- the ceremony
is one of the mitzvot (commandments)
celebrated by the Jewish people. This is a religious ritual which commemorates a
principal event in human life, welcoming the baby into the Jewish community, as
well as renewing the covenant which was made by Abraham
as well as making the child a part of God's covenanted people.
involves the removal of the foreskin on the penis of a Jewish baby boy.
circumcision usually takes place in a hospital, due to medical reasons, but it
traditionally took place in the synagogue. The ceremony takes place on the
eighth day after the child is born and is performed before ten men or more. Even
if the day is the Sabbath, or any other special day,
such as a feast day or a fast day, circumcision still takes place. The only
reason in which circumcision can be postponed is if it is a threat to the
ceremony begins when the godmother carries the child into the synagogue. This
indicates the child's induction into the Jewish religious community. The people
who have come to the ceremony then welcome the baby boy into the community by
be he that comes."
godmother then passes on the child to the godfather who then passes him on to
the mohel. (ritual circumciser) The
circumcision takes place and then the father says the blessing;
are you, O Lord Our God, Ruler of the Universe, Who has sanctified us with Your
commandments and commanded us to bring our sons into the covenant of Abraham out
people then say;
as he entered the covenant, so may he enter into the study of the Torah, into
marriage, and into good deeds."
these words are said, the baby is then named and then a cup of wine is blessed
by the mohel. A prayer for happiness
is said, and then a bit of wine is drunk by the baby. The rest of the wine is
finished by the father. A festival and a meal then follows.
is the basic ceremony. Other Jewish communities have made changes to this
ceremony. For example, reform Jews have created a ceremony which introduces
female babies into the covenant people. (berit
hahayyim or the covenant of life) Berit
hahayyim does not involve any surgical removals. The ceremony begins by the
community welcoming the baby girl by saying,
is she who comes."
mother says the blessing,
is the Lord our God, Ruler of the Universe, by Whose mitzvot we are hallowed,
who commands us to sanctify life."
father then lights a candle and says the next part of the blessing,
is the Lord, Whose Presence gives light to all the world."
mother and father then say the following words together;
is the Lord our God, Ruler of the Universe, for giving us life, for sustaining
us and enabling us to reach this day of joy."
this, there is a party and a meal to end the ceremony.