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Why doesn't a convert dip in the mikveh and then wait eight days until he gets his circumcision? The gemara (Yevamot 97b) says ger shnitgayeir kekatan shenolad dami (A convert is like a newly-born baby). So - ostensibly - he should dip in the mikveh, and after eight days he should have his bris, right?

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I guess the question essentially is: Is the 8th day a din in physical age (which anyone older than 8 days qualifies for) or is it a din in birth + 8 days in which case he would have to dip, then wait 8 days. –  Mbrevda Dec 30 '11 at 8:02
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@Mbrevda Not necessarily. Consider a child converted at 2 days old. He gets circumcised immediately despite being "underage". –  Double AA Dec 30 '11 at 13:36
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How can a 2 day old convert? –  Mbrevda Dec 30 '11 at 13:49
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@Mbrevda adopt non-Jewish child, conversion is contingent on the child accepting it at coming of age –  yitznewton Dec 30 '11 at 15:04
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The convert also doesn't wait 13 years before becoming liable for mitzvot... –  Monica Cellio Jan 22 '13 at 18:49

2 Answers 2

Actually the order for a convert is: first have circumcision, then wait for that to heal, then immerse in the mikvah. The immersion is what finalizes the conversion.

The law of "a convert upon conversion is like a newborn" is limited to certain laws, primarily that Torah law regards the convert as no longer related to their prior relatives.

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I think it also applies to the convert being free of sin. But I could be mistaken. –  Seth J Dec 30 '11 at 18:50
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@SethJ: see judaism.stackexchange.com/questions/6429/…. –  Alex Dec 30 '11 at 20:12
    
@Alex, Nice. Thanks! –  Seth J Dec 30 '11 at 20:23
    
@Shalom, I never understood why circumcision takes place before tevilah in the mikveh. There is a mitzvah to circumcise, not to be passively circumcised. If someone converts and is already circumcised when he immerses, he is mevatel his mitzvah of Milah. –  Adam Mosheh Jan 9 '12 at 3:16
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@AdamMosheh: probably because that's the same order in which the Jewish people underwent these steps (and that's the paradigm for all future gerim): circumcision just before they left Egypt, immersion before the giving of the Torah. –  Alex Jun 19 '12 at 19:15

I can only answer from personal experience. Since I had been circucised as a baby, when I converted I only needed a ceremonial bris -- a slight cut to draw some blood -- and then I went directly to the mikvah. It was explained to me that the bris, being a Biblical commandment, comes first. The mikvah is learned from the Oral Torah, and therefore comes after the bris.

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Isn't the question why the order isn't the other way around? (Not my downvote) –  Double AA Jan 22 '13 at 18:43
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@DoubleAA: See my edit. –  Bruce James Jan 22 '13 at 19:00

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