The artwork on this note card was created by 5768 WRJ Art Calendar artist Césan d’Ornellas Levine.
Brit milah is a very important ritual which has been part of Jewish life for over 4,000 years. Brit milah is done on the eighth day of life, and involves a ceremony in which a circumcision is done and the baby receives his Hebrew name. Traditionally, there is a minyan present, and a festive meal follows the ceremony. The Reform Mohalim abide by the standards of our Brit Mohalim.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, gatherings of people are recognized as dangerous, and the usual format of a brit milah contravenes the necessary social distancing which is crucial to preventing spread of the virus. Our goal is to preserve as much of the tradition and spirituality of brit milah as possible, while also optimizing the preservation of life that is so inherent to Judaism. This urgent situation demands that new temporary practices be instituted for the duration of the crisis.
There are three options for babies born during the COVID-19 pandemic:
We recognize that the situation is changing rapidly from day to day. There are risks related to doing a circumcision in the hospital, or a bris in the home on the eighth day during this current crisis; and there are different risks related to delaying the bris. The decision must be made by the parents and the mohel based on a balance of risks in their individual situation and environment. We pray that this pandemic may soon pass and we can all celebrate these beautiful moments together again.
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