Bris Brit Milah
Religious Circumcision

Ceremony Celebration

The Jewish religion is filled with traditions and rituals and many of them originated thousands of years ago. Brit Milah is one such ceremonial ritual that involves newborn Jewish boys that can be traced back over 4,000 years. The direct translation means “covenant of circumcision,” and the origin is first mentioned in the book of Genesis.

Biblical History

It began with Abraham in the Bible when God commanded that every male descendant, starting with Abraham, shall be circumcised to establish the sacred covenant between God and the boy in the form of flesh. The act of circumcision, as commanded by God, “shall be in your flesh for an everlasting covenant.” This ceremony continues today and takes place on the 8th day of the newborn’s life. This lifelong bond between the male and God is to serve as a symbol of their faith and commitment to God.


The traditional Brit Milah ceremony may be held in the home, the synagogue, or a special gathering place. Even if the 8th day of life falls on Shabbat, the sacredness of the event permits the scheduling of the Bris, in order to follow the scriptures command of circumcision. Based on the Jewish calendar, the day begins at sunset of the previous day and this dictates when the brit milah will occur.

At the beginning of the ceremony, usually, the godparents or grandmothers will carry the baby into the room and pass him off to the sandek, the person who will hold them during the circumcision. The sandek is typically a grandparent. Before performing the circumcision, the mohel recites a blessing. Once the circumcision is underway, the parents will recite the blessing as well. After the procedure is completed, all witnesses present will respond with a blessing as the mohel puts a few drops of wine into the baby’s mouth and then the father and mother will finish the wine. Following the ceremony, a seudat mitzvah or a festive meal is organized to celebrate the joyous occasion.

While there are many important traditional roles that contribute to the ceremony, the most important is the mohel. This person is religiously ordained and certified to perform the ceremonial medical procedure of circumcision. With such a deep-rooted religious ceremony for a newborn boy, it’s important to have a mohel that will perform the ceremonial circumcision safely and as painless as possible for your newborn baby boy.