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Eighteen Treatises from the Mishna, by D. A. Sola and M. J. Raphall, [1843], at


§ 1. R. Eleazar saith, "If he [who is to circumcise the infant] has

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not brought a knife before the Sabbath, he is to bring it openly [uncovered] on the Sabbath; but in times of danger [religious persecution], he covers the knife [wraps it up] in the presence of witnesses. 1 R. Eleazar further saith, "Wood may be cut [on the Sabbath] to be burnt into coal, to forge an iron instrument [knife, to circumcise withal;" but] R. Akivah laid down the rule, "Whatever work [necessary in aid of circumcision] it is possible to do on the Sabbath-eve, does not supersede [the due observance of] the Sabbath; but [whatever work] it is not possible to do on the Sabbath-eve, does. supersede [the due observance of] the Sabbath.

§ 2. Whatever is requisite [to complete the ceremony] of circumcision, is to be done on the Sabbath: [viz.] they circumcise, uncover [the gland], suck [the blood], and put plaster and cummin [caraway] on the wound; if [the cummin has] not [been] crushed on the Sabbath-eve, he masticates it with his teeth, and puts it on; if he has not mixed oil and wine on the Sabbath-eve, he must put each on separately; he must not prepare a proper dressing [on the Sabbath], but he may tie a small linen rag on the wound; and if he has not provided it on the Sabbath-eve, he may wrap it round his finger, and bring it with him, even from another court.

§ 3. The infant may be bathed [washed], as well before the circumcision as after the circumcision; the water must be sprinkled on it with the hand, but not poured on it with a vessel. R. Eleazar ben Azariah saith, "The infant is to be bathed on the third day [after circumcision], though that fall on the Sabbath; for it is said, And it came to pass on the third day when they were sore.'" 2 [To circumcise] a ‏ספק‎, 3 or a hermaphrodite, the Sabbath is not to be violated. R. Jehudah permits it in [the case of] a hermaphrodite.

§ 4. He who has two children to circumcise, one after the Sabbath, and one on the Sabbath, should he forget, and circumcise the one who is for after the Sabbath on the Sabbath, he is guilty. If he has one child to circumcise on the Sabbath-eve, and one on the Sabbath, should he forget, and circumcise the one for the

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[paragraph continues] Sabbath-eve on the Sabbath, R. Eleazar pronounces him guilty, [and bound to bring] a sin-offering; but R. Joshua absolves him.

§ 5. An infant may be [legally] circumcised on the 8th, the 9th, the 10th, the 11th, and the 12th [day after its birth], but not sooner, nor yet later. How is this to be understood? In the ordinary way; on the 8th [day] if it be born near twilight, it is circumcised on the 9th [day]; if [it be born] near twilight on the Sabbath-eve, it is circumcised on the 10th [day]; if a festival succeeds the Sabbath, it is circumcised the 11th [day]; and [should the Sabbath be succeeded by] the two new-year's days, it is circumcised on the 12th [day]. Should the infant be ill, it must not be circumcised till it gets [quite] well again. 4

§ 6. These are the excrescences [knobs] which impede the circumcision; flesh which covers the greater part of the gland: [such an one if a priest] must not eat of heave-offering. If [this arise because] a man becomes very fleshy, it must be remedied, for the sake of outward appearance. If he has circumcised, but not uncovered the gland, it is as if he had not circumcised at all.


63:1 To attest that he carries nothing but that which it is lawful for him to carry out on the Sabbath.

63:2 Gen. xxxiv. 25.

63:3 "Doubtful;" a child which is supposed to have been born in the eighth month of pregnancy, and considered as not able to live, and therefore not to be circumcised on the Sabbath.

64:4 From which period the eight days are to be computed.

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