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What is a Jewish Brita or Female Baby Naming Ceremony

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what is a brit what is a brita what is a jewish naming ceremony

The word Brit means covenant and is used in Judaism to describe the covenant or agreement that Jews enter into with God. A male Jew is welcomed into the covenant of the Jewish faith when at the age of eight days he is ceremoniously circumcised by a Mohel. A Brit can also be called a Brith, Bris or Brit Milah.

Female Jews are not circumcised in the Jewish faith but the term brita has become a term used to signify the celebration of the birth of a female Jewish baby, as although they are not circumcised they too are part of the Jewish covenant. Brit for a male and Brita for a female. Whereas the Brit is one of the 613 Biblical Mitzvot, a Brita only refers to the party or celebration held at any time following the female baby's birth. The Brita can be thought of as a post-birth baby shower or a naming ceremony, although there is no religious female naming ceremony.

When to have a brita

A brita is usually held at least a few weeks after the baby's birth this gives the mother time to recuperate and enjoy the celebrations with the rest of the family and friends. Another reason the family usually waits a few weeks or months after the birth before having a brita is so that the baby has time to grow a little and get stronger before being presented to the guests at the party. With a male baby there is no choice as to the timing of the brit but with a brita the parents can ease the baby's trauma of being held by multiple guests and the noise of the celebration by waiting a few weeks or months after the birth.

Why have a brita

There is no religious requirement to have a brita so why have one at all? The reason most commonly given is that by having one large event where all friends and family are invited the new-mother can prevent having an endless stream of visitors coming to her home to see the new-born. In other words the parents get all of these visits over in one shot so that the mother and baby can rest at home and not need to be on show to visiting well wishes. Another more commercial reason is that when you have an "event" or large party guests tend to bring gifts, so many parents have the brita celebration to cash in on this gift opportunity. It is customary to bring a gift for the baby girl, and in Israel money is the most popular gift of choice as the event halls are very expensive and the monetary gifts are used to cover the costs.

What happens at a brita

The main difference between a brit and a brita is the absence of a circumcision ceremony, apart from that the event is the same. Guests arrive at an events hall, community center, home or restaurant and are met by the new parents with their little bundle of joy. There is normally a photographer on hand to take a shot of each aunt, uncle and granny with the baby. There is normally a meal and music. Sometimes there is just background music and at other events there is a D.J. or band and a dance floor where guests can dance. There is often a slide show running continuously of the new born and her first significant moments of life – in the hospital, taking a bath, sleeping, smiling and with the close family.The parents could also give a short speech welcoming the guests and talking of their new baby.


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Posted on Jun 16, 2011
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