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soc.culture.jewish FAQ: Jewish Childrearing Related Questions (12/12)
Section - Question 21.8.1: Other childhood lifecycle rituals: I've heard of a ceremony called "Consecration". What is it?

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Next Document: Question 21.8.2: Other childhood lifecycle rituals: I've heard of a ceremony called "Confirmation". What is it?
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                                  Answer:
   
   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.

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