Jewish tradition teaches us that during our lifetime we go through cycles. These are called Life Cycles.
A life cycle is a practice that anchors us to our Jewishness, our traditions, and gives us a strong sense of community as Jews. From birth, to Brit Milah, to personal or communal beliefs of the Afterlife, Jews have for centuries come together to welcome, celebrate, honor, and memorialize the people we call friends and family.
Since Life Cycles are traditions, some Jewish movements keep some while other movements observe others, and all movements are sure to follow certain ones, like the Brit Milah, which is the only mandated Life Cycle we read about in the Bible. For the sake of inclusion, all Life Cycles are included. Temple Beth Israel honors each individual’s wishes to observe a particular Life Cycle as our members come from all different paths of Judaism.
Below is a list of the Life Cycles Judaism most connects with in practice and tradition. Some have been performed for thousands of years, like the Brit Milah, which started with Abraham, others are newer and celebrated with just as much furor like the first Bat Mitzvah celebrated in 1922 and we wouldn’t have it any other way nowadays. Some of these Life Cycles could be paired up and made into one, but for instruction we separated them to include detail.
- Jewish Birthday
- Jewish Name
- Pidyon Haben (Redemption of the First Born Son)
- Brit Milah (circumcision)
- Bar Mitzvah
- Bat Mitzvah
- Divorce (Yes, it is a part of life)
- Growing Old