Soc.Culture.Jewish Newsgroups
Frequently Asked Questions and Answers

[SCJ FAQ Logo]
< Q21.1.4 TOC Q21.1.6 >

Question 21.1.5:
Entering the Covenant: But doesn't it [circumcision] hurt?


The requirement is that it be done at the eighth day. The Rambam (just beyond the section previously quoted) says that earlier the baby is too tender and later the father might not be able to bring himself to do it. Some doctors have said that after, the baby develops too much and would actually be a more serious matter.

With adults, the question is different. After the eighth day the nervous system becomes more developed (especially after puberty). For adults, a local anesthetic is used (often a mixture of lidocain and prilocaine). It is spread on the area, some time is allowed to pass, and the procedure is performed with no pain.

The FAQ is a collection of documents that is an attempt to answer questions that are continually asked on the soc.culture.jewish family of newsgroups. It was written by cooperating laypeople from the various Judaic movements. You should not make any assumption as to accuracy and/or authoritativeness of the answers provided herein. In all cases, it is always best to consult a competent authority--your local rabbi is a good place to start.

[Got Questions?]Hopefully, the FAQ will provide the answer to your questions. If it doesn't, please drop Email to The FAQ maintainer will endeavor to direct your query to an appropriate individual that can answer it. If you would like to be part of the group to which the maintainer directs questions, please drop a note to the FAQ maintainer at

[Prev ?]
[Sect Index]
[Next ?]
[Prev Sect]
[Global Index]
[Reading Lists]

© (c) 1993-2004 Daniel P. Faigin <>