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Wednesday, April 15, 2020

A Bris on Yom Tov

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 to be held on Yom Tov, he writes the following: (Vol II 145-154)

1.  A bris taking place on the 8th day ("on time") pushes aside Yom Tov, just as it pushes aside Shabbos. (It is not delayed to avoid doing the bris on the holiday). However, an already pushed off bris (not "on time" any more) will not take place on Yom Tov
2. A boy born during "Bein HaShmashot" (after sunset but before nightfall), such that his 8th day "might be" Yom Tov will have his bris take place the day after the holiday. (We don't push aside the holiday for a sa'fek/doubt)
3. Any doubt which is cast over whether a bris should take place on Shabbos applies to Yom Tov as well.
4. The mohel may not travel outside of the T'chum (halakhic boundary of the city) in order to do a bris. If there is a doubt as to what is considered the T'chum, the mohel may walk to the bris.
5. A person who has never circumcised before should not do his first circumcision on Shabbos or Yom Tov. If there is no one else to do it, he may do it on Yom Tov (but not on Shabbos). (If there is no one else to do it, it might be a good idea to wait until after the holiday - AB)
6. Even according to those who allow a woman to circumcised for the Bris, they feel she should not do the bris on Yom Tov (a weekday is OK).
7. If a mohel is asked to leave his family to be somewhere else for the holiday so that he can conduct the bris there, some say he is obligated to go so that the mitzvah take place at the right time. Others say he is certainly not obligated to undo his own mitzvah if simchas Yom Tov for someone else's bris milah responsibility. (This might be a slightly different conversation in Israel, where there is one day of Yom Tov, versus in the Diaspora, where holidays are 2 days. My personal practice for holidays is to tell people "you have the responsibility to find someone. If you do not find someone, I can be available the day after the holiday." On occasion I go for Shabbos for a Shabbos bris. A Yom Tov bris is a much bigger commitment which I am unable to make at this stage of my life. - AB)
8. For Rosh Hashana, if there will not be a minyan, and he will not hear Shofar, there is a debate as to whether the mohel is obligated to go.
9. Compensation for the bris is "payment" for travel, and for any care given to the baby after the holiday.
10. Whatever is prohibited to do on Shabbos is prohibited to do on Yom Tov when it comes to the bris, unless the melacha in question is permitted on account of it being related to food preparation.
11. The baby can be brought to the bris. The bris instruments (knife, etc) may be brought to the bris. However, all of the supplies for the bris become muktzeh once the bris is over.

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