Ritualwell

Tradition & Innovation
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Infertility

Historically, Judaism has offered little for women and men suffering with the pain of infertility. Thankfully, over the last 25 years, Jewish women and men have transformed the canon of Jewish ritual. Jewish women have both created new rituals grounded in traditional practices and language and unearthed prayers and rituals from our past written by and for women, responding to their lives and needs. Jewish men have also given voice to their own struggles with infertility through the creation of new rituals and blessings that acknowledge their shared pain.
 

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

Hayyei Sarah

By Shana Roskies
The author brings to life the Genesis tale of Sarah, Abraham, and Hagar by locating Sarah and Abraham's infertility as the central factor motivating the characters' behavior   more
Article

Tags: Hayei Sarah

A Longing for Children

By Julie Stockler
This essay on grieving the inability to bear children relates the author's dialogue with her deceased grandmother about whether she has the permission to mourn   more
Article

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