Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Delaying Bris, and When the 8th day is Shabbos or Yom Tov

A bris takes place on the 8th day of life, because that is the Torah's rule. This means that we don't usually pick the day of the week for the bris as it is dependent on when the baby is born.

However, there are other rules which might prevent this from happening per schedule.

1. Since we only do a bris on a healthy baby, if baby unfortunately has a medical condition that needs attention, the bris will be delayed until he is clear. If the issue was systemic, the bris will be delayed to a full week after he is medically cleared.

2. If the baby was delivered via C-section, his bris MAY NOT TAKE PLACE ON SHABBOS or a Torah-mandated holiday (Rosh Hashana, Yom Kippur, Pesach (1st and last days), Shavuos, Sukkos (1st days), Shemini Atzeres/Simchas Torah), and will instead take place the following day, either Sunday or the day after

What happens when the bris is supposed to take place on Shabbos or Yom Tov, but it is inconvenient for the mohel, who does not drive on those days, to have the bris take place at the right time?

There are a few options.
1. The mohel or baby's family can make arrangements for mohel to stay nearby
2. Even if it's several miles, the mohel can offer to walk to the bris
3. The family might come to the mohel*
4. The mohel can say, "Look. It's your job to hire someone for the 8th day. I can't do it at that time. However, if you can't find anyone, I'm available the day afterwards." (This is what I often tell people)
5. The mohel might say, "Forget it. We'll do it after Shabbos or Yom Tov." (I find this to be disingenuous. If the parents want the bris on the 8th day, that should be presented as an option for them to pursue with someone else.)

* If the family plans to drive with the baby on Shabbos or Yom Tov (though 2nd day of yom tov raises an interesting question), that is certainly not within the spirit of the day. However, if it is the 8th day, and the baby is brought to the mohel (parents' choice), he (the mohel) does have an obligation to facilitate the fulfillment of the mitzvah of bris on the child.

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