The mitzvah of circumcision dates back to our biblical forefather Abraham. It is a sign of the covenant between God and the people of Israel, and has been observed by Jewish communities throughout the world since antiquity.
The berit milah (covenant of circumcision) takes place on the eighth day of the baby boy’s life, unless the baby’s medical condition requires that the circumcision be postponed. This should be decided in consultation with the baby’s doctor, the mohel (the person who performs the circumcision) and our Rabbi.
The ceremony is preceded by the singing of a beautiful hymn, praying for the health and well being of the baby, with the wish that he grow up to a life of Torah, mitzvot and good deeds. Various honors are given e.g. to carry the baby into the synagogue, to hold the baby during the circumcision, to hold the baby during the naming ceremony. The baby’s father recites the appropriate blessings prior to the circumcision. Following the circumcision, the Rabbi recites the blessings for the occasion and announces the baby’s Hebrew name, as chosen by the parents. After the ceremony, the baby’s mother recites the “HaGomel” blessing, as an expression of gratitude to the Almighty.
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