The Human Side of the Story

For the week ending 2 December 2006 / 11 Kislev 5767

A Seudat Mitzvah Anyway

by Rabbi Mendel Weinbach zt'l
The Color of HeavenArtscroll
Hundreds of guests in a hall in Herzliya anxiously waited for the brit mila to begin. Imagine their shock when the mohel emerged from his final pre-circumcision examination and announced that the baby was slightly jaundiced and the brit had to be postponed because it presented a danger to life.

What would now happen with the hundreds of portions prepared for this seudat mitzvah?

To the good fortune of all concerned the rabbi of the city, Rabbi Yacobowitz, was present. He invited everyone to sit down and partake of the meal that he ruled was a seudat mitzvah despite the fact that the brit mila did not take place.

His reasoning was that the postponement of the brit mila was a demonstration of our commitment to the halachic ruling that consideration of danger to life is placed above performance of this mitzvah. This alone was something to be celebrated with a seudat mitzvah.

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