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Jewish Lifecycle


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The phrase originally referred to a person responsible for performing the divine commandments of Judaism; it now refers to the occasion when a boy or girl reaches the age of religious maturity and responsibility (thirteen years for a boy; twelve years an
Bar (Bat) Mitzvah
(Heb., “son (daughter)-of-the-commandment(s)”).
The minor surgical removal of the skin covering the tip of the penis. It is ritually performed when a boy is eight days old in a ceremony called ____ _____, which indicates that the ritual establishes a covenant between God and the individual.
Brit (or Berit) Milah / Circumcision
____________ usually marks the end of formal religious school training (age 15-16), and often occurs around the time of Shavuot. ____________ in Judaism was invented in the 19th century by the Reform movement as a replacement for the Bar Mitzvah.
The rite of relieving the first-born male child born to parents not descended from Aaron or Levi of certain religious obligations by redeeming him from a member of the priestly class. It is celebrated 30 days after the child's birth. The father pays five
Pidyon Haben
The ritual veiling of the bride by the groom. This custom developed from the biblical story of Jacob, who married Leah by mistake, instead of Rachel, the woman he loved.
Court of Jewish law. Converts must appear before a ___ ___ prior to becoming Jewish.
Bet Din
The group that prepares a body for burial.
Chevra Kadisha (“holy society”)
The special canopy under which a marriage ceremony is conducted.
Huppah or Chuppah
(“To Life”). Used as a toast.
Congratulations and good luck.
Mazel Tov
A Jewish communal bath for washing away spiritual impurity by immersion. Converts must immerse in the _____ at the end of the conversion ceremony and women use the _____ at the conclusion of their menstrual cycle as part of the laws of taharat hamishpach
Mikvah, Miqvah, Mikveh, Mikva, Mikve
(Heb., “seven”). Seven days of mourning after the burial of a close relative.
Shiva (as in, “to sit shiva”)
(Heb., “thirty”). An intermediate stage of 30 days of less severe mourning, including shiva.
Happy occasion.
Anniversary of a death; a 24-hour candle lit to commemorate the death anniversary of a close relative, also lit on holy days when Yizkor (prayer of remembrance) is recited.

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