Bris Milah, often pronounced "Brit Milah," is the Jewish ritual covenant of circumcision.
Mohel, often pronounced in the Yiddish “moyel,” is the circumciser.
The ceremony is the oldest and the most widely practiced Jewish tradition.
About the Bris Ceremony
The Bris is performed on the eighth day from the child's birth. A new day begins at sundown, and determining the appropriate day for the bris can be confusing. It is advisable to discuss Bris planning with a mohel and/or a Rabbi. There are times that the baby’s health will warrant postponing the bris.
It is customary to honor someone with bringing the baby into the room where the bris will be held. This honor is called Kvatar, loosely translated into English as "godfather".
This is an honor customarily given to a grandfather or a patriarch of the family. The Sandak holds the baby during the circumcision.
Chair of Eliyahu
It is an ancient custom to have an empty chair set at the bris. The baby is placed there before the circumcision and Eliyahu Hanavi (the prophet Elijah) is invited to the ceremony.
Naming the Child
The end of the ceremony is the Hebrew naming of the child. Among Ashkenazic Jews, the custom is to name the child after a departed relative or loved one. Among Sephardic Jews, the custom is to name the child after a living grandparent.
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