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Performing a Bris Milah: Understanding the Importance of Postponements for Health Reasons

Bris Milah, also known as circumcision, is an important religious and cultural practice in the Jewish community. The procedure involves the removal of the foreskin of the penis on the eighth day after the baby's birth. However, there are certain circumstances where the Bris Milah must be delayed to ensure the infant's safety and well-being. In this article, we will discuss the various reasons why a Bris Milah may need to be postponed and when it can be performed.

Delaying a Bris Milah for Health Reasons

While it is ideal to perform the Bris Milah on the eighth day after the baby's birth, the infant's health always comes first. If there are any health concerns, your doctor and/or Mohel's advice to delay the procedure should always be followed. A Bris Milah should never be performed if it poses any danger to the infant.

Postponing the Bris Milah for Illnesses and Recovery

If the infant is ill, the Bris Milah must be postponed until he is fully recovered. The slightest ailment or pain, as determined by a mohel, doctor, or rabbi, may be reason enough to delay the procedure until the child is healed. If the illness affects the entire body, a delay of seven days following full recovery is required. However, if the disease only affects a certain part of the body, there is no waiting period, and the Bris Milah can be carried out immediately upon full recovery.

Delaying the Bris Milah for Jaundice

Jaundice is a common condition in newborns, where the skin turns yellow due to an excess of bilirubin in the blood. If the infant has jaundice, the Bris Milah cannot be performed until the bilirubin levels in the blood drop to a safe level. Once the jaundice condition is resolved, the Bris Milah may be performed without endangering the child. However, if the jaundice condition is severe, a delay of seven days following full recovery is required.

Postponing the Bris Milah for Underweight Infants

An underweight infant cannot undergo the Bris Milah until the necessary weight is achieved. Once the infant has achieved the required weight, the Bris Milah can be performed immediately without any waiting period.

Giving the Hebrew Name

If a Bris Milah must be postponed, the Hebrew name is given to the baby when the Bris Milah takes place. This ensures that the child receives his Hebrew name, which is an important aspect of Jewish tradition.


A Bris Milah is an essential practice in the Jewish community, but the infant's health and safety should always come first. Delaying the Bris Milah for health reasons is crucial to ensure that the infant is in the best possible condition for the procedure. Understanding the reasons for postponements and preparing for the procedure in advance can help ensure a successful and safe Bris Milah. If you have any concerns about your infant's health, it is essential to consult with your doctor and mohel to determine the best course of action.

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