My understanding is circumcision should be performed on the eighth day. Does this include the day the child was born? So if born on Monday, would circumcision be on the following Monday, or should it be 1 week + 1 day (Tuesday)?

2 Answers 2


The day of the birth is included in counting towards the eighth day of life:

A Brit Milah should be performed on the infant's eighth day (including the day of birth), after sunrise. If the circumcision was performed before sunrise on the eighth day, it is nevertheless valid, so long as it took place after daybreak.

(from http://www.dailyhalacha.com/displayRead.asp?readID=1228 Rabbi Eli Mansour)

  • ...and the day beings at nightfall. Mar 14, 2018 at 15:04

Breishit 17:12 uses the phrase בן שמונת ימים which (loosely) means "an 8-day old".

When the Torah uses the phrase בן followed by a number to refer to someone's age, it is counted from the date of birth, or the first day of a person's life.

What, perhaps, may confuse the count is if a child is born during twilight. In such situations, you may need to check with a rav to verify exactly what the Hebrew date of birth is to know when the 8th day is.

  • 3
    "It's obvious from this verse that the counting begins from the day of birth": apparently your intuition into Biblical Hebrew is better than mine.
    – msh210
    Mar 12, 2018 at 20:31
  • @msh210 explain how you would translate בן שמונת ימים
    – DanF
    Mar 12, 2018 at 20:36
  • 1
    @msh210 Huh?? You translated it the same way as I did. So, I'm not following your 1st comment.
    – DanF
    Mar 12, 2018 at 21:25
  • 2
    @ezra: The day of your birthday, which means that the first day was not counted. If the first day was counted, you would gain a new year the day before. The modern way to celebrate birthdays is contrary to the answer's interpretation (not to say it isn't true; only that it's not obvious to modern readers). If you were born on Sunday, then on next Sunday you would be, in modern terms, 1 week (or 7 days) old, not 8 days old. Just like a full year from Sunday you would be 1 year old, not 1 year + 1 day. Mar 13, 2018 at 0:41
  • 3
    It's not that your answer is incorrect, it's that it states as obvious something that is actually counterintuitive. I wouldn't normally say that a baby is 1 day old 15 minutes after he's born. That's just the quirky way the Torah counts time.
    – Daniel
    Mar 13, 2018 at 15:23

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