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Sunday, July 3, 2022

Defining Terms - Kisei Shel Eliyahu

Defining Terms Series


One element of the Bris ceremony includes the baby being placed on a chair that is designated as the Kisei Shel Eliyahu.

The term simply translates to "The Chair of Elijah" and is our way of giving homage to one of the staunchest defenders of the concept of the Covenant (Bris) in the Bible, Elijah the Prophet, a.k.a. Eliyahu HaNavi.

I am often asked whether this is a "respectable honor" to give to someone.

Of course the answer is YES. What "honor" is not respectable?

The role is simply placing the baby on a chair, and if not divided with another person, also includes taking the baby off the chair and giving him back to his father.  In that sense, I guess the honor is in the eye of the beholder, because the honoree doesn't seem to be doing very much.

However, if one values Eliyahu HaNavi's presence at a bris, and one values the opportunity to be as "close" to him as possible, in the way such an honor provides, then it is a great honor indeed!

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