What to bring to a Bris?
July 6, 2009 2:52 AM   Subscribe

What type of gift, if any, should i bring to a bris? Is a suit and tie appropriate for a man?

My wife and I and our two children, 3 and 1, have been invited to a bris this Tuesday. We've never attended one before, and are not jewish. What should we bring, and what is appropriate dress? I checked with the father, a close friend of mine, and our entire family, including the children, are invited, because we are considered close friends.

Any advice and experiences you might have had at a bris recently are greatly appreciated!
posted by cahlers to Religion & Philosophy (4 answers total)
A small gift is acceptable, but probably not expected, as it is more of a family/traditional affair. I'd bet that the more devout the family (e.g., orthodox or beyond), the less relevant bringing a gift would be, and vice versa.

As for dress, I'd check with the family -- most of the brit milot that I've been to have been less formal than either a wedding or bar mitzvah. Probably whatever you would wear to a religious service would be appropriate.
posted by scblackman at 3:27 AM on July 6, 2009

I would dress like you are attending a very special event at someone's home - not necessarily a suit, but definitely not jeans or shorts.

Bring a gift for a baby boy! At my son's bris one friend brought a child's menorah that was really cute and thoughtful, but an outfit or toy would be very much appreciated as well, I'm sure.
posted by pinky at 7:35 AM on July 6, 2009

We had a bris at our house and invited various friends, many of whom were not Jewish (and some of whom were very much like "You're inviting me to... WHAT?") A tie's unnecessary. It's a (very brief) religious service and I'd wear what you'd wear to a church or synagogue; not jeans or shorts, but a button-down shirt and slacks are fine. If your hosts want you to wear a yarmulke, they'll have them for you. Gifts are definitely not necessary, but certainly wouldn't be offensive; if you were going to get the baby a present anyway, this is a perfectly good time to bring it.
posted by escabeche at 8:24 AM on July 6, 2009

The slacks route is certainly acceptable, but more common if your bris is in a private residence. If it's in a synagogue, a more formal look will not be out of place. A gift is not necessary, but a lovely thought. If you have no better ideas, you can write a check in some multiple of chai: $18, $36, $54, $72, &c.
posted by thejoshu at 10:30 AM on July 6, 2009

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