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What time of the day is appropriate for a circumcision?

by Rabbi Naftali Silberberg

  

Library » Mitzvot » Circumcision | Subscribe | What is RSS?


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Technically, the Brit can be held any time between sunrise and sunset.

However, "Zrizin makdimin l'Mitzvot"1 (rough translation: "the diligent fulfill mitzvahs at the first possible opportunity"), is a rule which applies to all mitzvahs. Thus the circumcision should be scheduled as early in the morning as possible on the eighth day after birth.2 This idea is especially important with regards to the Mitzvah of circumcision; as we wish to enter the child into the covenant with G-d at the first possible moment.

However, the brit should be delayed if scheduling the brit for the late morning or afternoon will significantly increase the number of guests who will attend. An integral part of the mitzvah of brit is the joy which accompanies the ceremony.3 The increased joy caused by the presence of additional guests is sufficient reason to wait an extra few hours.4 

Footnotes

  • 1. Talmud Pesachim 4a.
  • 2. This rule also applies to a brit which was postponed due to illness, and is held after the eighth day.
  • 3. Talmud Shabbat 130a.
  • 4. Sha'arei Halachah U'Minhag, vol. 3 p. 288.

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RELATED CATEGORIES

Life Cycle » Circumcision » The Brit

Mitzvah
(pl. Mitzvot). A commandment from G-d. Mitzvah also means a connection, for a Jew connects with G–d through fulfilling His commandments.
Mitzvot
Plural form of Mitzvah. Commandments of G-d. Mitzvah also means a connection, for a Jew connects with G–d through fulfilling His commandments.
Brit
[Lit. Covenant] Circumcision. The act of removing ones foreskin 8 days after birth, perpetuating a covenant with G-d originally established by the Patriarch Abraham.
G-d
It is forbidden to erase or deface the name of G-d. It is therefore customary to insert a dash in middle of G-d's name, allowing us to erase or discard the paper it is written on if necessary.