Brit Milah

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Delayed Milah on Thursday or Friday

  1. According to Ashkenazim one may perform a delayed Brit Milah on Thursday or Friday even if it will cause a situation of Pikuach Nefesh, however, Sephardim hold that one should not perform a delayed Brit Milah on Thursday or Friday. [1]
    1. Everyone agrees that if a baby boy is born during the Ben HaShemashot (halachic twilight) on Wednesday can have the Brit Milah on Thursday next week. [2]


    • The Gemara Shabbat 19a quotes the Briatta which states that one may not board a boat in order to travel on Shabbat unless one got on before 3 days before Shabbat (whether or not this includes Wednesday, see Mishna Brurah 248:4).
    • The Rif (Shabbat 7a-b) explains that the reason for this restriction is that if one boards a boat within 3 days of Shabbat it will negatively impact the passenger’s oneg Shabbat (enjoyment of Shabbat), however, if it’s started earlier the passengers will get used to it and be able to enjoy Shabbat. The Rosh (Shabbat 1:38) and Rambam (Shabbat 30:13) agree with this reason.
    • However, the Baal HaMoer (on Rif) explains that the reason that one may not board a boat close to Shabbat is because it’s likely that there will be life threatening danger which will necessitate a violation of Shabbat. However, when it is begun earlier there’s no issue because the obligation to prepare not to violate Shabbat even for life threatening danger doesn’t begin (explained by Mishna Brurah 248:8).
    • The Rashbatz 1:21 originates based on the Baal HaMoer’s concept that a convert shouldn’t schedule his Brit Milah on Thursday because it will lead to a violation of Shabbat (if he doesn’t recover fully) and the same would be true of a baby who had his Brit Milah delayed. This is codified by the Tur and S”A YD 268. [Interestingly, the Taz explains that even if there’s no concern of a violation of Shabbat there’s an issue of ruining oneg Shabbat and so it would be forbidden to do the delayed Brit Milah on Thursday or Friday.]
    • However, the Shach YD 266:18 argues on the Rashbetz that the Baal HaMoer would permit just like it’s permitted to board a boat on Friday for the purpose of a mitzvah (S”A OC 248:1) and Brit Milah is a tremendous mitzvah. The Magan Avraham 331:9, Mishna Brurah 331:33, and Sh”t HaRanach 38 (quoted by Tzitz Eliezer 12:43) agree with the Shach.
    • The Chida in Birkei Yosef 248 quotes several achronim who defended the Rashbetz by saying that it was only permitted to board a boat on Friday for a mitzvah if one stipulated with the group that they wouldn’t continue to travel on Shabbat (S”A 248:1) and since there’s no way to make such a stipulation regarding Milah it’s forbidden to do it within 3 days of Shabbat like the Baal HaMoer.
    • Sh”t Yabea Omer YD 5:23 and Menuchat Ahava (vol 1, 1:6) accept the Chida as halacha.
    • However, the Sh”t Tzitz Eliezer 12:43 rejects the Chida because he points out that the Tashbetz himself wasn’t sure whether to hold like Rebbe that one must stipulate or Rabben Shimon and one wouldn’t have to stipulate and only as a stringency did the Tashbetz hold like Rebbe. The Tzitz Eliezer concludes that it’s illogical that the Tashbetz would have postponed the Milah from Thursday just because of a stringency of holding like Rebbe. [See further in the Birkei Yosef who gives a second defense of the Rashbetz and Tzitz Eliezer who rejects it as well.]
  1. Menuchat Ahava (vol 1, 1:7) and Sh”t Yabea Omer YD 5:23(4) explain that since the Brit Milah’s original time was set for Thursday because of a doubt it’s not considered like it was delayed specifically for that time.