Here you will find a wealth of information about the Brit Milah (or Bris) ceremony for boys, and the Baby Naming (Simchat Bat or Zeved Habat) ceremony for girls. Much of this information is repeated in different ways throughout the web site. I hope it will give you a good sense about my philosophy and approach to these beautiful rituals.
I hope you and your family are safe and well. Things continue to improve, but we still have to be careful. Many people are angry and frustrated after so many months of isolation, mask-wearing and social distancing. If everyone does their part, we can overcome this. The good news is that more people are scheduling Brisses and more people are attending them.
Please continue to be vigilant with masks and social distancing. Anyone attending a Bris must wear a mask covering the nose and mouth and I recommend that anyone holding the baby should wear a mask and gloves, as well.
I continue to have myself tested monthly for Covid-19. All the test results since April have been negative. I was also tested for the antibodies and that came back negative, as well.
My goal is to maximize the safety and minimize the risk for everyone. I would like you to be confident in the steps I am taking when it comes to performing Brisses during the Covid-19 pandemic. I continue to maintain and follow the strictest standards with all of the necessary PPE equipment. This may change by the time your son is born as I continue to reevaluate the situation on a week-to-week basis. For now, the following protocols are still in place for Bris families:
As a precaution, I am still limiting the number of Brisses I perform in a day. In the event that I receive more requests than I am able to perform on any given day, please let me know if you are willing to delay your son’s bris a day or two so I can accommodate as many families as possible, as safely as possible.
For babies that were circumcised in the hospital or did not have a proper Bris performed by a certified rabbi or cantor mohel, I can perform a Hatafat Dam Bris ceremony to turn that circumcision into a Bris. It will be a complete ceremony including the Honors, the announcement of your son’s Hebrew/Jewish name followed by a festive meal if you choose to make one. At the point in the ceremony where the circumcision would have taken place, the hatafat dam brit, the drawing of a drop of blood from the circumcision site, will be performed. The discomfort to the baby is minimal and momentary. He will probably cry more when his diaper comes off and his legs are held. This will ensure that your son will have been properly entered into the Covenant of Abraham. Doing this will allow him to have a Bar-Mitzvah or get married someday unimpeded. If your son decides to follow a more traditional Jewish path in life, this will also remove any obstacles. A certificate will be issued attesting that the requirements of the Bris have been fulfilled in accordance with Jewish law. It will be recognized by all the movements of Judaism and in Israel.
NOTE: It is important to determine beforehand that the hospital or doctor circumcision was done properly. I have had two families recently who wanted the Hatafat Dam Bris ceremony, but there was so much skin left that their babies did not look circumcised. They will have to be re-circumcised before they can have a Hatafat Dam Bris Ceremony.
If you belong to a mommy blog or any other group or know someone that might benefit from this posting about Covid-19 and Brisses, please share it with them.
If you would like information about Brisses, Baby Naming ceremonies for girls, availability and fees, please email me. I will send you additional information to help you prepare for those joyous events. If you had your baby, Mazel Tov! If you are expecting a baby, best wishes for an easy delivery and a beautiful, healthy baby. I look forward to seeing you at a simcha (happy occasion) soon!
Cantor Philip L. Sherman
Please visit my Facebook page (Cantor Philip L. Sherman, Mohel) for updated postings related to the Covid-19 pandemic.