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Brit Horim: A New Parent Ketubah

a Black parent holds an infant up to their face and kisses the baby on the cheek. The infant is facing the camera.

While a Brit Milah ceremony is about welcoming a new child into the covenant, becoming a parent is also a significant lifecycle event and merits its own ritual to bring sacred intentionality and blessing into this new role with important responsibiities. The idea of a "New Parent Ketubah" was inspired by Rabbi Arthur Ocean Waskow and Rabbi Phyllis Ocean Berman, suggested in their book A Time for Every Purpose Under Heaven as a “written agreement with the child-to-be… to shape the ceremony with a conscious eye to what it says of the values of body, mind, heart, and spirit.”

These intentions and blessings are based on the Ribbono Shel Olam prayer at the end of the traditional Brit Milah/covenenting ceremony for a new child. They can be read during a ceremony or shared privately.

Hashuv: I commit to prioritizing you above everyone else in my life. I commit to making you feel like the most important person in the room.

Merutzeh: I commit to making you feel wanted, even when you make mistakes or disappoint me.  

Mekubal: I commit to accepting you and love you no matter your life choices, whether I agree with you or not.

Hikravtihu: I commit to modeling healthy relationships, respectful egalitarian partnership, and sacred sexuality

Rakhamekha: I commit to bringing patience to our relationship, particularly at times of great stress and frustration, and to strive to empathize with your perspective and experience, and to meet you where you are.

Kedusha: I commit to sharing with you my intimate relationship to the Divine as one path you can take.

Tehorah: I commit to respecting your purity, not perverting you with toxic messages or projecting my own shit onto you.

Patu’akh: I commit to honoring your boundaries and never taking advantage of your vulnerability and openness. 

Lilmod: I commit to be conscious and intentional in conveying to you what wisdom I have gathered over my years and sharing with you what has served me. I commit to creating space so that you can learn important lessons on your own and in your own way.

LiLamed: I commit to learning from you and to being your most avid student. 

Lishmor: I commit to protecting you, ensuring your physical and emotional safety, guarding you against those who seek to do you harm, while recognizing that there are some battles you will have to fight on your own, and some scars that will be essential for your journey.

La’asot: I commit to teaching you trade and skills that will serve you well on your journey, and helping you connect with others who can teach you what I cannot. I commit to helping you find you mission in life and supporting you in manifesting that vision.

Arikhut Yamim: I commit to helping you develop healthy habits and behaviors that will foster longevity and wellness. 

Yirat Het: I commit to fostering in you a strong conscious and visceral sense of right and wrong, as well as the courage to act on that intuition. 

Osher: I commit to providing your sustenance while helping you develop a healthy relationship with material wealth. I commit to not check my work emails on my phone while I am spending quality time with you.

Kavod: I commit to instilling in you a respect for the wisdom of elders and those who have trod this earth before us; a respect for the environment and the wondrous creations that Hashem has gifted to this world; and a healthy questioning of authority in the quest for justice. 

Timaleh Mishalot Libo: I commit to support you in connecting to your heart, trusting you heart, and following your heart.

Tovah: I promise to show you kindness, bring out the sweetness amidst the pain of life, and always give you the benefit of the doubt. 

 

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