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Hatafat Dam Brit

Rabbi David SperlingNisan 25, 5778
445
Question
I am an adult Jewish by birth (Both parents were Jewish) and raised secular. I believe I had a medical circumcision after birth in the hospital. As far as I know I did not have a Bris performed by a Moyl. Recently I became a Baal Teshuva and am living as an Orthodox Jew. Do I need to have a Hatafat Dam Brit even if I am not a convert? If I do can I perform this mitzvah on myself?
Answer
Shalom, Thank you for your question. First let me send you many blessings for continued success in your religious growth. It is a wonderful thing to return to your roots – may it be filled with joy and blessings. A medical circumcision by itself does not fulfil the requirements for a Brit Milah (a religious circumcision). You are correct in thinking that in such a situation a small drop of blood is drawn from the man in a ceremony called a Hatafat Dam Brit. This simple and not painful procedure is usually carried out by a certified Mohel. I advice you to speak to a Mohel about your personal situation – both because a Mohel will know how to preform the Hatafat Dam Brit painlessly and professionally, with no chance of infection etc – but also because in some cases a medical circumcision might have been carried out which does not meet the physical requirement of Jewish law, in which the Mohel will be able to advice as to what steps should be taken. Blessings.
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