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The Whys of Our Ways

Exploring Jewish customs and traditions

A deeper understanding and exploration of Jewish customs and traditions, and how they have forged us into a more kind and compassionate nation.

The mitzvah of circumcision and redeeming the firstborn son
Why is a male child circumcised at eight days? Why isn’t a female circumcised? What is a Pidyon Haben celebration, and why do we do it?
The first haircut and entering adulthood
What is an upsherin, and what’s the message behind this ceremonious haircut? What transformation occurs at a bar or bat mitzvah, and how can we tap into this new energy?