The Bris - A Special Day
Welcoming your son into the fold...
The birth of your son is a beautiful moment. You and your spouse have been blessed with the opportunity to partner with G-d in the mystical process of creation. As proud Jewish parents, you will want to plan your son’s bris.
The Bris is that special ceremony where your precious son’s eternal connection to the Jewish people is sealed while he fulfills the Covenant G-d made with Abraham, promising all who follow in His ways protection and guidance.
What is the Bris all about?
The source of the Bris comes from the Torah where G‑d commanded the Jewish people :
"On the eighth day, the flesh of his foreskin shall be circumcised.” (Leviticus 12:2)
Obeying G-d’s commandment by performing a Bris is a symbol of our partnership with G‑d. The Bris represents a constant, physical reminder of a covenant with G-d that will never end or be forgotten.
Throughout history, Jews have remained faithful to this practice, sometimes at great risk to their lives.
By performing a Bris on your son, you join the ranks of your people, connecting your child with G‑d in an unbreakable covenant. The bris ceremony is a celebration of life, family, history and Jewish tradition.
The Eighth day
The biblical requirement is to perform the bris on the eighth day of the child's life - his actual “birth” day is counted as the first. As the Jewish day begins at sundown (Lunar calendar), calculations can be confusing to those used to the Gregorian Solar calendar.
Here’s how it works.
If your son was born during the day on Monday, his Bris day will be eight days later i.e on the following Monday.
If your son was born after sundown on Monday, his Bris day will fall on the following Tuesday (because in Jewish tradition evening is part of the following day).
Performing the Bris on the eighth day (wherever possible) is considered of paramount importance in the Jewish faith and hence a Bris may be performed on Sabbath, Jewish holidays and even Yom Kippur.
If there are any doubts as to the child’s health and his readiness for the Bris postponement is possible after consultation with a Rabbi and medical professional.
The opportune time of day
Traditionally, the Bris is held in the morning, although it can be performed any time of day until sundown. It may not take place at night.
What if we need to postpone?
As the first religious occasion in your baby's life, it is wonderful to perform the Bris at the proper time - on the eighth day. However, your son’s health is of overriding importance. If there is any question as to the baby’s health, consult with your doctor and get advice as to when the Bris can be safely performed. (Note: This is usually depending only on the baby's health and not on his weight.)