Why a Brit Milah “Bris”?

It is generally assumed that Judaism adopted the practice of circumcision from neighbouring cultures; their reasons for performing the act remain to be studied.

The religious basis of circumcision is stated in Genesis 21:3-4: “Abraham gave the name Isaac to the son he had, to whom Sarah had just given birth. When his son Isaac was eight years old, Abraham circumcised him as God had commanded.”

Historically, according to some scholars…

The Jewish philosopher Philo (20 BCE – 50 CE), gives several reasons for the practice of circumcision. He attributes four of the reasons to “men of divine spirit and wisdom.” These include the idea that circumcision:

  • Protects against disease
  • Secures cleanliness “in a way that is suited to the people consecrated to God”

Rabbi Saadia Gaon (882 – 942 CE), considers something to be “complete”, if it lacks nothing, but also has nothing that is unneeded. He regards the foreskin as an unneeded organ that God created in man, and so by removing it, the man is completed.

Maimonides (Moses ben Maimon “Rambam”, 1135 – 1204 CE), who apart from being a great Torah scholar was also a physician and philosopher, argued that circumcision serves as a common bodily sign to members of the same faith.

Contact one of our Mohalim to discuss and assist you during this very special time with the birth of your baby.