Circumcision is the removal of the foreskin of the penis. This ceremony is performed eight days after birth. Circumcision is one of the oldest Jewish traditions.
Judaism started thousands of years ago when God instructed Abraham that members of his household were to be circumcised as a mark of the covenant between God and the Jews. Circumcision is done by a Mohel, a person trained to do it properly. Mothers are not permitted to attend the ceremony.
This is a coming of ceremony held for boys on their 13th birthday. At this age a boy is considered to be entering adulthood and as such he must now be responsible for his own spiritual well being. Before this his father had this burden.
At the Bar-mitzvah the boy will now be permitted to wear a prayer shawl (tallit),yarmulke and tefillin. He will also read from the Torah scrolls. The female version of Bar-mitzvah is called Bat-mitzvah. It is held on the girl's 12th birthday.