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Why does an infant baby boy who dies before he can be circumcised have a circumcision performed after death? If, as the article states it is to prepare the body for the next world why is this ritual not performed on any Jewish male who dies without circumcision? It is my experiencing working in the chevra kadisha that this was not done.

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Why do you assume your last statement is true? –  Double AA Mar 6 '13 at 18:58
    
@DoubleAA because I have worked in a chevra kadisha. –  user2110 Mar 6 '13 at 19:03
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So edit that in! (And thank you for your Chesed.) –  Double AA Mar 6 '13 at 19:05
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It is forbidden to defile a dead body. However since since the case of a baby (and not anyone else) is discussed in the Gemorah,medrish,poskim and the fact it became a custom in all communities we do it. mohelinsouthflorida.com/2011/07/… –  eramm Mar 6 '13 at 19:05
    
Perhaps it is assumed that an uncircumcised adult is because he is "patur" (haemophilia causing previous brothers to die after brit milah) and to think otherwise would label him as "mazid sinner", and his parents also. Just a thought - no sources. –  Epicentre Mar 7 '13 at 5:59
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2 Answers 2

The halacha to circumcise and name a newborn baby boy who has died before his bris milah is brought down in the Kitzur Shulchan Aruch at 163:7:

An infant who died before he was circumcised -- whether within eight days or afterward -- we circumcise him before burial to remove from him his shame, so that he should not be buried with his foreskin intact, since it is a shameful thing for him. However, we do not recite a blessing over the circumcision, but we do give him a name by which to be remembered so that they will have mercy on him from Heaven and he will be revived at the Revivification of the Dead, and he will have the understanding to recognize his father and mother at that time.

The circumcision is not a fulfillment of the mitzvah of bris milah, but is performed only to avoid burial of the child in the "shameful" state of being uncircumcised. See Beur HaGra 263:10. The Kitzur goes on to say that this circumcision is so important that if the baby was buried without doing the circumcision first, and they remembered right after the burial, they should reopen the grave and do it right away. If a few days have passed and decomposition is probable, then they do not do it. K.S.A. 163:7.

Based on the language "within eight days or afterwards" and the references to "shame" I would imagine that an older boy or man, who could not be circumcised because of medical reasons, but would have otherwise, then this law would also apply. As for someone who grew into an adult, and knew about the laws of circumcision, but still did not have it done, I'm not sure this would apply. CYLOR.

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@Ariel: How do you do that formatting a block quote? –  Bruce James Mar 6 '13 at 22:46
    
A > character at the start of the line. You can also use the icon at the top that looks like a " –  Ariel Mar 6 '13 at 22:53
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www.mohelinsouthflorida.com/2011/07/when-baby-dies-naturally-stillborn.html

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Link only answers are discouraged. Please copy in the relevant portions. –  Ariel Mar 6 '13 at 22:53
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at 1 am from my iPhone ? :) –  eramm Mar 7 '13 at 9:39
    
You can wait to post, or at least come back and update –  Double AA Jul 7 at 4:10
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