How to Perform a Jewish Bris Ceremony

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How to Perform a Jewish Bris Ceremony. A bris ceremony is a sacred and beloved tradition of the Jewish faith. Families engage a mohel, a specially trained person who is often a rabbi, to perform the actual circumcision. But the bris is more than just the surgery; it is the time to welcome the baby to Judaism and give him his name.

Things You'll Need

  • Torah
  • A sturdy table
  • Several disposable and cloth diapers
  • An adult bed pillow with a case
  • Kiddush cup
  • A tube of Bacitracin
  • A box of sterile gauze pads, 3 by 3 inches
  • Kosher wine or grape juice

Perform a Bris Ceremony

  • Set up the table, keeping surgical equipment under wraps. The parents should provide kosher wine or grape juice, a Kiddush cup, several disposable and cloth diapers, a tube of Bacitracin, a box of sterile gauze pads, an adult bed pillow with a case and a sturdy table.

  • Begin the ceremony with the Kvater, the action of bringing the baby into the room where the bris is to take place. Be sure the baby is dressed in something simple, such as a onesie or a nightgown.

  • Ask someone to place the child on the Chair of Elijah, a chair specifically set aside for the prophet's visit. It is said Elijah visits every bris. After reading prayers from the Torah, have the same person pick the child up from the chair.

  • Ask the sandek, the honored friend or family member chosen to hold the baby, to take the baby and place him on his or her lap. Then continue reciting the proper Torah passages.

  • Administer a sugar syrup to the baby if the parents have requested an anesthetic. Believe it or not, plain old sugar has an analgesic effect on infants.

  • Instruct the sandek to hold the child carefully. Insert the Mogen clamp, then use a scalpel to remove the foreskin. Use the gauze pads to stop the bleeding.

  • Instruct the hosts to hand out wine or grape juice to the guests. Recite the Kiddush.

  • Ask the parents to come forward and share the name of their new Jewish boy. Ashkenazic Jews tend to use names of the departed, while Sephardic Jews usually choose names of the living.

  • Recite the concluding prayers and the Birkot Ha'Kohaneem. Guests may be excused for the feast, but the mohel must take the baby to his room and examine him to make sure the penis is healing properly.

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