Both Brit Milah and Baptism?

Question

I am Catholic and my fiance is Jewish. We are wondering… is it possible for a child to be baptisedand take first communion, as well as have a bris and a bar mitzvah? Or, for example, does baptising a child then preclude them from having a bar mitzvah when they’re older? I’m not sure if the Conservative view is different than the Reformed view…I’d love to hear both if possible. Thanks, Charlene

16 years

Answers

  1. Circumcision is a covenant – that is an agreement of total devotion, absolute loyalty and eternal love between two parties – in the case of circumcision betwween God and the Jewish people. It is an entry into the fold of Abraham and a declaration of our belief in the eternity of the Jewish people, pure monotheism and our duty to God. A bar mitzvah is the coming of age of a Jewish child who now is obligated to observe the commandments of the Torah (Jewish law). Both of these, circumcision and bar mitzvah are exclusively for a child who is Jewish, (that is born of a Jewish mother, or a convert to Judaism) and are clearly exclusive of any other faith/religious commitment such as baptism or communion. I guess one might compare doing both to joining the Marxist-Leninist Alliance and purchasing a seat on the NY stock exchange simultaneously – the two are just not compatible. Judaism and Christianity are two different and mutually exclusive faith communities. If the two ceremonies have any meaning whatsoever and are not merely reduced to meaningless rituals such as blowing out the candles on the birthday cake, then they cannot be both performed for one individual.

    Best wishes from the AskTheRabbi.org Team