A father is commanded to circumcise his sons (260:1). If he does not
do it the court must have it done; if they do not, the boy himself
must have it done when he becomes an adult (261:1).
A healthy boy is circumcised on the eighth day, counting the day of his
birth as the first day (262:1,3). The day begins at nightfall and the
birth is regarded as taking place when the head comes out; see 262:4-7.
The circumcision is not valid if it was done earlier or was not done in
the daytime; see 262:1. A sick boy is not circumcised until he gets well;
see 262:2 and 263:1. If two boys in a family die as a result of
circumcision, other boys born into that family must not be circumcised
until they grow up; see 263:2-3. If a boy was born without a foreskin or
was circumcised invalidly, a drop of blood must be taken from him (see 262:
1;263:4;264:1). If a boy dies before being circumcised it is done when he
is buried; see 263:5 and 353:6.
The circumciser must be an observant Jew and should preferably be an adult
male; see 264:1. Circumcision may be done with any non-fragile cutting
instrument, but an iron knife is preferable (264:2). Circumcision consists
of cutting the foreskin, peeling it back and causing the cut to bleed
(264:3-4). After circumcision the glans should not appear to be covered;
The circumciser first recites the blessing "...Who commanded us about
circumcision" and the father immediately recites the blessing "...Who
commanded us to bring him into the covenant of our father Abraham"; see
265:1-2,5. On special classes of children see 265:3-4; on other details
of the ceremony see 265:1,6-12.
Circumcision is performed even if it involves removal of signs of leprosy
(266:1). Circumcision on the eighth day is performed even on a Sabbath
or holiday (see 266:2-9,14; on special classes of children see 10-13). On
circumcision on a fast day see 265:4,13.
Shulchan Aruch, Copyright (c) 2000 ProjectGenesis, Inc.