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Where is the earliest attestation of the word mohel for one who performs the act associated with a ritual circumcision?

When was it written?

What language is it?

[Inspired by Why is there a ה in "מוהל"? ]

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  • 1
    Your last line needs fixing.
    – Isaac Moses
    May 18, 2011 at 17:51
  • 1
    @IsaacMoses - Man, that was faster than I could say, "let me go get that link."
    – WAF
    May 18, 2011 at 17:52
  • Are you specifically looking for מוהל used as a noun referring to the person who performs the cut, or any use of the verb which incorporates the radical ה?
    – Double AA
    Jan 22, 2013 at 18:52
  • The nominal, with the ה.
    – WAF
    Jan 22, 2013 at 22:28

3 Answers 3

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It would seem (because I don't see it in the Mishna) that the earliest usage is the Tosefta Brachot 6:12 (7:12 in some editions):

המוהל צריך ברכה לעצמו או' ברוך על המילה
The Mohel must make a blessing himself [even if he is not the father?]. He says, "Baruch [...] Al HaMilah."

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  • Is there conventional agreement on when Tosefta was written? There seems to be a wide range of opinions.
    – WAF
    Jan 22, 2013 at 22:32
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הלוקח עבדים ערלים מן הגוי על מנת למוהלן, עבד איש את מוהלו בעל כורחו;

תלמוד ירושלמי מסכת יבמות--

הערל פרל. שמיני יבמות

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  • Both of those are verbs not nouns.
    – Double AA
    Jan 22, 2013 at 18:52
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From a search on Wikisource, the earliest source found is Midrash Rabbah (Shir Hashirim:1:12:3). Excerpt:

אמרו לו תן לנו מה נאכל אמר להם כך אמר לי הקדוש ברוך הוא סינטומוס "כל ערל לא יאכל בו" מיד כל אחד ואחד נתן חרבו על ירכו ומהל עצמו מי מלן ר' ברכיה אמר משה היה מוהל ואהרן פורע ויהושע משקה וי"א יהושע היה מוהל ואהרן פורע ומשה היה משקה

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  • I'm pretty sure the Talmud Yerushalmi is an earlier source though.
    – jake
    May 18, 2011 at 19:06
  • I agree, though am not sure. Unless it means the word מוהל and not its other forms?
    – soandos
    May 18, 2011 at 20:48

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