange of wedding rings and recitation of ancient Jewish passages. Divorces, though not encouraged, may occur under the supervision of a rabbinical court.