A crescent-shaped tambourine is passed around a circle of women, including the girl celebrating the onset of menses. As each woman holds it, she attaches a streamer and tells the girl of a blessing that she individually has received as a Jewish woman. At the end of the circle, the tambourine is handed to the girl, a symbol of her becoming part of a community of Jewish women
Reprinted with permission of the authors. Judith Chalmer is the author of a book of poems, Out of History's Junk Jars (Time Being Books, 1995). Adapted from "Turning 12: A Menarche Ritual," Lilith #21:18.