CCAR RESPONSA

New American Reform Responsa

104. Sandeq and Mohel at Public Services

QUESTION: Does a sandeq or a mohel have particular rights or obligations at the public service on the day on which the circumcision takes place? I have heard some rumors that this may be so. (Robert D. Feingold, St. Paul MIN)

ANSWER: The mohel in some traditional circles led the prayers on the day of the berit milah. This was done in keeping with a Biblical verse in the Book of Psalms (Psalm 149.6; Shulhan Arukh Yoreh Deah 165.11). It also sought to fulfill the thought that someone who is about to perform a mitzvah should pray that he be fit to accomplish it. Usually it was the mohel and the sandeq who divided the appropriate psalm and read it responsively.

In other traditions, some of the prayers before the barkhu, the formal call to worship, were recited by these two individuals. It would, therefore, be appropriate to have both mohel and sandeq or the sandeq alone participate in the service in this fashion. This would provide additional public recognition of the berit and the individual honored as sandeq.

August 1989

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