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Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Bris on Rosh Hashana

This is one of a series of blog posts on things that might be done differently at a bris taking place on a special day on the Jewish calendar. See all of the links at this dedicated page

The book "Otzar HaBris" (Yossele Weisberg) has a section of halakhot surrounding what is done differently on noted days of the Jewish calendar.

With respect to a bris on  Rosh Hashana, he shares the following insights:

1. If the bris will be taking place in the synagogue, the Rosh Hashana bris should ideally take place after Torah reading, before Shofar blowing. It should certainly not take place at the end of Tefillah.
2. If the bris will be in a home, it could take place after prayer services are over. If the home is close to the synagogue, and there's a way for the bris to take place at the proper time (see #1) without causing a delay in the services, then it should be done. (If there is an appeal or the rabbi's sermon, and the mohel can work quickly to not miss shofar blowing, then I suppose this is possible - but there shouldn't be a mass exodus - only those needed for the ceremony)
3. If it is the Sabbath, since there will not be Shofar blowing, the bris will take place after the Torah is returned to the Ark, before the Chazzan for Mussaf begins his prayer before Mussaf. (Some say it should take place at the same time as it would during a weekday Rosh Hashana day, after Torah reading and before Ashrei)
4. If the bris will cause the mohel to miss Shofar blowing, some say it is OK for him to miss out on Shofar blowing for the sake of the mitzvah of bris. Others say this only applies to a father who is also a trained mohel. Otherwise, the mohel should not be missing out on hearing the Shofar.
5. There is a custom to give the name Yitzchak to a child who is either circumcised on Rosh Hashana or who is born on Rosh Hashana.
6. Some say to not make a celebratory Bris meal on Rosh Hashana. (In the footnote he mentions a concern that such a celebration might take away from the more serious nature of the day)
7. Those who fast on Rosh Hashana (not a common practice) - both opinions exist regarding whether to eat. You may not eat, while some are lenient saying you may eat (welcome to Judaism!)
8. A child who is born at dusk a week before either the first or second day of Rosh Hashana will eb circumcised the day after Rosh Hashana (on Tzom Gedaliah). Of course if that day is Shabbos, the bris will be pushed off (as will be Tzom Gedaliah) to Sunday.

Next up, a bris on Tzom Gedaliah

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