While studying an Egyptian Halakhic book (Nehar Misrayim) I came across a ruling that a circumcision was pushed off if the umbilical cord hasn't fallen off yet. The book states this was the straightforward custom found in Israel, Egypt and all the cities of Turkey. I'm wondering how widespread this custom was and the reasoning behind it.

I've attached a screenshot of the text in question..

enter image description here

  • This appears to be medical advice more than anything else
    – user17319
    Sep 14 at 23:57
  • @Tesvov The Halacha regarding the ability to perform a Bris, is intertwined with what the medical establishment holds true. Sep 15 at 5:35

This is a possible symptom of a child who has a disease, just as a child who is "yellow". As a result, it is possible that the child should not be given a milah until after the umbilical cord falls off showing that the child is healthy.

Delayed Separation of the Umbilical Cord Attributable to Urachal Anomalies

A marked delay in cord separation raises the suspicion of leukocyte adhesion deficiency (LAD), a rare disorder leading to defective neutrophil function.2 Patients with LAD type I have been found to have a history of delayed umbilical cord separation and omphalitis in infancy.3 As this immunologic disorder has a high morbidity and mortality, screening and early detection are recommended.

  • was 8 days ever considered delayed?
    – yih613
    Sep 15 at 1:11
  • The same link that you provided, states: "The umbilical cord of the newborn usually separates and sloughs by the end of the second postnatal week." - In a different study jamanetwork.com/journals/jamapediatrics/article-abstract/513914 of 363 infants, cord separation occurred from days three to 45, with a mean of 13.9 days. - Therefore, if the umbilical cord hasn't fallen off yet on day 8, the day that the Bris is supposed to take place, that is not unusual, and very unremarkable; and modern medicine does not consider this to be a medical concern. Sep 15 at 5:36
  • Yeah I'm wondering if this was a specific medical issue or whether they were overly cautious. It's really common to have the umbilical cord not fall off til after the 8th day. My daughter's didn't fall off for two weeks.
    – Aaron
    Sep 15 at 14:47
  • The language of the picture says it is a siman that the child has not gained enough strength. It would seem that there are other symptoms that go along with the cord not falling off since it mentioned that doctors at that time also used this as one of the symptoms to look at. @Aaron Sep 15 at 17:29

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .