Why a Bris?

By celebrating your son’s bris, you are perpetuating one of the oldest and most meaningful traditions of our Jewish faith. Bris milah means “covenant of circumcision”. The custom started almost 4,000 years ago, when G-d commanded Avraham, the first Jew, to circumcise himself, as a symbol of the covenant between G-d and B’nai Yisrael, the Children of Israel. Avraham circumcised himself when he was 99 years old. G-d made it an everlasting mitzvah (commandment) for every Jewish father to see to it that each of his male children born of a Jewish mother is circumcised at 8 days of age. If he is not competent to perform the procedure himself, he can appoint a certified mohel as his agent.

The first Jew to be circumcised at 8 days of age was Avraham and Sarah’s son, Yitzchak (Isaac). Even though he was the first person in the history of the world to be circumcised at such a young age, Avraham performed Yitzchak’s bris with great joy. Since that time, we continue to associate bris with happiness and joy. The Torah teaches that Avraham and Sarah made a festive party to commemorate Yitchak’s bris, just as we do today.

A bris is much more than just the medical procedure of removing the foreskin. Bris milah is the physical sign of our spiritual connection to G-d, a commitment to follow G-d’s mitzvos. In fact, a bris is the first commandment a newborn baby boy is expected to undergo. It is such an important mitzvah that it is said to be as important as all the other 612 commandments combined! It is a sign of our love for G-d and our commitment to continue our faith as the Children of Israel. Bris milah is said to be our way of “perfecting” our physical bodies by removing the foreskin (orlah), signifying our closeness with G-d, and our partnership with G-d in perfecting ourselves and our world.

In short, a bris is a wonderful, warm, meaningful experience that brings your son closer to G-d and our Jewish legacy. It is an honor for me to assist you in accomplishing this special and important mizvah.