Life Cycle Ceremonies
Dr. Nira Nechaliel
We customarily mark milestone events and important stages of our lives by holding ceremonies. The ceremony is a condensed and symbolic expression of personal and public ideas and moods and is conducted in festive and elevated spirits.
The ceremony allows both individuals and society to shape time, endowing it with personal, social and cultural significance. It is a way for people to gain a sense of control over time. The ceremonies we choose to hold and the forms these take allow us to express our cultural identity.
Throughout this course, we have chosen to discuss ceremonies that mark the circle of life – birth, coming of age, marriage and mourning. We will observe these ceremonies from a personal, social and cultural perspective.
The learning process will proceed with studying the Jewish origins of each ceremony, their respective structures, which have taken shape over the course of innumerable generations, and contemporary and relevant perspectives and the possibilities for reshaping our life cycle ceremonies.