The Rabbi, The Father, The Mohel

 Photo: Peter Haskin
bris Melbourne Australia

THE Torah commands that at eight days old, all healthy Jewish males should be circumcised, which is known in Judaism as a brit milah.

But what some people wouldn’t know is that halachically, a father is supposed to perform the mitzvah on his own child.

Last Sunday, around 200 guests looked on as Moorabbin Hebrew Congregation’s Rabbi Elisha Greenbaum, who is also a trained mohel, performed the mitzvah on his third son, Elchanan.

“There is much greater pressure when you are the father,” Rabbi Greenbaum told the AJN (Australia Jewish News). “You don't usually have to live with the mothers afterwards! Seriously however, I was honoured, thrilled and relieved when it was done.”

But for Rabbi Greenbaum, the brit milah was an opportunity to involve his growing kehillah (congregation) in the mitzvah.

“It was beautiful to bring so many people into the shul,” he said.

Rabbi Greenbaum also has one daughter. His previous son's brit performed on his now three-year-old son was also at the shul – on Shabbat.

Due to the large number of Jewish families moving to the area, Moorabbin Hebrew Congregation’s membership has grown by around 20 per cent each year over the past four years, he added.