Starting a Family

In contemporary homes, starting a family is often a deliberate choice. The experience of pregnancy, the drama of giving birth, and the miracle of adoption are occasions for joy and wonder. These are also experiences that can be fraught with pain and struggle, reflecting the full spectrum of life and death. We offer prayers for those who are trying to conceive, prayers for pregnancy and childbirth, rituals for parents preparing to adopt, mourning ceremonies for miscarriages, blessings for those struggling with infertility, rituals to prepare for or acknowledge an abortion, and much more. 

 

Life in the Womb

Based on the Zohar
A fanciful account, based on the Zohar, a mystical text, describing a baby's life in the womb, during which time, a candle burns over the baby's head enabling her to see from one end of the universe to the other and the angels teach her all of Torah.   more
Reading

Tags: conception

Blessing for a Mother-to-Be

By Rabbi Shohama Wiener
A prayer to be said by a group of friends or family for a woman close to giving birth using the symbolic red thread from Rachel's Tomb. A Ceremony for a Baby Shower.   more
Complete Ceremony

Tags: red thread

Celebrating Pregnancy

By Michelle Klein
Describes the customs of Sephardic Jews who celebrated a woman's first pregnancy by cutting the swaddling clothes at a festive gathering of women   more
Ritual Component

Tags: Sephardi

M'ugelet

By Rabbi Jane Litman
It is customary for pregnant women and women seeking to become pregnant to offer prayers to Rachel, Judaism's mater dolorosa. Specifically, women visit Rachel's tomb in Bethlehem, wrap a red cord around the tomb, then cut it into smaller pieces which they tie around their own wrists. This ritual for a pregnant woman is based on this custom.   more
Complete Ceremony

Tags: red thread

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