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Bris Milah - Jewish Circumcision Ritual

tool2Mazel tov, its a BOY! The Jewish law is for the baby boy to be circumcised. We will cover the how, what, why and where in this article. Circumcision is a ceremony that must take place on the eighth day. If the baby is sick on that day, it becomes the doctors option.

The rite of circumcision welcomes the male child into the covenant of Abraham and Isaac. This practice is over 4,000 years old and has become so ancient and so ingrained that until recently, it would have been unthinkable not to perform a bris.

Photo: Gomco Clamp


Interpreter’s Corner

inter2Mentoring & Teaming
I would like to talk about Mentoring and Teaming. This fall, I have finally had the opportunity (after many years of working alone), to work with several other interpreters.

In three situations, I had the chance to "mentor" other interpreters who were preparing to interpret services (High Holiday and Shabbat Evening). All were interpreting in Reform Synagogues. Their struggle was with the Hebrew.

The major problem was that Reform prayer books do not include full and accurate translations of the Hebrew prayers. Usually, beneath a Hebrew prayer is merely a "summary" of the Hebrew. The interpreters were frustrated, because they have felt unsure of what to do while the rabbi/congregation were reading from the Hebrew.


Young Adults Corner

Why Do People Care?
Picture this: there's a person - preferably a Jew for the sake of our discussion - sitting at his or her desk, filling out a college application. Whether that application be for University of California at Berkeley or Harvard or Florida State or Texas A&M or William and Mary, or even Michigan's greatest rival, Ohio State, that person invariably comes up to this question or prompt: appease state your religious affiliation."

Why? Sure, I know that it's good for statistics. You get to hear about what percentage of the student body happen to be Catholic or Jewish or Mormon or Hare Krishna. It can help you make a decision on picking a college, but let's admit it, religion isn't very important in choosing a college (at least for me). If they have a good Hillel program, that's fine with me.


A Great Miracle Happened There

girlChanukah, which always falls on the twenty-fifth of Kislev according to the Jewish Calendar, is usually held during the month of December. The Hebrew meaning of Chanukah is Dedication and Shamash is Servant.

Chanukah is a eight-day holiday which celebrates the Jewish people defeating the Syrian-Greek armies and reclaiming the Temple in Jerusalem. After cleaning the Temple which was overgrown with vines and weeds, they finished their work on the twenty-fifth of Kislev. As they gathered to light the menorah, however, they could only find one small jar of pure olive oil which would last only one day. To their surprise, however, the oil burned and burned for eight days and nights until they could produce more oil. Thus, the eight-day long Chanukah holiday.



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