Re: jewish birth traditions #hungary

Lynn Saul <lynnsaul@...>

The "witness" or actually the person holding the child at the
circumcision ("sandek" in Hebrew) is often, traditionally, one of the
grandfathers. So the fact that this person has the mother's last name
is probably her father, or possibly a brother. You could surmise why
the person isn't the one for later children, but any of a million
reasons is possible (dead, not available, change in personal emotions,
someone else the parents of the baby wanted to honor).
Lynn Saul

-----Original Message-----
From: d pfalzer []
Sent: Thursday, November 06, 2003 12:16 PM
Subject: [h-sig] jewish birth traditions

As a result of my recent success with locating my
Neumann branch in Belicza [found in the county of
Zala], I have a question about one item of information
on my ggm's brother's birth record.

On these birth records I see a column headed "Name der
Pathen eder Zeugen" that I have surmised is the
witness to the circumcision. Please help me
understand who I should expect these people to be.
How would they be chosen?

In particular, what I really wish to know is that
given that the witness to the eldest son's
circumcision has the surname Kohn -- the same as the
mother's maiden name -- what is the likelihood that he
is her father? Can anything be read into his not
appearing as the witness for later grandsons?

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