Thank you for allowing me to help guide you through this important milestone in your baby's life. You will find information about the Brit Milah (Bris) ceremony for boys, and the Baby Naming (Simchat Bat) ceremony for girls. This overview should give you a general understanding of the process. I hope it is helpful to you. This is not meant to be a substitute for phone calls or emails to answer your additional questions or concerns.
The Brit Milah ceremony is a beautiful, religious life-cycle event, which is celebrated publicly amid family and friends on the baby's eighth day of life. It is dignified, meaningful and spiritual. Everyone present will witness a beautiful milestone in the life of the baby and family. Naming the baby is part of the ceremony.
There is no protocol as to how large a Bris should be. While many choose to have a large party, others prefer a small intimate event with just immediate family present. Either is appropriate. Since mother and child are eight days post-partum and it is a very sensitive time physically and emotionally for both, it is advisable to discuss the scope of the Bris in advance with your family. Unlike a Bar Mitzvah or wedding, there is not a lot of time to plan for a Bris. However, I have observed over the years that everybody manages to come together; everybody is happy. The baby is the celebration.
At the Bris, I fully explain the ceremony in an informative and interesting way so that those who may not be familiar with the customs and traditions will feel comfortable and included. The ceremony usually lasts approximately 15 minutes. I perform the actual procedure in less than 30 seconds compared to a medical circumcision which may take twenty minutes or longer when performed by a doctor or in the hospital. In addition, every effort is made to make the baby as comfortable as possible during the circumcision.
It is my role to be more than just an artisan of ancient practice, but a facilitator for new parents who actually help them pull it all together. The recognition that this baby is not only a reflection of your love for each other but is also another proud link in the history of your respective families is conveyed. It is important for me to assure parents that they are making the right decision; that this is an act of love. Someday your son will understand what this day means and will turn to you and thank you for making this important decision so early in his life.