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Briss Day

Brit Milah
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Brit milah (Hebrew: בְרִית מִילָה [bə'rīt mī'lā] literally: "covenant [of] circumcision"), also berit milah (Sephardi), bris milah (Ashkenazi pronunciation) or bris (Yiddish) is a religious ceremony within Judaism that welcomes infant Jewish boys into a covenant between God and the Children of Israel through ritual circumcision performed by a mohel ("circumcisor") in the presence of family and friends, followed by a celebratory meal (seudat mitzvah).

Brit Milah Articles

What is Bris? | Bris Bris | Holy Prepuce: Jesus Christ's Bris/Brit (Circumcision) Foreskin | Bris Gift | Bris Milah: Jewish Tradition | Bris Outfit | Brit | Brit Milah | Brit Milah Photo | Jewish Bris Celebration

What is Bris?

What is Bris?

From, bris is defined as "the Jewish rite of circumcision performed on a male child on the eighth day of his life." Its other word variations include berith, berit, brith, briss and brit. lists the following purposes of Bris (Yiddish) or Brit Milah (Hebrew):

1. To formalize a covenant between Jews and God. According to the Bible, bris (circumcision) was enjoined upon the biblical patriarch Abraham and his descendants as "a token of the covenant" concluded with him by God for all generations. The penalty for non-observance was karet, excision from the people. Non-Israelites had to undergo circumcision before they could be allowed to partake of the feast of Passover, or marry into a Jewish family.

2. It is a "reproach" for an Israelite to be uncircumcised. The word "arel" (uncircumcised) is also employed for "unclean". It is even applied to the first three years' fruit of a tree, which is forbidden.

3. Bris is spiritual in nature. Circumcision as a physical act is also a cleansing of the spirit.

4. Control of sexuality. Some evidence suggests that control of sexuality was one reason for and perhaps the original motivation behind the circumcision ceremony of bris. The 1st century Jewish philosopher Philo stated that circumcision "represents the excision of the pleasure of sex, which bewitches the mind". The 12th century Jewish scholar Maimonides once argued that the purpose of the Brit milah was to reduce sexual behavior and to weaken the sexual bond between man and woman. Encyclopedia Judaica also states that circumcision "sanctified the human body and aided in its fight against erotic indulgence".

Evolution of Bris

This rite, milah, initially consisted of cutting off only the tip of the foreskin, the floppy part that extends past the glans in the normal male infant. Two thousand years ago, Jewish hellenists, wanting to assimilate into Greek society, obliterated the sign of their "tip" circumcisions. Most of their foreskins were still intact, so they found ways to lengthen them, to make it look as if they had not been circumcised at all. This practice was unacceptable to the Jewish community at large; the community responded by changing the circumcision rite, bris, to remove the entire foreskin. Babies circumcised in this manner could not later hide the fact that they were Jewish.

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