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Frequently Asked Questions and Answers

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Question 21.8.1:
Other childhood lifecycle rituals: I've heard of a ceremony called "Consecration". What is it?


It is a ceremony used in Reform congregations to mark the beginning of formal Jewish education, usually with K or 1st grade. It is a group ceremony often celebrated on Simchat Torah, and usually the young participants are given a small replica of a torah (can you read 4-point type?) to symbolize the start of their study of torah. Consecration is not based on traditional rituals, and is not observed in Orthodox congregations. Some Conservative congregations do observe the ceremony. They either call it "consecration", or opt for the more Jewish-sounding names.

In the Orthodox community in England and Australia: The ceremony has nothing to do with children. The term "Consecration" refers to the official unveiling of a tombstone. Roughly a year (although often as early as 3 months or as late as 2 years), a minyan is held at the graveside while kaddish and a few psalms are recited.

The FAQ is a collection of documents that is an attempt to answer questions that are continually asked on the soc.culture.jewish family of newsgroups. It was written by cooperating laypeople from the various Judaic movements. You should not make any assumption as to accuracy and/or authoritativeness of the answers provided herein. In all cases, it is always best to consult a competent authority--your local rabbi is a good place to start.

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