Category: Relationships and Society > Religion
Asked by: tmacewen-ga
List Price: $2.00
16 Dec 2002 13:43 PST
Expires: 15 Jan 2003 13:43 PST
Question ID: 125581
Do Jewish families select "god parents" or "guardians" for their children?
Re: God parents
Answered By: tutuzdad-ga on 16 Dec 2002 14:09 PST
Dear tmacewen-ga; Thank you for allowing me an opportunity to answer your interesting question. Someone else apparently shares your curiosity about Jewish tradition and asked the same question on this site: Entering the Covenant: Does Judaism have a tradition of Godparents? http://www.shamash.org/lists/scj-faq/HTML/faq/21-01-14.html Basically, as you will soon see, the appointment of Godparents is not looked upon in Judaism in the same way that it is intended in more traditional Christian societies, though it is sometimes practiced. A Jewish family may appoint godparents, but the position is merely an honorary title. There are no real rules, responsibilities or religious obligations for godparents and a Jewish family may, in fact, appoint as many Godparents as they wish. Those chosen need not be clerics or religious leaders of any kind, but they are expected to be religiously observant, possess the necessary skills, and be fluent in Jewish laws and customs. I would gladly have provided the text of the answer for you here but, as it turns out, there is very little I can say that would actually enhance what has been clearly explained in this brief history of Godparents in Jewish society. It is well written and explains the issue quite thoroughly on its own. I hope you find that that my research exceeds your expectations. If you have any questions about my research please post a clarification request prior to rating the answer. I welcome your rating and your final comments and I look forward to working with you again in the near future. Thank you for using Google Answers. Best regards; Tutuzdad-ga INFORMATION SOURCES Entering the Covenant: Does Judaism have a tradition of Godparents? http://www.shamash.org/lists/scj-faq/HTML/faq/21-01-14.html Explanation and Order of the Brit Milah Ceremony http://www.emoil.com/explanation.htm Origins of the Bris http://www.beritmila.com/origins.html SEARCH STRATEGY SEARCH ENGINE USED: Google ://www.google.com SEARCH TERMS USED: Jewish Godparents Judaism Godparents
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Re: God parents
From: rebeccam-ga on 16 Dec 2002 14:15 PST
I was all set to post an answer, but got there a second too late! :) Well, here's what I was going to post... Hi tmacewen-ga! That's a very interesting question... and happily, one with a clear answer! To quote from About.com's Ask the Rabbi, "In Judaism, the one who holds the baby boy during his circumcision, is often referred to as "godfather." But this is not similar to the "Godfather" relationship in Christianity. In Judaism, it is the parents and grandparents who are responsible for the child's ethical development. Later on, when the child grows older it is the rabbi and teacher, who are also involved in the moral teaching of the child." (You can view the full question and answer @ http://judaism.about.com/library/asktherabbi/bl_simmons_godparents.htm ) I found support for that answer at WELCOME TO THE BRIT MILAH CEREMONY: A brief explanation of the ceremony, Prepared by Cantor Philip L. Sherman, Mohel (A Brit Milah ceremony is where a circumcision takes place, and the Mohel is the person who performs the ceremony.) "The appointing of godparents is not a Jewish tradition. If a Jewish family wishes to appoint godparents, they may do so-it is simply an honorary title. There are no rules, responsibilities or religious obligations for godparents and you may appoint as few or as many as you wish." http://www.emoil.com/explanation.htm I hope this answers your question! Please feel free to post a Request for Clarification if I can be of any further help! Best, Rebeccam-ga I searched for: jewish "godparents" (://www.google.com/search?q=jewish+%22godparents%22&hl=en&lr=&ie=UTF-8&c2coff=1&start=10&sa=N ) (I also used my own knowledge of Judaism and its practice.)
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