“your invited” we hope you are able to join as as we learn about the Brit Milah ceremony.
The brit milah ceremony
What is the brit milah ceremony?
The brit milah is the “covenant of circumcision"; in Yiddish it is know as bris. This is a Jewish religious male circumcision ceremony performed by a mohel (usually a doctor who is trained on how to circumcise correctly and safely) on the eighth day of a male infant's life. The brit milah is followed by a celebratory meal.
Where can a bris be held ?
A bris can be held anywhere. The brit milah ceremony can be held anywhere but it all depends whether or not the jewish family follows traditional customs/values.
Most non-traditional parents choose to do it at home, at a banquet hall, at a restaurant, or any other kind of event space. Although some still do it at a synagogue.
More traditional families have the bris as part of the Morning Prayer services, held at the synagogue.
When can the ceremony be held?
This really depends on the family preference and on the location where they are holding the brit milah ceremony.
Weekday brises are often held early in the morning so that friends and family can attend and still make it to work on time.
A weekend or holiday bris may start much later in the day.
When should you arrive?
It is custom and considered polite to arrive 20-30 minutes before the actual ceremony begins and you can expect there to be talking a lot. The new baby and his parents may not be around yet.
How long will a bris take?
A bris ceremony will rarely last more than 15 minutes but there is also a big celebration that goes along with it. In total, a brit milah can last anywhere from one hour to two hours.
The ceremony (intro part)
The mohel, will quiet down the crowd and will offer a short introduction/ explanation. When he (the mohel is usually a man) finishes speaking, the mother will bring the boy into room. Then she will hand the child to a close friend or family member who then bring the child to the front of the room.
It is traditional to have the baby boy be circumcised in the lap of his grandfather. If the bris is held in a synagogue, the man holding the boy will sit in a special chair called Eliijah’s chair. According to tradition, the prophet Eliijah attends every bris.
The ceremony (procedure)
Just before performing the circumcision the mohel will recite a blessing. The father and mother stand just next to the mohel, and recite a blessing as the child is circumcised. This may be…