If you’re expecting a Jewish baby boy, or are starting to think about having children, then you’re probably wondering about whether or not to have a bris ceremony, which is also called a brit milah. So, what’s a bris exactly, and when does it it all go down?
Well, the ceremony is the removal of the foreskin from a newborn boy’s penis. Sounds like all sorts of fun, eh? A bris traditionally takes place when the baby is 8 days old. Seems fairly straightforward. Except a bris, like most things in life (and Judaism!), can get complicated.
Here’s the low down:
The bris is held on the eighth day of the baby’s life, typically in the morning. For clarification, the Jewish day begins in the evening of the previous day. So, if your son Elijah was born on a Monday night, his bris would then be scheduled for the Tuesday of the next week. Note: Even if the eighth day falls on Shabbat or a holiday, the show goes on!
However, there are some exceptions:
The bris can be rescheduled due to health reasons–whether or not a baby is healthy enough to undergo circumcision should be determined with the help of your mohel and/or doctor. If this is the case, the rescheduled bris cannot happen on Shabbat or a festival day.
When it comes to planning the bris itself, from the ceremony itself to what to serve and wear, there’s a lot of information to process–but it doesn’t have to be overwhelming. It’s why we have a whole section on our site devoted to planning a bris easily, which you can read here.