Monday, January 30, 2012

The BrIs Certificate

I have had mixed feelings about the bris certificate over the years. When I was living in NY, most of the brisses I presided over were for Orthodox Jews.

Not to judge or compare, but Orthodox Jews generally pay a lot more attention to their children's Hebrew/Jewish names in the formative years after the bris than unaffiliated or minimally affiliated Jews do for their children. The likelihood of their forgetting the baby's Hebrew name is slim to none.

There are, of course, other reasons why people might want a certificate, but I see that as being the most important reason (from my perspective) as to why to give one.

Living in Florida, I have found a very different reality on the ground. The benefits of providing at least the option for a certificate far outweigh the hassle of putting one together. As a result I now offer a certificate for those who want one.

I have chosen to include the baby's birth date, the date of his bris, (both the Jewish and secular calendar dates), his English name(s) and his Hebrew name. I include the parents' Hebrew names as well.

And I send it to parents via email in PDF form so they can choose to print it on whatever paper in whatever size and to frame it how they like. Most importantly, since each certificate now has a digital copy in my email and in the email of the parents, the likelihood of it getting lost forever is also minimized.

If I did your son's bris and never offered you a certificate AND if you want one, please be in touch and I will be happy to try to help rectify the outstanding "debt."

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