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 Home > Baby > Brit Milah > Biblical Commandment
 Brit Milah (Bris) - Biblical Commandment
Bringing Newborn Jewish Boys Into the Covenant
Brit Milah (בְּרִית מִילָה), Circumcision, is the first commandment given by God to Abraham, the first Jew and father of the Jewish nation. The Brit is a central tenet in Judaism. The biblical source, God’s commandment appears in the first book of the Bible, Genesis:

"G-d said to Abraham, 'And as for you, you shall keep My covenant - you and your offspring after you throughout their generations. This is My covenant which you shall keep between Me and you and your descendants after you: Every male among you shall be circumcised. You shall circumcise the flesh of your foreskin, and that shall be a sign of the covenant between Me and you. At the age of eight days every male among you shall be circumcised, throughout your generations - he that is born in the household or purchased with money from any stranger who is not of your offspring. He that is born in your household or purchased with your money shall surely be circumcised. Thus, My covenant shall be in your flesh for an everlasting covenant. An uncircumcised male who will not circumcise the flesh of his foreskin - that soul shall be cut off from its people; he has invalidated My covenant.'" Bereishit (Genesis) 17:9-14

Abraham was ninety-nine years old.

Since, for nearly 4000 years, Jewish people observe the ritual of circumcision as the fundamental sign of the covenant between God and Israel, an affirmation of their Jewish identity. The Brit Milah, "the Covenant of Circumcision," marks the entrance of new-born Jewish male child's entry into the Jewish tradition. Observance of the Brit Milah practiced in every country Jews may live in, even during times of religious and ethnic persecution when Jews were forced to practice their rituals in secret. The primary obligation for a Jewish boy's circumcision falls upon the father. When there is no father, the Jewish community must accept the obligation. Once the child reaches Bar Mitzvah he becomes personally obligated to seek circumcision and enter the covenant of Abraham.


More about the Brit Milah:
• Brit Milah: The Covenant of Circumcision, an overview.
• Brit Milah: Biblical Commandment
• Leil Shimurim: The Evening Before the Brit Ceremony
• Brit Milah: The Venue
• Brit Milah: Best time for Ceremony
• Brit Milah: The Ceremony
• Brit Milah: The Controversy
       • Brit Milah: Benefits - AP Article
       • Brit Milah: Benefits - BBC Article

• Jewish Baby Names from A to Z




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