Mark M. Rubenstein, M.D., F.A.A.P., Reform Mohel
Phone: 925-932-6650, cell:925-212-9964
markmd@earthlink.net

HomeAbout meProcedureB'rit Milah CeremonyHelpful LinksInsurance
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HomeAbout meProcedureB'rit Milah CeremonyHelpful LinksInsurance
References

B'rit Milah Ceremony

ABOUT YOUR
B’RIT MILAH CEREMONY

  Celebration of birth transcends all traditions, generations and religions. Welcoming the newborn is inclusive of all who wish the family well. Therefore, I encourage you to ask as many of your guests as you like, certainly including non-Jews, to participate in the ceremony by reading one of the optional passages or one of their own choosing. Although the readings with an “*” are particularly suited for a parent to read, most of them can be edited.

  Please choose one of the three candle readings. (See first page.)

  Next, pick at least one reading in each of the four sections, but as many as you like. Please choose a person to read each passage. I'm always on the lookout for additional readings, so if you have a passage in mind from any source that you'd like to include, please tell me. (That's where a lot of these came from.) Again, I would encourage you to include as many readers as you like, for it makes them feel that they are even more a part of the celebration and they will feel honored. 

  Note that there is a section for grandparents to read. If there are going to be several attending, we can break up that section into parts. There are three paragraphs plus an additional prayer; if more than four (step- or great-) grandparents are present, we can easily add other readings.

  You will need to choose a Hebrew name for your child. Keep in mind that his secular and Hebrew names do not have to start with the same letter. I can give you some help (with the aid of several resource books that I have) in choosing a name equivalent to one you may have in mind, for example if you are naming a boy after a woman. I will need your own Hebrew (or Yiddish) names as well, for they become a part of the child's. If you don't have one because you are not Jewish, that's no problem. Please note that there is a place during the ceremony for you to explain where the child gets his names.

  The Sandek is typically an elder in the community. Very often a grandparent fills that role at the B’rit milah by holding the infant during the ceremony. However, anyone (even including my wife) can hold the baby (even with eyes closed) during the actual surgical part. I use a local anaesthetic and do the major part of the "surgery" prior to the beginning of the ceremony in another part of the house, a place with good light. (Bathrooms work well.) This seems to make it easier on everyone.

  It's probably a good idea to feed him before we arrive so he won't be hungry during the ceremony. If you think he'll take one, have a pacifier on hand. I’ll be asking you to give him about a quarter teaspoon of sweet wine in a 2 ounce bottle of 10% glucose water (which I bring) while I do the injection.

  A celebratory meal, s’udat mitzvah, traditionally follows the ceremony and is indeed considered the third part of the ceremony. This can vary widely from a very simple “nosh” to a full meal. If you like, at this point I can help affix a Mezuzah to the doorpost of the baby’s room (see last page).

  In the interest of scheduling, I would appreciate your calling me as soon as your baby is born. Also, the sooner you make your decisions for the readings the easier it is for me to put your ceremony together. I will make enough copies in booklet format of the final version so that all attending can have one to follow.


Basic Outline
for
Circumcision Ceremony
Along with Possible Readings


[Introductory words of welcome and explanation.]

MOTHER: Blessed are you Adonai, Ruler of All, Who has dealt kindly with me.

ALL: May the One Who has shown you kindness deal kindly with you forever.

Candles [#1]:

FATHER: There is a new light in our hearts and in our home.
MOTHER: These candles celebrate the birth of our son.
FATHER: Out of the creative darkness he has come.
MOTHER: These candles celebrate his emergence into light.
FATHER: Blessed is the woman who bears the child, for she knows how love covers
  pain.
MOTHER: Blessed is the father who fathers a child, for he makes a bridge between earth
  and heaven  
PARENTS: Child of light, you know not yet the love and joy overflowing from our hearts.

Candles [#2]:

MOTHER lights a candle:

A new light has been kindled in our lives. We have been blessed with the gift of a new life. With the privilege of participation in the beauty of creation, we accept the responsibility of guiding our son toward becoming a caring and loving person with a sense of his own worth and respect for that of others. We also dedicate ourselves to the creation of a Jewish home, one in which our child will be nurtured by the teachings of Judaism and by his inclusion in the Klal Yisrael, the community of Israel.

FATHER lights a candle:

Today we are joined by family and close friends as we bring our son into the Covenant of the Jewish people. No concept is more fundamental to Judaism than the Covenant; no privilege is greater for the Jew than to participate in the Covenant. With great joy, and in the presence of those who share this simcha, this happiness, with us, we link our son with the Jewish people everywhere.

Candles [#3]:

PARENTS:

Though a candle's flame is small and fragile, its power is great. A single candle has the power to overcome the darkness with light. A single flame radiates warmth to cold surroundings. And its greatest power is that it can kindle other flames in many places, causing a great light to glow in our world.

So it is with a baby: it too is small and fragile. But its power to change the world is great. A new life can bring light and warmth into our world. And a new life has the power to touch many lives, bringing love and caring to all whom she encounters.



MOTHER and FATHER:

ברוך אתה אדוני אלוהינו מלך העולם אשר קידשנו במצוותיו וציוונו להכניס בן שלנו לעם ישראל.


Ba-ruch ata' Adonai elohenu me-lech ha-olam a-sher kid-shanu b'mitzvo-tav v-tzee-vanu l'hachnees ben shelanu l'ahm Yisrael.

Blessed are you, Adonai our God, Ruler of the Universe, who has sanctified us with Your commandments and has commanded us to bring our son into the Covenant of the people Israel.

#1A:*

Birth evokes in us wonder and amazement at the miracle that is life.
It brings those whose hearts are alive and those whose minds are alert to sense the mystery that underlies the universe in which all life unfolds.
We come together to celebrate the grandeur of creation.
We come together to welcome a new, unique person,
Who never was before.
We come together to feel the warmth and strength found in our gathered community of 
loving family and friends.

We come to celebrate a birth--a tangible reality
Which has given our lives added purpose
And has brought us together as co-workers with God in the process of creation.

We come together to echo our own commitment to the continuation of the covenant begun with Abraham and Sarah and continued through Moses and the people of Israel.

#1B:*

Not only have we come together to celebrate the birth of our son and give thanks to God for this gift, but we have also come to give thanks to you, [child's name], who has already, in the first week of your life, taught us so much about ourselves. We look at you and we see new life, a creation of the two of us. So separate and individual, yet so dependent upon us for your sustenance.

#1C:*

We grow to love you more with each touch, each act. We look at you and are reminded of our place in the world. We look at you and are reminded that we love each other very much, and that it took the two of us together to create the most wonderful gift of all. We are creative people, yet you have taught us that the wonder of God's creation is so much more powerful than anything we, as individuals, could ever hope to accomplish.

#1D:

Little boy we welcome you. 
You are your parents' dream realized, their hopes fulfilled. 
You are the latest and best chapter in the unfolding of the lives of your Mother and
 Father.
You are brand new--a symbol of today and tomorrow; your life is a new and clean slate upon which people and events will leave their impression. 
You are a bridge over which we who welcome you can gaze from this day into future days, from our generation into your generation. 


You are the newest link in the endless chain of our people's history.
Little boy we welcome you to life with love.

#1E:*

From every human being there rises a light that reaches straight to heaven. And when two souls that are destined for each other find one another, their streams of light flow together and a single brighter light goes forth from their united being.

Now the union of our two souls has created an even greater miracle--it has sparked a new light, a new life. We come together to celebrate our child's life.


#1F: (This can be effective if the “They” is “All”)

When Israel stood at Sinai to receive the Torah, the Holy One said to them: I am giving you my Torah. Present to Me good guarantors that you shall guard it, and I shall give it to you.

They said: Our ancestors are our guarantors.

The Holy one said: Your ancestors are not sufficient guarantors. Bring Me good guarantors, and I shall give you the Torah.

They said: Ruler of the Universe, our prophets and our sages are our guarantors.

God said to them: The prophets are not sufficient guarantors. Yet bring Me good guarantors and I shall give you the Torah.

They said: Here, our children are our guarantors.

The Holy One said: They are certainly the best guarantors. For their sake I give the Torah to you.

They said: "God, you have given a Teaching to Israel, instructing our ancestors that the generations might come to know it."


#1G:*

God of the generations, God of new beginnings, this is your promise of tomorrow, Your image, a reflection of Your divine love. Teach us to be mother and father, worthy of this sacred trust of new life. Sustain us and our son in health and in love. We are thankful for the beauty of our lives together, which in tender and powerful love has brought a new life into the world.







#1H:

Ma naim ha-or ba-olam מה נעים האור בעולם
Ma naim ha-or ba-adamמה נעים האור באדם
Ma naim ha-or ba-chaimנעים האור בחיים מה


How lovely is the light of the world
How lovely is the light within the people
How lovely is the light of life

#1I:

How lovely are your tents, O Jacob, you dwelling places, O Israel!

May our home always be a small sanctuary, O God, filled with Your presence.

May this home be your sanctuary, [child’s name], a place where loving arms will cradle you, hands uphold you, and eyes delight in you.

Let this home be filled with love.

Here let the hearts of parents and children ever be turned to one another.

Here may the bonds of trust and caring keep us together as a family.

As a loving Parent, bless all of us together with the light of Your presence.

#1J:

Life 

We affirm the power of life. 
We affirm the power of life in every human being. 
We affirm the power of life in every newborn child. 

Hope 

We need hope. 
We need the hope that comes from loving and nurturing. 
We need the hope that comes from loving and nurturing a newborn child. 

Love 

We come together in love. 
We come together in the love of family and friends. 
We come together in the love that new life needs. 



#1K:
Birth is a beginning
and death a destination
And life is a journey:
From childhood to maturity
and youth to age;
From innocence to awareness
and ignorance to knowing;
From foolishness to desecration
and then perhaps to wisdom.
From weakness to strength or
from strength to weakness
and often back again;
From health to sickness
and we pray to health again.
From offense to forgiveness
from loneliness to love
From joy to gratitude
from pain to compassion
From grief to understanding
from fear to faith.
From defeat to defeat to defeat
until looking backwards or ahead
We see that victory lies not
at some high point along the way
But in having made the journey
step by step
a sacred pilgrimage.
Birth is a beginning
and death a destination
And life is a journey;
A sacred journey to life everlasting.

#1L:
He will capture rainbows in a piece of glass,
And make them twirl and dance upon the ground,
Race the wind without tiring a bit
In the two minute journey home.

He will listen to stories over and over again,
Catch and throw and kick to the sky.
Play games with rules only he understands
And never lose, if no one keeps the score.

He will jump ocean-large puddles,
And create fantastical creatures from billowing clouds,
Brave dark places where scary creatures hide
Without ever being afraid, well… maybe almost never.

His is a timeless place,
Where carousels circle endlessly above,
And the universe pauses to notice and admire, often
Just beyond his outstretched hands.

It is a forever world,
Overflowing with care and attention and great love,
And limited only by the ever-expanding imagination
Found within the bright and eager eyes of our new child.


ALL: (Welcoming the newborn)

ברוך הבא בשם אדוני
Baruch ha-ba b'shem Adonai.

Blessed are you who comes in the name of Adonai.

MARK:

We welcome you, [child's name], and invite your family and friends to recite the She-he-che-yanu, which we say at all happy occasions:

ALL: (Blessing for this moment)

ברוך אתה אדוני אלוהינו מלך העולם, שהחיינו, וקיימנו, והגיענו לזמן הזה.

Baruch Ata Adonai Elohenu Melech Ha-olam, She-he-che-yanu, V'key-a-manu, V'hi-gi-anu, La-zeman Ha-zeh.

Blessed are You, Creator of the universe, who has given us life, sustained us, and allowed us to experience this day.

MARK:

In our tradition, the Torah has been passed from generation to generation. We now turn to the generation of grandparents:

(The following prayer may be said by GRANDPARENT(S):)

We are thankful for the many ways with which our lives have been blessed. Now this great goodness has come to us: a new life, a new child to love, the opening of a new chapter in the chronicle of our family's existence. O may [child's name] grow up in health and happiness, to become a blessing to family, friends and neighbors.

May his dear parents find much joy in the years that lie before them. Grant, O God, that they rear [child's name] with wisdom and understanding, teaching him the ways of righteousness, leading him to the study of Torah and the practice of love and kindness.

And may we, too, be granted the joy of seeing [child's name] develop all his faculties, and the gratification of helping him to fulfill the best that is in him. Then our humble prayer shall have found its answer: the days and years to come shall be for us time of peace and wondrous fulfillment.  
  Amen.

Additional (or alternative) grandparents prayer:

Praised are you, O God, Source of Life. Just as You have brought us into life and helped us bring our children into life, You now bring our children’s child into life.
God of compassion, may your countenance continually shine upon [child’s name] as he walks through life in this world of Your creation. May his steps firmly lead him to acts of righteousness under the care of Your teachings.
Praised are You, our God and God of our ancestors who brings life to the people Israel and to all the world.  
  Amen





Additional (or alternative) grandparents prayer:

Our God and God of all generations, we are grateful for new beginnings, for the bond of new life that links one generation to another. Thankful for the blessings of family, for the love and care that brings meaning and happiness to our lives, we rejoice with our children at the birth of our grandchild.
Amen


Additional (or alternative) grandmother’s prayer

Gift of God, precious child, miracle, my little one. Lay your head on my shoulder. It seems that it was yesterday that I held your mother in my arms just this way. You are a sweet blessing to me, a tiny messenger of joy. Welcome to this magnificent life.

May God grace you with all things that are good and shield you from all harm. May the bonds of our family be your strength. May our love be your comfort. May our faith sustain you. .May God be with you, now and always.  
Amen

[2--Other readings which lead into the notion of "Covenant" and conclude with a statement welcoming the child into the covenant]

#2A:

This ceremony is a formal recognition of the partnership between Jews and God in general, and between [child's name] and God in particular. The bond of covenant, B’rit, is expressed through the ritual of circumcision, Milah.

Blood is the very stuff of life and the part of the human anatomy involved in the B’rit milah is that which pertains to perpetuating life. The male organ is circumcised since it is the organ which must respond to the first mitzvah addressed to human kind in the Torah: "Be fruitful and multiply."

#2B:

B’rit milah is the first mitzvah in which a Jewish boy participates. But the mitzvah is not his; rather, it’s his parents'. They are giving him a start toward a meaningful life by entering him into the covenant of our ancestors. Whether this will have significance for him--and whether he will fulfill his part of the covenant--is beyond the parents' control.

They may help, but ultimately it is up to him. Hence, no assurance is proclaimed on the occasion of a B’rit milah, but rather a fervent prayer is said: "As he has been entered into the covenant, so may he enter upon a life of Torah, find fulfillment in a committed relationship of love, and live productively, enriching his days with the good deeds he performs."






SANDEK:

A new son of Israel has come, and with him comes a great promise. In his soul is the potential to bring greatness into our world. He brings blessing to our lives, as he reminds us that the world is not yet complete. We each share in the task of perfecting this world.

And so we set aside a chair for Elijah the prophet, may his memory be for a blessing. Recalling Elijah, we rekindle our faith that every human life has the potential to bring about an era of peace and harmony for all people.


MARK:

This is your chair, Elijah, who returns to children the heart of a parent, and to parents the
 heart of a child. 
This is your chair, Elijah, send your guardian powers to protect this child as he strives
  throughout life to keep the covenant into which we welcome him today.
This is your chair, Elijah, help all of us to spread the message that the time is coming for
 the victory over oppression, and that the time is ripe for the arrival of a newborn
 world of joy.

All sing together: 

אליהו הנביא אליהו התשבי
אליהו, אליהו, אליהו
הגלעדי

במהרה בימינו
יבוא אלינו
עם משיח בן דויד
עם משיח בן דויד


(Then repeat the first verse)

(Elijah the prophet, Elijah the returning, Elijah the Giladite -May he come soon, in our time, with the Messiah, son of David.)

FATHER:

I am here with a whole heart and am pleased and honored to present our son for the ancient rite of circumcision.



(Alternative to above):

As his father, I am here with whole heart and am honored to present our son for the ancient rite of circumcision. His mother and I do this in part in observance of our traditions, and also to grant our son the security of continuity with his father and his forefathers. In so doing, it is our hope to make this the first of many decisions, some as difficult as this, that will help [child’s name] to carry forward and even to improve upon the best of those who precede him. It is equally our hope that by this observance we will help [child’s name] to understand, respect and be confident in the force of his masculinity, using it only with love and in the defense of all that is righteous.
  Jon Korchin)

(2nd alternative)

FATHER:

As his father, I am here with whole heart and am honored to present our son for the ancient rite of circumcision. His mother and I do this in part in observance of our traditions, and also to grant our son the security of continuity with his father and his forefathers. In so doing, it is our hope to make this the first of many decisions, some as difficult as this, that will help [child’s name] to carry forward and even to improve upon the best of those who precede him. 

MOTHER:

It is equally our hope that by this observance we will help [child’s name] to understand, respect and be confident in the force of his being, using it only with love and in the defense of all that is righteous.
MARK:

"And God said to Abraham: 'You shall keep My covenant, you and your offspring after you throughout their generations. This is My covenant which you shall keep between Me and you and your descendants after you:

ALL:

Every male among you shall be circumcised'."

PARENTS:

In conformity with hallowed Jewish observance, we present our son for the covenant of circumcision as it is written: "Throughout your generations every male among you shall be circumcised when he is eight days old."

MARK:  
.  

 Hininee muchan uhmezuman l’kay-yem mitzvat ahsay
  chetzvahnu haboray yit barech leemol.

I am ready and willing to perform the precept which our 
  Creator commanded us concerning circumcision.

ברוך אתה אדוני אלוהינו מלך העולם, אשר קידשנו במצוותיו וציוונו על המילה

Baruch Ata Adonai Elohenu Melech Ha-olam, Asher Kideshanu Bemitzvotav Vetzivanu Al Ha-milah.


Blessed are You, Adonai our God, who has sanctified us with Your commandments and commanded us concerning ritual circumcision.  

(The circumcision is performed)
PARENTS: 

ברוך אתה אדוני אלוהינו מלך העולם, אשר קידשנו במצוותיו וציוונו להכניסו בבריתם של אברהם ושרה.


Baruch Ata Adonai Elohenu Melech Ha-olam, Asher Kideshanu Bemitzvotav Vetzivanu Lehachniso Bevritam Shel Avraham V'Sarah.

Blessed are You, Great Mystery of the universe, who has sanctified us with your commandments and commanded us to bring our child into the covenant of Abraham and Sarah.



PARENTS:

In awe and gratitude for this precious gift of life, we celebrate our partnership in the miracle of creation. Our hearts overflow with joy, and we say words of blessing:

ברוך אתה אדוני אלוהינו מלך העולם, עושה מעשה בראשית.

Baruch atah Adonai, eloheinu melech ha’olam, oseh ma’aseh beresheet.


Blessed is God, whose sanctity fills our lives as we give thanks for the stirring of creation.

PARENTS:

Today we drink from this cup of life, our people's symbol of joy, as we have shared in the greatest of joys -- that of a creation of a new life.

ALL: (Blessing over the wine)

ברוך אתה אדוני אלוהינו מלך העולם, בורא פרי הגפן.

Baruch Ata Adonai Elohenu Melech Ha-olam, Boray P'ree Hagafen.

Blessed are You, Adonai, our God, Ruler of the universe, Creator of the fruit of the vine.

MARK:

Holy One, You have sanctified this beloved child from the womb and have established him within Your holy covenant. May devotion to this covenant continue to sustain us as a people. Blessed are You, Holy One, whose presence fills creation. We give thanks to You for Your covenant.

PARENTS:

Explanations about the child's English and Hebrew names as well as some passages about the specialness of the child.] Typically, parents give voice to their hope that 
their son will grow up to be as learned, as quick to laugh, and as devoted a friend and parent as the person after whom he is named.

#3A:

And a woman who held a babe against her bosom said,
Speak to us of Children.
And he said:
Your children are not your children.
They are the sons and daughters of Life's longing for itself.
They come through you but not from you,
And though they are with you yet they belong not to you.

You may give them your love but not your thoughts,
For they have their own thoughts.
You may house their bodies but not their souls,
For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow,
Which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.
You may strive to be like them,
But seek not to make them like you.
For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.
You are the bows from which your children
As living arrows are sent forth.
The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite,

And she bends you with her might that her arrows
May go swift and far.

Let your bending in the archer's hand be for gladness;
For even as she loves the arrow that flies,
So she loves the bow that is stable.
  [Kahlil Gibran]

#3B:

Each lifetime is the pieces of a jigsaw puzzle.
For some there are more pieces.
For others, the puzzle is more difficult to assemble.

Some seem to be born with a nearly completed puzzle.
And so it goes.
Souls going this way and that.
Trying to assemble the myriad parts.

But, know this: no one has within himself all the pieces to
  his puzzle.


Like before the days when they used to seal jigsaw puzzles in cellophane, insuring that all 
the pieces were there. 
Everyone carries with them at least one, and probably many, pieces to someone else's puzzle. Sometimes they know it. 
Sometimes they don't.

And when you present your piece--which is worthless to you--
To another,
Whether you know it or not,
Whether they know it or not,
You are a messenger from the Most High.
  [Lawrence Kushner]

#3C:* (May be said by two readers alternately, last line together)

In every birth, blessed is the wonder.
In every creation, blessed is new beginning.
In every child, blessed is life.
In every hope, blessed is the potential.
In every transition, blessed is the beginning.
In every existence, blessed are the possibilities.
In every love, blessed are the tears.
In every life, blessed is the love.
And, in our home, blessed is our son and the renewal and fulfillment he gives our growing 
family circle.


#3D:

Martin Buber once wrote that: Every person born into this world represents something new, something that never existed before, something original and unique. It is the duty of every person to know and consider that he is unique in the world in his particular character and that there has never been someone like him in the world, for if there had been someone like him there would 
have been no need for him to be in the world. Every single person is a new thing in the world and is called upon to fulfill his particularity in the world.

#3E:

Each child that is brought into the world brings with it hope for humanity. All of us here are fortunate in having sufficient food to prosper and to nourish our children. The greater part of humanity does not have this good fortune. We pray that some day they will. Every birth brings fresh energy into the world and greater fulfillment and purpose to the lives that surround it. Each baby is testimony that people still believe in the value and goodness of life.

#3F:

"The father of a righteous man will exult; they who beget a wise son will rejoice in him.
Your father and mother will rejoice; She who bore you will exult." [Proverbs 23:24-25]

#3G:

Blessed are You God, Source of Life, Who sanctifies your beloved from birth and Who has impressed Your decree in his flesh, and marked this offspring with the sign of the holy covenant. Therefore, for the sake of this covenant, O living God, protect this child from all misfortune. Blessed are You, Adonai, Who established the covenant.

And it is said, “God is ever mindful of the covenant, the promise given for a thousand generations. That which God made with Abraham, swore to Isaac, and confirmed in a decree for Jacob, for Israel is an eternal covenant.”

#3H:

So recently an expert on the universe, the furrow from his nose down to his lips drawn by an angel at the gate of birth, the child, ancient as the earth, endowed with words his mouth can’t yet pronounce, watched by Elijah, dabbed with wine, a party to the covenant, his parents’ stories soon to be like ancient history:



He is gently disengaged from pleasures of eternity, and entered in the rolls of life, the surge of worldly business like a sea swell rolling under him, to bear him up, the teaching life will soon enough extract from him tucked almost inaccessibly away, behind the furrow, deep inside.

[Joel Rosenberg]

#3I:

We promise to observe and listen closely to you as you grow, and to
encourage your unique personality, interests, and talents to blossom.

We promise to fill our house with laughter, joy, family, friends, and music.
We promise to provide a foundation of love, trust, respect, and guidance.
We hope this foundation helps you cherish your mistakes and failures, for
the growth opportunities they provide.

We promise to support you through difficult times.

We pray that you, our friends, and our family will be blessed with good
health.
We pray that you can grow up in a world of peace.
But most of all, we just pray that God will bless you with a good life
filled with happiness.
Lisa and Rob Sussman

#3J:

Congratulations!
Today is your day.
You're off to Great Places!
You're off and away!

You have brains in your head.
You have feet in your shoes
You can steer yourself any direction you choose.
You're on your own. And you know what you know.
And YOU are the guy who'll decide where to go.

On and on you will hike
and I know you'll hike far
and face up to your problems
whatever they are.

You'll get mixed up, of course, as you already know.
You'll get mixed up with many strange birds as you go.
So be sure when you step.
Step with care and great tact
and remember that Life's a Great Balancing Act.
Just never forget to be dexterous and deft.
And never mix up your right foot with your left.

And will you succeed?
Yes! You will, indeed!
(98 and 3 / 4 percent guaranteed.)

KID, YOU'LL MOVE MOUNTAINS!

Today is your day!
Your mountain is waiting.
So...get on your way!
Dr. Seuss: Oh, the Places You'll Go

#3K:

Welcome, welcome to this breathtaking world. We have been waiting for you. Waiting to see your beautiful face, to hear the sound of your cry, to kiss you, hold you, rock you. We love you and [other child] with our hearts and souls. We have waited for this day and now it is here. But no amount of anticipation could have prepared us for you. You are a miracle. You are a gift. May God watch over you in love and bless you with health. 

#3L:

We welcome you, [child’s name], not as parents, but as a family
We give you not only a mommy and a daddy
We give you a big brother (sister)
You are born not only a son and a grandson 
You are born a little brother
We open not only our family to you
But we give you with this extended family - our friends and their children
And surrounded by the love of your parents, your brother, (your dog) and your extended family we imagine a beautiful future for you, our second son (child).
Lena Chane

#3M:

A newborn baby brings light to the cottage, warmth to the hearth, joy to the soul.
For wealth is family and family is wealth.
Gaelic

#3N:*

MOTHER: May we embrace you with love; so that you will learn to be loving

FATHER: May we treat you with patience; so that you will learn to be tolerant.

MOTHER: May we listen to your thoughts; so that you will learn to be sincere.

FATHER: May we be aware of your feelings, so that you will learn to be sensitive.

MOTHER: May we make you secure, so that you will learn to have faith.


FATHER: May we approach you with reason, so that you will learn to be creative.

MOTHER: May we teach you idealism; so that you will learn to overcome doubt and skepticism.

MOTHER and FATHER: And may we provide a loving home for you; so that you will learn to love all people (and dogs, too).

#3O:

A Mother's Prayer.............

Oh, my children may there never be another war
May the sound of guns become obsolete
May you live in a world of peace where the beauties of life are yours to behold
May you pause for a moment each day to reflect upon nature's wonders
  The song of a bird
  The first star in the evening sky
  The leaves as they turn from red to gold in autumn
  A cool oasis in the hot summer sun
  The never ending ebb and flow of the tide
  The miracle of a snowflake
May you know the joy of
  Hearing a newborn baby cry
  A smile of someone whom you have helped
  The quiet of a roaring fire
May each day be like a page in a book filled with new things to experience and accomplish
These things, my children, I wish for you but most of all I pray that love and peace be your strength throughout your lives. 
JoAnn Shank

#3P: (For a non-Jewish parent)

Hi [CHILD’S NAME],

Welcome to our family. You were born [DATE OF BIRTH] very healthy. You have progressed remarkably in just one week, and you are established now and forever as an integral part of our family.

(Optional:
This ceremony is a celebration of the [#] of us as a family. We have experienced this ceremony before with your older brother(s), [#] years ago and [#] years ago. While our emotions of reluctance, apprehension, anguish and anxiety still remain, both of your brothers are testament that perhaps we have little to worry about in the long term.)

Our family is a union of diverse and different cultures and traditions. As such, it is important to stress that this ceremony is a step toward understanding your combined and rich heritage. Because it would be wrong of us to only show you only part of who you are and where you came from, as your parents, one of our responsibilities is to be honest and open with you about your family background. 


The world is a changing place. The vast majority of people in this country now use cell phones, shop online and eat, probably unknowingly, genetically modified foods. Successful stem cell treatments are being heralded almost daily as a means to overcome sickness, injury and cancer, and alternative biofuels are actively being pursued. However, similar to previous years, serious problems still exist with environmental issues, crimes against humanity continue and unfathomable violence, hatred and persecution is often broadcast on the evening news. 

But before you are exposed to a world of conflict and exciting possibilities, we, your parents, are here to guide you and protect you where we can as you grow. To help you see right from wrong, to help you appreciate there is more than one opinion, more than one course of action, and you are more than just our child or a younger brother. You are a unique individual, free to make your own choices and decisions, and that you can make a difference in what you do.

While you and the world share an uncertain future, one thing is for sure. We will love you unconditionally. This transcends all cultures and traditions.

Your life’s journey outside of the womb has only just started. Make the most of it and treasure all of who you are.
Craig Pow

#3Q: Every Person Has a Name

Every person has a name
Given him by God and given him by his parents
Every person has a name
Given him by his stature, and given him by his smile
Every person has a name
Given him by the planets, and given him by his neighbors
Every person has a name
Given him by his celebrations and given him by his craft
Every person has a name
Given him by his mistakes, and given him by his longings
Every person has a name
Given him by his love.

#3R:

In memory of those who didn’t get to see this day: [LIST] and also the relatives who didn’t survive the Holocaust: you haven’t been forgotten! Your lineage will continue in our son, to whom we’ll talk about you and who we hope will honor sacrifices made so that we – and now he – could exist.




#3S:

We have gathered here together to celebrate a new life.
To observe and commemorate the giving of a name.

This name will be a signpost.
It will be a movable address on this earth.
But it won’t locate the real person.

A name will give a brief impression,
It will tell the world what to call you, 
A reference point, but not much more. 

It is about what we do in life,
That gives meaning to a name.
We do not grow into our name, 
We create a name for ourselves.

#3T:

A Jewish child is given two names.

The first one is given at birth and it reserves (his) place on the family tree. It is a cluster of syllables to be used every day by relatives and friends; it is a lifelong companion.

The second name is given today. It is a Hebrew name and reserves (his) place on the family tree of Israel.

To Baby:

May your Hebrew name serve as a reminder that you are part of something epic ~ that you share a place in the Jewish experience, and that your footsteps will connect to the historic path of your ancestors.

At the same time, may you come to an awareness of your own light as you seek your spiritual truth.

We embrace you as a child of Israel. May your life be secure in the richness and joy of your Jewish heritage.

#3U:

  As we wrap you in this tallit, so may your life be wrapped in justice and righteousness.
As we embrace you today, so may you embrace your tradition and your people

  As your eyes are filled with wonder when you gaze at the world, so too may you be filled with wonder at the everyday miracles of life.

  As you startle to the world around you, so may you remain ever open both to the happiness and to the pain of those you encounter in the world.

  As you cry for food and comfort now, so may you one day cry out to correct the injustices of the world, to help clothe the naked and feed the hungry.

  As your hand tightly grasps your mother's fingers, so may you grasp hold of learning and grow in knowledge and in wisdom.

MARK:

We have gathered here today as parents, grandparents, family and friends to welcome [child's Hebrew name] into the world and into this family. We mark the occasion by today's ceremony. In it, we formally pass on to [child's Hebrew name] the names by which he can be known in the Jewish community. These names are added to his secular names, [child's name], so that he might reserve his place in both Jewish and secular worlds.

ALL:

May he bring much joy to his parents in the months and years to come. As he has entered into the covenant of Abraham and Sarah, so may he enter into the study of Torah, the blessing of love, and the practice of goodness. 


MARK: אלוהינו ואלוהי אבותינו,
  Elohenu vaylohei avoteinu,
ALL: Our God and God of our ancestors,

MARK: קיים את הילד הזה לאביו ולאימו.
  Kayim et ha-yeled hazeh l'aviv uleemo.
ALL: Sustain this boy for his father and mother.

MARK: ויקרא שמו בישראל [שם הילד בעברית].
  V'yikareh sh'mo b'yisrael [child's Hebrew name].
ALL: And may his name be called among Israel [child's Hebrew name].


MARK: אלוהינו ואלוהי אבותינו,
  Elohenu vaylohei avoteinu,
ALL: Our God and God of our ancestors,

MARK: קיים את הילד הזה לאביו ולאימו.
  Kayem et ha-yeled hazeh l'aviv uleemo.
ALL: Sustain this boy for his father and mother.

MARK: ויקרא שמו בישראל [שם הילד בעברית].
  V'yikareh sh'mo b'yisrael [child's Hebrew name].
ALL: And may his name be called among Israel [child’s
 Hebrew name]

MARK: ישמח האב ביוצא חלציו,
  Yismach ha'av b'yotzei chalatzav 
ALL: May the father rejoice in the fruit of his loins,

MARK: ותגל אמו בפרי בטנה,
  V’tagayl eemo b'free vitnah,
ALL: The mother in the fruit of her womb,

MARK: זה הקטן גדול יהיה,
  Zeh hakaton gadol yih'yeh,
ALL: This little one will become big,



MARK: כשם שנכנס לברית,
  K'shem sheh-nich-nas labrit,
ALL: As he has entered into the covenant,

MARK: כן יכנס לתורה, ולחופה, ולמעשים טובים.
  Kein yikanays l'Torah, ul'chupah, ul'ma-asim tovim.
ALL: So may he enter the Torah, Chupah, and good
 deeds.

FATHER: We dedicate our son to Torah—to a never-ending fascination with study and 
learning.  
MOTHER: With a book, he will never be alone.  
FATHER: We dedicate our son to chupah—to never-ending growth as a human 
being, capable of giving and receiving love.  

MOTHER: With loving family and friends, he will never be alone.  

FATHER: We dedicate our son to ma-asim tovim—to never- ending concern for family 
and community, justice and charity. 

MOTHER: While he cares for others, he will never be alone. 

FATHER: We pray for the wisdom to help our child achieve these things,

MOTHER: To fulfill the needs of his mind and body,

FATHER: To be strong when he needs us to be strong,

MOTHER: To be gentle when he needs us to be gentle,

FATHER: But always there when he needs us.

MOTHER: The birth of a child is a miracle of renewal.

PARENTS: We stand together this day, contemplating…a miracle.

MARK:
May the One who blessed our mothers, Sarah, Rebekah, Leah and Rachel, and our fathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, bless this child and keep him from all harm. May his parents raise him in faithfulness to God, his heart receptive always to Torah and Mitzvot. Then shall he bring blessings to his parents, his people and to all the world.

[4--Concluding passage(s) and/or extemporaneous blessings, thoughts, and feelings from those gathered together in celebration.]





#4A:

We give thanks for the gift of this child and hope that he be kept from harm, and that he be a source of joy to us and all his dear ones.

We pray you never take life for granted.
We pray you accept us with all of our shortcomings.
We pray you will take time to see the wonder and beauty in the world around you.

ALL:

We share this moment of joy with [parents] and we bring our own blessings for their son, [child's name], that he may grow in good health into a world of peace and harmony.

#4B:*

We give thanks for the precious gift of new life and for the blessing of parenthood. Endow us with understanding and love as we rear our child. Please grant him a life of health and strength, happiness and length of days. May he grow at peace with himself and at peace with the world. May his heart harbor love for all people and all creation and may he abound in love and knowledge. Lead him on paths of truth, humility, and understanding.



#4C:*

May we allow our child to live his own life, not the one we would wish him to live.  
May we help him to live and grow and then have the wisdom to let go gracefully.  


May we always raise our voices in happiness at what he is rather than in vexation at what he is not.


All:

We share this moment of joy with [parents] and we bring our own blessings for their child, [child's name], that he may grow in good health into a world of peace and harmony.

#4D:

May you live to see your world fulfilled.
May your destiny be for worlds still to come
And may you trust in generations past and yet to be.
May your heart be filled with intuition
And your words be filled with insight;
May songs of praise ever be upon your tongue
And your vision be on a straight path before you.


May your eyes shine with the light of holy words
And your face reflect the brightness of the heavens;
May your lips ever speak wisdom
And your fulfillment be in righteousness
Even as you ever yearn to hear the words of the Holy Ancient One. 

May your eyes sparkle with the light of Torah,
and your ears hear the music of its words.

May the space between each letter of the scrolls
bring warmth and comfort to your soul.
May the syllables draw holiness from your heart,
and may this holiness be gentle and soothing
to you and all God’s creatures.
[Danny Siegel, Brachot 17a and Eruvin 54a]

#4E: (This can be very effective with two people alternately)

What I/we wish for you, [child's name], I/we wish for all children.
I/We wish for you to be a person of character, strong but not tough, gentle but not weak.

I/We wish for you to be righteous but not self-righteous, honest but not unforgiving.

Whenever you journey, may your steps be firm, and may you walk in just paths and not be afraid.

Whenever you speak, may your words be words of wisdom and friendship.

May your hands build, and your heart preserve what is good and beautiful in our world.

May the voices of the generations of our people move through you, and may the God of our ancestors be your God as well.

May you know that there is a people, a rich heritage to which you belong, and from that sacred place you are connected to all who dwell on earth.

May the stories of our people be upon your heart, and the grace of the Torah rhythm dance in your soul.Rabbi Sandy Eisenberg Sasso



#4F:

We join [parents] in their hope and prayer that the life of [child’s name] will be wondrously long and gloriously blessed. May he grow sturdy in body, noble in heart and beautiful in soul. Amen  
Rabbi Ronald B. Sobel



#4G:

MOTHER:

With all my heart, with all my soul, with all my might I thank You, God, for the gift of this wonderful child. I thank you for a healthy pregnancy, a safe delivery and a speedy recovery.

FATHER:

With all my heart, and with all my soul, with all my might I pray for the continued health of our son. I pray for him to be strong in mind and body, to grow steadily and sturdily in a home filled with joy. I pray for him to become a person who greets the world with passion, courage, humor and patience.

MOTHER:

With all my heart, with all my soul, with all my might, I pray for God to watch over my family and me. I pray for the ability to love and nurture this child; to provide for him and to educate him; to understand him and allow him the freedom to grow.
  Rabbi Judy Shanks
  Adapted by Rabbi Margaret Wenig 
#4H:*

When I look upon you [child's name], the child we have made, there are no limitations and longings. I am looking with perfect love. As I experience the perfection of motherhood/fatherhood, the rest of the world is remade before my eyes. I feel something in the world that is more important than I am. I know every other woman/man with different eyes. I know a new kind of love that is devoid of self-interest and desire. Motherhood/fatherhood, like marriage, is a constant struggle against one's limitations and self-interests. But the urge to be the perfect mother/father is there, because our child is the perfect gift.

#4I:*

To be your mother/father is the greatest honor I have ever received. It has allowed me to touch mystery for a moment, and to see my love made flesh. If I could have but one wish, it would be for you to pass that love along. After all, there is not much more to life than that. 

#4J: 

May it be Your will, Adonai our God, God of our Ancestors, to continually renew this child for happiness and blessing. Grant him a long life of peace and well being, a life of blessing and sustenance, a life of good health, a life of humility, a life free from shame, a life of wealth and honor, a life filled with love of Torah and awe before God, a life in which the good wishes of his heart shall be fulfilled.  
  Amen 

#4K:

May you, [child’s name], son of Israel be like them:
Pioneering, as Abraham
Faithful, as Isaac
Devoted, as Jacob
A dreamer, like Joseph
Visionary, like Moses
Spiritual, as David
Wise, as Solomon
Conscientious, as Isaiah
May you be…
Virtuous, as Hillel
Scholarly, as Akiva
Insightful, as Maimonides

May you, [child’s name], be…
Persistent, as Theodore Herzl
Moral, as Louis Brandeis
A healer, like Jonas Salk
Enlightened, as Albert Einstein

May you take the qualities of all your forefathers and make them your own.
May you, [child’s name], be blessed.

#4L:

  Beholding the wonder of a new life, we recall many of your ancestors who have gone before. Although you may never see them, you are connected firmly to those roots within your family and your Jewish heritage. Their dreams for a better world offer meaning to the life you are just beginning. You are the continuation of the past, the promise of the future. 
 From generation to generation our people have gathered to welcome new life into our midst.

May you feel welcomed and embraced by your family, those of us who are here today, as well as those who have come before you and are not present this day. The happiness you bring to all of us will shine in our hearts and memories. 

May your name be for a blessing. Like a sunrise, may you shine brightly, welcoming each day with cheerfulness and pleasure, bringing light into the world, spreading warmth and joy as you journey through life. 

#4M:

May you be a seeker of visions, and a hunter of dreams.
May you be awestruck with wonder, and inspired by nature.
May your heart be filled with intuition, and your words be filled with insight.
May you show wisdom and integrity, and may you live in a world of peace.
May words of praise be ever on your tongue, and your vision be on a straight path before
 you.
May your eyes shine with light, and your face reflect the brightness of the heavens.
May you sing all the songs, dance all the dances, paint all the rainbows, and laugh all the
 laughter.
May life be good to you, and may you be good to life.



#4N: 

May your children see you comb your grandchildren’s hair.
May there be a generation of children on the children of your children.
May you get all your wishes but one, so that you will always have something to strive for.
May God guard you through each day and night and ever watch above you ...
May God smile on everything you do and always ... may God love you.
  Irish blessing

#4O:

May you be poor in misfortune,
Rich in blessings,
Slow to make enemies,
Quick to make friends.
But rich or poor, quick or slow,
May you know nothing 
But happiness
From this day forward.

#4P:

May the road rise up to meet you.
May the wind be always at your back,
May the sun shine warm upon your face,
And the rains fall softly upon your shoulders.
Till we are together again,
May God hold you in the palm of His hand.
Irish blessing
#4Q: (Godparents’ blessing)

May God who blessed our ancestors, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, Sarah, Rebecca, Rachel, and Leah, bless [parents], who have brought new life, with Your help, into this world. May You grant them the wisdom to guide [child’s name] on paths of righteousness, the strength to provide direction through life’s every challenge, and the love needed to be the parents they hope to be.  
May [parents] be privileged to raise [child’s name] to adulthood and to witness him enjoying the blessings of Torah, chupah and a life of ma’asim tovim, good deeds. And let us say:Amen

#4R:

May God give you eyes to see joy in the world,
Ears to hear the chirping of the birds,
A nose to smell the fragrance of the flowers,
A mouth to utter praises and wonder,
Arms to embrace those you love,
Feet to run and jump and dance,
A heart to feel delight and love and hope,
And a soul to experience the world around you.



May God also grant you eyes that see the world's pain,
Ears that hear the cry of those in need,
A nose to sense the changes in the air,
A mouth to speak out both in protest and in support,
Feet to go quickly to the aid of others,
A heart to feel concern and commitment,
And a soul that seeks to better the world around you.
  [Helise Lieberman]

#4S:

Dear [child’s name]
This life is yours...
To do what you want
To find wonder in giving and loving
To learn from mistakes
To find peace and strength within
To accept differences and appreciate them
To take risks, laugh, and have fun.

Listen to your heart.
You will find your way.

Remember you are never alone.
We love you.
Adrian and Kurt Brown
#4T:

Listen to the MUSTN’TS, child,
Listen to the DON’TS
Listen to the SHOULDN’TS
The IMPOSSIBLES, the WON’TS
Listen to the NEVER HAVES
Then listen close to me—
Anything can happen, child,
ANYTHING can be.Shel Silverstein



#4U:*

Loving life with all our heart and all our spirit, all our senses and strength, we take upon ourselves and into ourselves theses promises: to care for the earth and those who live upon it, to pursue justice and peace, to love kindness and compassion. We will teach this to our child(ren) throughout the passage of the day - as we dwell in our homes and as we go on our journeys, from the time we rise until we fall asleep




#4V:

May the syllables draw holiness from your heart,
and may this holiness be gentle and soothing
to you and all God’s creatures.
May your study be passionate,
and meanings bear more meanings
until Life itself arrays itself to you 
as a dazzling wedding feast
(And may we all dance at your wedding).
And may your conversation,
even of the commonplace,
be a blessing to all who listen to your words
and see the Torah glowing on your face.
  (Danny Siegel)



#4W:

Traditions abound today, both of family and religion, and all are centered on you, [child’s name]. Traditions like heritage are the threads that bind the human family together and must be perpetuated to the next generation.
[Child’s name], we welcome you into this world and especially into [Mother]’s and [Father]’s families. Although you come from two different noble bloodlines of the House of Israel, through both of them you are a literal descendant of Abraham and Sarah.
May the spirit of the Prophet Elijah rest upon you and your parents.
[child’s name], we welcome you into our families, the [mother’s family name] and the [father’s family name].
May God bless you and sustain you to accomplish all you came to the earth to do

#4X:

Don't be satisfied with poems and stories of how things have gone with others. 
Unfold your own myth, without complicated explanation, so everyone will understand the passage, we have opened you.
Start walking towards the sun.  
Your legs will get heavy and tired.
Then comes a moment of feeling the wings you have grown, lifting. -
[Rumi]

#4Y:

i carry your heart with me (i carry it in 
my heart) i am never without it (anywhere 
i go you go, my dear, and whatever is done 
by only me is your doing, my darling) 
i fear 
no fate (for you are my fare, my sweet) i want 
no world (for beautiful you are my world, my true) 


and it's you are whatever a moon has always meant 
and whatever a sun will always sing is you 
here is the deepest secret nobody knows 
(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud 
and the sky of the sky of a tree called life; which grows 
higher than the soul can hope or mind can hide) 
and this is the wonder that's keeping the stars apart 
i carry your heart (i carry it in my heart) 

  ee cummings

#4Z: Children Learn What They Live

If children live with criticism, they learn to condemn.
If children live with hostility, they learn to fight.
If children live with ridicule, they learn to be shy.
If children live with shame, they learn to feel guilty.
If children live with tolerance, they learn to be patient.
If children live with encouragement, they learn confidence.
If children live with praise, they learn to appreciate.
If children live with fairness, they learn justice.
If children live with security, they learn to have faith.
If children live with approval, they learn to like themselves.
If children live with acceptance and friendship, they learn to find love in the world.
Dorothy Law Nolte

#4AA:

o little elephant
whose heartlike ears...
adorable
have flown him...
in the glow of a joy which wasn't
and isn't
and won't be
words...
for it's love.
e.e.cummings

#4BB: The Day You Were Born

The day you were born
our worlds changed, 
we were all on that train
but our destinations weren't the same.

Immediately as you arrived
you set about to change our lives,
so much joy the room couldn't hold
when God made you, he broke the mold.

Baby with beauty that is so true
we knew there'd never be another you.

The angels sent you from up above
so many people here...to give you love.

There will be many firsts for you
we know that you have much to do.

Still we marvel at the way
you came into our lives that day.

To make a mommy and daddy be
a happy couple for all to see,
then of course the grandparents too
they couldn't wait to get their hands on you.

So thank you [CHILD’S NAME], for the joy you give
but especially for making ...better people live!


#4CC:

May love and laughter light your days and warm your heart and home.
May good and faithful friends be yours wherever you may roam.
Irish prayer

#4DD:

Being parents is a unique opportunity. It is the challenge of helping another human being to grow, to learn, to love, to experience, and to live. Being a parent means supporting and encouraging a new life to blossom forth with strength and dignity. It means teaching a new life to find beauty in the world around and within (him). And to find wisdom from all the people he/she will encounter. The task is great but the rewards greater. 

Your children need parents who have the wisdom to teach them to lead a life of responsibility and autonomy.

May you, MOTHER and FATHER, find the strength, courage and wisdom to help your children grow as autonomous individuals and to live lives of their own choosing.

May the special joy that lives within you - become a part of [CHILD’S] life as well. May he/she too learn to see the beauty that surrounds (him) - so that (he) too will look about and see the good and joyous all around. 

Today all of you MOTHER, FATHER and [CHILD] embark on a life long journey. A journey which will span great distances of time and space. Where the journey will lead is up to you the parents and you the children. Our hope is that you will travel your journey with strength, creativity and 
love.

#4EE:

MY GRANDSON
-Albert E. Pfanstiel

My Grandson’s just a little guy,
Not old enough to walk;
Who wants attention all the time
And he tries his best to talk.

He can be all smiles and sunshine
That may quickly turn to fuss;
He’s just a baby to the Doctor
But he’s many things to us.

He’s an angel, He’s a terror,
He’s a bundle of pure joy;
He’s a “Whiz,” the “Cat’s pajamas,”
He’s a darling little boy.

He doesn’t have good manners.
He “patty cakes” his food – 
And kicks and squeals, throws things around
According to his mood.

Each time I try to cuddle him
He’s grabbing for my specs;
And all the time his finger nails
Are digging in my neck.

He’s not old enough to care for me –
More self centered, as you know;
But he’s a bright- eyed gift from heaven
And Oh! We love him so.

Now I suppose as Grandpas go
That I’m like all the rest;
So please, don’t think me selfish
When I wish for him life’s best.

May he walk with truth, undaunted,
And may good health crown his days.
May his feet forever keep him
On the higher, sun-lit ways.

May his life be rich in Friendship,
And I pray the little Lad
Will grow up to be a better man
Than every his Granddad.

For ‘tis a great, tho' solemn thing to know
That when your race is run;
A part of you will linger here
If you’re blest with a Grandson.



MOTHER:

My son, my child, you are as dear to me as my own breath.
May I hold you gently now with the love to keep you close and with the strength to let you grow.

FATHER:

My son, my child, a piece of my life is you. You have grown to life apart from me, but now I hold you close to my heart and cradle you in my arms with my love.

PARENTS:

We have been blessed with the gift of a new life. We have shared love and pain and joy in bringing our son into life. By the way we live, we aspire to teach our son to become a loving and 
caring person. God of our grandfathers, God of our grandmothers, we pray for covenant love, for life, for good. Keep us strong together.







MARK: יברכך אדוני וישמרך,
  Yivorechecha Adonai v'yishmarecha,
SANDEK: May Adonai bless you and watch over you,

MARK: יאיר אדוני פניו אליך ויחונך,
  Ya-eyr Adonai panav ele'cha vichuneka,
SANDEK: May God's light shine upon you and bring
  graciousness into your life,

MARK: ישא אדוני פניו אליך ויישם לך שלום.
  Yisa' Adonai panav ele'cha v'yasem l'cha shalom.
SANDEK: May the Creator always look lovingly upon you
  and grant you deep and complete shalom.  
Amen
[Numbers 6: 24-26]




  MAZEL TOV!!

Mark M. Rubenstein, M.D.
  147 Los Altos Avenue
  Walnut Creek, CA 94598
  Tel: 925-932-6650
 Fax: 925-937-6650
  Cell: 925-212-9964
markmd@earthlink.net
www.mohel.yourmd.com
















Preparation:  

  Kiddush cup and wine (Kosher is best, any sweet wine is OK)  
  Sandek: special person to be honored, often a grandparent, sits on chair (Chair of Elijah (kisei shel Eliyahu); any chair will do) holding infant during circumcision 
  Well lighted surface in bedroom (changing table is great) or bathroom for "pre" circumcision
  Candle(s) and candlesticks(s).
  Matches! BOX OF KLEENEX
  Tylenol drops
  Assign someone to be in charge of siblings
  Sign on door asking latecomers to come in without ringing the doorbell
  Take the phone off the hook
  Turn off cell phones
  Turn off the stereo
  Completely optional: (I don’t think it makes any difference, but some folks want to use it.) A topical (over-the-counter) anaesthetic like LMX (topical lidocaine, 4 or 5%) or similar which you can pick up at your pharmacy; (call ahead so that he can get you a small tube)
Please apply this to the baby’s penis liberally from base to tip and cover with Saran wrap
about 2 hours before I arrive. If he pees or poops, just re-apply it.If you cannot find the topical lidocaine, don’t worry about it. We can easily do without it.

Optional things to think about:
  Consider putting out photos of family members who may not be present 
  Consider having far-off relatives or friends who cannot be present participate via speaker phone or Skype
  Special outfit for infant; a Tallit can be used to wrap the child in
  Kippah (skullcap) for the baby
  Kvatterin (godmother) carries infant into room and gives to:  
  Kvatter (godfather) who brings infant to Sandek
  (Kvatter and kvatterin are ceremonial roles, not permanent responsibilities.)

MEZUZAH *

A Mezuzah may be affixed to the doorpost of the child's room at this occasion (or later, of course). If this is done, then the following prayer can be recited:

PARENTS:

This ancient symbol speaks to us of our need to love God and to live by the words of the Eternal One. We affix the Mezuzah to the doorpost of this room with the hope that it will always remind us to teach our son of our duties to God and to one another. May the upbringing of [child’s name] be filled with the divine spirit, the spirit of love and kindness and consideration for all people.

ALL: 

ברוך אתה אדוני אלוהינו מלך העולם אשר קידשנו במיצוותיו וציוונו לקבע מזוזה

Baruch ata Adonai, Eloheynu melech ha-olam asher kidshanu b'mitz-votav v'tzivanu l'keboa Mezuzah.
Praised are You, Our God, Ruler of the universe who sanctifies us by Your laws, and commands us to affix the Mezuzah.