Brit Milah the Covenant of Circumcision Naming Ceremony Hatafat Dam Brit Ritual Circumcisions
Richard Fraser MD · Westwood, MA · 781 - 690 - 1339 (voice) · 775 - 703 - 1031 (fax)
This reading is taken from Genesis 17, Parsha Lekh L'kha,
where G-d discusses the covenant with Abraham. It is the basis for the performance of the ritual circumcision, a ritual Jewish
circumcision, the Bris/Brit Milah ceremony by a Mohel/Moyl and also the naming cermemony, as Abram is now known as Abraham:
1 When Abram was ninety-nine years old, the LORD appeared to Abram and said to him, "I am El Shaddai." Walk in My ways and reach for perfection.
2 I will establish My covenant between Me and you, and I will make you exceedingly numerous."
3 Abram threw himself on his face; and God spoke to him further,
4 As for Me, this is My covenant with you: You shall be the father of a multitude of nations. "Eyn Kemakh, eyn Torah"
5 And you shall no longer be called Abram, but your name shall be Abraham, for I make you the father of a multitude of nations.
6 I will make you exceedingly fertile, and make nations of you; and kings shall come forth from you.
7 I will maintain My covenant between Me and you, and your offspring to come, as an everlasting covenant throughout the ages, to be God to you and to your offspring to come.
8 I assign the land you sojourn in to you and your offspring to come, all the land of Canaan, as an everlasting holding. I will be their God."
9 God further said to Abraham, "As for you, you and your offspring to come throughout the ages shall keep My covenant.
10 Such shall be the covenant between Me and you and your offspring to follow, which you shall keep: every male among you shall be circumcised.
11 You shall circumcise the flesh of your foreskin, and that shall be the sign of the covenant between Me and you.
12 And throughout the generations, every male among you shall be circumcised at the age of eight days. As for the homeborn slave and the one bought from an outsider who is not of your offspring, 13 They must be circumcised, homeborn and purchased alike. Thus shall My covenant be marked in your flesh as an everlasting pact.
14 And if any male who is uncircumcised fails to circumcise the flesh of his foreskin, that person shall be cut off from his kin; he has broken My covenant."
15 And God said to Abraham, "As for your wife Sarai, you Shall not call her Sarai, but her name shall be Sarah.
16 I will bless her; indeed, I will give you a son by her. I will bless her so that she shall give rise to nations; rulers shall arise from her."
17 Abraham threw himself on his face and laughed, as he said to himself, "Can a child be born to a man a hundred years old, or call Sarah bear a child at ninety?"
18 And Abraham said to God, "O that Ishmael might live by Your favor!
19 God said, "Nevertheless, Sarah your wife shall bear you a son, and you shall name him Isaac; and I will maintain My covenant with him as an everlasting covenant for his offspring to come.
20 As for Ishmael, I have heeded you." I hereby bless him. I will make him fertile and exceedingly numerous. He shall be the father of twelve chieftains, and I will make of him a great nation.
21 But My covenant I will maintain with Isaac, whom Sarah shall bear to you at this season next year."
22 And when He was done speaking with him, God was gone from Abraham.
FYI: A Mohel, also pronounced Moyl or Moyel, comes from the Hebrew root M-L "to circumcise" and is the same root as the word Milah referring to the covenant of Milah. Milah means circumcision. The various pronunciations of the word Mohel/Moyl/Moyel come from the various East European/Ashkenazi dialects and modern Hebrew. Also the correct term for the ceremony is Brit Milah. The terms Brit and Bris also reflect different dialects and have come to be accepted into English over the term Brit Milah.