Rabbi Gil Leeds, C.M. - Bay Area Mohel - 510-730-2747

A Caring and Professional Certified Traditional Mohel

Why is a Brit Milah (Bris) Performed on the 8th Day?

Did you ever wonder why the Brit Milah is done on the 8th day of a baby's life?

In the hospital, a circumcision is usually done on the 2nd day, so why does Judaism want us to wait?

The simple reason is because the Torah (Genesis 17:12 & Leviticus 12:3) commands the descendants of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob to perform the Brit Milah on the 8th day. The teachings of Kabbalah, which gives insight to a deeper esoteric dimension, explain that the natural physical world as we know it is composed of the number seven - 7 days of the week, 7 continents, 7 seas, 7 notes of the musical scale, 7 colors of the rainbow, our Jewish holidays are 7 days in length... So the number 7 is symbolic of a complete cycle of nature, and therefore, the number 8 is representative of a step beyond nature, a step to an unlimited and infinite level of reality. The number 8 is a digit which has no beginning or end, going on continuously in a circular loop. When turned on its side, the number 8 is actually the mathematical symbol for infinity. The 8th day therefore represents the infinite bond which this Jewish baby boy is experiencing with G-d at the Brit Milah and the ideal day for the Brit Milah because it demonstrates how unlimited and boundless our Creator is.

Even if logic and the natural order of the world would dictate otherwise, the Jew's relationship with His Maker transcends all limitations and restrictions because of their inherent infinite partnership with the Divine.