Certified Mohel Serving NYC & the Tri-State Area Since 1997 || Call or Text 212-316-4784

Rabbi Zachary Hepner

Instructions for the Bris Ceremony

  1. The Hebrew/Jewish (Yiddish, Ladino, etc.) names of the father, mother and baby are needed for the ceremony. Also, is the father or mother of the baby descended paternally from a Kohen or Levi? (A naming ceremony is part of the Brit Milah ceremony.)
  2. Please do not feed the baby about one hour before the brit milah. The baby can be fed right after the ceremony.
  3. To reduce the baby’s discomfort, he may suck on a gauze pad dipped in sugar water before and a gauze pad dipped in kosher sweet wine or kosher grape juice after the Brit Milah ceremony.
  4. A Brit Milah takes place on the eighth day during the daylight hours only. The day of birth counts as day one. Please confirm the date, time and location of the Brit Milah with the mohel before informing your guests. Also, please make sure no one else in the family is making arrangements with another mohel.
  5. A Brit Milah can be postponed at any time (including the day of the ceremony) if there is any question about the health of the baby. Normal physiological jaundice is normal and does not delay the Brit Milah.
  6. Dress the baby simply for the ceremony. A gown, stretchy or kimono is fine; please avoid outfits with many small buttons or the “zipper from the neck to the foot” outfit. Instead of a t-shirt underneath, use a onesie.
  7. A minyan (quorum of ten) is preferred, but not required. The appointing of Godparents is not a Jewish tradition. We do not have godparents for boys or for girls. In Judaism, the parents are responsible for the religious upbringing of the child. It is also a common misnomer to call the Sandak (the one who holds the baby for the Bris) the godfather. The word Sandak comes from the Greek word “syndikos” which means patron. Therefore, you may appoint as many godparents as you wish or none at all. If it will keep peace in the family by appointing godparents, then do it. Otherwise, skip it. It is up to the individual discretion of the parents.
  8. It is suggested that kosher food (not kosher-style) be ordered so all of the guests may partake of the seudat mitsvah (festive meal). The food is served after the ceremony.
  9. Please, no photography or videotaping is permitted while the baby’s diaper is off or if the Brit Milah occurs on a Shabbat or Jewish holiday.