Hagaon HaRav Chaim Kanievsky Decries Jewish Uncircumcised Baby as a Goy


An incident occurred on Sunday at the home of Hagaon HaRav Chaim Kanievsky. Eliyahu Erand, one of the askanim of Degel Hatorah arrived at the Rabbi’s house with a long-time member of the Histadrut whose grandson is supposed to undergo a complex surgery next week.

“I walked into the Rav Kanievsky’s house with him while he brought his grandson, who is 14-months-old. We went to request a Bracha so that the surgery would go well,” Erand relayed. “To his surprise, Rav Kanievsky said that the child was a goy (a non-jew). We tried, again and again, to get Rav Kanievsky to bless the boy, but he refused each time and gave us the same answer stating that the child was a goy.”

“When we exited, the grandfather told me that the family has been unable to give the child a Bris Mila up to this point for medical reasons. He will have his circumcision as part of the complex surgery,” Erand explained.

The pair were persistent, especially once Erand knew the reason for Rav Kanievskey’s response.

“We returned to Rav Kanievsky. The grandfather explained the situation to Rav Chaim that the baby whom he had just seen had not yet been circumcised due to medical reasons, and that the doctors were about to perform a complex surgery on the baby during which he would receive a circumcision and that the grandfather was asking for a blessing.”

Rav Chaim then gave the child his standard Bracha of “Bracha Vehatzlaha.”

(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)


  1. why is it impressive that he new the boy didnt have a bris but didnt know the reason? Additionally, if a child cannot have a bris for medical reasons that does not make him a goy.

  2. Additionally, if a child cannot have a bris for medical reasons that does not make him a goy.

    And that’s exactly why he gave the Brachah when he heard the details.

  3. bpchiller: I have no idea how to do that.

    FYI: I was referencing the Shoel Umaishiv just as an interesting reference as to precedent for discussion regarding someone that does not have a bris and his halachic status. Did not intend to address this specific incident or one that doesn’t have a bris for medical reasons.

  4. The is only one time the Covenant is stated, with all of the requirements, agreed to by The LORD and performed by Abraham. Genesis Chapter 17 contains the total contract. I find no alteration to this Covenant in the complete Written TORAH. You are either IN or you are NOT.

  5. 1. Is a Jew without a brit milah considered a non Jew? Or is he simply a Jew without a brit milah?
    2. Can anyone offer a sane reason not to give a baby a bracha for a refuah, even if he were a non Jew? Not to mention the child of pained Jewish parents coming to a gadol for a bracha.

  6. According to the Covenant of Circumcision with Abraham, after eight days of age and not circumcised, “Genesis 17:12 And he that is eight days old shall be circumcised among you, every male throughout your generations, he that is born in the house, or bought with money of any foreigner, that is not of thy seed. 13 He that is born in thy house, and he that is bought with thy money, must needs be circumcised; and My covenant shall be in your flesh for an everlasting covenant. 14 And the uncircumcised male who is not circumcised in the flesh of his foreskin, that soul shall be cut off from his people; he hath broken My covenant.’ ” This can and must be corrected as soon as possible. Yet, we are to be a light unto the Nations, of what is Right to Do before OUR LORD.

    When we were taken away to Babylon, we were told: “Jeremiah 29:7 And seek the peace of the city whither I have caused you to be carried away captive, and pray unto the LORD for it; for in the peace thereof shall ye have peace.”
    For me this is clear, we are to pray for those around us that are Not Children of Israel(the uncircumcised). Whoever, this does not apply to those who are against THE LORD OUR GOD.

    In this case, the boy, not circumcised, and older than eight days, is not under the Covenant. If the reason for this other than a rebellion by the parents against the LORD and the Covenant, then a blessing should be given without any hesitation. It would be best for the parents to have their son brought in to the Covenant, to be one of the Nation, as soon as humanly possible.