An Anthology of Chabad-Lubavitch Customs
Regarding Pregnancy, Childbirth, Circumcision,
Redemption of the Firtsborn, and the Birth of Girls
Customs of Bris Milah
Compiled By Rabbi Avraham Yeshaya Holtzberg from The Wrintings of the Rebbeim of Lubavitch
Translated by Shimon Neubort
Published and copyright © by Sichos In English
(718) 778-5436 info@SichosInEnglish.org FAX (718) 735-4139
- It is customary to remain awake and study Torah near the child all night during the night before the bris. This night is called the Wach Nacht.
- The Tzemach Tzedek ruled that even when there is a remote possibility that the child is not yet strong enough, the Torah requires that the bris be postponed until he becomes strong enough. This must not be treated lightly.
We also know the psak din of the Tzemach Tzedek regarding a child whose skin is too red even when in doubt, we must wait until seven days after he returns to normal. The Rebbe instructed the secretary, R. Chaim Yehudah Krinsky that also when the child is jaundiced, we must wait until seven days after he returns to normal. He added: "It is possible to postpone the bris; it is not possible to bring even one Jewish soul back to life."
- It is a Jewish custom to refrain from taking a pregnant woman as Kvatterin.
- According to what the Tzemach Tzedek did in actual deed: in a place where there are two mohelim one a simple person but highly skilled, and the other elderly and familiar with the kavannos, etc., but less skilled one must take the expert one, for that is helpful in the actual operation [rather than merely in the spiritual aspects].
- It is a Jewish custom (mentioned by the Rama) not to honor one person as sandek for two brothers. This does not apply to the local rabbi, who can be honored as sandek for more than one child of the same parents.
- I have not seen it done among Anash for a father to serve as sandek twice for his sons.
- It once happened that the Rebbe Rayatz went to a bris in order to serve as sandek; he ordered his tallis to be taken along, and he then put it on without a blessing (this was several hours after the prayers). The Rebbe would also do that.
- When the Rebbe was a sandek he wore his hat, and the tallis was around his shoulders.
- Is it our custom to set up two chairs at a bris milah? I never heard clearly [from my father-in-law] what our custom is, but I am nearly certain that when I attended a bris where my father-in-law was the sandek (in Warsaw) there was only one chair.
- Regarding the circumcision of Jewish children using the device known as a "gomke" beyond the fact that this profanes the holiness of this mitzvah, which must be done specifically by hand, by a Jew who observes mitzvos; and beyond the fact that this causes pain and suffering to the child it is simply forbidden to do this. Not only on Shabbos when this may involve a transgression punishable by stoning, but even on weekdays. It is clear that a milah performed properly according to law [i.e., without a gomke] will have the spiritual effect of promoting long life.
- One must exert one's utmost influence to ensure that the mucous membrane is torn as a separate operation [from cutting the foreskin].
- Suction must be done only by mouth (and this poses no danger of disease, G-d forbid). Experience tells us that we have been doing the suction by mouth for thousands of years, and no sickness was ever caused by it (G-d forbid). One who wishes to change this practice bears the burden [of proof that it is necessary and proper], and children should not be given to him to circumcise. One who keeps a mitzvah will know no evil occurrence.
- When it is unavoidable (i.e., if he does it by mouth he will be dismissed from his position) the suction may be done through a glass tube. Some insert cotton wool into the tube and suck through the cotton. The reason for inserting the cotton is that it aids sterility and prevents the passage of bacteria. What I mean is that some cotton is inserted into the tube in such a way that it does not interfere with the vacuum caused by the mouth of the person doing the suction, and the blood passes through the sterile cotton.
- In the case of circumcision for one who has already passed his bar mitzvah, and it is proposed to do it under medication that results in general anesthesia It seems that it is also possible to inject elsewhere (usually the spine). This temporarily removes all sensation of pain, but does not put the patient to sleep and he remains in full possession of all his faculties (and thus he remains fully obligated in this mitzvah). The difference between these two procedures [and preference for the second] is obvious.
- Regarding what you ask me, whether to discourage the custom to delay the bris so that many more can attend: Since milah is best accompanied by rejoicing (as cited in several places regarding the rejoicing at a bris), this supersedes the requirement that "those who are enthusiastic about it do a mitzvah at the earliest possibility." For this reason, when Tishah BeAv is postponed [from Shabbos to Sunday] the milah is delayed until after Minchah (for then the fast may be interrupted). We see from experience that the degree of rejoicing depends upon the number of people attending, and sometimes there is even sadness when some are unable to attend.
In the present case, there is an additional point depending on it a chassidic farbrengen. Certainly, at this occasion they will speak about Torah and mitzvos and Chassidus; in the final analysis, it is G-d Himself "who has commanded us to do all these statutes, in order to fear ..."
- I have not heard of specific days on which a postponed bris should be done; in fact, it is implied in several references that there are no special days. It should not be postponed (more than necessary) without good reason.
- If a bris on Yom Kippur takes place outside the synagogue, it is done following the Torah reading. In such case, the Torah scrolls are returned to the ark before people leave the synagogue, because there will be a long pause before the Mussaf service.
For the same reason, when people return to the synagogue and the Kaddish is recited before the Mussaf service, it is proper to recite a chapter of Tehillim before saying the Kaddish.
- Whether the bris should be postponed until both can be done together? I do not understand the rationale for such an idea. It must be done for one child whenever he reaches full health, and for the second child whenever he becomes healthy and strong, even if they will not be at the same time.
- When the child is brought to the synagogue, they recite: Blessed is he who has entered ... Happy is the man You choose ... And the L-rd spoke ... Pinchas ben Elazar ... My covenant of peace.
- When the child is placed upon the Seat of Elijah, the Mohel says: This is the Seat of Elijah ...
- The mohel recites the following blessing: Blessed are You, L-rd our G-d, King of the universe, who has sanctified us with His commandments and commanded us concerning circumcision.
- The father of the child recites the following blessing between cutting the foreskin and tearing the mucous membrane: Blessed are You, L-rd our G-d, King of the universe, who has sanctified us with His commandments and commanded us to enter him into the Covenant of Avraham Avinu.
- Those present respond: Just as he has entered into the Covenant, so may he enter into Torah, into marriage, and into good deeds.
- After the foreskin has been cut off properly, the mohel should quickly tear the mucous membrane and perform the suction, then take the cup [of wine] and say: Blessed are You, L-rd our G-d, King of the universe, who creates the fruit of the vine.
- In the blessing ... who sanctified the beloved one from the womb..., when saying the words tzivah lehatzil the word tzivah should be pronounced with a chirik.
- [Next comes the recitation of] Our G-d and G-d of our fathers, preserve this child ... and his name in Israel shall be called ...
- A child is given to drink of the wine over which the blessing has been made, or he [who recited the blessings] should drink it himself. After the circumcision, the mohel and the father of the infant recite the following prayer: Sovereign of the universe... May He who blessed... pledged charity for his sake for bikkur cholim...
- It is our custom not to recite the blessing of Shehechiyanu at a bris.
- If a Jew cohabits with a non-Jewish woman, and a son is born to them, and the father brings him to be circumcised: he is not to be circumcised as a convert with his father's permission. But if the mother wishes that the child be converted, then in my opinion he must be converted under the auspices of a beis din.
- When circumcising a convert: since this milah is not an independent mitzvah at all, but merely a prerequisite [to the conversion], all opinions would agree that he may be put to sleep.
- When circumcising a convert, the text of the first blessing is Limol Es HaGerim ("to circumcise the converts").
- It is the custom of Anash that during the feast of a bris milah the child's father recites a chassidic discourse relating to the subject of bris milah.
- When he was invited to a bris, it was my saintly father-in-law's was custom to donate a sum of money to the yeshivah at the beginning of the feast. He would declare that this was a down payment for the tuition for when the infant grows older.
- It is customary that at the end of the Grace After Meals we recite the passages beginning with Harachaman for bris milah (as printed in the Siddur), after which we continue with Harchaman Hu yezakeinu....
- (Back to text) Regarding the Wach Nacht observed by our Rebbeim and Nesi'im, see Chanoch LaNaar, p. 7; Sefer HaSichos 5703, p. 155, where it is referred to as Leil Shimurim ["night of protection"]. Cf. the discourse Ashrei Tivchar, recited by the Rebbe during the Wach Nacht of the grandchild of Rav Ephraim Eliezer HaKohen Yolles o.b.m. in his chambers, Thursday night of Parshas Chaye Sarah 5716 (printed in Kuntres Chai Nissan 5751; Sefer HaMaamarim Melukat, Vol. 5, p. 233ff.). See Piskei Shaloh, Hilchos Milah 11; Darkei Chayim VeShalom 918, supporting the custom of preparing a feast on the Wach Nacht based on R. Yaakov HaGozer, citing Midrash Tanchuma; he cautions that what is secondary should not become primary the main feast is during the day, and the night should be devoted to Torah study near the child. Siddur Yaavetz cites the custom in Eretz Yisrael to remain awake each night before the bris, but our custom is to do so only the night immediately before. The reason is that Satan intends to harm the child and thus to impede him from the mitzvah of milah. This is also the reason why people gather on that night and recite Kerias Shema. See also Otzar HaBris 3:7ff.
- (Back to text) Igros Kodesh of the Rebbe Rayatz, Vol. 9, p. 90; Igros Kodesh of the Rebbe, Vol. 7, p. 143: "We know the opinion of the Rambam, Hilchos Milah, end of Ch. 3, as explained in Tzofnas Paneiach, that a delayed circumcision serves to correct the previous state [of having been uncircumcised]. See also Shach on Yoreh De'ah 262:3; Aruch HaShulchan, loc. cit. citing Nimukei Yosef, the Gaon Rav Eliyahu, and the Ittur, that if there is even the slightest illness, the bris must not be performed until he is healthy. See also Kores HaBris on Yoreh De'ah 262:2, note 3.
- (Back to text) Piskei Dinim Tzemach Tzedek, Yoreh De'ah 263.
- (Back to text) Rambam, Hilchos Milah 1:18.
- (Back to text) Likkutei Sichos. Vol. 22, p. 56. See also supra, Ch. 1, note 8.
- (Back to text) Igros Kodesh of the Rebbe, Vol. 7, p. 232; Sichah of 7 Adar I 5711 (at a bris milah), where the story is told concerning the bris of one of the Tzemach Tzedek's grandchildren. There were two mohalim, one a simple person but an expert mohel, and the other elderly and familiar with the kavannos, etc., but less skilled; they asked the Tzemach Tzedek which mohel they should choose; he replied that they should take the younger, for the main thing is the actual deed. See also Ikkarei Dinim on Yoreh De'ah 28:10, quoting Shaloh, that one should take the most fitting mohel; Minhagei Maharil, Hilchos Milah Ch. 5; Otzar HaBris 3:6.
- (Back to text) Likkutei Sichos, Vol. 20, p. 247.
- (Back to text) Rama, Yoreh De'ah 265:11. The reason is that milah is likened to incense, and regarding incense it is written that "no person ever offered it twice" (Yoma 26a; Rambam, Hilchos Temidim U'Musafim 4:7. See Igros Kodesh of the Rebbe, Vol. 12, p. 434. See also Hisvaadiyos 5745, Vol. 3, p. 1956: "Every sandek is like one who offers incense, which is beneficial for a long and good life, especially for those who are accustomed to go out of their way to do this mitzvah of being a sandek." In other words: not only does incense nullify undesirable things and stop the plague, but even more, it causes long life. We should also note the Rebbe's custom of blessing every sandek with wealth. (see piskei Shaloh, Hilchos Milah).
- (Back to text) Responsa Chasam Sofer, Orach Chayim 158-9. This is apparently also likened to the incense the rule that only newcomers may offer the incense applies specifically to ordinary Kohanim; but the Kohen Gadol may offer incense whenever he wishes (Yoma 14a; Rambam, Hilchos K'lei HaMikdash 5:12).
It was related by R. Moshe Marazov that the Rebbe Rashab was sandek for his 2nd brother, and the Rebbe Rayatz was sandek for his 3rd brother. The Rebbe Rashab asked his father R. Elchanan Marazov (who was also his secretary) why he had not honored him this time also as sandek. He answered that the custom is not to honor one person to be sandek for two brothers. The Rebbe Rashab replied: "When does this rule apply? When it is done as an honor for the sandek. But if this would result in honor for the infant, then the same sandek can serve for two brothers." And indeed the Rebbe Rayatz was later again sandek for the youngest brother.
- (Back to text) Igros Kodesh of the Rebbe, Vol. 12, p. 434.
- (Back to text) Sichah at the feast of a bris milah, 7 Adar II 5711 [Toras Menachem 5711, Vol. I, p. 277]; see a similar story in Darkei Chayim VeShalom (Munkacz) Mitzvas Tzitzis 41. Otzar Chayim 91 relates that when R. Chayim of Sanz attended a bris he would not fold his tallis after the morning prayers, though he would take it off; he would fold it after taking it off following the bris.
- (Back to text) Beis Yosef in Shulchan Aruch 8:14 rules that if one removes his tallis, even if it is his intention to put it back on immediately, he must recite a blessing when putting it on again; Rama notes that some say no blessing is recited if one originally intended to put it back on. Levush rules according to Beis Yosef, who offers proof from Sukkah 47, that when Rava removed his tefillin and then went to the toilet, he would recite a blessing [when putting them back on after emerging], and this also apples to the tallis. Acharonim disagree, saying that the tallis is not the same as tefillin, for it is forbidden to enter the toilet [while wearing tefillin], and therefore it is an interruption; but this is not so regarding the tallis. Mishnah Berurah rules in Biur Halachah that if one goes to perform a bris and he removes his tallis after the prayers, and when removing it he intends to put it back on again, and a long time does not elapse in between, he not recite a blessing again, even if he has gone to another location.
- (Back to text) Yemei Melech, Vol. 2, p. 633. Also recorded in the Sichah of the aforementioned bris, and heard from numerous people who were present with the Rebbe at a bris.
- (Back to text) The reason may be that he did not recite a blessing on putting on the tallis.
- (Back to text) See Sefer HaMaamarim Melukat, Vol. 1, p. 44, note 11, citing the incident of a discourse the Rebbe Rashab recited privately for his son the Rebbe Rayatz, in which he offered a "possible explanation" of a certain subject. Later, when the Rebbe Rayatz visited his father-in-law in Kishinev, he requested that he review Chassidus, saying, "Just open the faucet, and it will flow of its own accord." He then repeated the aforementioned discourse, but offered the explanation with certainty. When he returned to Lubavitch and told his father of this incident, the Rebbe Rashab asked him, "How do you know this is correct? I myself only offered it as a possibility!" To this, he replied, "What to you is a mere possibility is to me a certainty."
- (Back to text) Igros Kodesh of the Rebbe, Vol. 4, p. 129:
Sefer Minhagim Kesser Shem Tov, p. 574: "The custom in Eretz Yisrael and [most other places] is to prepare two chairs one for Eliyahu and one for the sandek, and to place them one next to the other. In London, only one chair is prepared for both." In Darkei Chayim VeShalom, sec. 919 it is written, "The [Munkaczer] Rebbe was not particular about what is written in Derech Pikudecha requiring that the chair be divided into two parts so that it would appear to be two; he insisted only that it be wide."
- (Back to text) Igros Kodesh of the Rebbe Rayatz, Vol. 7, p. 391. In the footnotes he explains that the instrument called the "gomke clamp" is placed over the foreskin before it is cut. This clamp is fastened tightly over the skin, so that when the foreskin is cut off there is no bleeding. For more details on this subject and the problems and dangers involved in this kind of circumcision, see Pirchei Aharon, p. 186; Sefer HaBris 264:75. See also HaPardes Nissan 5715, p. 14, publicizing a ruling by Agudas HaRabbanim of the United States [and Canada] forbidding this practice.
- (Back to text) In the original: "... will be a segulah for long life."
- (Back to text) Igros Kodesh of the Rebbe, Vol. 15, p. 92.
- (Back to text) Rambam, Hilchos Milah 2:2; Shulchan Aruch, Yoreh De'ah 264:3.
- (Back to text) See Bris Avos, p. 81; Zocher HaBris 11:16; see discussion at length in Sefer HaBris, Likkutei Halachos 88-90, and Makor U'Biur Halachah, ibid., Ch. 6, and pp. 206-213.
- (Back to text) Igros Kodesh of the Rebbe Rashab, Vol. 1, p. 387; Igros Kodesh of the Rebbe, Vol. 3, p. 176, citing S'dei Chemed (Vol. 3, entry for HaMilah VehaMetzitzah) regarding more than 200 rabbis, including some physicians, who publicized the necessity for suction by mouth. See also Vol. 15, p. 92.
- (Back to text) See Igros Kodesh of the Rebbe Rashab, ibid.,
...numerous geonim of the previous generation wrote about this, and S'dei Chemed, Kuntress HaMetzitza collected the opinions of many great contemporary rabbis. Just last year, the pious physician Dr. Sergei (Menachem Yehudah Leib, alias "Dr. Sergai, M.D., of Riga") printed his sefer, Meishiv Nefesh, where he cites convincing proof that suction is an indispensable part of the mitzvah, and that it must be done only by mouth. He writes, "Experience tells us that we have been doing the suction by mouth for thousands of years, and no sickness was ever caused by it (G-d forbid)." Maharam Schick writes similarly in his responsa, saying that he had been a mohel for 45 years, and done the suction by mouth, and nothing wrong had ever occurred. He writes at length that the suction must be by mouth, and "One who wishes to change this practice bears the burden [of proof that it is necessary and proper], and children should not be given to him to circumcise. One who keeps a mitzvah will know no evil occurrence."
See also Bris Avos 11:13; Zocher HaBris 11:19; Sefer HaBris, Likkutei Halachos and Makor U'Biur Halachah.
- (Back to text) Igros Kodesh of the Rebbe, Vol. 15, pp. 92, 341, and references cited there, including Kuntres HaMetzitza in S'dei Chemed. See also Bris Avos 11:98; Zocher HaBris 12:32, citing Chasam Sofer, that a glass tube may be used only in cases of the greatest necessity. See also opinions cited in Sefer HaBris, p. 224.
- (Back to text) Igros Kodesh of the Rebbe, Vol. 15, pp. 343-4; Likkutei Sichos, Vol. 10, p. 48.
- (Back to text) Sefer HaBris, Likkutei Halachos 201:20, explaining that this applies only to one who is already 13 years old and obligated to do the mitzvos.
- (Back to text) See Likkutei Sichos, ibid.,
...especially according to the view of Acharonim that the mitzvah of milah must be accompanied by pain (and therefore the subject should not be under total or even partial anesthesia that would prevent him from feeling the pain); thus pain certainly seems to be an essential part of the mitzvah of milah.
In note 36 loc. cit., regarding general anesthesia:
See Kores HaBris; Nachal Bris 261:4, regarding the additional problem, that mitzvos require intent. But regarding a convert Responsa Devar Avraham (Vol. 2, Ch. 25) writes that the milah is not a mitzvah at all, but merely a prerequisite [to the conversion]; Responsa Lev Aryeh 11 writes that thus it appears that all opinions would agree that he may be put to sleep.
In note 37 loc. cit., (regarding Avraham):
See Bereishis Rabbah (47:9): "he felt the pain so that the Holy One would double his reward." According to what we have written in the text we understand why the Midrash so incisively rejects the opinion that he did not feel pain, for as we have explained, the pain is an essential part of the mitzvah of milah. Obviously, Avraham Avinu, the "first to be circumcised, " was not lacking in such an essential feature. See Likkutei Sichos, Vol. 5, p. 80ff., and note 40 loc. cit.
See also Sefer HaBris, Likkutei Halachos 261:21, and in Makor U'Biur Halachah pp. 35-38, discussing all opinions on whether the person being circumcised must be awake and have intent to fulfill the mitzvah.
- (Back to text) Igros Kodesh of the Rebbe, Vol. 4, p. 144 (int. al.):
The principle that "those who are most eager to do mitzvos do them at the earliest possible moment" takes precedence over the principle that "the glory of the King is in multitudes of people," as implied by Rosh HaShanah 32b; but apparently milah is different, for it is better to do it with joy, as the mitzvah was originally accepted (Shabbos 130a). See also Megillah 16b, Kesubos 8a, and especially Niddah 31b: "they all rejoiced...," and so, this takes precedence over the principle that "those who are most eager to do mitzvos do them at the earliest possible moment."
- (Back to text) See Igros, ibid., "(Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chayim, end of ch. 559). This is not so if [the bris] occurs on Tishah BeAv itself, for then it is not of such concern how great the joy will be. According to some opinions if [Tishah BeAv] has been postponed, the fast is interrupted."
- (Back to text) See Igros, ibid.,
S'dei Chemed, Klallim, letter zayin, klal 3 cites Birkas Yosef on Orach Chayim, ch. 1, and Chaye Adam, ch. 8; Re'eh Chayim on Lech Lecha; Lev Chayim, Vol. 2, 127, saying that Pidyon HaBen should not be delayed for this purpose, and he takes it for granted that this rule applies to milah also. But in my opinion, the cases are different (as mentioned). We do not say that in fact milah ought to be done even earlier [than other mitzvos] because for every moment it is delayed he remains uncircumcised, and the foreskin is abominable (which would also question the practice of delaying it on Tishah BeAv); for the Torah says "...on the eighth day," without specifying any time of day.
See Otzar HaBris 3:5:4, and references to Responsa Sheilos Yeshurun, Yoreh De'ah 26 and other works of Acharonim.
- (Back to text) Igros Kodesh of the Rebbe, Vol. 7, p. 143. Regarding performing a postponed bris on Thursday or Friday, see commentary of Kores HaBris on Nachal HaBris 266:40.
- (Back to text) Alter Rebbe's Shulchan Aruch 621:3.
- (Back to text) Igros Kodesh of the Rebbe, Vol. 20, p. 283.
- (Back to text) Igros Kodesh of the Rebbe, ibid., "It should not be postponed (more than necessary) without good reason."
- (Back to text) From the Alter Rebbe's Siddur.
- (Back to text) See Shaar HaKollel (Seder HaMilah), citing Siddur HaAriZal, Tanya Rabasi, and Abudraham; also Zohar, Lech Lecha 94b. Piskei Shaloh on Hilchos Milah 14: "Know that there are angels appointed over the blood of the bris; they take it and place it in a certain hall, and when the Holy One is angry, He looks at this blood, and He has mercy."
- (Back to text) Shaar HaKollel, ibid., cites Tur, Yoreh De'ah 265, citing the Midrash; also, Zohar, Lech Lecha 93, and Pirkei DeRabbi Eliezer, Ch. 29.
- (Back to text) Beis Yosef on Yoreh De'ah, beginning of Ch. 265; see various opinions in Aruch HaShulchan 265:11-12; Sefer HaBris, Likkutei Halachos 265:3 and Makor U'Biur Halachah, pp. 260-268.
- (Back to text) Shaar HaKollel, Ch. 4, citing the source of these blessings in: Shabbos 137b; Yerushalmi, Berachos 9:2; Zohar, Lech Lecha, p. 94b; Tosafos on Menachos 53b, passage beginning ben yedid. See also Likkutei Sichos, Vol. 10, p. 44ff. for a chassidic explanation of why we specifically mention the covenant of Avraham Avinu.
- (Back to text) HaYom Yom, entry for 28 Adar II; Edus LeYisrael mentions that this is the text of the Gemara, Shabbos 137b, with a slight modification. Our text is found in Rosh, HaManhig, and Avudraham. Many other sources have the text in the second person: Just as you have entered him into the Covenant, so may you enter him into ...
- (Back to text) Yoreh De'ah 265:1; Aruch HaShulchan 265:16; the reason is that he is about to recite the blessing who sanctified the beloved one from the womb ..., which is praise and thanksgiving to the Holy One, and song is recited only over a goblet; this is the goblet of rejoicing (see Taz, loc. cit., note 4, who cites Beis Yosef citing Mordechai. See Otzar HaBris 3:15:23, and note 79, loc. cit.
- (Back to text) Regarding this blessing, see Shaar HaKollel, ibid., 5; Encyclopedia Talmudis, Vol. 4, entry for Bris Milah, et al.
- (Back to text) Shaar HaKollel, ibid., writes: "this is the Alter Rebbe's text: tzivah with a chirik." He quotes Avudraham's commentary on this blessing, then adds citations from a responsum by Rambam, Sheilas Yaavetz, Baal HaIttur quoting Hai Gaon et al. supporting this text, and sources that the text should be in the form of supplication rather than narrative: tzaveh with a patach.
- (Back to text) See Aruch HaShulchan, ibid. 18: in theory, one should drink the goblet after the blessing, and thereafter say Sovereign of the universe ... but the custom is not so, and one drinks after this prayer, and after the name has been given, for requesting mercy in behalf of the child does not constitute an interruption; see Sefer HaBris, Likkutei Halachos 265:51.
- (Back to text) Shaar HaKollel sec. 9: "the mohel and the father of the infant recite the following blessing: the father recites only the prayer Sovereign of the universe ...; May He who blessed ... is recited by the mohel alone."
- (Back to text) See Likkutei Sichos, Vol. 7, p. 306:
Regarding voluntarily reciting Shehechiyanu, see end of Likkutim in Piskei Dinim Tzemach Tzedek, and references cited there. Regarding Shehechiyanu during the day of Purim, here too there is disagreement between Shulchan Aruch and Rama, each holding the opposite view of what he says regarding milah (Orach Chayim, beginning of Ch. 692; Yoreh De'ah 265:7). The Sephardim in London and Amsterdam recite Shehechiyanu at a bris thus, the difference in custom is not between Eretz Yisrael and the Diaspora, but between Sephardim and Ashkenazim. The fact that we do not find Shehechiyanu mentioned with regard to milah anywhere in the Talmud supports the custom of the Ashkenazim not to say it.
- (Back to text) Igros Kodesh of the Rebbe, Vol. 3, p. 275:
[regarding the theory that] this case is no worse than that of a non-Jewish child, whom we may circumcise with permission of his non-Jewish father, as Shulchan Aruch rules in Yoreh De'ah 268:7 I do not see the relevance at all. A non-Jew and his son are related, and the son is regarded as his descendant (see Yevamos 62a and relevant Poskim), but in the case of a Jew who has intercourse with a non-Jewish woman [the child is not regarded as his child].
See also Sefer HaBris 261:16.
- (Back to text) Likkutei Sichos, Vol. 10, p. 48, note 36, citing Responsa Devar Avraham (Vol. 2, no. 25) and Responsa Lev Aryeh. Regarding circumcising a Jew, see supra, par. 13.
- (Back to text) Igros Kodesh of the Rebbe, Vol. 3, p. 275, citing Shulchan Aruch, Yoreh De'ah 268:5 and 267:2. See Bach, loc. cit. This letter is in response to someone who instructed a mohel to recite al hamilah ("...concerning circumcision") instead of imo es haGerim because he had some question about this ruling, and also because the Rama makes no distinction between an ordinary mohel and a father who circumcises his own son. The Rebbe disagrees with his rationale.
- (Back to text) Igros Kodesh of the Rebbe, Vol. 10, p. 339; HaYom Yom, entry for 28 Adar II; the Sichah at a bris milah 7 Adar II 5711 [Toras Menachem 5711, Vol. I, p. 281]; [remarks at a] bris milah 1 Kislev 5712, where [the person recording the remarks] mentions that the Rebbe in fact did this. HaYom Yom, ibid., mentions that this is also our practice. In the Igros, ibid., he adds: "Since a person is obligated to say things in the same words used by his Rebbe on the occasion when I was present, it was in Warsaw; he donated 20 zloty, saying 'This is for Tomchei Temimim, a prepayment for tuition.'"
- (Back to text) HaYom Yom, entry for 28 Adar II. Darkei Chayim VeShalom (Munkacz), Hilchos Milah 933; Sefer HaBris 265:192; Edus LeYisrael, p. 114; Otzar HaBris, 6:17:16; Shaar HaKollel on the procedure for milah.