In the Jewish religion, there is a special ceremony that takes place on the 8th day of a baby boy’s life. In Yiddish, this ceremony is called “bris” (or brit milah in Hebrew), and the purpose of this special day in a newborn boy’s life is to be circumcised by a mohel.
To refresh the memory, circumcision is the removal of the foreskin for health or religious reasons. While there are often many questions that surround this special ceremony, some that are often the last thought of is what to wear to a bris and is there a bris outfit for a baby?
Origins and Details of a Bris
The origin of the sacred bris ceremony stems from the book of Genesis in the Hebrew Bible, where God commanded Abraham (the biblical patriarch) to be circumcised as a special covenant between him and God. It was also commanded that all men under the house of Abraham must be circumcised as well. Since the biblical days, Jewish infant boys have been the center of this special day. A mohel is a trained Jew in the ways of the brit milah or the “covenant of circumcision.”
Most often, a bris is held in a synagogue, but they can also be held in a temple, the family home, or even at a banquet. Depending on various details surrounding the time and day of the week, the bris is to be performed on the 8th day of the newborn’s life. According to the Jewish calendar, the next day begins at sunset, so if the baby is born after sunset on a Sunday, the bris is to be held on the following Monday during daylight hours. Following the ceremony, a feast is held in celebration of this important day in the life of the young Jewish baby boy.
Attire for the Ceremony
Now, let’s talk about the question that is often forgotten; what to wear to a bris ceremony? First, it is important to know that some bris venues are going to be more formal than others. For example, if the bris is being held in a synagogue or a temple, that is going to require much more formal attire than when held at a family home.
Next, a morning ceremony is going to be less formal than an evening one, unless it is during a Shabbat service. Formal dress vs. business casual will ultimately depend on where and when the bris is being held. It is always better to over-dress a bit rather than be undressed for the special occasion.
Baby Boy Bris Outfit
When it comes to what the baby should wear, the first thought would be something fancy and dressy because, after all, it is his big day! However, this is a common misconception, and parents should dress their baby in something comfortable and practical.
During the circumcision, the baby will remain partially clothed because they are prone to getting cold very quickly at such a young age. A good choice may be one of the sleep sacks for infants that are easily opened from the bottom.
The next option would be a special baby boy bris outfit or gown. Yes, they make christening/baptism gowns for these very occasions, but just be careful picking one that doesn’t have an embroidered cross on it for Christian baptism.
Finally, there are clothing lines created just for brit milah outfits. These outfits often come with many accessories like mittens, booties, kippahs, and more.
While there will be many stressful decisions to be made on the day of your baby’s bris, don’t let choosing what to wear add to the stress. For the baby, something simple and practical will do the job perfectly fine.
When it comes to arranging the actual ceremony, if you are having trouble finding someone to perform a religious circumcision, Dr. Andrew Krinsky is a board-certified, Jewish ordained mohel with over 30 years of experience. Call the offices of Dr. Krinsky to learn more about the procedure or book online today.