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Is There a Special Baby Brit Outfit?

Is There a Special Baby Brit Outfit?

How should a child be dressed for the circumcision ceremony?

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Question:

We just had a baby boy and we have been wondering, is there a special outfit that we should be dressing him in for his brit milah (ritual circumcision)?

Answer:

Mazel Tov on the birth of your son!

The circumcision ceremony is a very meaningful life passage (click here for more about the meaning of circumcision), and as part of our expression of joy in the fulfillment of this commandment, we groom and dress the baby boy.

First, the baby should be bathed in warm water so that he is clean in honor of the great mitzvah.1

Then, he should be dressed in fine clothing. Some say that this should be done by the mother specifically.2 Many refer to the circumcision ceremony as the marriage between G‑d (the bride) and the small baby (the groom).3 Therefore, the baby should be dressed up in festive clothing, as if for his wedding.

Some have the custom that the baby should wear a kipah, a head covering – for practical reasons, this would generally be in the form of a hat or a cap, since a traditional kipah would not stay on a newborn's head. And there are some who dress the baby in tzitzit, the ritual fringes worn by Jewish males.4

Dovid Zaklikowski
Chabad.org/Judaism

Footnotes
1.

Klolei Milah p. 63. See Talmud Shabbat 134b and Shulchan Aruch Orech Chayim 331:9, that during the times of the Talmud it was actually physically dangerous not to bathe the child before, immediately following, and three days after the ritual circumcision.

2.

Otzar Habrit, 207.

3.

Ibn Ezra on Exodus 4:25.

4.

Zecher Dovid, as brought down in Otzar Habrit ibid in f. 2. Later on, he should be taught to wear tzitzit daily – according to some, this should be once he is old enough to speak (Kitzur Shelah ch. tzitzit p. 31), but the more widely accepted custom is for the child to be taught to wear his tzitzit daily beginning from his third birthday (see Rabbi Yechiel Michel Epstein, Aruch Hashulchan 17:5).

Dovid Zaklikowski is a freelance journalist living in Brooklyn. Dovid and his wife Chana Raizel are the proud parents of four: Motti, Meir, Shaina & Moshe Binyomin.
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Moish May 1, 2012

re:Outfit Review the Brit Milah Handbook for all the details and the mother's role in the ceremony:

Reply

Anonymous Riverview, MI April 30, 2012

Outfit Is there a web site that has a selection of outfits appropriat for a Brit? Also, what, if any, is the role of the mothers parents during the procedure and after? Reply

Circumcision is the first commandment given by G-d to Abraham, the first Jew, and is central to Judaism.
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