The Ceremony

The Bris of a healthy child is held on the eighth day of life (counting the day of birth), never sooner, even if that day be Shabbos or Yom Tov, even Yom Kippur. If the child is delivered by Caesarean section, however, the Bris may not be held on Shabbos or Yom Tov.

In the event that the baby is not in perfect health, even if not seriously ill, the Bris is delayed until both the doctor and the Mohel are in agreement as to the healthy status of the baby. In the case of serious illness, a delay of one week following full recovery is required. A postponed Bris may not take place on Shabbos or a holiday.

The Bris may be performed only during the daytime. Circumcision can take place at home, synagogue or social halls with complete safety.

Kibbudim / Honours

During the ceremony, candles are lit in honour of the occasion and several honours are bestowed on relatives and friends.

These honours include:

Kvatterin & Kvatter, close friends or relatives who carry the baby from the mother to the room in which the Bris will take place. Often the above two honours are bestowed upon a married couple as a Segulah (merit) to have children.

Kiseh Shel Eliyahu, a relative or friend places the baby on a chair designated as the Throne of Elijah the Prophet, who is believed to rejoice at every Bris.

Sandak, holds the baby on his lap during the Bris. This is considered the highest honour bestowed at a Bris. Many offer this role to the Rabbi or to the grandfather.

Mevarech, recites the blessing on a cup of wine, and a blessing of thanks to G-d on behalf of the new parents. Also reads a prayer during which the baby is given his Hebrew name.

Sandak MeUmad, holds the baby while the above blessings and prayers are read.

babyThe above is a partial list of honours commonly bestowed at a Bris. If there are others you wish to honour, please speak to Rabbi Pacht before the Bris for a more complete list.

Download a Pre-Bris Checklist