Welcoming an infant girl into Judaism
The birth of a girl is celebrated and welcomed into the Jewish community and the covenant by having the baby and her parents come to the Torah for an aliyah shortly after her birth. After the aliyah, a short prayer is recited and the girl’s Hebrew name is announced.
Brit Milah, according to Genesis, is the oldest ritual in Judaism. In Genesis 17, God commands Abraham to circumcise himself and his entire household as a sign of the covenant between God and Abraham. In subsequent generations, boys are to be circumcised at eight days.
Today, we continue the practice of having a brit milah for boys at eight days old. However, if there is any doubt that circumcision will hurt the infant, the ceremony is postponed. Included in the ceremony is the bestowing of a Hebrew name on the child. The child is now a member of Jewish people and deserves to be called by a Hebrew name.
If the child is healthy, the brit should take place on the eighth day regardless of what day it is including Shabbat and holidays. There are many qualified mohelim in the Phildelphia area who are ritually and medically trained in the performance of circumcisions. Please contact Rabbi Cooper for recommendations.