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What is the significance of the night before the Brit?



Library » Life Cycle » Circumcision » The Customs | Subscribe | What is RSS?


A beautiful tradition passed down through the generations is the custom of inviting children to come to the home of the newborn on the night before the circumcision. They recite prayers, say Psalms, and recite blessings over food and nosh. Children's voices are pure and their souls are unblemished. Their prayers pierce the heavens, forming a spiritual protection and drawing down blessings upon the newborn and the entire household.

The night before the Brit is called a "Leil Shimurim" -- night of protection. It is explained in the mystical works, that due to the great spiritual power of the Mitzvah of Brit Milah, negative spiritual forces are at work to hinder the performance of this mitzvah. Therefore, one must take positive action during the night before the Brit to serve as a spiritual protection.

Children's voices are pure and their souls are unblemished. Their prayers pierce the heavens, forming a spiritual protection and draw down blessings upon the newborn and the entire household
It is therefore hallowed tradition that throughout this night, the father devotes himself to Torah study, ideally near the child. There are certain passages from the Zohar -- which discuss the mystical meaning of the brit -- which are customarily recited during this night.

It is appropriate to keep some light on in the child's room throughout this night.

It is also customary for the father, the Mohel, and the Sandek to immerse in a Mikvah on the morning of the Brit.

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(pl. Mitzvot). A commandment from G-d. Mitzvah also means a connection, for a Jew connects with G–d through fulfilling His commandments.
Torah is G–d’s teaching to man. In general terms, we refer to the Five Books of Moses as “The Torah.” But in truth, all Jewish beliefs and laws are part of the Torah.
A ritual bath where one immerses to become spiritually pure. After her menstrual cycle, a woman must immerse in the Mikvah before resuming marital relations.
The most basic work of Jewish mysticism. Authored by Rabbi Shimeon bar Yochai in the 2nd century.
[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.
The Book of Psalms. One of the 24 books of the Bible. Compiled by King David; mostly comprised of poetic praise for G-d. A large part of our prayers are culled from this book.
One who performs ritual circumcisions.
The one honored with holding the baby during the circumcision.