If Judaism can be said to have a rhythm, it may best be compared to the two-part beating of the human heart. One part of the heartbeat of the Jewish religion is the weekly celebration of Shabbat, the day of rest, punctuated by a full calendar of Jewish holidays which occur regularly throughout the year. The other part of the heartbeat of Judaism is comprised of Jewish lifecycle rituals, those ceremonies which help us mark and celebrate important life passages.
From the time a Jewish child is born and is welcomed into the covenant with God and throughout their entire life, the community gathers with the child’s parents, family and friends to celebrate special milestones as they are reached. Because Congregation Beth Hatikvah is a small congregation where members truly care about each other, “family affairs” is a good way to describe the life cycle rituals in which we participate together.