Assume that the father is a Gentile who married a Jewish woman. The child, who is Jewish, obviously, becomes a mohel.

Years, later, the father decides to convert, so he needs a brit. Is the son allowed to the brit on his father, or is this in conflict with any halacha that states that a child is not allowed to physically "injure" his father?

  • Once the father converts he cuts off all ties to his previous biological relations. Halachically, he’s not the son’s father. Msh has the right idea of expanding the question to a Jewish father who happened to not have a bris. – DonielF Oct 10 at 23:29
  • @DonielF That's an interesting point. Based on that, there is no kibud av , then? – DanF Oct 11 at 3:09
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    Given the various Rabbinic institutions regarding this concept, I’m not going to say no, but there probably isn’t Biblically. – DonielF Oct 11 at 16:53

You can ask the same question about a Jewish-from-birth father who happened never to have been circumcised. Minchas Chinuch 48 rules that the sin of injuring one's parent does not apply if one does it with the parent's permission. Shulchan Aruch YD 241:3 seems to disagree, but Rama clarifies that SA is strict only if no one else is available to do what the father needs done. The case of a convert father that you described would seem to be included by rabbinical decree (SA :9, q.v.).

So in short it would seem another circumciser would be preferred according to SA but that it is permitted if another circumciser isn't available; and Minchas Chinuch permits it anyway.

  • I liked your answer before you edited. However, M.C. and SA are addressing the basic issue of wounding a parent, but there's no consideration there for when there is a mitzvah to be fulfilled; which seems to have relevant nafka minos. – Shmuel Brown Oct 10 at 22:16
  • @shm better now? – msh210 Oct 10 at 22:19
  • sorry I hit enter before fully having a formulated thought. I need to look at it inside. – Shmuel Brown Oct 10 at 22:21
  • I'm not sure why you think the rabbinic injunction of a convert not injuring his parent (so he shouldn't say he came from a more holy place to a less holy one) would apply to the mitzvah deoraisa of mila. Even lichatchila. – user6591 Oct 11 at 13:15
  • Although the flipside of that is the only allowance tip circumcise him (unless he is an ismealite) would be to convert him, at which point there is a more real relationship as the son in retrospect counts towards the father's pru urvu. – user6591 Oct 11 at 13:34

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