The father of the infant stands next to the mohel, the one who will perform the circumcision. The father picks up the surgical knife and hands it to the mohel, stating that he appoints the mohel as his deputy to perform the brit milah, the circumcision.1 The knife is extremely sharp, and double edged, in order to cause the least pain possible.2

The Sephardic custom is for the mohel to say, at this point in the ceremony, “bereshut moirei verabotai,” “with the permission of my teachers and the community.” The community responds, “l’chaim,” “to life.”3

The Blessings

The mohel recites the blessing, “Blessed are You, L‑rd our G‑d, King of the universe, Who has sanctified us with His commandments and commanded us concerning circumcision.”4

Then he begins the circumcision.

The father recites the blessing, "Baruch atah A-donay, Elo-heinu Melech Ha’Olam, asher kideshanu bemitzvotav vetzivanu le-hach-ni-soh bivrito shel Avraham Avinu", “Blessed are You, L‑rd our G‑d, King of the universe, Who has sanctified us with His commandments and commanded us to enter him into5 the Covenant of Abraham our father.”6

Those present7 respond:

“Ke-shem she-nich-nas la-brit kein yi-ka-neis le-to-rah le-choo-pah oo-le-ma-a-sim to-vim.”- “Just as he has entered into the Covenant, so may he enter into Torah, into marriage, and into good deeds.”

The community prays that the father merit to fulfill his other obligations throughout the child’s upbringing: to educate him, marry him off, and raise him with acts of kindness.8

In most Sephardic communities the father says his blessing before the circumcision,9 followed by the blessing of Shehechiyanu.10