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The Handbook to Circumcision

All you need to know about Brit Milah

The Celebrations Begin
The Shabbat following the birth: The Shalom Zachor and Torah reading
The festive gathering on the Friday night following the birth and the custom that the father is called up to the Torah.
The Night Preceding the Circumcision
The special customs of the night before the Circumcision.
The Day and Time of the Circumcision
When is the brit milah performed?
The preferred day and time the circumcision is performed and why.
Final Preparations Before the Circumcision
The day of the brit milah
The Parents’ Messengers – The “Kvatter”
Escorting the baby to his circumcision
Who are the parents’ messengers? Why do we use messengers? What do they do?
The Chair of Elijah and Welcoming the Baby
What is the chair of Elijah? Why do we use it? How is the baby welcomed?
The One Who Holds the Baby – The “Sandek”
Who holds the child? How does he prepare? What does he merit?
What is a Mohel?
Who performs the circumcision? How does he prepare?
The Circumcision Procedure and Blessings
Performing the Bris Milah
Naming the Newly Circumcised Baby
Giving the Jewish name
The naming ceremony.
The Circumcision on a Holiday or Shabbat
Performing the Brit Milah on Shabbos or Yom Tov
Additional Sephardic Circumcision Customs
The customs of Sephardim and Oriental Jews at a Brit Milah
The rich customs of various Sephardic and Oriental Jewish communities.
The Health and Wellbeing of the Baby
The steps taken in order for the circumcision to go smoothly, and be as painless as possible
Circumcision is the first commandment given by G-d to Abraham, the first Jew, and is central to Judaism.
Related Topics
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